Right on to my fourth kdrama of the month.
Crash Landing On You is the first Hyun Bin drama I’ve seen and the second Son Ye Jin, the first being Something In The Rain which made me love the rain and Korean barbecue even more. It took me a little bit longer to write this review – I still find myself going through the episodes over and over as I finally understood what the fuss was all about.
A day in a life in North Korea
North Korean life and culture never peaked my interest before, unless you count the blog I stumbled upon a few years ago showcasing smuggled snapshots of the everyday life in North Korea. I’ve always thought of it as a scary place, with uniformed men everywhere ready to shoot you in just one wrong move. Until I saw the village women in their colorful clothes and simple country life, and I am reminded that all places must have been created equal when it came to rich culture and beautiful people. The kimchi cellar and the meat in the salt rock, the lack of electricity during most nights (though I’ve seen an interview that this actually happens twice a month at most in real life), the improvised wet sauna, and the spacious yards where you can plant tomatoes and other crops – all of these must be on your checklist when you dream of a place to go whenever you want to escape the crazy urban life. Even without internet, I know and I’m sure I’ll survive. I could just read books all day, write stories, and be a homemaker for the dashing Captain Ri Jeong Hyeok.
Impossible love made possible
One of the pros of not reading more about the history of two Koreas is that I didn’t need to put too much effort to suspend my disbelief that Crash Landing On You’s love story is possible in real life. Bringing together two hearts with a ceasefire line between them is just next to impossibility. It felt like I was watching a low-key loose adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with the soldier boys as the dwarfs (oh hello, Lee Sin-young!), the ceasefire line as the Evil Queen and Jo Cheol Kang as the bad apple. Well, Snow White was cursed too many times so all of Se-ri’s other misfortunes were counted as that, plus she was thrown in a place where no one knows her. I laughed during Captain Ri’s jealous moments. I cried in their every goodbye, both knowingly and unknowingly, especially on the last one when everyone around them were holding out their guns ready to fire. I fell in love with Captain Ri after his South Korean make over with his hair brushed up and his brown coat hanging perfectly on his shoulders. My heart fluttered over Ms. Seri and Mr. Ri’s every kiss, both the light ones and the deep ones. I smiled when the village women gathered together to console the arrested police officer’s wife. I felt hope when the soldier boys finally found their captain, right at the moment when everything appears to be falling apart. This drama gave me so much feelings in the mere hours I was watching it, feelings that I never thought I’d feel in the confines of the four walls of my room in the middle of the night.
The second lead is strong in this one
The con man Gu Seung Joon isn’t that hard to love once you give him the chance. I had the impression that he was once a sweet boy, hiding in the bad man facade to deny the pain and longing in his heart brought about by bad family history. And oh boy, was I ever wrong? I was so happy for Seo-dan for their encounter, especially since Seo-dan’s character wasn’t really meant to be hated – that’s how I see her. Everyone of us deserves to be happy, and this couple just made a perfect pair. But not all love stories are created equal, as some end tragically. My heart feels heavy until now, as I remember how Seung-joon felt loved as he fought for his life in Seo-dan’s arms. It was the sadness I felt for Dae-young and Myung-ju (Descendants of the Sun second leads) that I actually had second lead syndrome in that drama. The main leads are just too strong this time, plus Captain Ri is just too seriously good-looking to be toppled over. Just when I thought I’d always be a noona, now I think again because the young Korean men’s regime in my heart seems to be waving goodbye.
Musicians make the best loverboys (say my friends, ehem). Captain Ri playing the piano just made him the complete package. His piece, The Song For My Brother easily made it to my kdrama playlist, along with IU’s Give You My Heart, Yoon Mi Rae’s Flower, and Kim Jae Hwan’s Someday.
In so many ways, Crash Landing On You reminded me of the ever impossible love story of Cheon Song Yi and Do Min Joon (my ultimate Kdrama favorite, My Love From The Star and I died during Kim Soo Hyun’s cameo!). Also, both dramas ended up in the most realistic way possible, yet it satisfied my craving for a happy ending story. I like the fact that it wasn’t the kind of closure that’s too convenient for the romance to continue, because we all know that it takes both time, attention, and effort for love to grow deeper and stronger. And oh yes, because only one person is responsible for both stories – the screenwriter Park Ji-eun. There’s a woman who knows what she wants and can do anything by herself, and suddenly she needs saving. Maybe this is a reminder that all of us need saving. In this world full of bad apples and cruel things, even if we are perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves, at the end of the day, it’s nice to just have someone who’d put us in their arms and say nothing and there’ll be warmth and peace all over and from within.
Not sure how long my CLOY fever will last, but I’m sure it’s gonna be here for a long time. Watch it too, if you haven’t and let’s all try to recover from this syndrome all at once.
Stay sane, kids! Watch kdramas.