Today’s review will be about the cute rom-com “Crash Landing On You” and why I find it corny and at times cringy but still can’t stop watching.
“Crash Landing On You” has been on my radar ever since the news was announced in mid-2019.
Back then, I was over the moon because I really liked the pairing. I watched their movie and thought they shared amazing chemistry, I seriously hoped they would reunite for a drama project because they only shared a few minutes at the same set in their movie “The negotiation,” which by the way if you haven’t watched, you should definitely give it a go. Its Hyun Bin’s first time ever playing the villain role, I would pay money to see him play a villain role again, it suits him so damn well.
Back to “Crash Landing On You,” I honestly didn’t pay close attention to the writer as I usually do but it should’ve raised red flags from the get-go, I paid attention to her name a bit later than I usually do but it does explain a lot about the plot of “Crash Landing On You.”
As you can read from the title this is a subjective article and it’s about my personal opinion on the drama, take it with a grain of salt.
This doesn’t mean I hated this drama. I actually like it.
We’re going to talk about the script in details and then jump to talk about actors’ performances, Son Ye Jin’s performance in particular.
I wanted to also clarify that this is a review after watching episode 1 to 8, I wanted to put out a review sooner but I didn’t want to be too hasty, I wanted to see at least half of it before judging it, I wanted to see how the writer plans on taking the plot before jumping into conclusions.
The biggest issue with “Crash Landing On You” is the storyline, I honestly have no complaints about the chemistry, the cinematography, the editing or the actors’ performance (most of them). It’s just that “Crash Landing On You” as a script seems to be heavily reliant on its actors’ power which I think is a shame because the writer could’ve done so much more with the material she had.
We’re gonna discuss writer Park Ji Eun a lot today, she wrote scripts to many popular kdramas most recently “The Legend of the Blue Sea.” I have seen almost all of her dramas and they all share similar traits, ambitious ideas with lazy execution, she takes a long time to develop the plot, has an abundance of cheesy repetitive tropes she resorts to often and almost all of her dramas become boring by its 10th episode if not sooner.
I would have to say that “The Legend of the Blue Sea” was boring but still not as boring as “The Producers” was, that drama was specifically boring and my least favorite Kim Soo Hyun work EVER. She’s the type of writer that doesn’t take risks, at all.
Park Ji Eun has amazing ideas that on paper would sound great but in reality, don’t warrant 16-episodes long dramas. “Crash Landing On You” is probably one of her most ridiculous ideas to date mainly because of how little sense it makes, but this isn’t about how illogical it is because if we go there… it would be as if I am aiming for a low blow, which I am not.
As much as the basic idea sounds terribly illogical given how tense the climate between the north and the south is, it has great potential, however, “Crash Landing On You” ends up being nothing better than a shell of its core idea so far.
“Crash Landing On You” is fun to watch but I can’t remember the last time I willingly watched such a cheesy drama, there are so many cliché, corny lines so much so that I stopped counting by episode 3. I used to love love rom-coms, we all now how cheesy and predictable they can be, but since then I’ve grown and so did my taste, I rarely watch basic rom-coms anymore.
The dialogue of “Crash Landing On You” sounds as if it was written by a beginner writer who is afraid of ‘trying,’ which doesn’t make sense because Park Ji Eun has been writing since 2009, how can she still utilize the same dialogue techniques 10 years later? I don’t get it….
It’s like she finds a fun idea, she works around that idea to create scenarios to bring together its cast then the rest of the filling for the scenario is the same for all her dramas.
The male and female leads always share the same characteristics, there is always that lingering past connection between our main leads with one of them being aware while the other being utterly clueless, and a typical love triangle that always starts and ends the same way.
How can all her scripts sound so similar when boiled down? Why not try a crazy idea and actually follow through? She has amazing actors signing up for her dramas; why not use that platform to deliver something that people will remember not for its hot leads and good chemistry but for its plot?
Aside from the core idea of the crashing of Yoon Se Ri into the North, it follows a very basic script fit for a rom-com movie that’s 1 hour and a half long. I was honestly shocked by how basic the storyline became once Yoon Se Ri settled into the north, I almost couldn’t believe it, I expected an entirely different plot direction, I knew she would inset that period of adjustment but I didn’t expect her to spend so much time on that.
