Jump to content

Crash Landing 0n You [2019] - with major spoilers

Recommended Posts


Crash Landing On You

사랑의 불시착


Director: Lee Jung Hyo

Writer: Park Ji Eun

Original Broadcast: December 14, 2019 to February 16, 2020



Hyun Bin

Son Ye Jin

Kim Jung Hyung

Seo Ji Hye





Crash Landing On You was always going to have a troublesome public perception issue on its hands. It was telling the story of a cross border romance between a North Korean military officer and a South Korean heiress in the modern day, and treat it as more of a romantic comedy rather than a melodrama or a tragedy as other works have done. The issue has to do with the fact that a Korea that has been divided for going on seven decades not only exists, but that North Korea is the most reclusive and repressive regime in the world today, with families still divided. The division of Korea is still a very sore point for many people in both North and South Korea, with a hope of reunification still a very hot topic.

While the lengthy separation and development of the two Koreas has led to marked differences and cultural alienation, CLOY tackles the task of trying to humanize the North Koreans to a South Korean (and international) market. As such, its depiction of the North Korean village where most of it is set is to treat it as a bucolic rural village with comedic touches of black market trade, inconsistent public transportation, and village hierarchy based on the official positions of the husbands or other family members. The drama does make brief references to the beggar orphans who lead appalling lives as non-persons in NK and to the all-invasive, all-controlling state, but these references are marginalized or not referenced for most of the drama until near the end.

As such, it does a good job of creating sympathetic North Korean characters, but it may do so at the expense of the most prominent of the South Korean characters who are depicted as greedy, suspicious, fake, back stabbers whose primary concern is for themselves. Not all South Korean characters are depicted as such, of course, but the ones who aren’t do not have much of a role.

But, the question remains whether with this is as a backdrop, the romantic comedy worked as a plot, and actually, it does for a majority of the story. The OTP have good chemistry together making you want to root for them to be together and happy. Plus, they have the kind of dialogue which is both playful and earnest which makes them a fun watch and listen.


Plot and Review - warning - major spoilers


For anyone who still hasn’t watched this drama, the basic set up is that Yoon Se Ri, a South Korean corporate heiress who is independent enough to establish her own successful beauty product company, is also into extreme sports. She insists on going paragliding even though a storm is imminent, and the winds carry her across the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas and drop her on the North Korean side. There, an army captain of a special unit, Ri Jeong Hyuk, who also happens to be the son of a high ranking North Korean official discovers her.

JH is not a typical NK military officer. He’s actually a former concert pianist who had studied and performed in Switzerland, but came home after his elder brother who had been a military officer had been killed. JH has been trying to find out how and why his brother died ever since.

JH believes SR’s story about having been blown to NK, and rather than turning her over to the State for questioning as a possible spy, he endeavors to try to return her back to SK on his own. Until he can do so, SR lives with JH at his home in a NK village. Ultimately, JH’s squad becomes complicit in hiding SR and trying to return her to SK as well.

SR learns more about life in NK, eventually falling for the sensitive, kind, upstanding, and handsome JH. JH in his turn comes to also like SR’s impetuous, independent spirit, warmth, and beauty. The specter of their future separation forever hangs over them, however, since it is not feasible for either one to live in the other’s world. There is another small twist to the OTP romance when it’s revealed that they had crossed paths previously in Switzerland in a meaningful fashion.

Along the way, SR and the viewers get to the know JH’s squad better, as well as the society of North Korean villagers in the village where JH keeps his house for when he’s not out in the field. The villagers are suspicious of SR at first, especially since she has come to live in “their” handsome captain’s house, but after being told the lie that SR is JH’s fiancee, they come to adopt her as someone who will become one of their own. SR’s modern ways are put down to the thinking that SR must have come from the more sophisticated capitol, with SR not disabusing them of the notion albeit they meant Pyongyang while SR was talking about Seoul.

There is also a villain, a corrupt North Korean military officer named Cho Cheol Gang who is actively working to improve his personal wealth and position, but also trying to take down JH’s family as being too morally upright and thus in the way of his corrupt dealings. He is a threat to JH, but also to SR once he becomes aware of SR’s presence in JH’s life as well as SR’s significance in SK.

