“Sometimes, the wrong train takes you to the right station.”Yoon Se-ri, “Crash Landing On You”
Yoon Se-ri’s observation is foretelling. In the hit multiple Baeksang-award-nominated tvN K-drama “Crash Landing on You,” viewers are taken on a journey. A journey viewers of the popular show took from December 2019 until February 2020.
Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) is a successful South Korean businesswoman. An unexpected tornado causes her to crash-land in North Korean on a paraglider. Ri Jeong-hyeok, (Hyun Bin), a Captain in the North Korean Special Police Force, stumbles upon her while she tries to find a way out of her predicament.
Throughout the drama, Ri Jeong-hyeok and his comrades Pyo Chi-su (Yang Kyung-won), Kim Ju-muk (Yoo Su-bin), Park Kwang-beom (Lee Shin- young) and Geum Eun-dong (Tang Joon-sang) try to send Yoon Se-ri back to Seoul. All while trying to go unnoticed in North Korea. Needless to say, drama ensues.
A Winning Formula
You may ask why everyone is raving about this K-drama. Why has it become such a popular phenomenon all over the world? I have the answer. The show’s writers gave us an infallible formula.
Firstly, the two main characters have different personalities. Quite endearingly they complement each other. This pair has to fight more than their overbearing parents. More than different social statuses. Their love has to overcome the historical division between North and South Korea. They are star-crossed lovers like Gyeonu and Jiknyeo (characters comparable to Romeo and Juliet). Alongside this couple, Gu Seung-joon (Kim Jung-hyun) and Seo Dan (Seo Ji-hye) make us believe that love deserves a second opportunity.
Secondly, “Crash Landing on You” has a good balance between comedy, romance, drama and downright heart-stopping moments.
Thirdly, it has brilliant secondary characters. Each one has their own story that intertwines with the protagonists’ without a hitch. The supporting characters of “Crash Landing on You” deliver some of the most heartwarming performances. The story would not have been the same without Ri Jeong-hyeok’s four fellow soldiers, Jeong Man-bok (the tattletale of the village), Ri Jeong-hyeok’s parents and Seo Dan’s mother and uncle.
More Beneath the Surface
In a nutshell, “Crash Landing in You” is not only well written. It also touches on topics that universally attract everyone. Forbidden love, family relationships, loyalty, friendship and the business. But the show has given its viewers much more than that. Even if the story itself is fiction, it has opened the public’s eyes to conflicts outside of their geographical surroundings. The show manages to explore the sensitive topic of the separation between North and South Korea in some of the most metaphorical and artful ways.
This incredibly popular K-drama has not only gained widespread attention in South Korea and worldwide. With 21.7% of ratings, it has become the third highest-rated drama in the history of Korean cable television. It has gained various nominations for the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards, a ceremony which pays honor to South Korean film, TV and theatre. (This year’s ceremony takes place on Friday, June 5).
“Crash Landing on You” is nominated for Best Drama, Best Actor (Hyun Bin), Best Actress (Son Ye-jin), Best Supporting Actor (Yang Kyung-won) and twice for Best Supporting Actress (Seo Ji-hye and Kim Sun-young). Fans of the show tweeted #cloybaeksang hours before they announced the nominations, making the hashtag a trend.
“Crash Landing on You” managed not only to deliver superb performances. It also gave its viewers a glimpse of the issues surrounding the separation between North and South Korea. It’s safe to say that this K-drama has Crash Landed in Our Hearts.
Maria Jose Marin Rodrigues is a young aspiring journalist and writer. Her area of interest is in entertainment, especially in non-occidental productions, with a focus on Asian and Latin-American shows.