Crash Landing on You – Episode 5

Really, our boy’s efforts were bordering on pathological during the train ride. Our heroine didn’t even have to ask him for anything, just mention it in passing and he’s off to go get it! It’s getting more and more bizarre! And where does he finally draw the line and say no? Getting a picture together. He doesn’t want a memento, he says. It makes me think he already HAS one from that time on the bridge. What a weird thing to balk at.

That said I laughed myself sick during this episode. The ladies gathering to commiserate after they met the real fiancee–they were so angry on her behalf!! Learning all the new ways to say bitch! And the drunken village watchwoman screeching at the General’s wife, “Do you really love him? He’s just an old raccoon!” while being bodily carried away! Our hero’s fulminating pout and bed kick after Se Ri sends finger hearts to all of his crew. OMG, I can’t! Hahahaha!! He thought he was special. And his FACE when she tells him she has MULTIPLE men waiting for her and crying over her disappearance in South Korea, hahaha. Down with that “Capitalist love!”

Does he really not realize that he likes her? It seems obvious that he does, but then why go out of his way to warn her that he already has a fiancee and not to catch feelings for him? But also, SCREAMING LAUGHING that he tells her confidently that his fiancee won’t show up and ruin his lies, turns the corner and there she is!! LOL! Ouch!

On this note, it seems that our heroine “negs” him a lot, asserting that he’s not that smart, that he’s not respected, that he has no power, etc. (I’m posting the definition from Google: Negging is an act of emotional manipulation whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment or otherwise flirtatious but negative remark to another person intended to undermine their confidence and increase their need of the manipulator’s approval.) I find it is an interesting device being used by the writer in this drama, especially in light of our hero’s eagerness to please her. Is the writer deliberately staging this relationship as such, or is it just happening that way unintentionally?

Finally Se Ri and the con man run into each other! I love that she saw right through him at first glance. Even he had to respect that about her. Now our hero has something he can really get jealous over! Rrowr.

Imma go out on a limb and say that after our heroine’s tale of dismay, our hero will at some point go back to reclaim her designer watch to make her happy and he’ll find his brother’s watch at the pawn shop. I wonder why the bad guys are so afraid of it beng found. What evidence could it contain?

How sad that our wiretapper still hasn’t grown a spine. He spilled all the goods, still a faithful rat. I feel so bad for his son. Our heroine is surprisingly good with children for a hardened socialite.

#crash-landing-on-you, #hyun-bin, #son-ye-jin

Crash Landing on You – Episode 4

In this Episode…

The kiss works! It’s just 2 lovebirds out for a boat ride on a fishing trawler, right? Se-ri’s not happy to be stuck for an indefinite period of time, so Jung-hyuk does what he can to make her comfortable (coffee) and well-guarded. Se-ri takes it into her head to try and escape via her paraglider, but is discovered by Jung-hyuk and he whisks her away to safety to escape SS Lt. Jo; her radio was on, causing an alert. She can’t make it across the border w/o detection, but apparently they can take to the hills! The spy (Man-bok) comes further into their circle via a market theft and Jung-hyuk taking on the crooks, and his listening in seems more sympathetic. Turns out his wife is the one kind-hearted village lady too. The boys of Company 5 do their best to give tips for helping Jung-hyuk escape trouble, like making nice to the bossy senior-most woman in the village, and Se-ri jumps in with both feet. Back in Seoul, the family backbiting continues, with a successor chosen, and some news for us: Se-ri was illegitimate! Real fiancée Dan and tool Seung-joon continue to cross paths; she’s on her way to visit Jung-hyuk!

Impressions…

Yolette: She wants coffee she gets coffee. She wants scented candle, she gets scented candle, even if it takes a few days. What is this mania he has of doing whatever she wants? It’s sexy as hell!! LOL!!

Robin: Drama World’s feeding us these amazing men lately, like Ryan Gold in Her Private Life. Men who go that extra mile to keep the woman safe, pamper her with her heart’s desires, and kiss like a dream.