More villains are present in SR’s half brothers. SR is actually the youngest child and only daughter of a rich corporate chairman, born out of an affair that her father had had. SR had been taken into her father’s home at an early age, however, and as usual in SK, once she was recognized as her father’s child on the national register, her legal mother was her father’s wife who resented her presence though SR tried hard to earn her approval. Her two older half brothers are shown as not being as competent as SR, and so inheritance stakes with the maneuvering and back stabbing that entails is also another side plot to this drama.

Finally, there is another romance involving the second leads of the drama. JH technically has a NK fiancee, Seo Dan, the daughter of a major NK department store owner, with whom he had agreed to an arranged marriage, not realizing that his fiancee has been in love with him since their school days.
While SR meets a man again in NK, Gu Seung Joon, who she had gone on a blind date with. Her half brother had set up the blind date hoping to marry SR off to GSJ, but she had turned him down. GSJ is actually a con man who then proceeded to scam SR’s brother before runing to NK to avoid arrest. While the second leads initially form a love square with the main OTP and colluding to help each other get the person that they want, they eventually form a relationship of their own.

Most of the story and most of the romance happens in North Korea, and the drama effectively draws laughs and charming interludes from SR’s modern sensibilities coming into contact with the less progressive ethos of the North Koreans as both sides struggle to get to know and understand each other better.

The drama suffers more after SR is returned back to SK. Learning that SR is in danger from CCG, JH abandons his post to go after SR. JH’s father, upon learning of this, sends JH’s squad after him with a cover story of a sports exchange program to bring him safely back to NK before it becomes untenable. In SK, JH and SR eventually reunite as SR walks the Seoul streets longing for JH and JH has been walking the Seoul streets hoping to run into SR. Through more coincidences, JH and SR then also comes across JH’s squad.

The use of coincidences aka fate is used prevalently in kdramas as it is in this drama, but becomes almost ridiculous in nature and number during the SK scenes. Also ridiculous is the idea of how easily anyone can slip across the DMZ.

Eventually, the North Koreans are mostly returned to the North while the South Koreans remain in the South. There are almost no consequences paid by either side for their various excursions.

SR sets up a foundation for rising young musicians and hosts an annual performance by and for them in Switzerland. JH attends this annual performance escorting the promising young NK musicians sponsored by the foundation. Thus, it’s implied that SR and JH are able to spend 2 weeks per year being together.




It may be my personal gripe that the ending doesn’t offer much of a resolution to whether they are able to be together or not. Given that this drama was a comedy, I thought that it would eke out a happy ending of some kind. I had wondered if the drama would tackle the idea of reunification in some future Korea which would finally enable the OTP to be together, or whether it would separate them, or just give them an unrealistic happy ever after ending somewhere even if it went agains their portrayed characters. But instead, the drama uses a bit of a cheat to delay that question of whether the OTP can truly be together. Again, it’s a clash of what the drama is trying to accomplish coming up against the realities of using a real world setting and scenario.


Ultimately, this drama felt very busy and not very engaging when it wasn’t focusing on the central chemistry and romance of the OTP. Even the second lead romance felt as if it lacked spark and progression, despite some really emotionally touching moments, especially by Kim Jung Hyun as the amoral conman who actually turns out to be a pretty good guy, Goo Seung Joon.


Goo Seung Joon had the only true moment that gave me pause in the final episodes as he’s running away from NK soldiers who want to take him in for questioning. There is a moment where he is hiding, and some NK street orphans are complicit in hiding him. GSJ comments that the orphan is also like him in that neither of them have any parents nor anyone to cry for them when they die. GSJ’s sparse back story as an orphan parallels CCG’s story of being an orphan, and is reflected in this moment with the nameless street orphan that GSJ addresses. However, this issue of orphans being disposable people whether they grow up in NK or SK isn’t really explored, but rather put into a pithy observation.


Despite that, this drama really relies on the chemistry between Hyun Bin’s RJH and Son Ye Jin’s YSR. They actually demonstrated their chemistry before in the cat-and-mouse thriller of The Negotiation, and their romance sparks are good enough that it’s created a legion of real life shipper fans as well.


HB’s comedic timing was shown to great effect in Secret Garden, but it is more refined here and burnished with his action star credentials as well as his generally acclaimed dramatic acting skills. Son Ye Jin slides easily into her role here as one which is similar to roles that she has done before in her diverse repertoire of roles. Both visually and chemistry-wise, they do make a great OTP.


It is in the actual story itself that I found flaws in depiction, execution, and satisfaction. It is hard to separate out the real world aspects that this drama doesn’t reflect as it pertains to their romance if it had been real. While I watched it the first time wondering how they planned to resolve their various issues, the ending left me unsatisfied enough that I don’t really feel the need to watch it again, even for the great OTP chemistry.


