There is currently a heated debate online about whether “Crash Landing On You” is glamorizing and romanticizing North Korea or not.
On January 22, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency announced that the Christian Liberal Party submitted a complaint against tvN for glamorizing North Korea and for depicting their army as a peaceful figure.
The popular tvN drama stars Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin and has received great interest from the public for reuniting the two actors, the plot garnered attention previously but not as much as it did following the news about the police complaint.
“Crash Landing On You” tells the story of a South Korean woman who accidentally lands in North Korea due to a paragliding accident, there she meets a North Korean officer who protects from harm and helps her get back to South Korea, they fall in love during that process. The drama shows many scenes about how the North lives and how they follow a certain strict regime.
The Christian Liberal Party, who filed the complaint, believes that it violates the National Security Law for some reason.
K-netizens are divided by their opinions on “Crash Landing On You,” some believe that it’s a drama and shouldn’t be taken as a real deception of how life is, while others are convinced that “Crash Landing On You” is presenting the wrong idea about North Korea and that it is indeed glamorizing life there.
What do you think of this situation?
My Personal Thoughts
Although I can’t talk about whether the outrage is appropriate or not since I am not a Korean I can talk about my own perception of the drama. I did believe that it was romanticizing the entire situation with North Korea, its also glamorizing the life there which is something I don’t think the writer necessarily aimed for.
The thing is, and that’s my opinion, I believe the writer needed a vehicle for a gripping plot with high stakes and thought the North-South idea would serve it well. It’s also within reach (in terms of filming locations) without being too expensive; it doesn’t mean the production value is low but manageable.
Since I am fascinated with documentaries about life in the North (as told by North Koreans themselves), it’s pretty obvious to me that the way “Crash Landing On You” portrays the society as if it was simple or not-so-bad is obviously not true.
I personally found the drama trying to make light of the grave situation Son Ye Jin character was placed in and at times the drama made me feel as if living there might not be the worst idea, which is also not factually correct. Son Ye Jin’s character cannot survive such circumstances.
Of course, this is a drama and in this case it’s a rom-com, so I don’t take it too seriously. It’s kinda funny how lightly they take everything but again I don’t think they want people to believe this is North Korea.
The writer could’ve avoided such discussions and complaints if she had picked a different environment for the drama, the situation between the North and the South is tense and it almost felt as if the writer was out of touch with whats going on between South and North Korea to realize it might not to be the best idea.