I am not a fan of Korean dramas. I love some Korean movies, but the TV stuff from South Korea was something I avoided like the plague. Until Netflix recommended the trailer for Crash Landing on You after I was done watching Emily in Paris.
After watching the trailer, it was game over; I was hooked. The show’s premise was interesting, and after the first episode, it was hard not to fall in love with the amazing cast. But what I found fascinating was the way the divide between North and South was handled in the show.
Let’s be honest here; North Korea is the villain of the world. The constant posturing, threats of nuclear war, and self-seclusion from the world don’t lend itself to portraying you as the good guys. And that image of villains has been played numerous times in movies and TV shows.
We have all seen movies and TV shows where North Korean and their armies were the main antagonists. According to the things we have seen and heard until now, the North Korean military is bad, but are all of them evil? That is the thing Crash Landing on You did better, just giving a different perspective of the “normal” life in the North.
A Different Point of View – Crash Landing on You Gave a Glimpse into Everyday Life in North Korea
Crash Landing on You is currently on Netflix and you need to watch the show.
Yes, the show is about romance and how Yoon Se-ri falls into North Korea and tries to get out with the help of Ri Jeong-hyeok. But that journey is not limited to one or two episodes. In the first ten episodes, we all see North Korea through the eyes of Yoon Se-ri, she was our capitalist lens into a world unseen, stigmatized, and secluded.
As Yoon Se-ri was amazed to see all the women and children in a military village come out and exercise before the sun was even out, I was surprised too. That was a shocking thing to see, and everything that shocked Se-ri was shocking to me.
We all had an idea of North Korea, but Se-ri‘s look into the world of a small village was eye-opening. Then reading later how the show is about 60% accurate in its portrayal of the rural and city life in North Korea was even more mind-blowing.
The kimchi cave, the exercise, house checks, I even learned more about the political structure of North Korea because of the show. There are some unbelievable and dramatized things about the show, but there was still a lot of realism to the show, which I loved.
Though the show came under fire in some sectors for its alleged romanticism of the North Korean military and rural life, I was impressed by how much I learned from the show. It was still a romance/drama show, and I understand the need to play some things lightly, which is why I feel the criticism is a little unfair.
From the military to the people living in Pyongyang, and their well off lives, the show opened North Korea up in a different way. Something I was not expecting and, in the end, thoroughly.
The drastic change in the life of Yoon Se-ri, her inability to adjust back into her life, and finding all her luxury a lot more than she needed was something I loved as a somewhat commentary into capitalism.
There are many things to love about Crash Landing on You, from the obvious romance to the location shots. I was in awe most of the time at the brilliance of how the show was filmed (fake snow was a little much though). It was a well-scripted, brilliantly shot, 16-episode show which, by the end, changed my opinion somewhat regarding Korean drama as a whole.
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