Crash Landing on You

Crash Landing on You[4] (Korean사랑의 불시착) is a 2019–2020 South Korean television series written by Park Ji-eun, directed by Lee Jeong-hyo and starring Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin, Kim Jung-hyun and Seo Ji-hye. It is about a successful South Korean businesswoman and chaebol heiress who, while paragliding near Seoul, South Korea, is swept up in a sudden storm, crash-lands in the North Korean portion of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and meets an army captain in the Korean People's Army who decides he will help her hide. Over time, they fall in love, despite the divide and dispute between their respective countries.

Crash Landing on You
Crash Landing on You main poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Hangul사랑의 불시착
Hanja사랑의 不時着
Revised RomanizationSarang-ui Bulsichak
McCune–ReischauerSarang-ŭi Pulshich'ak
LiterallyLove's Emergency Landing
GenreRomantic drama[1]
Romantic comedy[2]
Created byStudio Dragon
Written byPark Ji-eun
Directed byLee Jung-hyo
Starring
Opening themeSigriswil (Opening Title ver.) by Kim Kyung-hee
Composers
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersUm Hyun-gi
Jang Young-woo
Lee Ji-hyun
Kang Jin-i
ProducersKim Seon-jung
Park Ji-young
Lee Se-hee
Production locations
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland[3]
  • Mongolia[3]
Running time70–110 minutes
Production companies
Distributor
BudgetUS$20 million[5]
Release
Original networktvN
Picture format2160p (UHDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original releaseDecember 14, 2019 (2019-12-14) –
February 16, 2020 (2020-02-16)

The series aired on tvN in South Korea and on Netflix worldwide from December 14, 2019, to February 16, 2020. It is the highest-rated tvN drama and the third highest-rated South Korean TV drama in cable television history.[6]

StoryEdit

Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) is a successful businesswoman and her father's choice to take over leadership of the family chaebol, the Queen's Group. Rejected by her mother and viewed as a threat by her brothers, she has stepped away from the family business and successfully founded her own fashion and beauty company, Se-ri's Choice, which makes her independently wealthy.

Se-ri's father, recently released from jail on probation, can no longer run the Queen's Group and wants Se-ri to take over. He favors her over her brothers, whose leadership and skills are no match to her talent and business acumen.

As the Queen's Group prepares to make the official announcement, Se-ri goes out paragliding to test her latest line of extreme sportswear and is caught in a sudden tornado, which blows her over the Korean Demilitarized Zone, where she has a fateful encounter with Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin).

Desperate to go home, Se-ri escapes capture from Captain Ri and his four patrol officers and accidentally makes her way into North Korea, believing that she would be going to South Korea, as Ri was in South Korean Territory. She then arrives at his stationed village, where they meet again. He shields her from intelligence authorities led by Cho Cheol-gang (Oh Man-seok) who were alerted to the presence of an intruder.

Meanwhile, Se-ri's second brother Sae-hyung (Park Hyung Soo) becomes chairman and his wife, Sang-ah (Yoon Ji-min), wants to take over Se-ri's company. When Sae-hyung hears from his North Korean contacts that his sister is still alive, he and his wife take active measures to prevent her from returning.

Captain Ri takes Se-ri into his own home and enlists the aid of his four officers to protect her from Cho Cheol-gang. He also makes plans to smuggle her back to South Korea. Their first attempt by boat fails miserably when they are spotted by the coast guard. On their second try, he helps Se-ri secure a slot on a North Korean team headed to Europe for a friendly games tournament. In between these efforts, she makes new friends in the village and begins to appreciate their old-fashioned, simpler ways of life.

Their plans are discovered, and Captain Ri is shot by Cho Cheol-gang's men in a highway confrontation. Se-ri drives the badly injured Jeong-hyeok to the hospital, giving up her chance to flee. He recovers and is angry at her failed escape, but his anger turns to gratitude when he is told she donated blood that helped save his life. By this time, the two of them can no longer hide their growing feelings for each other.

Jeong-hyeok's fiancé, Seo Dan (Seo Ji Hye), returns home from musical conservatory studies in Russia and discovers Jeong-hyeok is protecting Se-ri. She uncovers proof of Se-ri's South Korean wealthy family background and reports this to Captain Ri's father. To help his son and appease his future daughter-in-law's family, Director Ri organizes a fake border patrol search for an alleged deserter. This provides cover for Se-ri, who is safely escorted by Jeong-hyeok and his men to a path across the DMZ line.

Sang-ah calls an emergency board meeting and asks the members to vote in favor of a merger between Seri's Choice and Queen's Group, but Se-ri arrives at the meeting just in time, halting the vote. She resumes control of the business and returns to her opulent but empty life, and finds herself missing Captain Ri and her time in North Korea.

Up north, Ri Jeong-hyeok finds mounting evidence of Cho Cheol-gang's racketeering and direct involvement in his older brother's murder. Cheol-gang is brought to trial and found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, but successfully escapes on the way to prison. Jeong-hyeok realizes Cho Cheol-gang has crossed the border and sensing Se-ri's life might be in danger, he follows in pursuit and also crosses the border via an underground tunnel.

Jeong-hyeok reunites with Se-ri, who builds a cover story for him as her new bodyguard and introduces him to the comforts of her luxurious life in Seoul. She connects with city gang members to help locate Cho Cheol-gang.

Director Ri sends his son's men to retrieve Jeong-hyeok. After hiding out in an overnight jjimjilbang and a few near-encounters, Captain Ri and his men finally reunite. A grateful Se-ri takes care of them, providing them with food and shelter and sends them on a shopping spree.

Cheol-gang, alerted by Sang-ah of Se-ri's residence, tries to capture her, but Jeong-hyeok's team protects her. She is critically wounded in a confrontation between Cheol-gang and Jeong-hyeok, but survives. When Se-ri's father learns about Sae-hyung's and Sang-ah's misdeeds through a recording which was provided by Man-bok, he takes away the chairmanship from his son and kicks them out of the family. Sae-hyung blames his wife for their situation and she decides to inform the National Intelligence Service (NIS) of Se-ri's North Korean activities.

Cheol-gang is killed by the NIS, but Captain Ri and his company are detained. Jeong-hyeok takes full responsibility and lies to the authorities that he manipulated Se-ri for his own gain. This would absolve Se-ri and his company of all potential crimes. However, the NIS finds no incriminating behavior and even offers amnesty to the North Koreans and help to get settled in Seoul, but they decline and decide to return home. Both governments agree to a quiet prisoner exchange and Se-ri is exonerated of any crimes. Her mother, having reconciled with Se-ri, drives Se-ri at high speed to the exchange, where Se-ri gets to see Jeong-hyeok one last time before saying goodbye for good.

As Seung-jun is about to depart from North Korea, he learns that Dan is being held captive and he goes to save her. He succeeds but is shot. Dan professes her love during the ambulance ride but he dies in her arms. She grieves over his death and decides to avenge Seung-jun and catch the culprits. Ultimately, she finds evidence that Sang-ah and Sae-hyung had used Cho Cheol-gang for their own purposes, which leads to their arrest by the joint task force of National Intelligence Service and the Seoul Police. Dan tells her mother and uncle that she will never marry and intends to continue her musical career.