Plot/story         6
Cast/acting        9
Production Value    8
Rewatch Value      3
Overall                  7


  • Like 1
  • Clapping Hands 3
Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

Thanks @abs-oluteM The drama has been doing really well internationally.


In particular, Japan seems to be the biggest fans. And this is supposedly a miracle due to the difficult political relations between Japan and S Korea.

  1. Till today, CLOY is No. 5 on Netflix Japan. The show aired in Feb/Mar.
  2. All the fan meetings that have taken place between CLOY actors were for Japan.
  3. They launched a CLOY photobook.
  4. They are having a CLOY exhibition in Jan-Feb 2021.


The Crash Landing on You exhibition mock up. It's literally a museum.





They will exhibit Ri Jeong-hyeok 's piano and Yoon Seri's paragliding costume including "over 450 photos, including about 250 photos that have not been shown yet, and making videos, costumes and props that were actually used will be on display, as well as a set and photo spot"




They will also exhibit the bike and reproduce the Switzerland scene.




The exhibition will begin in Tokyo from January 8 to February 27 and open in Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya with admission at 1800 JPY.


The exhibition will also sell a wide array of merchandise including acrylic stands, clear files, postcards, mugs, stickers, shirts, posters and many more. https://ainofujichakuten.com/goods.html







Credit: @cloysauce









I wish I had the skills to write a good review. Maybe one day... I am training by writing mini reviews for BinJin fanfics in the meantime LOL.


But here's my rating for the drama, based on when I first watched it as a newbie to k-drama who did not know the actors or anything about the drama, and BEFORE I became a Hyun Bin and BinJin fan. There are very few k-dramas that I like to watch, especially romances. CLOY was an exception. It was the drama that made me want to find out more about k-dramas.


Plot/story                9
Cast/acting             10
Production Value    9
Rewatch Value       5 (10 now since I am a big fan LOL)
Overall                    9.5


Edited by Chocolate
  • Like 1
  • Clapping Hands 2
Link to comment
  • 9 months later...

Japan NHK Documentary on Oct 2, 2021


On Oct 2, 2021, Japan NHK broadcast a documentary on CLOY. The biggest revelation was that the swiss ending was not the original ending.




It would have been this scene 😭



The director had also spoken about the ending in an earlier magazine interview:



1/3So... director Lee Jung Hyo said Jeonghyeok & Seri really see each other only once a year interview trans. from my magazine: "when Cloy was still in the planning stage, the ending was actually different. But after the script with the scene where-




the two meet in Switzerland for the first time had been completed, writer Park Ji Eun asked me if I could film a different ending than originally planned. So that's when I came up with the ending you saw. I thought that like "Gyeonu & Jiknyeo", being able to see each other-




only once a year, would be the most realistic and satisfying (convincing) happy ending, as long as North & South are still divided. When we shot the last scene in Switzerland, the script was completed until episode 6, but we still didn't know how the story would progress-


so as we were filming, I remember talking a lot with the two leads about Seri and Jeonghyeok's feelings in the last scene. We ended up reshooting the close ups of the actors while filming episode 16."


Thanks to @binjinfeed for the translation from Japanese. She had also translated parts of the script book which was on sale in Japan.


Tagging @stroppyse @im0202 @ktcjdrama @Tammy_fullofdrama I don't know who else here watched CLOY...


Edited by Chocolate
  • Like 2
  • Insightful 1
  • Shocked 1
Link to comment

Japan NHK Documentary on Oct 2, 2021


Son Ye Jin was also interviewed for the documentary (no Hyun Bin though 😢). She says Yoon Seri fell in love with Ri Jeong Hyeok in episode 4 when he found her in the market with the candle 😢 It's wonderful to know the actors' thoughts and feelings.









Yejin abt filming cloy's ending scene in Switzerland






Yejin didn't hesitate to accept the role.

"When I read the script for the first time, I was surprised by the daring idea. A romantic comedy in this setting?? Truly a genius to come up with a story like this! That's what I thought. There was absolutely no reason not to do it."