Yolette: At least now we know our hero did indeed cross words with her in Switzerland and saved her life even back then. I’d be curious whether he took a picture of her at the time or not. He had his camera on her for a while. But if, as I’m suspecting, he did fall in love with her a bit back then, and then felt as if it were fate when she was literally delivered to him out of the sky in North Korea, his ridiculous inner monologue about “Should I just kill her?” seems even more ludicrous. If it weren’t for that scene it would totally explain his uncontrollable urge to please her even when she’s being a brat.

Robin: Well, it could be a “just kill her” like the way we might say in frustration, “I could just wring his/her neck” and not “killing her would save a lot of trouble.” But these little snippets at the end post-credit are kind of annoying me because they might easily be overlooked if you don’t stick through the credits for them (as I originally did). They add the potential backstory to their story. Obviously he remembers her from back then, but her memory of him is dim (oh, I know! …it’s the popular SK amnesia! …maybe she got a little too close to her suicide wish. Guess we’ll have to wait for a few more after the episode backstory moments to fill in those gaps.

But at least we also now know why she might want to be off somewhere looking for euthanasia for her mental grief and bone-crushing despair, and contemplating suicide. I would suppose she’s found out at that point that she’s illegitimate. We only had to wait until episode 4 to learn that part of the story. Imagine being the victim of an apparent abandonment as a child (as we’ve seen in any number of dramas), being lost is traumatic and her brave, “can-do” attitude might just be her version of “whistle when you’re afraid”. How nice that it’s Jung-hyuk with the scented candle who comes to her rescue!

Yolette: Once again I am rolling my eyes at these people, well, the fiancee… who stays in Russia for TEN YEARS apparently without a single word to her bethrothed –no calls, no letters, no meetings during trips home, and yet somehow expects him to still be there waiting for their nuptuals? And is excited about reuniting with him, as if she’s in love? Bizarre.

Robin: That’s an awfully long time for someone to put their career first, even in dramalandia. If they were ‘engaged’ when they were children and had to wait until they were adults, okay maybe I could see it (as if that would make it any better!) With the post-clip we know that they have at least traveled together on a get-to-know you trip (during which she got very used to looking at him, because Hyun Bin, okay), but there’s no heat in the arrangement for him. Why?

Yolette: I am really enjoying the tsundere character of Chi Soo, though, I think he’s my favorite character, lol! I live for that look of disgust on his face hahahaha he’s so hilarious. His sparring matches with our heroine are the best! The pinch-faced neighborhood watch enforcer is my second-favorite. An A+ WTF expression!! Hahahaha!

Robin: You know who those two groups remind me of? Male and female versions of the ‘cuartel de las feas’! They are there to amuse us and enlighten us, kind of the modern-day Greek chorus, just as the feas were in Yo soy Betty, la fea. Chi-soo is hilarious; not gonna return that shampoo, no thank you! Once you’ve seen the light of good products you’re not going back to coal tar or lye soap, no sir! Also, I want to try those soju-cooked clams, don’t you?

Kim Sun-young is always such a scene stealer! I loved her in Answer Me 1988 in particular, but she’s up to her sly old ways once again. The key for these scenes is to give us a feel for the village life without overdoing it and for me, right now they’re just enough.

Yolette: So, the wiretapper at his post listening must know what’s up by now. They’re not being sly at all in the conversations at the house. Though clearly he is soft on the Captain, since he feels guilty for aiding in the killing of his brother and then grateful for having his wallet recovered, too. Maybe he’ll be an ally and not a spineless worm.

Robin: I’m glad that wiretapper Man-bok is troubled enough by guilt and gratitude (plus, woot! action Bin time!) to be thinking about his role in all this and maybe becoming if not an ally, than at least not an impediment/squealer. I am happy that it’s his wife (played by Jang So-yeon who I also always really like) who is the one who’s kind about Se-ri, realistic about Jung-hyuk, and rescued by Se-ri at the party. BTW, raise your hand if you wished that Se-ri had introduced herself as Sam-soon.