Three years later, Sae-hyung remains in jail and files for divorce. Se-ri continues managing Seri's Choice and her elder brother, Se-jun, is the Chairman of Queen's Group, with the day-to-day business being handled by a professional CEO.

Before Jeong-hyeok left, he programmed a series of text messages for Se-ri with some help from the chief of National Intelligence Service. He teaches her how to lead a better lifestyle and to enjoy life with the people around her. Se-ri's tough boss image drops and she becomes a nicer and generous CEO to the people under her. Three years later, while landing from paragliding in Switzerland, she finds Jeong-hyeok in front of her. He has since been discharged from the military and has come to Switzerland to represent North Korea as a pianist. This would become a path where both can be together.

Se-ri creates a musical scholarship foundation that supports talented underprivileged children from around the world, with headquarters in Switzerland. She appoints Jeong-hyeok as a director of her foundation; every year he spends two weeks in Switzerland on foundation business and as a judge in the final competition for scholarships. Se-ri is also a director of her foundation, and every year spends the same two weeks with Jeong-hyeok, with whom she finally finds love and happiness.

CastEdit

 
The cast of Crash Landing on You photographed at the press conference, December 2019

MainEdit

A successful South Korean CEO and chaebol heiress to Queen's Group. She has a troubled family history as she is her father's illegitimate child whose biological mother died after she was born, resulting in a strained relationship with her stepmother due to a childhood misunderstanding. She is also involved in an upcoming family succession battle, the latter making her the target of resentment from her half-brothers and their wives. After she rejected her brother's attempt to force her into an arranged marriage that would send her to the United Kingdom, she had numerous casual relationships with celebrities, but never developed any close companionships. She is nonetheless an independent wealthy businesswoman who runs her own successful fashion and beauty company, Seri's Choice. She is known for being a demanding boss, staging publicity stunts and is a picky eater who practices intermittent fasting. She meets Ri Jeong-hyeok after accidentally crash-landing in North Korea due to a paragliding accident, and falls in love with him as he shelters her in the North Korean military housing, where she becomes close to the ajummas and four of his soldiers.
  • Hyun Bin as Ri Jeong-hyeok[7]
    • Lee Chun-moo as young Jeong-hyeok
    • Kim Seung-chan as teenage Jeong-hyeok
A proficient but emotionally-reserved Captain of Company Five in the Korean People's Army who is stationed along the North Korean portion of the DMZ. He is well-respected by the unit he leads and the locals of the rural village he resides in. A piano prodigy, he was studying to become a concert pianist in Switzerland before being forced to join the North Korean military after his older brother died in a mysterious car accident. While he comes from a powerful political family, his father being the Director of the General Political Bureau, he prefers to keep his lineage a secret in order to secretly investigate his older brother's death. He hides and protects Se-ri after she accidentally crash-lands into his patrol territory. As he tries to help Se-ri find her way back into South Korea, he begins to fall in love with her and realize that he has met her before when he was travelling in Switzerland with Seo Dan.
A North Korean department store heiress and aspiring cellist who is also Ri Jeong-hyeok's fiancée through an affianced marriage arranged by their parents. While she has been infatuated with Jeong-hyeok since they were middle-school classmates, he doesn't reciprocate her feelings but agrees to the betrothed marriage out of a sense of duty towards his parents. Before the wedding, Dan desperately tries to prevent the marriage from becoming a sham after realising that Jeong-hyeok had never loved her from the start. She eventually falls for Seung-jun.
An intelligent, charming, but poor South Korean conman with British citizenship. After his father was scammed by Se-ri's father, leading to his family's bankruptcy, he ingratiated himself with Se-ri's brother, Se-hyung, in order to embezzle from the Yoon family's company. Se-hyung attempted to marry off Se-ri to Seung-jun in order to be rid of her, but Se-ri sensed his ill intentions on their first meeting and rejected him. Seung-jun nonetheless successfully cheated a fortune from the firm under Se-hyung's watch, and fled to North Korea to avoid arrest, while under pursuit by gangsters hired by Se-hyung. He eventually falls for Dan after running into her on many occasions.

RecurringEdit

North Korean soldiers in Company FiveEdit

  • Yang Kyung-won as Pyo Chi-su, an acerbic Sergeant Major in Company Five, who enjoys drinking "medicine" on and off the job and antagonizing Se-ri because of his paranoia against South Koreans. Despite his grumpy attitude towards Se-ri, he eventually grows to care about her.
  • Yoo Su-bin as Kim Ju-meok, a jovial Corporal in Company Five, who uses his fascination with Korean dramas to explain South Korean culture to his team. He is frequently called out for watching K-dramas instead of working.
  • Tang Jun-sang as Geum Eun-dong, an innocent Lance-Corporal in Company Five, who is the sole provider of his family and the youngest member of the unit. He has over 9 years of military service left to complete and misses his mother dearly.
  • Lee Shin-young as Park Kwang-beom, a quiet Staff Sergeant in Company Five, oblivious of his model-worthy good looks.[10][11]

People around Se-riEdit

  • Nam Kyung-eup [ko] as Yoon Jeung-pyeong, Se-ri's father, South Korean Chaebol and Chairman of Queen's Group. After serving time for financial malfeasance, he looks to name one of his children heir to his chairmanship.
  • Bang Eun-jin as Han Jeong-yeon, Se-ri's stepmother. She struggles to reconcile her resentment towards Se-ri as a product of her husband's infidelity, with Se-ri's sincere love and affection towards her.
  • Choi Dae-hoon [ko] as Yoon Sae-jun, Se-ri's immature and hot-headed eldest half-brother, who sides with Se-ri against Sae-hyung.
  • Hwang Woo-seul-hye as Do Hye-ji, Se-jun's materialistic but supportive wife.
  • Park Hyung-soo [ko] as Yoon Sae-hyung, Se-ri's unflappable second older half-brother, whose greed and naiveté allowed Seung-jun to embezzle funds from Queen's Group.
  • Yoon Ji-min as Go Sang-ah, Sae-hyung's intelligent and ruthlessly-ambitious wife who covets Se-ri's company.
  • Go Kyu-pil as Hong Chang-sik, Se-ri's over-stressed team manager who, along with Su-chan, tries to find Se-ri's whereabouts after her disappearance.
  • Lim Chul-soo [ko] as Park Su-chan, Se-ri's insurance agent, who becomes obsessed with proving that Se-ri survived the paragliding accident.

People around Jeong-hyeokEdit

  • Jun Gook-hwan [ko] as Ri Chung-ryeol, Jeong-hyeok's father, Director of the General Political Bureau and vice-marshal of Korean People's Army.
  • Jung Ae-ri as Kim Yun-hui, Jeong-hyeok's mother, and a former actress. Like her husband, she still grieves Mu-hyeok's death.
  • Ha Seok-jin as Ri Mu-hyeok, Jeong Hyeok's deceased older brother and an Army Captain, who was killed in a staged accident for threatening to expose Cho Cheol-gang.

People around DanEdit

  • Jang Hye-jin as Ko Myeong-eun, Dan's ambitious mother who is also a successful North Korean department store owner. She is eager to see her daughter get married to Ri Jeong-Hyeok and enjoys a playful, occasionally violent relationship with her brother, Ko Myeong-seok. She has a tendency of inserting English words into her speech to appear more sophisticated.
  • Park Myung-hoon as Ko Myeong-seok, Dan's cheerful maternal uncle who is also a powerful Major-General in the State Security Department.