“Life is unpredictable, and doesn’t go as planned. However, if you move forward, you may reach an unexpected destination. I myself thought this way as well.” ~ Yejin about her favorite line from cloy





Edited by Chocolate
  • Like 1
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment

Japan NHK Documentary on Oct 2, 2021


@PRNforhappiness has also posted translations of the 1 hour documentary, and added screenshots and comments. She is a BinJin shipper 🤣 But thanks to her humongous effort ❤



I am posting NHK documentary translation here. It was much better than my expectation, I was so excited and thrilled and even cried throughout the 1 hr show. Thank you @fakektp925 for the link. I am so glad to have everyone's support. 




So this is NHK documentary on Crash Landing on You, aimed to discuss the insight and interview from many perspective to understand why the drama became a HIT worldwide. The show was 1 hr long.




2. The MC (Nanako) opened the show and said there are three points why the drama are so famous. The first one is the casting. They made interview with the main lead Son Yejin. #SonYeJin Son Ye jin "I am very surprised that the drama was hit worldwide , I did not expect it ."


3. Also, she thinks because the story is like a forbidden love lie Romeo and Juliet and people is interested in North Korea. #SonYeJin





4. The reason SYJ accepted acting in CLOY because of 2 reasons. 1. Script is very interesting. A rom com with NK story combines together. 2. the writer is famous for romcom love fantasy story like legend of the blue sea #CrashLandingOnYou




5. They interviewed Yang Kyung-Won who played Pyo Chi su. "Before filming, I had to take NK accent class for 1.5 month , even the grammar same but word and how to use is very strange and different. Ex: ko musume (eminai) when Chi su calls Seri. We don’t use word like that in SK"




6. NK teacher not only teach language but also teach NK culture. Like the military in service in NK is 10 yrs not 2 yrs, so I learn a lot from teacher about life, how proud of being a military soldier in NK


7. Chi Su who always refuse to believe the culture in SK when they saw the light was turn on whole night in SK. Even when he reunite with Seri in SK, he need to make the NK soldier as human even the countries are different, they are warm human, that' s the important of his acting


8. The interview with Kim Ju Son: A Defector from NK , he watched CLOY twice, he said well there are many NK movies before but mostly are realistic stories, killing , fighting, but CLOY is different as unreal and fantasy and love. SO it was refreshing


9. Son Ye Jin "The first climax of the story is the moment when Seri realized that she fell in with Jeong Hyeok." (EP4) (let me SCREAMMMMMMMMMMMM)




10. "When Seri was lost, just like a lost little child, and JH found her. In the total darkness, he appeared and rescued her, that's the moment she fell in love with him. Son Ye JIn said this is the peak scene of the drama.




11. "Seri is a very very positive person, but from many circumstances made her became a cold person. Meanwhile Jeong Hyeok who did everything for her to make her go home , she was moved and she realized that she fell in love with him." (HELPPPPPP)




12. When Seri squeezed his hand when he was taken away. This was not carefully explain in the script, but they discussed that they want to emphasize of how his hand was taken a way and she tried to grab his again. Bravo #sonyejin #hyunbin. You two are excellent actors 😭




13. When being asked after CLOY on air and COVID affected the entire globe. "Because (in our life) we can't go with whatever we wanted but we still need to live, that's what I think."




14. When asked Son Yejin her favorite quote from CLOY "Sometimes the wrong train take you to right destination.” #sonyejin #crashlandingonyou I think I stopped typing that time one whole minute and cried XD.




5. Ok, so that's conclude the first half of the story. I'd say Yejin made a lot of contribution to this documentary. I am so happy I was proved wrong, I thought they gonna use her name and she appeared only one minute. I am glad I was proved wrong.




16. So MC talked about the 2nd factor that made CLOY a global hit , the director . PD: " I couldn't forget feeling when I first read the script book, the setting NK and love story?" He went to LA(oops, typos ) ,I mean New York, to meet the writer Park ji Eun. #Crashlandingonyou




17. PD nim said especially the scene in Pyoeng Yang is very difficult, since we can't film in NK, what should we do. He think the scene must be realistic, so they tried to film in a similar place as much as possible.


18. Next they interview NK ajumma, Kim Son Yong: she first was very astonished about the NK village setting, "ah it s like SK in 1970. The crew made the set so it realistic."




19. Back to PD, he also paid attention to the noodle scene. " This scene was difficult, I want to show Jeong Hyeok made a noodle for a girl who he just met, but that . #hyunbin #crashlandingonyou (sniff, yes best boy made noodle from scratch TT).




20.PD also said it's very common in NK to have electric cut off, in the drama it becomes totally dark in the market scene but then we can not make a filming right? (laugh) But we filmed before the brim of the last light gone and we got a very good and satisfaction scene.