< Episode 3 — Episode 5 >

#crash-landing-on-you, #hyun-bin, #jang-so-yeon, #kim-jung-hyun, #kim-jung-nan, #kim-sun-young, #kim-young-min, #lee-shin-young, #oh-man-suk, #seo-ji-hye, #son-ye-jin, #tang-joon-sang, #yang-kyung-won, #yoo-soo-bin

Crash Landing on You – Episode 3

In this episode…

To the shock of everyone (Jung-hyuk and Se-ri included), Jung-hyuk pivots and affirms that the woman in his house is his fiancée and nope, no papers or names are needed because she’s part of Division 11 (spies unlimited), which disappoints everyone else on a massive scale. No chitchat, no harassement, nada. Company 5 boys expect the worst because Captain can’t lie, but omo, he can and did! SS Lt. Jo is suspicious and wants to guard against any investigations further by Jung-hyuk and sets up a listening device. The listener is a villager who happened to be involved in the scheme to kill Jung-hyuk’s brother and he’s still dealing with that trauma, but does his job. Se-ri gets ready to leave by holding an awards show, giving out prizes to 3 of the men, but not grumpy Pil-su, nor jealous Jung-hyuk (beyond a tomato plant). We meet Dan, his ‘real’ fiancée and learn that the swindler from the south is definitely a jerk. The boat arrives to take Se-ri to the offshore boat and sensing her unease, Jung-hyuk goes with her; they exchange names as a parting gesture, but the trawler is pulled over. They’ve been rumbled! Honoring drama tropes, he kisses her as the hatch lid opens…

Impressions…

Yolette: Hahahahaha! He really wanted to get that award, didn’t he! So cute.

But he really does do everything she asks, it’s a little weird. Can it be that he’s in love with her already?? Or is he just that bored? Did he, maybe, already know her from Switzerland? Because he gets her everything she wants, listens to her instructions on how to behave towards her in public, lets her give away his stuff and even takes to heart her advice about saying 10 nice words to he tomato plant everyday. WHY is he so keen to do everything she wants??

Robin: You know, until you mentioned the little scene at the end where they are both in Switzerland, I didn’t realize that they had them! I’d been turning it off after the credits outro. I went back to watch them afterwards. In episode 1, it did indeed look like he was amused by her in the tree, not alarmed at all and maybe a little bit smitten in those few seconds watching her unawares. How much exactly did they experience together in Switzerland (and how sad was it that she wanted to legally euthanize herself?) She said he looked familiar, but you would think if they spent a lot of time together, or even one magical night (we can hope), he would certainly not have that common South Korean disease, amnesia.

I think some of the things she does annoy him (they would annoy anyone), but others are the kinds of things that would touch most people, especially giving away food and clothing to the boy who’d been caught stealing to feed his sister. She didn’t put those things together to go and play Lady Bountiful, she was just doing what her heart told her to do and I think it is the kind of thing he would do as well. She also was curious about who he was, why the books with dark subjects, what about the piano? Those prompts are scratching away at the trauma he’s still dealing with; the loss of his career (looks like he had to step in to replace his brother in the army), the loss of a dear brother, the loss of more freedom that a professional musician would have…

Yolette: I can’t believe they bugged the house and no one slipped up and said something incriminating? Can it be??

Robin: Heard out of context, thinking that she might be a spy from Division 11 and therefore talking in “code” (like Jung-hyuk’s 10 nice words to the tomato plant), I suppose we can suspend disbelief a wee bit. But where I was leery was the installation of the device; come on! In that nosy village nobody noticed?

Yolette: The neighbors were hilarious talking bad about our heroine just steps from her house where she can still hear them. Passive aggressive much?

