Very rarely have I watched a K-drama in its entirety, even while living in Korea for almost 20 years. However, this drama was definitely different since it didn’t have a cheesy, predictable romance. The recent tvN hit drama “Crash Landing on You” achieved the network’s highest-viewed ratings ever because of its unpredictable, complicated, and unbelievably believable story line. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must-see series. This drama will put you on the edge of your seat.
This is a K-drama at its best on a global level, and here’s our three reasons why!
1. Storylines and Subplots
Storylines are the most important thing in a movie, TV show, or K-drama. It is what makes a story bad or great. If ever there was a complicated story, the trick is to simplify it. The genius of this drama is that they use every part to connect to a bigger story. There is never a wasted scene. They connect every action or word to something else, which contributes to the final destination of this story.
It’s actually quite clever that the writers used every subplot to clarify the bigger picture. The end result is that the viewer comes away being more informed and yet wanting to know more. It literally puts you on the edge of your seat because you want to know more!
The drama has multiple subplots. It’s not just about a romance with an antagonist, but it has subplots about loyal friends (the soldiers who go off to save their captain) a betrayed lover, family feuds, and more. And like our own complicated lives, the story weaves them in simply. They are somehow all connected and you come away saying” that makes sense.”
Korean cinematography has come a long way. In the last few years, there’s been a convergence of fashion, beauty products, acting, and technology all rendezvousing at the same time in Korea. This effect has made Korea the capital of the world for all of the things we buy and use. Filming and directing is no exception. We are now seeing Korea push for better filming, use of technology and programs, better cameras and equipment, and better editing. For example, they show a scene for the first time as the cliff hanger to end the episode, but in the next episode, they show multiple scenes to explain the previous cliff hanger scene. That means there are now multiple layers within a scene. We can have different angles, which means we can have a different perspectives. This type of filming and editing show that Korea is on the rise to think outside the box instead of showing scripted stories that force our thinking into one direction.
3. Unusual Heroes
For sure, this is a very unusual drama because the hero was North Korean. This is very antithetical not just to the South Korean thinking but actually to the whole world. How can a North Korean be a hero? The show touched people’s heart and made people from all over the world realize that North Koreans are people too
If you’ve watched multiple dramas, you’ll quickly realize this Korean love story is unlike any other. The love story is about two improbable people (a South Korean and a North Korea) fated to meet for an adventure of destined love. “Crash Landing on You” touches on a taboo-like subject for many Koreans. Is a North Korean be able to love? For far too long, movies, the news, and documentaries have dehumanized North Koreans. The director, writer, and producer of this series — whether they intentionally or unintentionally meant to do it — have framed compassion and humanity as a looming question in our hearts. “Crash Landing on You” reminds us we actually don’t know too much about the North, and we forget they are humans and have feelings too.
The drama reminds us North Koreans are people with emotions and complicated feeling just like us. We can be cruel and judgmental because we know so little, and we only get news from CNN. Yet, I can tell you for certain after living in Korea for so long that Americans view the whole of Korea as a potential war bomb waiting to explode. Very few people in Korea actually look at it like that. And if you are in North Korea, 98% people live in poverty and have little knowledge of what’s taking place outside of Korea.
The point is that many watching this drama realize the Northern people were our family members. And when you strip down everything and go to our core feeling, we are more alike than we realize. We love just like they do. They love just like we do.
Did you watch this series? If so, what did you think? Make sure to share your thoughts with us by tweeting to us @whatthekpop1!
*Thank you to JL for this special contribution article!