Replay the Classic K-Drama: 4 Key Takeaways From ‘Crash Landing on You’

Crash Landing on You

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated by Hana Lee

Crash Landing on You
Credit: tvN

The happy ending in the drama came true. Here, we are talking about Crash Landing on You. Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin, who starred in the series together as a cross-border couple, admitted their romantic relationship a year after the show’s conclusion and tied the knot this year with the blessings of many people. Recording the highest viewership rating in tvN history, the drama has drawn acclaim all over the world and even made the two stars fall in love with each other. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how and why this series has become so iconic and successful.

The Love Story Set in the Divided Country of Korea

Crash Landing on You begins with the idea of its female protagonist landing in the strange world of North Korea. Yoon Se Ri (played by Son Ye Jin), the heiress of a South Korean conglomerate and a successful business owner, meets a paragliding accident due to a gust of wind and ends up landing in North Korea. She looks very shady and suspicious to Ri Jeong Hyeok (Hyun Bin), the North Korean army officer who first finds her. Although the soldier does not give his trust to the young South Korean lady at first, a romance slowly blooms between them as they spend more time together. The sweet love story between the two unfolds in the nation, which has been divided for more than 70 years, and it is not the villain but the history that stands in the way of their love. Despite speaking the same language and being geographically close to one another, the series clearly shows that the two have spent their lives in utterly different worlds. The drama’s charm lies in gently sharing the reality of division without offering detailed historical facts about the two Koreas.

The Place Where They Meet and Reunite

There is a country where Se Ri and Jeong Hyeok can meet without the restrictions the old wall of division places on them. That is Switzerland, where they bumped into each other in the past. The two think that they first met through the paragliding accident, but they realize that wasn’t the first time they met as they look back. They ask themselves, “How many times have we met before?,” and it turns out that the two have already met each other on the bridge and lakeshore of Switzerland before. Before meeting each other, the country was a place where they must successfully carry out their mission and say goodbyes, and the site is featured in many parts of the story as if it is separated from reality. However, it later becomes a vital, symbolic place for both of them and the story itself. The drama beautifully visualized the coincidence and disconnection they experience in this beautiful country.

Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin

Before starring in the hit romance drama, Hyun Bin played a North Korean soldier role in Confidential Assignment. Perhaps that’s how he nailed the North Korean accent and spotlessly pulled off the stoic comrade-in-arms. Meanwhile, Se Ri, who made an emergency landing in North Korea, returns to South Korea almost halfway through the story, and Son Ye Jin does a great job of portraying the humorous, adorable yet incredibly practical character. Well known as a ‘Dooly Couple,’ the two successfully paint the romance that gives us butterflies and the tragic ending that we all know is inevitable. Plus, their action performances are of high quality.

Scene-Stealing Cameos and Supporting Actors

The chemistry between Se Ri and the five soldiers in Jeong Hyeok’s crew also adds fun to the series. As they grow closer to her by helping her adapt to the North Korean lifestyle, they learn more about the other Korea, where everything is fast and fun. One of the soldiers in Jeong Hyeok’s squad loves watching popular K-drama Stairway to Heaven (2003), and Choi Ji Woo gave him a big surprise by making a cameo appearance in the series. My Love From the Star actor Kim Soo Hyun also made a shocking cameo appearance as a jobless North Korean man who settled in South Korea. Such unexpected yet exciting cameo appearances of big stars sent dramas fans into a frenzy while the drama was on the air. The four housewives, who guard the North Korean officer’s residence, also brought many viewers to laughter, and Se Ri develops a sense of comradery with the ladies in her neighborhood as she fakes her identity to survive in the village. It is no coincidence that Crash Landing on You has captivated many fans all around the world.


Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.


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