Robin: Oh, Se-ri! Dasher of dreams! Slasher of fantasies! Those village ladies must have had endless daydreams about running away with this neighborhood prince charming and in walks this mysterious floozy with ill-kept hair and odd clothing who isn’t just that pretty and their various bubbles are burst. They even suspect her of being nine-tailed fox! The fact that she tells them she doesn’t want to make kimchi with them and subject herself to their prying, gossipy ways (and maybe come in for the drama tropey kimchi slap?) was smart, as was her staging of the morning farewell.

One interesting note: the other (real?) fiancée wears her hair down long and straight too (though Se-ri could use a hairbrushing), so what would villagers make of her?

Yolette: Runaway conman still seems to be a waste of space in this drama. I wonder at what point he will become relevant?

Robin: I was surprised at how entitled he felt to talk down to someone who clearly was not just an average military lackey type, just because he was paying to stay in North Korea and this officer was in on the scam. I thought it was interesting that neither he nor Se-ri really have much awareness of NK, just a short hour’s drive north of Seoul, and all the news that comes out of that country about the lives of its people and the regime, but then I have read that many people in SK just aren’t as concerned about things as people outside are, like they’ve become inured to it all. Interesting too that with the proximity of Seoul to the border that the possibility of her being carried that way doesn’t even make a blip on their mental radars. BTW, it looks like the only person who really still cares is the guy who sold her life insurance.

< Episode 2Episode 4 >

#crash-landing-on-you, #ha-suk-jin, #hyun-bin, #kim-jung-hyun, #oh-man-suk, #seo-ji-hye, #son-ye-jin

Crash Landing On You – Episode 2

In This Episode…

Jung-hyuk has an unintended house guest who has special needs (like hot water bathing and meat twice a day) and a conspiracy in the making to unravel — just how did those 3 grave robbers happen to be run down by a truck, just like the truck that killed his brother? Turns out that he’s a super elite, son of a high muckety-muck in the Party, enough to have a general get him out of a mini kangaroo court and get access to a priority ride to whisk home in an emergency. Se-ri is overwhelmed by the situation and indulges in a brief spell of tears in front of Jung-hyuk after a fright, but is back to being inquisitive and unintimidated as she gets acquainted with her surroundings and his squad, spoiling the ending of Chuno for one. Just when her luck appears to run out, Jung-hyuk saves the day and makes a bold statement — “Would you not point a gun at my fiancée?”

Impressions…

Robin: As Dorothy, er, I mean Se-ri continues to experience this land out of time (as she knows it), she’s a little bit annoying (calling every 2 minutes to ask about items that a generally well-read person might understand to be unusual in a small, obviously poor village in North Korea, like body wash and scented candles) to being smart and quick-witted enough to identify the means to save herself. Sure, flirting with Jung-hyuk isn’t effective (and raise your hand if you chortled when he counter-thought about whether he should just kill her), but sizing up the who’s who of his squad and letting them know she’s willing to work with them if they’ll help her makes me like her all the more. I can’t wait for more “drama talk” time with the Choi Ji-woo fan (but I can only blame his poor taste in leading actresses on his being 10-plus years out-of-date on his drama watching).

When we see how sure she is that her disappearance will cause a major outcry offset by how hard her family is working to keep her status absolutely on the QT, even if we are treated to the very funny scene of her oldest brother’s wife in the church, it’s clear that that is one rotten family and something is behind all this secrecy. The fact that she thought taking hold of her father’s hand at her 1-year-birthday future divination celebration was a good thing (she even named her company “Se-ri’s Choice”) makes it even more an omen of ill things to come.

Chingu: Lots to love about this episode but I think my favourite scene was where she’s about to bash him over the head with a plant and then just bursts out crying when she sees that it’s him..I loved that finally we see that beneath all that bravado and cockiness the girl really IS scared and is reacting..as any one with any common sense would..at finding herself in this dangerous pickle! I so related to her in that moment!