People in North Korean VillageEdit

  • Kim Sun-young as Na Wol-suk, the no-nonsense Chief of the People's unit (head of the village) who occasionally gets into arguments with Yoon Se-ri but eventually warms up to her. She has a tendency to drink and say embarrassing things.
  • Kim Jung-nan as Ma Young-ae, the Senior Colonel Kim's wife who strongly influences her husband. The other women in the village fawn over her, and she is easily susceptible to Yoon Se-ri's flattery. She is frustrated by her son's subpar performance in school despite hiring a university student tutor for him.
  • Jang So-yeon as Hyun Myeong-sun, Jung Man-bok's supportive, shy, kind wife. She is the first to show support and bring food for Ma Young-ae when the Senior Colonel is arrested.
  • Cha Chung-hwa as Yang Ok-geum, a hairdresser who wears bright makeup. She is closest with Na Wol-suk.
  • Oh Han-kyul [ko] as Jung Woo-pil, Man-bok and Myeong-sun's son
  • Gu Jun-woo as Kim Nam-sik, Senior Colonel Kim and Young-ae's son who gets bad grades
  • Lim Sung-mi as Geum-soon, a market vendor in the marketplace who secretly sells South Korean goods

People in North Korean ForcesEdit

  • Oh Man-seok as Cho Cheol-gang, a Lieutenant Commander in the North Korean Armed Forces' Security Bureau, who is the principal villain of the story. An orphan, he is corrupt and heads a vast criminal operation that stretches across the Korean peninsula, including harboring fugitives such as Gu Seung-jun while having no qualms turning them over to the highest bidder.[12]
  • Kim Young-min as Jung Man-bok, a North Korean wiretapper coerced by Cheol-gang to facilitate criminal activities, which has made him feel guilty about his work. He is known as "The Rat" among members of the village due to his job, resulting in his family being ostracized. Forced to facilitate Ri Mu-hyeok's death despite being the recipient of his kindness, Man-bok hopes to atone for his betrayal by assisting Jeong-hyeok.[12]
  • Kim Young-pil [ko] as Kim Ryong-hae, a Senior Colonel who is Jeong-hyeok's superior and Young-ae's husband. He is known to be controlled by his wife. He dislikes Jeong-hyeok but, after learning of his real identity as the son of the Director of the General Political Bureau, he tries his best to please him.
  • Hong Woo-jin [ko] as Cheon Su-bok, a corrupt North Korean government official who helps people illegally enter and stay in North Korea.

OthersEdit

  • Yoon Sang-hoon [ko] as Manager Oh, an intermediate broker who connects Seung-jun to the North Korean "keeping business".
  • Yoo Jung-ho [ko] as Chief Kim, Chief of the National Intelligence Service and investigator. He understands the relationship between Ri Jeong-hyeok and Yoon Se-ri and helps to make their parting more bearable.
  • Christian Lagahit as North Korean Villager

Special appearancesEdit

EpisodesEdit

No.TitleOriginal release dateSouth Korea viewers
(millions)
1"Episode 1"December 14, 2019 (2019-12-14)1.508

In South Korea, Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) is the daughter of a wealthy chaebol and manages her own successful fashion line. Her father (Nam Kyung-eup), who was in prison for financial crimes, is released on probation and arranges to have dinner with his family to announce who will succeed his position as chairman of the family company. While it is expected that either the eldest son, Se-jun (Choi Dae-hoon), or the second eldest son, Se-hyung (Park Hyung-soo), would take over the company, the chairman instead chooses Se-ri to be the new chairwoman. Se-ri accepts the offer to the dismay of her mother and her brothers but asks to delay an official announcement so that she can perform final tests for a new product. The next day, while Se-ri is paragliding to test the product, a tornado suddenly forms and she is blown away unconscious.

Meanwhile, in North Korea, Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin) is a captain of a DMZ patrol team in the Korean People’s Army. He and his men successfully negotiate with ROK Armed Forces in a tense stand-off the transfer of three captured North Korean artifact smugglers. Upon return, a State Security Department officer, Jo Cheol-gang (Oh Man-seok), tells Jeong-hyeok to let the smugglers go, but Jeong-hyeok refuses to the chagrin of Cheol-gang. Cheol-gang threatens Jeong-hyeok that he will not be lenient if Jeong-hyeok is ever caught with any wrongdoing. Later, Cheol-gang speaks with the smugglers and learns where they hid their artifacts. He then has them killed in an apparent car accident, as well as a woman who witnesses the murder.

The following morning, Se-ri wakes up to find herself hanging from a tree. Thinking that she might be in a national park, she cries for help to be discovered by Jeong-hyeok, who points a gun at her. Jeong-hyeok tells her to get down from the tree, which she does but only to awkwardly fall into his arms. Jeong-hyeok informs Se-ri to her bewilderment that she is actually in North Korea. Afraid of being captured for questioning, Se-ri runs away when Jeong-hyeok accidentally steps on a mine. A member of the patrol team, Park Kwang-beom (Lee Shin-young), helps disarm the mine, and the patrol team chases after Se-ri. Se-ri manages to run through a minefield only suffering a minor knee scrape to a North Korean village before Jeong-hyeok finally catches up to her.

In South Korea, the family keeps Se-ri's disappearance a secret to avoid a drop in the company's stock price. Both Se-jun and Se-hyung have renewed hope to succeed as chairman. Se-hyung's wife, Do Hye-ji (Hwang Woo-seul-hye), tells him he needs to find Gu Seung-jun (Kim Jung-hyun), who swindled them of their money.

In Shenzhen, Seung-jun is on the run and discusses with a broker where the safest place to hide would be.

In a pre-credits scene, it is shown that Jeong-hyeok was listening to Se-ri pleading for help into her walkie-talkie while she was hanging from the tree to his amusement before confronting her.
2"Episode 2"December 15, 2019 (2019-12-15)1.773
After discussing matters with his DMZ Patrol officers and given the security loop-holes and lapses they had committed, all decided into helping hide Seri at Captain Ri's home. Seri gets a taste and glimpse of the way of life of Captain Ri and his men. While Captain Ri dutifully carried on with his usual work obligations. Scenes from the village women doing everyday chores and the village children going to school. Captain Ri had been sensitive to Seri's needs and bought personal provisions for Seri that she requested. He sourced it from a black market who smuggled merchandise from South Korea. On the other hand, Seung-Jun evading arrest in South Korea, buys refuge in a secluded villa in North Korea through an underground connection.
3"Episode 3"December 21, 2019 (2019-12-21)1.894

Seri was discovered hiding at Captain Ri's home during an unexpected home inspection. Captain Ri rushed back home from Pyongyang using a VIP car. While Seri was at gun point, Captain Ri arrived in time and presented a bold background story for Seri as a recently-returned agent from Division 11. A top secret division of North Korean Armed Forces that trains and deploys elite spies to South Korea. Captain Ri, introduced Seri as his fiancée, in an attempt to evade detention. Hospitality was shown to Seri by the village women thereafter. However, his rival, Cho Cheol-gang, was still suspicious and ordered farther surveillance. Parallel scene 1: Seo-dan, Captain Ri's fiancée, returned to North Korea after finishing her studies in Russia. Parallel scene 2: Captain Ri initiated an investigation about a military car blast incident.

