“Where Stars Land” Review: Such A Letdown

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

“Where Stars Land” was by far one of the most interesting concepts of kdramas in 2018.

I believe I was among the people who started watching expecting a healing drama about people lives at the airport but was shocked with a ‘super hero’ concept.

Kdramas rarely stray away from what they provide in the initial synopsis released to the public through news outlets. I was excited about this drama because I love Lee Je Hoon, he’s one of my favorite Korean actors, he’s very underrated.

The cast is very interesting. I was curious about this drama for its theme as well. I don’t usually see a lot of dramas that are about people who work in the airport, so it was interesting to get the chance to see what its like from the inside.

Note: this is a spoiler-review, this is a subjective review

So Let us break down what issues I had with “Where Stars Land” plot, ending and more

Where Stars Land synopsis- a focus

The biggest issue with this drama was the plot in my opinion.


The writer behind it is Kang Eun Kyung, she is a writer I respect and admire, she writes good dramas. In case you don’t know, she wrote “Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim” (which was a huge hit) and “What Happens to My Family?” which was also a major hit that snagged many awards at end-year shows.

This is why I am honestly baffled by this particular script she wrote…. why does it feel like she just gave up somewhere in the middle? I don’t get it; I don’t understand what she was trying to pull off with this drama, still!

I heard people say that the drama was cut down from 20 to 16 episodes but I tried searching around and couldn’t find an actual Korean source to back this up!

“Where Stars Land” ending was lacking and fell flat. It almost felt as if they were building for season two, not showing his face at the end, the cliché of ‘he went away for a year then came back,’ I just don’t understand why it had to be wrapped like this.

There are so many parts of the plot that were left unexplained, let me take you through each one of them, but we ended up with whatever that ending was.

The powerful arm and leg


We never understood why the prostatic arm and leg he had on had such amazing powers, why they were made to be so darn powerful, why didn’t the person who made this, Mr. Jang tone it down a bit?

How did he come to know Soo Yeon?

As far as we know, Soo Yeon was introduced to Mr. Jang through Yeo Reum’s father one day, but we never understood how this came to be or how Mr. Jang found him, there is no clear explanation for that.

That’s probably one of the biggest reasons the whole drama was such a letdown because we never understood the merit of the entire plot, its like writernim threw this plotline at you and asked you not to ask questions.

Yoo Reum’s Father


What happened to that guy? He appears in some episodes and has a connection to Soo Yeon. We don’t end up finding out what happened to him or how or why he disappeared.

He was an integral part to Yeo Reum’s story and I desperately wanted to see them reunite or at least given a proper ending or justification to what happened to him or why he isn’t around anymore.

He felt like an object that writernim used to advance the plot and disregard when she didn’t need it.

The Infection


So, Soo Yeon is hurt bad and his body is slowly giving away. He has to take those ‘things’ off and focus on his road to recovery.

The plot plays out in a way that tricks us to believing Soo Yeon’s life is a stake because he refuses to go back to his wheelchair and get proper treatment.

In the last episode, he refuses his girlfriend request and insists on staying for as long as possible using those ‘things.’ Now according to Mr. Jang, Soo Yeon had as little as a couple of weeks before he might actually die from his infection.

The last episodes focuses on how Soo Yeon and Yeo Reum both seize the moment and make the most out of it. There is no specification of a time frame of how much they actually ended up spending together, they even planned a get-away together, slept together, cooked together, watched TV together and such.


I doubt they did all those things in matter of days, felt more like weeks to me!

Logically speaking, Soo Yeon should have been dead by now.

Even if he was to go away for a year and then return, Mr. Jang explained to Yeo Reum that there was still a good possibility that he might not fully recover if he missed the mark, which he did!

Soo Yeon cares about his girlfriend so much so that he refuses to use a wheelchair because he knows how much his disability will impact her life, with this much love he has for her the logical thing to do would be to take them off, disappear for a while (for treatment) then come back all good to be with the woman he loves.

Not contacting her over the course of a year feels so illogical and out of character considering how much he cared for her, she told him she will wait for him and always be there, she told him she was willing to go down that rough path. The least he could have done was either end things with her or tell her to wait for him.


I don’t mind flawed characters that make bad mistakes in kdramas, but what I can’t stand behind is when a writer plots a character in a way that leads up to believe he’s a certain type of person only to then have him do something so out of his character, this is what writer Kang Eun Kyung did with this plot.

The disability part was so interesting, I loved it. It had potential because its so different from what we usually see in kdramas. Usually, the leading man is perfect all-around with few minor issues he overcomes with love.

Soo Yeon was a different case; he was ordinary-unordinary in a way. He was both special and normal. He wasn’t super rich or anything like that but a person who has a disability that destroyed his self-esteem and will to live.

I thought that part was such an interesting concept to explore and I am so disappointed that Kang Eun Kyung writernim ‘destroyed’ the character.

