The K-drama we'd recommend no matter what: Crash Landing on You

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin in 'Crash Landing on You.' (Netflix)
Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin in 'Crash Landing on You.' (Netflix)


Crash Landing on You




4/5 Stars


A paragliding mishap drops a South Korean heiress in North Korea - and into the life of an army officer, who decides he will help her hide.


I recently, as in last week, discovered the world of Korean dramas, and to say I am obsessed is an understatement. I am now a card-carrying member of the Kdrama club.

Crash Landing on You is something truly special and it's no surprise that it is the one of the highest rated cable dramas.

What makes it so special, you ask? Well, it has a couple of things going for it.

The lead actors Son Ye-jin who plays Yoon Se-ri and Hyun Bin as Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok sizzle together on screen; their chemistry is palpable. While the story of star-crossed lovers isn't a novel idea, the politics of an inter-Korean love story, on the other hand, adds a different layer.

When we first meet Se-ri, she is very unlikable, nicknamed the 'Picky Princess' she thinks her wealth and privilege allows her to treat people in a certain way. As the series develops and you get to know her character better, you soon learn that there are reasons why she is the way she is and that it's just a protective wall, beneath her veneer is a scared, lonely woman. Through the series, her character evolves. What I enjoyed about her evolution is that it was a gradual and believable process.

Ri Jeong-hyeok is the leading man I never knew I needed. As far as romantic male leads in dramas go, his character is damn near perfect. This man holds a candle in a dark marketplace for Se-ri to see when she gets lost, he grinds and roasts coffee beans just to make her a cup of coffee, he packs things in a cupboard on shelves that are easy for her to reach, he takes a bullet for her and even sneaks into a country to protect her. And that's not all. He uses his privilege for good too; he is a woke bae!

Each episode has a running time of 70 - 110 minutes which allows for the storylines and characters to be fleshed out, but the drama doesn't take itself too seriously, as it also pokes fun at Korean drama tropes, which the series itself employs. At the end of each episode, there's an extended scene which is either a flashback or a 'hidden scene' giving viewers an extra look.

It's not just a love story, there are twists and turns, suspense and some really cool action scenes with martial arts sequences that even non-romance fans will enjoy. 

The cinematography is beautiful from the majestic mountains in Switzerland to snapshots of life in North Korea, which was filmed in South Korea and Mongolia.

The supporting cast is endearing. Captain Ri's army unit and the women in the North Korean village where Se-ri takes refuge provide a lot of the comic relief. The villains, a corrupt army official and Se-ri's brother and sister-in-law, are as evil as they come, and turn out memorable performances.

Another must mention is the soundtrack, the Korean pop, R&B tracks and classical pieces complement the storytelling.

For the past week, I was engrossed in the lives of  Se-ri and Ri Jeong-hyeok - never have I rooted so much for a fictional couple and their love story. Fans of romance drama will fall in love with this story; it hits all the right notes and is the perfect escape from our reality right now.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24