Course..who could resist further evidence that beneath the beautiful deadpan face is a soft heart…so adorable in all ways..bras..candles..cream..what more could she ask for..lol?? Ok..scented would have been perfect I guess. His thoughtfulness and willingness to please comes almost a little too early (for me)..I think I would have preferred maybe another episode or two before those traits were in evidence..but I will take it.I think that the scene at the beginning where she’s trying to use her charm on him while he’s wondering if he should kill her didn’t work as the writers hoped..empty threats rarely do..and we ALL know that this guy doesn’t kill..at least not until he has no other choice!

Robin: This episode gives us a little more to drool learn about Jung-hyuk (along with the village ladies), but it was odd that Lt. Commander Jo did not know that he was an elite — even odder that he did not suspect that he was with an impeccable record and a blank family record. Jo and his boss at the State Security office should have been more circumspect and respectful because they should certainly know what those things add up to: ELITE. But enough about that, let’s talk about Jung-hyuk; he cooks (nangmyeon noodles from scratch!) and shops for her (was that product placement?), picking up illicit SK skincare, and tacitly approves getting her back home with the help of his men. Plus, he too has a tragic past… an older brother dying in a mysterious car accident, rammed by one of those monster trucks, it seems, and an application to go to a music conservatory for piano, it seems. Omo! Did he give up his piano career to join the service to track down the mystery of his brother’s death?

The smaller moments of the episode were amusing too, like the search and (non)seizure of illicit goods like the talking rice cooker (didn’t Hyun Bin do commercials for Cuckoo rice cookers a while back?) and outing of a cheating husband, but the best ones are those with the men (and boys) of the 5th squad. So far it’s just the baby (who doesn’t even have briquettes to light fires at home), the drama addict, and the drinker who’ve gotten much to say/do, but they’re a cute bunch.

Chingu: The neighbours are interesting (and all my favourite actresses too) but I think that I can only take them in small doses..however…I can take LARGE doses of those sweet soldiers..hehe..they are just so adorable and so individual (something that isn’t always the case in other dramas)..they have been nicely fleshed out and we instantly know what their weaknesses are which makes them really interesting from the very beginning.

Robin: I’m not keen on the introduction of the swindler to the mix yet, but I find it intriguing that people looking to hide out from the law would be a profit item for NK, and I like Kim Jung-hyun as an actor (glad to see he’s back from his earlier troubles), so let’s see where this takes us.

Chingu: Love the final twist..though have no idea where they go from there!! Will ANYONE ask the question: “what is your fiancée doing hiding in the kimchi cellar”??? Probably not..lol..at least not until they get over their shock..can’t help but admire his quickness though..he had to think of a story while he was getting out of his car cause he would have had no idea whether she was caught or not would he?

Episode 1 < > Episode 3

#crash-landing-on-you, #ha-suk-jin, #hyun-bin, #kim-jung-hyun, #oh-man-suk, #seo-ji-hye, #son-ye-jin

Crash Landing on You – Episode 1

In this episode…

We meet Yoon Se-ri, a clothing and accessories entrepreneur who uses her charm and looks to keep her brand public in the minds and imaginations of consumers with a celebrity-like lifestyle. She’s estranged from her family (2 good-for-nothing brothers with requisite greedy spouses, a sour-faced mother, and shady-ish CEO father), but has made something of herself since leaving home 10 years ago. In testing out new products, she is caught up in a storm and finds herself across the border in No Man’s Land — North Korea. There she meets Captain Ri Jung-hyuk, out on a routine patrol on his last day in the sector before a shift change. He’s got a reputation for being a by-the-books stickler, looks damn fine in uniform, and has command over a small squad of goof-ups. Now, how can she get back across the border?

Impressions…

Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin are going to make one exceptionally appealing couple; and they hit the ground (pun intended) running with their immediate chemistry. It helps that they already have had a chance to explore that chemistry in their film The Negotiation, even if they had little face-to-face acting time, but the way she boldly plays him and he, in turn, focuses those knife-sharp cheekbones and laser-like evaluating eyes on her worked for me from the start.

