I have finally been sucked into the world of K-drama and color me obsessed. I literally broke all the mom rules and spent all of Saturday binge watching this until 3am. Netflix's Crash Landing On You is a perfect romantic comedy series full of laughter, heart, tears (omg lots of tears in the last couple episodes), and romance (duh). The logline reads: "A paragliding mishap drops a South Korean heiress in North Korea - and into the life of an army officer, who decides he will help her hide." It's 16 episodes and most are between 70-90 minutes. I think the last episode was even almost two hours, so basically a movie. Here are a few of there reasons I loved this series and recommend watching it.
Characters to Love
The characters and performances by the actors are so great that if I didn't immediately fall in love with most of them, I did as the story progressed. The leads, played by Son Ye-Jin and Hyun Bin, are fantastic (like really, really fantastic); but it's the supporting characters that really give this series so much heart. I absolutely love all the village women and the goofy North Korean troopers. For anyone who thinks Asian women are weak and subordinate, this series showcases a prime example of who really are the backbone of Asian communities--the women. Asian women are incredibly strong and fierce. The writers did such a great job with all of the characters, their relational dynamics, and story lines.
Humanity Beyond the Politics
In the West, most of what we hear about North Korea are deflector stories, nuclear weapons stories, and other political stories. One thing I enjoyed about this series was the reminder of the humanity that exists within these borders beyond the politics. In the end, we are all humans shaped by the love (or lack there of) in our lives.
Greater Appreciation for Asian Men
Throughout history, the western world has emasculated Asian men. As an Asian American woman, I really needed/need to see more Asians on screen. I almost feel a little sad that it has taken me this long to watch more Asian content. Of course, growing up we didn't have as much access to all the Asian content that is out there unless your parents paid extra to have the Chinese, Korean, or other Asian channels. So, I'm grateful now I can binge watch all the K-drama and other Asian content my heart desires. Perhaps at this point we've heard the phrase "representation matters" so many times it's starting to lose it's impact and significance, but I cannot emphasize how much representation matters. It affects our view and value of ourselves.
Fresh Hurdles and Challenges
A series needs to continue to have hurdles and challenges, otherwise it gets boring. In a series like this though, when the main plot line is about the protagonist getting from point A to point B, and things keep throwing her off on her path, it can get redundant and expected. You start to feel like, "here we go again," and the hurdles become annoying, taking you out of the series. I didn't feel that way with this series though.
No Sex Scenes
I've never been a fan of gratuitous scenes. There are zero sex scenes in this, and the leads kiss only handful of times throughout the series. Call me a prude, but I really loved that about this series. I asked a Korean friend of mine if most Korean dramas tend to lean this way, and she said yes--not all, but most. And the ones that offer a little more gratuity apparently aren't as gratuitous as American or European series and films. Most of the times, sex scenes aren't necessary to move the plot alone. In this series, I felt every bit of passion, heat, and sexual tension without the sex scenes.
Since this is a love story between "impenetrable" borders, the whole time I was dying to find out how it would end, and was preparing myself for it. I thought about him deflecting, her choosing to stay in North Korea, or them simply accepting their fate as being lovers separated by a grave political divide. Ultimately, I found myself surprised and satisfied by the ending.
Another friend of mine said this show was also her gateway drug to more K-dramas. So, if you're just getting into them or looking for your first one to dive into, I definitely recommend this one. It's got all the feels, and it makes you wish these characters were real. Now bring on some more Korean dramas!