There’s a reason why I never loved those grand, spectacular Korean dramas with the most expensive actors — it’s because they try too hard to show that the one great love in your life will conquer everything. Like Legend of the Blue Sea, Goblin, and more, Crash Landing On You was no different. With its sparkling roster and drone shots in Switzerland that must have cost somebody’s paycheque for a year, the drama failed to impress me.
Like those other big-budget productions before it, all I feel is relief that this drama is finally over. No more plot holes to endure, no more non-sensical solutions to real-life logistical challenges to ignore, and no more sitting on my ass for 1.5 hours to watch too much slow motion and crying.
Yoon Se Ri and Ri Jeong Hyuk’s romance was doomed from the start. Or should have been, unlike the way the drama had chosen to end it. I want to ask the writer — have you been in a long distance relationship? If you have, you’ll know that the distance brings insufferable problems no matter how much you love each other. Their annual reunions in Switzerland are unrealistic, dangerous, and cruel for both parties involved.
What this drama suggests that the one great love is worthy of endless patience, longing, and suffering. But isn’t the whole idea of a relationship, a partnership, is that you share your life’s most mundane moments together and you be together? While I hated that one of my favourite characters, Gu Seung Jun, had to die, at the very least it was realistic. Seo Dan’s grief will never leave her, but she won’t have to live her entire life continuously waiting for opportunities to be reunited with her partner.
Aside from my frustration with the ending, the one thing I’ll say about the plot is that it was far too convenient for our protagonists. Trouble never went all the way and the rules could be bent whenever it was time for some stress relief. Given that it’s 2020, I think it’s time we do away with those conveniences and stop letting writers treat us as if our brains don’t work.
The saving grace for this drama and what made me shed the most tears the friendships between Se Ri and the village women and soldiers. As I get older, I find myself caring less about the romantic leads and more about the communities, the companions, in a story. While they were portrayed as very one-dimensional, at times simple-minded, characters, I rooted for them nonetheless. More than comic relief, those relationships showed me once again, the importance of leaning on your support network to help you get through the toughest days.
And of course, the leads looked great together. Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin were in a movie together and their chemistry was explosive, despite only having one scene where they were in the same room. In this drama, I believed their love when they were looking at each other, but I think I was too annoyed about everything else to care that much.
All in all, Crash Landing on You ended up being another cliche, one uniquely designed for dramas that cost way too much money. They try to fool us with expensive leads and beautiful establishing shots, but I’ve watched far too many good Korean dramas to buy into it. For all the glam, it was lacklustre.
And Hyun Bin, dear God, please pick a better one next time. I love you but you’re walking a real fine line.