Crash landing
Lim Hyo Seon/ Netflix

Crash Landing on You – the new South Korean drama which is as funny as it is emotional

Crash Landing on You is a television series about a South Korean heiress named Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-Jin), who accidentally lands in North Korea after encountering a tornado whilst paragliding. There, she meets Ri Jeong-hyuk (Hyun Bin), who is a captain in the North Korean army. The audience follows her exploits in North Korea and attempts to return home, with the help of Ri Jeong Hyuk and his comrades. 

This is a fantastic drama for a number of reasons. The series balances humorous and entertaining moments, with an exciting and engaging plot that keeps the audience tense and eager for the next episode. It’s successful in moving between light-hearted, comedic moments, and more serious and emotional scenes.

The series balances humorous and entertaining moments, with an exciting and engaging plot that keeps the audience tense and eager for the next episode

The dual success of funny and emotional scenes is achieved through a well-written script that has some brilliant dialogue, creating consistent characters and memorable scenes. The skilled acting is also key and the chemistry between cast members in undeniable. Both the female and male lead are experienced actors. Son Ye-jin plays a similar role in 2016’s The Last Princess; a young woman trying desperately to return home. Before his stint on Crash Landing, Hyun Bin, most recently starred in Memories of the Alhambra, a fantasy/sci-fi melodrama. However, whilst the leads are important, the supporting cast are also well-played and there are a good number of endearing characters, such as the women in the village who prove to be incredibly supportive to one another, when times call for it.

The satisfying pay-off achieved by the attention to detail and return to past events is also extremely enjoyable. Maybe the way that some of the events link may seem too coincidental to some people, but I felt that, in this instance, it gave the drama a sense of neatness. At the end of each episode, there is an extra scene, which usually returns to a moment already shown, but adding a little more depth. These extra scenes reveal more about the characters, often a side of a character that others don’t get to see. They also offer a little light comedic relief to round off the episode.

Maybe the way that some of the events link may seem too coincidental to some people, but I felt that, in this instance, it gave the drama a sense of neatness

Whilst it can be labelled as a romance, the show also explores love and kindness between neighbours and fellow soldiers. I really loved the camaraderie between the soldiers in Ri Jeong Hyuk’s unit and how they look out for one another. Although it’s not the main focus of the drama, mental health issues like suicide and loneliness are also touched upon, and there are scenes that arguably promote a mentally healthier lifestyle. Nevertheless, be prepared to cry! There are many emotional scenes, from more dramatic reunions to scenes that are quieter but equally as touching, if not sometimes more.

I would say the soundtrack are one of the weaker points of this series, as although they suited the drama and sounded good, the songs did not stand out to me as much as songs from other shows have. Saying that though, I didn’t actually dislike any of the songs and my favourites would probably be ‘Flower,’ by Yoon Mi Rae and ‘Sunset’ by Davichi.

Overall, I would give Crash Landing on You at least nine stars out of ten. When I first started it, I really liked it and was worried it wouldn’t be able to keep up the high standard. However, with the exception of a few slightly duller moments, the drama maintained its momentum, in spite of the odd broadcasting schedule on Netflix and the long episode length. I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that it is one of the better drama endings that I’ve seen, as everything is satisfyingly addressed. The drama may not be entirely realistic, but it’s a drama of hope and perseverance that provides a welcome contrast to some of the bleaker and grittier shows available today.

Crash Landing On You is streaming now on Netflix

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