While it seemed initially as if Se-ri was somewhat frivolous and shallow (setting up a faux-celebrity romance with an actor – cameo Jung Kyung-ho – for publicity purposes), it seems like they’ve put some thought into her character and are giving us tidbits to build on and perhaps form a backstory of our own with the conversations with her family. She’s the one who walked out of the family, doesn’t take handouts, and there appears to be some deep, longstanding issue with her prune-faced mother (who, to be fair, is the only one who looks sick as a dog when Se-ri goes missing). I liked the fact that she’s fully invested in the success of her business, wanting to be there at the forefront, confidently trying that paraglider to demonstrate its placement in her sporting goods line. Son Ye-jin, standing on that hill with a smile on her face, excited by the experience to come, looked 10 years younger!

As for Captain Ri (which would be Lee or Yi, south of the border)… I’d like to know how his uniform (and him in it) looks ever so much finer than the South Korean counterpart’s, because it does and he does. His brief encounter with the apparently-venal State Security Officer played by the nicest guy, Oh Man-suk, was a fairly predictable set-up (especially in light of what we learn later in the episode about that guy at the end of the episode) to establish Jung-hyuk as a “Dudley Do-right” kind of guy, the type who excels at everything he does, and always stands by his principles. I like that he’s stern but tolerant of his squad’s foibles and shares the blame when things go a little pear-shaped. He also appears to be a pretty fine mentor to his young squad member (letting him deactivate an old landmine). Oh, and tolerant even of the one on guard tower duty who was distracted by a scene from Stairway to Heaven (yes, I recognized that scene with Choi Ji-woo and Kwon Sang-woo)!

This is Storytelling Set-up 101 kind of stuff, introducing characters and their worlds in quick, broad strokes, but it’s done with a light touch and a big dose of quality in terms of casting, costuming, sets, camera-work, and direction. Sign me up for more!

Episode 2 >

#crash-landing-on-you, #hyun-bin, #kim-jung-hyun, #oh-man-suk, #seo-ji-hye, #son-ye-jin

I started VIP and after 5 episodes…

So far I’m cautiously enjoying it. The main attraction for me was Jang Nara. I rarely pass up anything she’s in because she’s such a chameleon, sadly her last drama, ironically called The Last Empress, was a real dud so I was keeping my fingers crossed with this one. First of all she does do the classy look so well, those outfits fit her to a T!

She and Lee Sang Yoon play a married couple who work for the VIP special department..treating the extra rich customers with personal  kid gloves..I was actually surprised to see that they were married because their behaviour at work is so impersonal that there is no hint of a personal connection. So far his character is really hard to like..he seems so cold..so distant..so robotic..so empty…even on their ride home together there is little spoken..each one far away from the other..and then one day we discover that he is (or was) having an affair..and it’s probably with someone at the office….the audience receives the same hints as she does as she tries to learn the truth..and there is a list of possible attractive candidates to choose from. Her struggles are obvious..whom can she trust around her? In fact…the age old question that every betrayed wife asks: can she ever trust him again?

What I find interesting is that each character has their own story..very human story at that..some of their troubles we can even relate to..the feel of the show is really dark..in theme and in the visual sense..for instance..their house is always shown in shadows — oppressively so — we shall see if my interest remains strong till the end but even so..I’m not quitting on Jang Nara..lol

#jang-nara, #lee-chung-ah, #lee-sang-yoon, #vip

Happy for Hyun Bin

He’s always been one of my favourites and I felt sorry that his latest couple of dramas did so badly..but finally he seems to have struck gold because I see that the ratings are great! I haven’t seen it yet but I hope that this means that his choice of dramas has improved..either that or his luck has changed..lol!!

#crash-landing-on-you, #hyun-bin, #son-ye-jin