21. PD talked about Kim Son Yong's asking to change the filming. The scene when Seri e left letter to the ajumma. Actually the script , it's suppose to be a fun scene, but KSY first read script and cried, so they change the filming into a tearful scene. #CrashLandingOnYou




22. “ I was now loving her (Seri) as friend but suddenly she's gone and we'll never meet again, it’s a sad story , we will cry of course. Like I hope she's fine and healthy , so it can’t be filmed as comical” Kim Son Yong. #Crashlandingonyou


23. Last part of the show start discussed about production and viewer's rating. In SK, actually first ep, only 6.1 was not very impressive, but we have to look at number of international subscription of Netflix, it suddenly rise. #CrashLandingOnYou





24. International view of K drama rise like crazy after CLOY aired, so never mind of national watch any more, it s became so HIT worldwide (yes CLOYfever TTTT). “Of course everything is money, we want money to make good drama, it's a good decision we make business with Netflix”




25. Interview with Netflix associates: Netflix can be watch worldwide , so we need to think of audiences not just only Asian, but worldwide, so we need tothink of the content that can be appreciated everywhere. #CrashLandingOnYou




26. From here has spoiler ALERT : if u haven’t watch please skip (Who the hell haven't watch? 🤣🤣🤣




27. PD talked about Dooly reunion in swiss, this is the rewritten reunion scene, actually they has initial plan a totally different ending. the supposed end was made them parting forever at 38 paralleled as a realistic ending. (I'll strangle him if he didn't make change)




28. PD "For a love story, ending like that would be too sad but the first script I received was end really like that (laugh). ( Ok now I understand why best scene in CLOY for me is at the border scene, it was originally written that waybut thank you for made it a happy ending )


29. "Initial ending would be just a recap scene of them met in Swiss 7 years ago. That's it. So me and Park Ji Eun discussed to add more ending and she asked if I can film the ending in Swiss right from the beginning." (That's why it was filmed very tight in Swiss.)




30."I was very surprised to film the ending on the first shooting in Swiss. I still don't yet understand how they love or how they feel so that's the most difficult and hard for me. It was hard all the time of the filming. (This is the meaning of the trailer last week). #SonYeJin




31. "I have no idea how to express it, but it's very rare to get an interview after the drama ended so long ago like this. So I'll take this as a beautiful gift for audiences and I am very glad to be able to deliver it for you." (love u yejin TTT). #SonYeJin #CrashLandingOnYou




32. OK so MC Nanako wrap up again the 3 factors made CLOY successful. 1. Casting 2. Director 3. BinJin ,oh sorry sorry typos, 3. The story about SK and NK tension. #CrashLandingOnYou




33. The made an interview with Japanese journalist about the SK NK relationship. He was very anxious how North Korean think of CLOY, will they be angry? would they like it? Will it make north korean want to defect more? #CrashLandingOnYou


34. After CLOY aird, NK made a more strict rule in regarding the punishment of people watchs SK drama, or listen to SK song or contents. The punishment was like in imprisonment 5-10 yrs. #CrashLandingOnYou




35. Actually at border of North Korea, around 3-5 km can use mobile to chat and make a phone call. So he made a chat with some NKs, after asking via chat, seems that all of them watched CLOY. "We Watched IT!" #CrashLandingOnYou




36. The North Korean he chatted with said "we laugh, we like it , it s funny” ---- "I think it is the same response of ppl from SK, so it means whether they are NK or SK, people response are same." They made comment that food looks delicious in SK. They wished they could eat too.




37. "There are things about political that you can't help or understand, but we can't help feel they'd stop fighting and make people be able to meet and communicate."




38. JP fans: "We use 2-3 days to binge watch hahahaha, it’s interesting and fun. Seri became a nice person after being treated with kindness in North Korea."So, the story's strong point is not politics, but depicting the feeling of human."




39. Son Ye Jin "Love can change people." "Because Seri received love from Ri Jeong Hyeok, she became a different person .That’s the feeling I wanted to play and portray." 😭😭😭 BinJin forever. ICBM. No longer COwYejin, love changed people. #sonyejin #Hyunbin #crashlandingonyou




40. That's the end of translation. Sorry I am not Japanese native, so I maybe off with the meaning.


@stroppyse Please feel free to let me know if this documentary shouldn't be posted here 😅


Edited by Chocolate
  • Like 1
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use