The recently voguish South Korean drama “Crash Landing On You” concluded it’s run on a high. The 16-part series smashed viewership records and remains a crowd favourite.
The romantic fantasy series, starring Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Jin, drew an average nationwide rating of 21.6%, breaking the previous record of 18.6% set by “Goblin” in 2017.
What is it about this unlikely tale of a South Korean billionaire heiress paragliding, then falling in love with a North Korean soldier, that brought about fans getting glued to their screens?
Note: There are potential spoilers ahead.
1. The Cast: Power Couple & Stellar Supporting Acts
It’s not a first for Hyun Bin to be paired with Son Ye-jin. And still, sparks were in the air.
There’s probably one too many scenes of farewells, goodbyes and kisses. Viewers also probably lost count on the number of times they balled our eyes out for both of them.
Besides the power couple, supporting roles were definitely scene stealers: the Ajummas (middle-aged women) from the North Korean village, soldiers from the Fifth Infantry and the leads’ respective families.
2. Addictive Original Soundtracks (OSTs) Packing A Punch
Tracks from Davichi, Crush, Yoon Mi Rae and 10cm for an Original Soundtrack playlist? Sounds great.
What’s more? Ballad goddess IU joined in for the drama’s OST titled “Give You My Heart”, her first OST act in almost a decade.
And this should not come as a surprise: the song was a chart-topper the next day.
3. An Unusual Story: Tales Of The North
“Crash Landing On You” is not the first South Korean production to put the spotlight on their northern counterpart. But it sure is one of the few that could do so with such attention to intricacies.
Previous productions such as JSA (2000) and Iris (2009, 2013) would usually refer to North Korean counterparts as spies or secret agents. But Crash Landing On You takes a unique spin by offering a different perspective: from a humble North Korean village and their everyday lives.
The attention to minute details was probably because Kang Nara, a North Korean defector-turn-YouTube star, was part of the production process to provide advice and direction about the setting in North Korea.
4. On Set, On Point
To the shock of many, the drama was not shot in North Korea. Neither was it filmed in a studio.
Instead, the production team ferreted out many locations across South Korea and Mongolia to make the scenes as believable as it can get.
5. Easter Eggs Everywhere
Bits and pieces of references throughout the show were evident, though some more explicit than the other.
Korean septet BTS might have found themselves fans in an unlikely North Korea. We have a self-declared Jungkook fan in Pyongyang in Episode 7.
As Captain Ri alternates himself to the digital world in Episode 12, he dived into a fully fledged gamer as the tomato cultivator. That was Hyun Bin’s previous role as Yoo Jin Woo in “Memories of the Alhambra” (2018).
The iconic guitar piece playing in the background definitely rings a bell.
6. My Love From The North?
An unlikely and forbidden love story involving the two protagonists might sound like a run-of-the-mill plot. As cliche as Korean dramas can get, this is probably the biggest guilty pleasure.
If you’re a fan of “My Love from the Star” (2013) or “Legend of The Blue Sea” (2016), oddly similar comparisons can be drawn with “Crash Landing On You”.
No surprises here, since they were all written by the same screenwriter: Park Ji-eun. Deja Vu.