Last Scene Episode 3: Captain Ri accompanied Seri in an attempted boat escape. But got intercepted by maritime patrollers.
4"Episode 4"December 22, 2019 (2019-12-22)2.225

Captain Ri and Seri boarded a boat as her escape route towards the border but was intercepted by the maritime patrollers. Cunningly evaded the authorities by acting out a hilarious kissing scene copied from a South Korean drama. However, they were escorted back. Seri was frustrated about the failed escape, confronted Captain Ri about the intimate gestures that happened. Meanwhile, Cheol-gang confirming that Seri was a village outsider and with doubtful background, planned to capture her off-guard. Captain Ri, alerted by one of his men, found out about this and hurried home. He found a farewell note from Seri, that she had gone to a mountain to paraglide back to South Korea which is a seemingly an impossible plan. Under the pressure from the pursuing men of Cheol-gang, Captain Ri and Seri narrowly escaped by paragliding down the mountain to safety. Parallel scenes 1: The "rat soldier" (tasked to eavesdrop) received instructions under the command of Cheol-gang. Parallel scene 2: Flashback of how the "rat soldier" was helped and shown kindness by Captain Ri. Parallel scene 3: Village women warmly interacted and exchanged ideas on fashion with Seri and was fetched by Captain Ri in a heart warming bike-ride-home scene. Parallel scene 4: Happy bonding time with Captain Ri and his men with Seri. He prepared drip coffee for her and was thanked by a heart sign. Captain Ri slowly fall for her.

Last Scene Episode 4: Seri got lost in the market. Captain Ri searched for her, holding a scented candle above his head in the midst of the crowd to get her attention. Another heart warming scene. When relieved to see him from afar, Seri walk slowly towards Captain Ri.
5"Episode 5"December 28, 2019 (2019-12-28)2.210

The taxi that Soe-Dan hired got stucked in the middle of nowhere and by chance was given a ride by Seung-Jun to Captain Ri's house when the former decided to visit Captain Ri. Seri and Captain Ri had a leisurely walk towards home when Soe-Dan arrived at the scene and was introduced as his fiancee to Seri. The women from the village got confused as to who the real fiancee is and had a nights drink with Seri to appeased her in the presumption that she was double-timed. While Soe-Dan was brought home to Pyongyang that night by Captain Ri. The following day, the jealous Seri comically distanced herself from Captain Ri. Meanwhile, Cheol-gang with the eavesdrop-report from the "rat soldier", apprehended and interrogated the men of Captain Ri about Seri. But, they never confessed despite the beatings. The men gathered at Captain Ri's house, black and blue from the beatings. Gratefully, Seri showed heart sign gesture to the men who helped protect her which made Captain Ri annoyed and jealous for some reasons. Another plan was made and in preparation for that Seri sold her signature watch to buy necessities. As part of a delegation for Europe, Seri needed a passport that required her picture. The plan prompted Captain Ri and Seri to go to Pyongyang thru a train-ride. Parallel scenes 1: Seri accidentally saw a nice watch at the pawnshop that apparently belongs to the murdered brother of Captain Ri. Parallel scene 2: Seri and Captain Ri had a heart warming "bonfire and camp-out scene" when the train made a stop-over on the way to Pyongyang.

Parallel scenes 3: Seung-Jun chance upon Seri at the hotel lobby.
6"Episode 6"December 29, 2019 (2019-12-29)2.414

Unbeknown to Yoon Seri, one of her brother (2nd from the eldest) cohorted with Seung-Jun to prevent her from coming back to South Korea. Instead of helping her out, after knowing that Seri was alive in North Korea. Meanwhile, Seung-jun meet Seri again with a devious plan in mind. Captain Ri who had grown fonder of Seri showed mixed emotions in seeing Seri with another man. Protective of her all the time, he searched her hotel room and found out that it was bugged. Always keeping an eye on her everywhere she goes. More so. when Seung-Jun reacquainted with Seri. Upon their return to the village, Captain Ri and his men, planned a send-off picnic (Seri's idea). On the day of Seri's departure, she bade goodbye to Captain Ri. She was coldly given a handshake instead of Seri's preferred hug. But unbeknown again to Seri, Captain Ri had secretly device some plans for her protection and security. A scheduled flight out from North Korea awaited Seri at the Pyongyang International Airport. Captain Ri was on a defense stance for Seri and prepared weaponries for whatever assault that may hinder her departure. En-route through a military jeep, they were ambushed. Captain Ri appeared and maneuvered a tactical move to rescue Seri. Bravely took a bullet for her during an exchange of gunshots. Parallel scene 1: Seri and Captain Ri arguing about the difference between destiny and coincidence. Parallel scene 2: Soe-dan and Seung-Jun agreed to cooperate with each other to resolve their issues on Captain Ri and Seri. Parallel scene 3: Seri and Captain Ri experienced their first memorable snow fall while unwinding in a Cafe. Parellel Scene 4: Seung-Jun meet with Cheol-gang and reported Seri's presence in North Korea.

Episode 6 Last Scene: Captain Ri sends off Seri thru a military vehicle driven by one of his men.
7"Episode 7"January 11, 2020 (2020-01-11)2.510
Unwilling to leave Captain Ri while he was injured, Yoon Seri drove to a hospital to save both Captain Ri and his man. When the need for blood for the more badly injured Captain Ri was brought up by the doctor, she volunteered her own for transfusion. The whole ordeal make her missed her scheduled flight to freedom. His anger turned into gratefulness when Captain Ri found out about Yoon Seri's kind act and showed affection to her. Cheol-gang stayed on their tail. Apprehended Captain Ri in the hospital. Captain Ri's father intervened.
8"Episode 8"January 12, 2020 (2020-01-12)3.043

Yoon Seri unaware of Seung-Jun's bad motives was persuaded to join him in escaping to Europe thru a fake marriage documents and to travel as a couple. This plan was conceived with the help of Soe-Dan whom he secretly meet. Captain Ri worried about Yoon Seri's where about started to check the hospital's CCTV footage. With the influence of his father as a high ranking official in North Korea, he was able to borrow a hospital vehicle and searched for Yoon Seri. He found the secluded villa but faced to fight a tight security. Yoon Seri was worried for his barely healed wound. Yet, she drove him away in between tears. When Captain Ri was out of sight, Yoon Seri decided otherwise and without hesitation stole Seung-jun's car keys and drove to look for Captain Ri in the middle of a snowstorm. Keeping Captain Ri away from Yoon Seri turns out to be much more difficult than Seung-jun had anticipated. Yoon Seri, undeniably and deeply care for Captain Ri. In the thick of the night and heavy snow, she found him. Both took shelter in an empty school and spent the night and sincerely talked to clarify misunderstandings on the sudden marriage plan with Seung-jun. Parallel scene 1: In alliance with another high military official, Cheol-Gang found out about Captain Ri's activity. Seek more evidence and traced the secluded villa. Parallel scene 2: Yoon Seri was kidnapped by a group of man while on her way back after pawning the ring given by Seung-Jun and bought the "nice watch" for Captain Ri as a gift. Parallel scene 3: The kidnapping was witnessed by the "rat soldier's" son who kept the gift and give it to his father.