The Cliche of ‘doing you bad because I want you to be good’


Soo Yeon and his elder half-brother In Woo had a special bond, when they reunite again they have such a tense relationship a pile of misunderstandings to go through.

In the end, we find out that In Woo was being a dick because he cared about Soo Yeon and wanted to protect him.

I like actor Lee Dong Gun, he’s an exceptional actor who can portray a wide range of emotions. He has a different vibe to him and I find him interesting not only as an actor but as a person.

The writer could have utilized his potentials to the max but reduced his character to the typical supporting-character that’s just there to drive the plot forward without giving it much sense.

As far as we know, the writer indicated that In Woo was stuck with those bad guys because he wanted to protect his half-brother, they threatened him and kept a close grip of him using his half-brother.


Instead of coming up to him and logically explaining why he was being like that, he continues to treat him badly when he could have chosen a more considerate approach because he cared about him so much, so much that he basically lived as a puppet for a bad man.

His character is so ambiguous, we’re told he worked for them without getting the chance to breathe or live a normal life but if he’s all that smart he could’ve just eloped with Soo Yeon from Korea and disappeared forever.

He had basically nothing left for him anyway, he was living a miserable life, why not take the easy way out?

In Woo is a puppet but we never find out what he did for them exactly or how he influenced the decision-making process inside Incheon airport, was he even of any use?


The writer manages to dodge the big elephant or elephants; in this case; in the room in the most imperfect way possible.

The Bigger Driving force


There was obviously a bigger force in action and there was this rich old man who controls the gangsters and wants to do stuff with the airport.

I; personally speaking; never really understood what the big contract was all about. It might be because I am stupid or might be because the writer also dodged explaining it in details.

I don’t mind ambiguity in dramas; in fact, I welcome it when it’s executed properly.

I never got a logical valid explanation as to why the contract/agreement was such a bad decision and why was it squashed down so abruptly.

“Where Stars Land” Ending Explained?


“Where Stars Land” ending had to be one of the most disappointing I’ve seen in a while. Don’t get me wrong, I loved so many moments of the drama. The chemistry, the cast, and the struggles of the airport, they were all good and so heartwarming to see but the way everything played out left a bad taste in my mouth.

As for Chae Soo Bin and Lee Je Hoon, their picks for their projects are still hits and misses for me.

Chae Soo Bin often times plays the same character in different dramas, I struggled to like her character at first but she grew on me as time went by partially in due to how the writer also moved the focus out of her inability to do things without screwing up instead of dealing with it head-on.


Lee Je Hoon is an amazing actor but I wonder why he chooses such projects. His movies are way better than his dramas and this is coming from someone who doesn’t like watching Korean movies much, for variety of reasons.

I wouldn’t call “Where Stars Land” an awful drama or bad drama but considering my expectations and the plot outline this could have been a splendid kdrama that’ll go down in history for its unique plot and heartwarming message.

Its just that I had such high expectations and kept watching hoping I would get answers but I never got any. So many loose ends without justification are what I ended up with.

So these are my thoughts on “Where Stars Land”, what about you guys? Did you like the drama?

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. Actually the part you mentioned about them spending time together was just a dream that Lee Soo yeon wanted to do with han yeo rum. I didn’t have any expectations from this drama because I watched just for Lee jehoon as I was obsessed with him after watching Signal and I liked even though there was nothing much to the story.. But overall their performances were good and I especially loved the chemistry between chae soo bin and Lee jehoon, honestly the best chemistry I have seen among all the kdramas!
    Thank you making a review on this drama 🙂

  2. I was looking all over on this kdrama and appreciate you giving a review. I didn’t really have a problem with the plot until the last few episodes – probably because I’m good at filling in blanks with my own imagination. LOL I hadn’t realized how much I had done that till I read your review.

    Just a comment on the writer – the director plays a big [art in how the writer’s story comes across. It is VERY possible the writer had created a much better story, but the director had time or budget constraints and cut parts of the script out to shorten it.

    What I suspected after watching this kdrama, is that the filming was either shortened after the fact, or canceled before it was finished. The last 2 episodes never really show Lee Je Hoon and I hunted all over to see if he had had an accident or, God forbid, died, and they used a double for the last episode. It wouldn’t have been the writer’s fault, but the director, producer, or even the network wanting to fit the show into a shorter time slot for whatever reason.

    I would give the writer another chance or two because it may not have been her fault at all.

    Thanks, again, for this review, giving me a chance to vent my own frustrations and opinions!

  3. I agree that Seo In Woo’s character was underdeveloped and a bit unrealistic, the supernatural force not really necessary, the fathers’ stories are underdeveloped and unexplained, and I hated the last episode with the male lead’s stupidity and the one-year gap. I also wanted some more explanation on the love triangle with team leader Yang, Security team leader Choi and Seo In Woo. Yes, those were definitely flaws. But other than that, I loved this show.
    There were two things you didn’t understand:
    1) As was said before, the activities we see the couple share together were his dream. He even says “I want to tell you about a dream that I had” Then we see the sequence with a song and then he goes on “I dreamed I woke up with you every day”. In the meanwhile, they have made love, so we see them the next morning in bed together. That’s when she decides to stop his battery.

