Sunday, May 3, 2020

Netflix Review: Crash Landing on You

With the news of North Korea and South Korea exchanging gunfire this morning, my thoughts suddenly went back to the Korean drama Crash Landing on You on Netflix. If those characters existed in real life, what could they be doing right about now? What would Captain Ri do?  

Crash Landing on You is one of the Netflix shows that became extremely popular here in the Philippines and is one of the highest-rated series in South Korea. It tells the story of Yoon Se Ri, an entrepreneur with a successful business empire who accidentally gets stranded in North Korea under the protection of a soldier/captain named Ri Jung Hyuk and his group of soldiers. Despite the risks and the odds (and several futile prior attempts), they can smuggle Yoon Se Ri back into South Korea.  

Unfortunately for Se Ri, Capt. Ri’s enemy follows her to South Korea to get revenge, so he follows him to protect and save her, with his band of soldiers following him to take him back soon after. At the end (spoiler alert), she is saved, Capt. Ri and his group of soldiers go back home and they are again separated by the border between the two Koreas. 

The series is one of the best Korean dramas that I have seen so far. My emotions were all over the place watching everything unfold. I was laughing at the funny scenes, crying at the moving ones, and as giddy with kilig at the romantic moments of the show.  

Before watching the show, I did not have any idea what life in North Korea might be like. All I knew was that they were separated from South Korea and that they never crossed each other’s borders. Getting a picture of their life from the show made the idea of it more real to me. I cried so much thinking of the loss that the lead characters felt from being separated from one another. I cried feeling how the friends she made in the North, the people she came to love, would be a big loss to her because she would never see them again.  

I fell in love with all the different relationships that were presented in the show. It was about family — the ones we are born with and the ones that we make. It was about friends and the bonds we make with the people we least expect. It was about love and how we acknowledge it, fight for it, and make the best of it. Each type of relationship on the show from the families of both lead characters, the power struggles in Se Ri’s family, and in Capt. Ri’s life as a soldier, the bond that Se Ri formed with Captain Ri and his soldiers and with her neighbors in North Korea, to the unexpected love story between Seo Dan and Gu Seung Joon had an interesting story to tell that complemented each other to make up the heart of the entire series. 

One of my favorite parts of the series is the reveal that Se Ri and Capt. Ri was, in a way, destined to be together from the start. They had run into each other in Switzerland on several occasions, way before he became a soldier. A song he wrote and played on the piano while he was there was a song that had been in her mind for years, and it is this theme song that I enjoy listening to now long after I’ve finished the show on Netflix. I have put the music from the show on my Spotify playlist, that is how much I have enjoyed it. 

I have seen Hyun Bin (Capt. Ri) in several shows but this is different from all the others he has done so far. He always plays this arrogant character, even as a male lead. But with Captain Ri, he is all heart and he is a good guy through and through. I loved him in this one. His chemistry with co-star Son Ye Jin (Se Ri) is so good and I know a lot of people agree because everyone else is hoping they get together in real life. 

Crash Landing on You is now on my list of all-time Korean drama favorites. If you are a fan of Korean dramas and you have not seen this one yet, what are you waiting for? 


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