Last scene Episode 8: Resting on his bed after the night's ordeal, Captain Ri received a call from a terrified and crying Yoon Seri informing him that she was kidnapped. In the middle of their conversation gunshots was heard. And the line went off.
9"Episode 9"January 18, 2020 (2020-01-18)2.941

Cheol-gang catches up with Captain Ri, beat him, had him detained and interrogated. On the other hand Yoon Seri was safely brought by the kidnapers to the "family home" of Captain Ri. She was well feed by a servant in an attic, unaware of the fact that it was Captain Ri's home. When Yoon Seri come face to face with Captain's Ri's father that seemingly a person of authority, Yoon Seri started to open up and relate her story. Seri not knowing that he was talking to no less than Captain Ri's father, sincerely speak well about Captain Ri. How he has been kind to her and cared for her and helped her in several attempts to escape. Eavesdropping and upon hearing her ordeal, Captain Ri's mother transferred Yoon Seri to a comfy room that turned out to be the room of Captain Ri. On the other hand, Freed from detention with the help of his father, Captain Ri hurriedly went home to seek help from his father. Not knowing that Seri was safely brought there by the alleged kidnappers under the command of his father who happened to be in an influential position in the Political Bureau of North Korea's Armed Forces. Captain Ri was assuaged to see Seri safe. His parents witnessed how the two deeply care for each other. Yoon Seri was ushered inside Captain Ri's room. When Seri saw the piano, she thought of some notes that she memorized and started playing it. She heard and remembered this while on a serene boat-ride on a lake at Switzerland. Captain Ri found out that it was his piano composition for his brother and finished playing the said piece for Yoon Seri. Parallel scene 1: Flashback scenes from Switzerland. Parallel Scene 2: Cheol-gang made a daring search at the family home of Captain Ri and found nothing. Parallel scene 3: Elsewhere, Captain Ri was forced to build formidable facts and defenses about himself in order to escape Cheol-gang's clutches and schemes. Another escape was secretly planned with his trusted men for Seri. Given that the electrically wired fences in the demarcation line were still down, they find their way to a section where Seri could cross to the side of South Korea.

Last scene for Episode 9: Trembling in fear as she walked away, Yoon Seri was followed by Captain Ri who bade goodbye with an affectionate last kiss.
10"Episode 10"January 19, 2020 (2020-01-19)3.927
Back to her old life in a posh district of Seoul (South Korea), Yoon Seri tried to continue her high-life and well-off lifestyle. She arrived in time to see her own funeral tribute. Walked into a board meeting where votes were about to be cast on the dissolution of her Chairmanship and ownership from her very own company. Although she has taken care of her business conglomerate again— nothing feels quite the same. She felt certain void and found herself sleepless and crying for very obvious reasons. She truly missed the life she have had lived in North Korea and Captain Ri. On the other hand, Captain Ri found compelling evidence that would link Cheol-gang in the death of his brother. The "rat soldier" confessed of Cheol-gang's scheme to him and stand as a witness. This is in addition to a number of anomalies that was gathered and saved in a memory card by his brother, hidden inside the watch that Seri had given him as a gift. Cheol-gang escaped to South Korea as his way out from imprisonment and from North Korean authorities. Vented his revenge to pursue Seri's death in exchange of monetary reward from Seri's own brother and ruthless sister-in-law. Cheol-gang also turned his evil pursuit after Seri as part of his revenge to Captain Ri and his family. And to also use Seri's own brother against her. Analyzing and Knowing that Seri's life could be in great danger and with the knowledge that Cheol-gang was already in South Korea after Yoon Seri, Captain Ri make a resolve to protect her at all cost. He hurdled a dangerous tunnel escape by crawling his way for long arduous hours to South Korea. Meanwhile, Cheol-gang disguised and infiltrated the Security Team of Seri's company. In North Korea, a group of soldiers rounded up Captain Ri's men and was commissioned by no less than Captain Ri's father for a special mission, to bring back Captain Ri alive to North Korea.
11"Episode 11"February 1, 2020 (2020-02-01)3.726
Captain Ri looked for Seri in the Gangnam District, where among the millions of people in the city of Seoul, they cross path. Tired and relieved in his search, and to Seri's disbelief, they embraced. Seri gladly accommodated him in return, the stylish Seri way. Lavish shopping galore followed. Introduced him as her new Bodyguard. Unforgettable Heart warming scenes as Captain Ri delved into another side of Seri's world. Including the complicated family feud for power and wealth among his siblings Back in North Korea, Soe-Dan gives Seung-jun a place to stay after he loses his protection.
12"Episode 12"February 2, 2020 (2020-02-02)4.782
Captain Ri's father sensing that his only son might be in real danger orchestrated a plan to send a support team thru Captain Ri's allies, his patrol team. Introduced into a new world on Seoul, the soldiers have a hard time adjusting. Comically portrayed in several hilarious scenes. Hoping to meet Seri, his men attempted to attend an event hosted by Seri's company. Its a hilarious epic failure when they tried to evade security and while they fled, the youngest soldier left his shoes in a hurry. That leads to the unexpected reunion of Captain Ri and Seri with his men. While in North Korea, Seung-jun opens up to Soe-Dan over a bowl of rice porridge. Both fall for each other.
13"Episode 13"February 8, 2020 (2020-02-08)3.998
Se-ri sends the comrades on a shopping spree, and plays hooky from work with Jeong-hyeok. Jung Man-bok encounters a dilemma.
14"Episode 14"February 9, 2020 (2020-02-09)5.119
While Jeong-hyeok keeps watch over Se-ri, his comrades make themselves useful. Seung-jun can't stop worrying about Dan.
15"Episode 15"February 15, 2020 (2020-02-15)4.898
South Korean officials try to figure out what's going on, but they're given conflicting stories. Seung-jun flees from his captors.
16"Episode 16"February 16, 2020 (2020-02-16)6.337

Before departing, Captain Ri leaves imprints of his presence. He prepared and stock enough food for Seri. Some important notes for food preparation. Recorded piano renditions and a potted Edelweiss seeds gift. An NIS officer guided him to leave behind surprise phone messages everyday thru an application in a cellphone. The last message gives Seri a hint as to where to meet him. The departure of Captain Ri was heart breaking as Seri runs towards him for the last goodbye. Escorts pointed guns to each other in the exchange area of DMZ lane, when Captain Ri break free and run back across the demarcation line towards Seri. While in North Korea, Dan was delivered a bittersweet justice. Seung-jun died protecting her.

Eventualities: Following her intuitions and longings, Seri created a music foundation that will sponsor scholarships for piano prodigies all over the world that has strategic alliance with another music foundation base in Switzerland. Following his intuitions as well, Captain Ri went to Switzerland and by faith found himself standing in front of Seri who paraglided and landed right in front of him. Sweet reunion scenes followed. And the story conclusively ended.

ProductionEdit

The series reunites Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin after working together in the film The Negotiation (2018).

