The international success of Crash Landing on You is my foray into Korean Drama, and I now have a decent-sized list to continue with (after I finish rewatching it). Crash Landing on You from Netflix and tvN is a binge-worthy treat that romance lovers need to watch if you haven’t already. Here are just ten reasons (it was hard to narrow it down) why you should watch this show. Be warned. There are slight spoilers ahead.
1. It is Unabashedly Romantic
Yoon Se-ri and Ri Jeong-hyeok’s love story is the core of Crash Landing on You. Their love is tried and tested throughout the entirety of the series. We are given many glorious moments to bask in their romance, from the little things and casual moments of intimacy to the big, dramatic ones. Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin are fantastic screen partners with off-the-charts chemistry that resulted in a relationship between the two in real life. The looks they share and their interactions on-screen beautifully encapsulate the emotional journey Se-ri and Jeong-hyeok are on.
2. The Friendships
The friendships that grow on this show are golden. The soldiers under Ri Jeong-hyeok’s command clearly all have a strong camaraderie with each other. Watching each of them get to know and grow closer with Se-ri is a pleasure. There is a true love and loyalty between them all that grows throughout the series. I also love the female friendships that blossom between Se-ri and the villagers she meets. After their rocky and disingenuous beginnings, a true friendship forms between them. Including them being there for Se-ri, when things with her “engagement” to Jeong-hyeok seem to take a turn.
3. The Drama
Crash Landing on You is a very dramatic show with the background of tension between North and South Korea. Both Se-ri’s and Jeong-hyeok’s families are well known in their countries, adding another layer of difficulty to their situation. The obstacles the team faces in trying to get Se-ri back to South Korea feel real. There are multiple attempts to get Se-ri back to the South.
Except, the longer she stays in the North, the closer she grows to Jeong-hyeok, the other soldiers, and the villagers. The goodbyes they share get harder as time passes. I would have thought the amount of goodbyes they share would become superfluous, but it is a constant reminder that their time together is fleeting and the politics would not allow them to be together. The stakes are real.
4. The Comedy
To balance out the amount of tears that will be shed, there is a good amount of comedy that had me literally laughing out loud multiple times. Not only are the other soldiers a great source of comedy, but our main couple as well. I like that we get to see some playfulness between them. As well as some funny situations with the difference in cultures. One funny and cute moment is in a discussion of Se-ri’s hair style, which results in a make over later on. There is also Gu Seung-jun, a con man that stole from Se-ri’s family and is hiding in North Korea, who also is comedic relief even through his shenanigans.
5. The Music
The music in Crash Landing on You makes me ache. Not only is the score fantastic, but we get to see our leading man play the piano. At one point, he even writes a song for his brother, and it’s a crucial element in the story. It is woven into Jeong-hyeok’s backstory and Se-ri’s in such beautiful and poignant ways, connecting them further on another level.
The way fate plays its hand in Ri Jeong-hyeok and Yoon Se-ri’s relationship is something else. Before they have their fated meeting on the North Korean side of the DMZ, their paths cross years before. Without either of them realizing until present day, their fleeting encounters have a huge impact on both of them. And when they do make the connection, it makes for some magical scenes. One of my favorites is when they make the connection of Jeong-hyeok’s song and its extraordinary impact on Se-ri.
7. Complex Characters and Relationships
Crash Landing on You does a fantastic job working with complex characters and relationships. Seo Dan is someone you are rooting against at first, and by the end, you cannot help but feel for her. Gu Seung-jun is an anti-hero, and watching the journey and growth that takes place in him is fantastic. Ri Jeong-hyeok’s family is complicated because of their high political and military status, but the love is there and strong. Yoon Se-ri’s family is a different story. While owning multiple companies between them, her family lacks warmth and love when we meet them. You can’t help but hope for Se-ri to become close to certain members of her family, though it is hard at first because of the hurt that lingers and the feeling of competition between her and her two brothers. And of course, our leads are multifaceted and compelling characters that had me hooked from the first episode.
8. The Longing
I genuinely don’t know if I’ve ever seen or read a piece of fiction that has the longing that this show has. Yoon Se-ri and Ri Jeong-hyeok have shattered me. Whether it be internal or external, in many works of fiction there is always something that is keeping the couple from getting together. There are reasonable hurdles the couples must face.
Sometimes, I cannot help but think of all the different ways they could overcome their problems quicker, but that was not the case here. I have yet to see forces keeping the couple apart as palpable as it is in Crash Landing on You. Jeong-hyeok is a soldier and son of a high-ranking official in North Korea and Se-ri, the daughter of a conglomerate family, or chaebol, in South Korea. Neither one of them could safely stay in the other’s country. For them to make it work is unimaginable, even when they are together there is distance to protect themselves, both physical and emotional.
9. The Tropes
Fish out of water. Enemies to Lovers. Reluctant allies. Fake engagement. Love triangle. Bodyguard romance. Star crossed lovers… And my personal favorite hurt/comfort! Which takes place in a hospital, at home, and an abandoned school… in the snow. There are more tropes and they are done so well, it truly is a treat.
10. The Things Done for Love
These two do so much for each other. They save each other in more ways than one. Even from the beginning Ri Jeong-hyeok does so much for Yoon Se-ri. They often do it without realizing it. Then it becomes intentional and serious. There are some miss understandings between the two, but they always find their way back to each other. I could go on, but I don’t want to spoil the beautiful journey they are on. You will have to watch to see just how far these two go for each other.
There is talk of an American remake at Netflix. Personally, I would love a second season instead. The ending is a bittersweet masterpiece that fits this show, and its many twists and turns that is haunting me in the best way, but they could make a second season work very well. And this is coming from someone who hates when networks continue a show for too long. I would never want more unless there was a good story to tell. Many fans feel the same as there is a petition for a second season going around.
Please watch Crash Landing On You on Netflix and comment below if you want to cry with me about the perfection that is this show while I continue my journey with K-Dramas.