“Crash Landing On You” follows a very typical narrative when it comes to rom-coms. How they met in the past, how they fall in love in the present, how they have strict two dimensional parents, how they each have a love interest to deal with (someone else falling for them while their heart is already taken), and how the other love interests fight for their attention and end up causing life threatening issues because they refuse to give up even though they’re already aware that the other person never liked them to begin with. [that was long, I know]
The first four episodes were especially corny, so much of the dialogue is fit for a kdrama that aired back in 2003, many kdrama writers stopped writing such basic lines for characters a while ago because people got tired of it and it’s not innovative or interesting anymore. Many kdramas make fun of such lines these days.
This is where I wanted to insert Son Ye Jin’s acting, let’s talk about it for a bit before jumping back to the storyline.
Son Ye Jin acting
I think it’ll depend on a couple of factors if you’ll understand what I am about to say, if you watch Son Ye Jin often then you might agree with me. Everyone knows how much of a good actress she is; as an avid fan +I’ve never seen her this awkward with a character ever before, I haven’t seen many discuss this particular point online.
It felt that Son Ye Jin wasn’t convinced with the lines she was saying ; especially during episode 1 to 3; it also felt as if she burst laughing multiple times filming for these scenes because of how corny her lines were, because it felt as if she was an inch away from laughing while filming.
I just felt that Son Ye Jin took the character lightly, a bit too lightly at the beginning, I didn’t get the feeling of hopelessness or desperation from her character which should’ve been her natural reaction to the miserable situation she was placed in.
Now, I know that you will say it’s a rom-com, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have its serious moments, and the fact that the writer chose this plot device should mean that the characters will naturally take it seriously, especially Yoon Se Ri. You could also say that ever person handles shock differently but considering her type of character, her reaction was almost nonchalant, as if she was happy to be there which doesn’t make an inch of sense, it would’ve been better if the writer tried to use that specific point to bring the character more to life.
Other characters didn’t have the same issue because most of their lines were serious when it needed to be and funny when it needed to be too, I felt that they were immersed in their roles way better than Son Ye Jin was, at first.
Saying things like ‘I only eat three bites of the food I like,’ ‘I am quite famous down there,’ and many similar lines with a straight face a couple of times is with all honesty…. corny…
However, I noticed that Son Ye Jin was able to impersonate Yoon Se Ri a lot better later on, it felt as if she finally became comfortable with her character, her cheesy lines remained the same but I felt that she took the character a bit more seriously than she originally did.
This is not to say that Son Ye Jin was terrible at acting but simply odd, it’s something I felt the need to point out because it seems so strange to me. It could be that this is how the writer wanted her to act or how she felt about portraying her, but still, it’s a very strange choice.
Now back to the plot and more dive into the strange choices of Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin
“Crash Landing On You” has the type of dialogue you would expect in a high school drama (meant to be viewed by the younger generation) or a classical rom-com for beginner actors, not seasoned well-known actors.
I am taken aback by Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin’s choices here because it felt like a project meant for younger rising actors who need roles that are lovable, not too risky and full of cliché romance moment to build their fanbase. It’s similar to a project I’d expect a 20-year-old Hyun Bin to take on to gain mainstream recognition.
It felt very odd to see such amazing actors utter such lines or reenact such scenes that so many people make fun of these days for being too predictable and corny.
“Crash Landing On You” is trying to be cheeky by acknowledging how cheesy it is but its honestly not doing itself a favor. It tells me that the writer is aware of how cheesy and corny her lines are but just went along with it; you can especially notice it from the way the supporting North Korean soldiers converse.
It took until episode 7 for the plot to actually go somewhere but honestly, for anyone who appreciates well-written scripts, they probably had already given up by episode 3.
Despite saying all of this, I still enjoyed this drama so far. “Crash Landing On You” is one of those guilty pleasure dramas that you love to hate and hate to love. I am watching mainly because of Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin, which is not what I usually do if you follow my blog. I usually check out dramas of my fav actors but if they’re bad, I stop watching.
I find the recent episodes unnecessarily long and many scenes easy to skip, I’d have to wait and see how the plot progresses, I might give up by episode 9 or 10 depending on the plot. It was still fun to watch it because of how well the leads suit each other.
“Crash Landing On You” is still a huge success for obvious reasons that I’d like to discuss but in a separate article.
And this is what I thought of “Crash Landing On You,” what about you guys? Did you enjoy this drama or did you find it disappointing?