DevelopmentEdit

The premise of Crash Landing on You was inspired by a real event involving South Korean actress Jung Yang.[14][3][15] In September 2008, Yang and three others had to be rescued after bad fog had caused their leisure boat to drift "into the maritime boundary between North and South Korea."[14][16] Park Ji-eun, the drama's screenwriter,[14] was introduced to North Korean defector turned film adviser and writer Kwak Moon-wan, who became part of the drama's writing team.[17][18] Kwak, who studied film directing in Pyongyang and had also been a member of an elite security force protecting the Kims, helped in crafting the drama's plot and in conceptualizing the setting and scenes in the drama portraying North Korean life.[17][18]

Netflix's investment also helped the show to garner the budget of US$20 million.

FilmingEdit

The production process proved to be "painstakingly meticulous", owing both to South Korea's relationship with North Korea (where most of the story's plot ensues), as well as to avoid any unintentional violations of the 1948 National Security Act which forbids public praise or propaganda of North Korea and the Kim Family.[19] The script avoided use of the honorific Chairman to refer to North Korea's leaders, and visible propaganda signs avoid mentioning anything about Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il, or Kim Jong-Un (while their mandatory portraits were usually either blurred or obscured by the camera angles). In addition, the North Korean lapel pins used by North Korean characters were one third smaller than their actual size.[20] Props manager Joo Dong-man said the crew did not have a "guidebook on multiple hurdles he had to hop over – skillfully and delicately – to accurately depict the country while dodging criticism" and, thus, had to be careful "not to misrepresent the state". Their research was also guided by North Koreans living in South Korea.[3][19]

The first script reading took place on July 31, 2019, in Sangam-dong, Seoul, and filming overseas started at the end of August 2019.[21] North Korean scenes were shot in South Korea and Mongolia.[3] Scenes that took place in Switzerland were shot on location.[3]

Original soundtrackEdit

Crash Landing on You
(Original Television Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedFebruary 16, 2020 (2020-02-16)
Recorded2019–2020
Genre
Length104:48
Language
  • Korean
  • English
LabelStone Music Entertainment
Singles from Crash Landing on You
  1. "But It's Destiny"
    Released: December 15, 2019 (2019-12-15)
  2. "Flower"
    Released: December 22, 2019 (2019-12-22)
  3. "Sunset"
    Released: December 29, 2019 (2019-12-29)
  4. "Here I Am Again"
    Released: January 12, 2020 (2020-01-12)
  5. "Someday"
    Released: January 19, 2020 (2020-01-19)
  6. "Photo of My Mind"
    Released: January 25, 2020 (2020-01-25)
  7. "The Hill of Yearning"
    Released: January 26, 2020 (2020-01-26)
  8. "All of My Days"
    Released: February 1, 2020 (2020-02-01)
  9. "Like You"
    Released: February 2, 2020 (2020-02-02)
  10. "Let Us Go"
    Released: February 9, 2020 (2020-02-09)
  11. "Give You My Heart"
    Released: February 16, 2020 (2020-02-16)[note 1]

The following is the official track list of Crash Landing on You (Original Television Soundtrack) album. The tracks with no indicated lyricists and composers are the drama's musical score; the artists indicated for these tracks are the tracks' composers themselves.[22][23][24] Singles included on the album were released from December 15, 2019, to February 16, 2020.[25]

CD 1
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."But It's Destiny" (우연인 듯 운명)Jung Gu-hyunJung Gu-hyun10cm3:51
2."Flower"
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
Yoon Mi-rae4:12
3."Sunset" (노을)Park Woo-sangPark Woo-sangDavichi3:36
4."Here I Am Again" (다시 난, 여기)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
Baek Ye-rin3:54
5."Someday" (어떤 날엔)Kim Ho-kyung1601Kim Jae-hwan4:18
6."Sigriswil" (Crash Landing on You Title Full Version)
  • Kim Kyung-hee
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Kim Kyung-hee
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
Kim Kyung-hee3:42
7."Spring in My Hometown" (고향의 봄)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
4:47
8."The Wind of the Day" (그날의 바람)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
4:58
9."The Song for My Brother" (형을 위한 노래)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
4:21
10."My Companion" (나의 동무여)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
5:15
11."Like a Wild Flower" (들꽃처럼)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
4:35
12."Time of Jeong-Hyeok for Se-ri" (세리를 향한 정혁의 시간)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
1:48
13."Moments We Walked Together" (함께 걷던 순간)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Go Eun-jung
2:34
14."Seri's Choice" (세리스 쵸이스)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
1:54
Total length:53:40
CD 2
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."Photo of My Mind" (내 마음의 사진)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Kim Kyung-hee
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
Song Ga-in4:32
2."The Hill of Yearning" (그리움의 언덕)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Kim Kyung-hee
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Kim Kyung-hee
April 23:54
3."All of My Days" (나의 모든 날)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • B.a.B
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • B.a.B
Sejeong (Gugudan)3:58
4."Like You" (좋다)
  • Lee Geon
  • Choi Eun-hye
Lee Geon
3:25
5."Let Us Go" (둘만의 세상으로 가)Dong Woo-seok
  • Dong Woo-seok
  • Yoo Jung-hyun
  • Jayins
Crush3:41
6."Give You My Heart" (마음을 드려요)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
IU4:40
7."Yeong-ae and Villagers" (영애동지와 마을 사람들)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
3:14
8."Chi-soo and Se-ri" (치수와 세리)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
3:14
9."The Song for My Brother" (형을 위한 노래; orchestral ver.)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
4:35
10."Seo Dan" (단이)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
0:52
11."Same Sky, Different World" (같은 하늘, 다른 세상)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
3:18
12."Picnic" (소풍)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
3:12
13."The Season of Us" (너와 나의 그 계절)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
3:47
14."When That Day Comes" (그날이 오면)  
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
4:22
15."Sigriswil" (Opening Title Version)
  • Kim Kyung-hee
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Kim Kyung-hee
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
Kim Kyung-hee0:42
Total length:51:08

Chart performanceEdit

Title Year Peak
positions
Remarks Ref.
KOR
Gaon
KOR
Hot
"But It's Destiny" (10cm) 2019 108 72 Part 1 [26][27]
"Flower" (Yoon Mi-rae) 22 20 Part 2 [28][29]
"Sunset" (Davichi) 47 32 Part 3 [30][31]
"Here I Am Again" (Baek Ye-rin) 2020 4 6 Part 4 [32][33]
"Someday" (Kim Jae-hwan) 18 17 Part 5 [28][29]
"Photo of My Mind" (Song Ga-in) 35 31 Part 6 [34][29]
"The Hill of Yearning" (April 2) 187 Part 7 [35]
"All of My Days" (Sejeong (Gugudan)) 50 31 Part 8 [36][37]
"Let Us Go" (Crush) 3 7 Part 10 [35][29]
"Give You My Heart" (IU) 1 3 Part 11 [38][31]

ReceptionEdit

Commercial performanceEdit

With 1.75 billion online views, Crash Landing on You outperformed the prior leader, Mr. Sunshine, for most viewed drama clips by 200 million views as of February 17, 2020.[39] The success of the drama helped to boost brand items due to product placement. The lead characters portrayed by Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin ate Gold Olive Chicken, a product which had a 100% sales improvement due to the show.[3][40] There was also an increase in sales of the Swarovski earrings worn by Son Ye-jin.[41]