    2) The Mafia king (let’s call hiim that) wants to manage the airport privately and put it on the stock market. It’s detailed in the conversation between the lady team leader Yang and Seo In Woo in episode 29. Maybe you missed it.
    Seo In Woo: There’s nothing as scary as losing your competitive edge in the era of unlimited competitiveness.
    YANG: So did you take out the privatization card?
    Seo In Woo They are providing administration of the management of airport operations.And they will introduce private management techniques. How long will you just be satisfied with being number one in Customer Service? You know we are falling behind in transfer rate and new airlines. And on top of that, the dependence on non-aircraft revenues is too high.
    YANG: I just said the same thing nine years ago. How long can we rely on non-aircraft revenues? But look! Just like that, we opened T2. There’s nothing wrong with building level 4 without the infusion of outside capital, is there?
    Seo In Woo: There are already several airports which have been publicly listed or are planning to do so. Heathrow, Frankfurt, Charles de Gaulle, Sydney. Shall I name more?
    Seo In Woo: Do I blindly do what others do? Whether it might be poison or medicine?
    Seo In Woo: That’s what I am saying about a global trend.
    YANG: Global Flow? Advanced System? Everything’s great. However … A system which excludes people is bound to cause damage.
    Seo In Woo: What damage?
    Yang: As you say, the sale of public stock has been successful. Can you ignore that’s the opinion of the private companies which own stock? You have to deal with that. Who do you think is doing that?
    Seo In Woo: Transportation fees are only going to change in keeping with inflation.
    YANG: Heathrow Airport charges 6.9 times more than Incheon airport! After Athens Airport sold shares, it raised facility fees by 500 percent. If private capital comes in, will it allow the freezing of fees?

    Then, in episode 31, we have again Team Leader Yang who faces General Manager Gwon and informs him that the workers won’t like the privatization. After she leaves, Manager Gwon has a talk with his old-time friend, Team Leader Lee.
    Yang: Well, if that’s your decision, I will inform the union tomorrow morning. We have no choice but take collective action.
    Manager Gwon: Do as you please.
    Team Leader Lee: Shall I talk to him, Team Leader?
    Team Leader Lee:Are you very upset?
    Manager Gwon: I’ll be fine. It’s not only me. I’m sure at some time or another, someone will make it happen. Because the person who loves this place wants the right person to do it.
    Lee: It’s not the time yet. When you try to do something by force when the time is not right, someone will get hurt. I just… hope that it’s not you. We are all just nothing but passers-by. I don’t know what decisions will be made by whoever follows us. We will take care of this now as it is for a little longer. That’s our job.

    Hope this helped.

  4. I wouldn’t give up on writer Kang Eun-Kyung, she wrote Romantic Doctor and Gu Family Book. Both of those are great dramas!! You should check them out.

  5. Thanks for the review. I thought that I was alone on the plot gaps. In my opinion all are forgivable except for not seeing his face in the episode. What’s up with that? I wanted to see his joy also. Left me disappointed and in search for answers on the internet where I found your article.

    1. I think Lee Je Hoon couldnt make it to the last scene. Because i did try to pause the drama right when They were going to hug. The actor face from side, i’m certain he’s not Lee Je Hoon

    2. EXAAAAAAACTLY! I was willing to forgo the many questions that went unanswered as it progressed, as long as the main couple had a solid, fulfilling ending together. Instead, it felt like I was an uninvited guest peering into a private party or something. Such a bad final episode that could’ve been so easily finished, even if in a predictable way. It’s up there with Memoires of Alhambra and Vagabond for me, as far as great-turned-mediocre dramas go. Love Chae Soo Bin, regardless, and wanted to see more of the male lead. But, since I couldn’t even see his facial expression (after ignoring his loving GF for an entire year), not sure I’ll search too hard for his other work, unfortunately… although, the writer (& pos. the director) are more to blame, ultimately.

  6. Just finished watching this drama. And i agree that it was so flat and boring. I keep watching just because of Lee Je Hoon oppa . The chemistry is not bad. But the story hanged like no clear explanation. Before i started watching this drama i’ve done some research and found that the ending received so much critics due to not showing the main actors face. So I did replay and pause to see his face from the side. And i’m 100 positive he’s not Lee Je Hoon! I still wonder why he didn’t finish shooting the last scene

  7. what in heavens name was that last episode??

    the saving grace of this series was that male lead, who was such a great actor… and the two filipino actors (Ian and Mari Santos) on episode 4. That desperate situation where he had to choose between doing what was legal and seeing his wife and baby was really heart tugging.

    if i knew that all i was gonna see on the final ep was the back of the ML then i would have stopped watching at ep 14, duh

  8. I echo all your sentiments about this drama, plus i have quite a few more but I’d rather not go into all of them… I actually liked it even if i was disappointed with it at the same time.

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