International responseEdit

It was a huge success in China. The hashtag for the drama's final episode has received over 460 million views on Weibo.[42] The drama's main streaming website, which holds the copyright in China, crashed on the night it aired the final episode due to the enormous number of users.[43] It was extremely popular in Japan[14] during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic via Netflix.[44][45] While the Korean Wave is a historically prominent component of media within Japan, Crash Landing on You has been uniquely influential there, in part due to its portrayal of daily life in North Korea.[44] The series was also a hit in the Philippines, where many viewers noted similarities between the plot line and the political narrative of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.[46]

In the United States, Variety named Crash Landing on You one of "The Best International Shows on Netflix",[47] and one of the "Best International TV Series of 2020."[48] Time also ranked it as one of the best Korean dramas on Netflix.[49] Elle ranked it number 1 (out of 10) on the October 2020 10 Best K-Dramas To Binge-Watch On Netflix list,[50] and Vogue listed it as one of "Netflix: 4 Korean dramas to discover this summer."[51] Boy Genius Report ranked it #2 of the five "K-dramas you absolutely must watch on Netflix."[52] BuzzFeed listed it as number 3 of the top 27 best K-dramas on Netflix.[53] Forbes noted that it ranked number 1 out of the top 10 on a Netflix's Instagram list of its most romantic series,[54] and Screen Rant ranked it as having the #2 (out of the top 10) "tear-jerking scenes in K-dramas."[55] In addition, Jo Walker of The Guardian's "Stream Team" called it "addictively off-the-wall, heartbreaking and hilarious."[56] Adella Suliman and Stella Kim of NBC News also suggested that the drama "features all the ingredients a viewer could wish for" and has "drawn a global audience of millions, many no doubt searching for entertainment as they while away their time in coronavirus-related lockdowns."[57] Wadzanai Mhute of The Daily Beast argues that Crash Landing on You, "was a cultural phenomenon in its native South Korea, and it's gone criminally overlooked in the States, where it's available to stream on Netflix."[58] Megan O'Keefe of Decider states that, "Crash Landing on You is a show unlike anything you've ever seen. It has insane action sequences, glorious montages of wealth porn, unblinking looks at the impoverished lives of everyday North Koreans, and one of the most heart-wrenching love stories in ages. With 16 90-minute-long episodes, it's truly a feast to be savored and the perfect antidote to the winter quarantine blues."[59]

Al Jazeera stated that it is a hallyu success.[60]

Representation of and reception in South and North KoreaEdit

GeneralEdit

Although the series is a work of fiction, it has received some positive reviews from North Korean defectors for its depiction of everyday life in North Korea. At the same time, some details, such as the availability of food, relatively warm behavior of the army and the ease with which the characters cross the border have been criticized.[61][20][17][62][57] Kim Ara, one of the extras who portrayed a North Korean villager, is a writer and actress from North Korea who states that she felt "like [she] was actually back in a North Korean village."[62] Kwak Moon-wan, a North Korean defector, who had served with the Supreme Guard Command (which protects the ruling Kim family) worked as an adviser for the series, providing the writers with details about life in North Korea as well as North Korean governmental agencies that added credibility to the show.[63] He acknowledged some of the criticism, admitting that he has taken liberties with the depiction of North Korea (such as not mentioning food shortages), but rejected the claim that he was glamorizing the regime or drawing a false equivalence, saying that the show also depicted some of the darker aspect of life under the regime, such as the issue of kotjebi (child homelessness) and the frequent power cuts. Some North Korean refugees, such as Chun Hyo-jin, who defected from the border village of Hyesan at the age of nineteen, tend to agree: "Even if what they say, that it glamorizes North Korea, is true, would they choose to live there? I don't think so". Even though the drama leaves political matters aside, which are essential to the North Korea issue as she sees it, she says it still is of great significance: "Its depiction of North Korea is a bit far from reality, but it has made the people interested in North Korea".[64] The drama's producer Lee Jung-hyo said during a press conference in Seoul in December: "I know some people are uncomfortable about our subject, North Korea, but we don't portray a wholly authentic North Korea in our drama. Most settings are closer to a fantasy, although some aspects do reflect real North Korean life".[65]

Kang Na-ra, a North Korean defector who advised the show's production team, stated that about 60% of North Korea's depiction in the show is accurate:[66] "The richer families in North Korea like to show off their wealth by adding lace curtains to their windows. So that was pretty well portrayed". She also appreciated the detail about kimchi caves: "Since rural North Korea doesn't get electricity, they don't have refrigerators. They have kimchi caves where they store kimchi, and that was also recreated well".[67] House checks are also a regular affair. She revealed that she once had to hide inside a furnace at the house of the broker who helped her to escape to avoid detection. In the drama, the heiress had to hide in the kimchi storage area when security forces came knocking one night. As depicted in the drama, North Koreans are allowed to choose only from a fixed list of hair styles - 18 for women and 28 for men. "There's a punishment for you if you don't comply" Kang said in an interview with YouTube channel DKDKTV.[68] On the other hand, as she explained in a YouTube video, the characters were able to slip across the border much more easily than in real life: "I had to pay a broker 10 million won (US$8,400) to swim across the Yalu river [which borders North Korea and China] while being shot at from behind by soldiers [when I escaped]".[69] Cartoonist Choi Seong-guk, who defected to the South in 2011, also said the drama set is 60% accurate. The portrayal of jangmadang, or local markets where all kinds of goods, including imports from South Korea, are sold is especially real, he told The Sunday Times. However, he felt that the drama "glamorized the soldiers too much, almost to an uncomfortable extent". He said North Korean men enter the military when they are 17 and serve for 10 to 13 years. "During this time, they are...ruthless and harsh, robbing homes and raping women at night".[68] Still, he hopes the drama will make its way to North Korea and go viral: "I hope the North Koreans who see this drama will realize how positively the South Koreans think of them and learn to change".[68]

There were also critical responses to the themes of the drama in both regions. In January 2020, The Christian Liberal Party (CLP) filed a complaint in South Korea against tvN at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, accusing the network of glamorizing North Korea through this series, in violation of the National Security Law.[70][71][72] Then, in March 2020, a few North Korean media outlets criticized unnamed South Korean programs and films that explored relations between North and South Korea. While Crash Landing on You was not directly mentioned by the media outlets, it was perceived to be among the referenced works. Another is the 2019 film, Ashfall, although that film was also not directly cited in the articles.[73][74]

ScholarshipEdit

Stephen Epstein (Victoria University of Wellington) and Christopher Green (Leiden University) suggest that while Crash Landing on You is formulaic, it also "is a crucial text for evaluating ongoing change in South Korean popular representations of its neighbour. Indeed, given the concerted use of North Korean backdrops in Crash Landing on You and the size and global extent of its audiences, the show is likely the most noteworthy South Korean popular culture representation of North Korea yet produced."[75] Yun Suk-jin, a professor at Chungnam National University concurs, noting that the series "changed the stereotypes on North Korea and candidly showed that it too is a place where people live."[62] Sarah A. Son, Lecturer in Korean Studies at the University of Sheffield also agrees, noting that Crash Landing on You responds to the "socio-cultural divide" between the North and the South, which academic scholarship cites as one of the biggest obstacles to future unification. Son argues that "through the re-framing of stereotypes, albeit with some creative licence, Crash Landing on You arguably humanises the North for its audience in ways that inter-Korean dialogue has not in recent years. Despite its soft-focus romanticisation of the political situation, Crash Landing on You brings the pain of the division to a personal level for a generation of Koreans who, unlike their grandparents, have no memory of what it was like to be a single nation."[18]

Joanna Elfving-Hwang, Associate Professor of Korean Studies at the University of Western Australia notes that "North Korea tends to appear in our imagination as the 'axis of evil', we think of [negative things like] nuclear weapons and human rights abuses...this drama has dared to think about North Korean people differently and represented them as quite human and quite Korean."[69] Steve Hung Lok-wai, a Korean Affairs expert from the Chinese University of Hong Kong states that the drama sidestepped larger political issues through a narrative that did not end with the male lead's defection: "Lots of people questioned whether the male lead, the North Korean soldier, would end up defecting to the South for love, but they were able to sidestep that scenario and gave it a plausible ending where the two would meet in Switzerland". Thus, he argues, it's "quite smart because they avoided all the real taboos but made it believable enough where it would make people think about these political problems."[69] John Delury, a professor at Yonsei University, praised the series for its decision to draw parallels between powerful families in both the South and the North, and to humanize North Koreans beyond generic stereotypes.[76]

RatingsEdit

The series was a huge rating success in South-Korea. This series aired on tvN, a cable channel/pay TV which normally has a relatively smaller audience compared to free-to-air TV/public broadcasters (KBS, SBS, MBC and EBS). Crash Landing on You is the third highest-rated South Korean TV drama in cable television history.[77] Early in its run, Crash Landing on You was the fourth highest rated Korean cable drama.[78] The final episode's ratings made it the second highest rated Korean drama in cable television history, surpassing fellow tvN dramas Reply 1988 and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God until .[79] It finally became the third highest rated drama.

Crash Landing on You : South Korea viewers per episode (millions)
SeasonEpisode numberAverage
12345678910111213141516
11.5081.7731.8942.2252.2102.4142.5103.0432.9413.9273.7264.7823.9985.1194.8986.3373.331
Source: Audience measurement performed nationwide by Nielsen Media Research.[80]
Average TV viewership ratings
Ep. Original broadcast date Average audience share
(AGB Nielsen)[81]
Nationwide Seoul
1 December 14, 2019 6.074% (1st) 6.558% (1st)
2 December 15, 2019 6.845% (1st) 7.841% (1st)
3 December 21, 2019 7.414% (1st) 7.689% (1st)
4 December 22, 2019 8.499% (1st) 9.409% (1st)
5 December 28, 2019 8.730% (1st) 9.794% (1st)
6 December 29, 2019 9.223% (1st) 9.535% (1st)
7 January 11, 2020 9.394% (1st) 9.738% (1st)
8 January 12, 2020 11.349% (1st) 12.031% (1st)
9 January 18, 2020 11.516% (1st) 12.355% (1st)
10 January 19, 2020 14.633% (1st) 15.903% (1st)
11 February 1, 2020[d] 14.238% (1st) 14.648% (1st)
12 February 2, 2020[d] 15.933% (1st) 16.413% (1st)
13 February 8, 2020 14.097% (1st) 14.620% (1st)
14 February 9, 2020 17.705% (1st) 18.612% (1st)
15 February 15, 2020 17.066% (1st) 17.406% (1st)
16 February 16, 2020 21.683% (1st) 23.249% (1st)
Average 12.150% 12.863%
Special January 4, 2020 4.810% (1st) 4.253% (1st)
Special January 5, 2020 3.975% (1st) 3.252% (1st)
Special January 25, 2020 4.180% (1st) 4.283% (1st)
  • In the table above, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
  • On December 31, 2019, it was announced that the series would take a temporary hiatus and postponed the episodes that were scheduled to air on January 4 and 5. It was in order to protect the cast and crew from unsafe filming conditions due to the cold winter weather. Instead, tvN aired reruns of previous episodes that were specially re-edited for viewers.[82]

AccoladesEdit

In May 2020 the show's scriptwriter, Park Ji-eun, was named "Person of the Year" by South Korea's Unification Ministry, for contributing to "unification education."[57][83]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2020 56th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Drama Crash Landing on You Nominated [84]
Best Director Lee Jung-hyo Nominated
Best Actor Hyun Bin Nominated
Best Actress Son Ye-jin Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Yang Kyung-won Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Kim Sun-young Won
Seo Ji-hye Nominated
Best Screenplay Park Ji-eun Nominated
Popularity Award Hyun Bin Won
Son Ye-jin Won
Bazaar Icon Award Seo Ji-hye Won
15th Seoul International Drama Awards Best Mini-series Crash Landing on You Nominated
Outstanding Korean Drama Won
Outstanding Korean Actress Son Ye-jin Won
Asian Academy Creative Awards Best Drama Series (Korea) Crash Landing on You Won [85]
Best Drama Series (Grand Final) Won [86]
Asia Contents Awards Best Asian Drama Nominated [87]
Best Creative Nominated
Best Writer Park Ji-eun Nominated
Korea Cable TV Broadcasting Association Global Award (VOD Category) Crash Landing on You Won [88]
Tokyo Drama Award 2020 Overseas Drama Special Award Crash Landing on You Won [89]
2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best OST "Here I Am Again" (Baek Yerin) Nominated [90]
3rd Annual Global TV Demand Awards Most In-Demand Korean Drama Series Crash Landing on You Won [91]
7th APAN Star Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Hyun Bin Won [92]
Drama of the Year Crash Landing on You Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Son Ye-jin Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Seo Ji-hye Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Kim Jung-hyun Nominated
Yang Kyung-won Nominated
Kim Young-min Won
Best Supporting Actress Kim Sun-young Won
KT Seezn Star Award Son Ye-jin Won
2021 30th Seoul Music Awards OST Award "Here I Am Again" (Baek Yerin) Nominated [93]
"Give You My Heart" (IU) Nominated
Korea Communications Commission Broadcasting Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Crash Landing on You Won [94]
Korea Cable TV Broadcasting Association PP Special Award (VOD Category) Crash Landing on You Won [95]

AdaptationEdit

On March 29, 2021, it was announced that Crash Landing on You will be adapted into a musical. The production companies Pop Music and T2N Media have completed a global copyright contract with Studio Dragon, and they plan to carry out the performances starting in Seoul in the middle of 2022.[96]

On November 4, 2021, it was announced that an American remake is in the works and it's currently in the final stages of development.[97]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Record label of O.S.T. Part 11 – EDAM Entertainment
  1. ^ Kim Ah-ra is a real North Korean defector who also appeared in Now On My Way to Meet You. In the variety show, she explained her impressions on filming and the comparisons with the real North Korea.
  2. ^ Yoon Seol-mi is a real North Korean defector. She is an accordion player and, in the drama, she sells goods to passengers while playing her accordion.
  3. ^ The character appears in a short crossover scene, alluding Kim Soo-hyun's previous work Secretly, Greatly (2011) where the character originally appears.
  4. ^ a b The broadcast was delayed due to the 2020 Lunar New Year special broadcast.

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External linksEdit