There’s a little show called Crash Landing on You. (This will be a long rantview because this was a VERY long show.)
You may have heard of this show. It’s known by the acronym CLOY and loved by the portmanteau RiRi fandom. It’s recently on the top three of most watched shows on Netflix. It also made ratings history when the final episode beat all other show ratings in K-drama history, surpassing the most watched last episode of Goblin on Korean TV. So, this is a very popular show. Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin are a hot couple with great chemistry.
[WARNING: Below will be major spoilers. So please do not read if you have not seen this show or do not like spoilers.]
I should have loved this show… but I didn’t love it upon first watching. It took me around two months to get through it. I would start to watch and then leave for a week. I would get bored and then try again. Episodes were not the usual 40 to 50 minute length – they were around 80 minutes and the final episode was 111 minutes long. That’s 16 movies you need to watch to get through this show!
I found the ridiculous plot and North and South Korean politics handled with extreme creative license. Ri Jeong Hyeok’s dad is that powerful? The bad guy, Cheol-Gang (Oh Man-Seok) had the ability to thwart any security surveillance? He became a master villain (yeah, but that is sometimes cool).
Where was the leader of N. Korea during all of this? I didn’t understand why a tricked out extra piece of steel added to a truck is such a killing device that has to be kept hidden and manufactured in a secret warehouse? That didn’t make sense to me. Why? Why??? It just didn’t make sense.
How is it he played a piano on the edge of a dock by a lake with his luggage nearby sensible? What was he waiting for? A boat? It was below freezing temps because there was snow. Who would do that to a piano? No musician would do that. All because Se-ri had to hear the song while passing by on a cruise ship?
The hijinks one minute and then high octane action flick in another moment was jostling. You had corporate intrigue and then Rom-com and goofy pratfalls. It was just all over the place.
Ri Jeong Hyeok’s sourpuss expression bugged me. It seems to be common these days with K-drama leads.
Look at all those sourpusses! 😦 Ooh, I’m so distant and aloof. Wah, poor me! I had a hard life. (Okay, so some did go through some bad things, but yeesh!)
When I watched it on speed run a second time for the review I began to finally like the show. I just skipped the unnecessary scenes, unnecessary dialogue, and drawn out scenes that needed to be edited, and it flowed.
It really was a good show on so many levels: The cinematography, soft touches and pauses, music, all the beautiful fashion – oh my gosh, fashion was off the charts beautiful – and acting by much of the supporting cast, despite me thinking Hyun Bin was the weakest link on an acting level (that’s my opinion, of course), was all pretty spot on.
So, I thought I would show the highlights of each episode and cover the good, the bad, and the silly.
It starts out with the most ridiculous tornado (a tornado in Korea? Do they have tornadoes?) scene. I laughed so hard. I had to show my son how ridiculous it looked and we both got a good laugh.
Her awkwardly high-pitched and unrealistic screams did not help. It was just such a silly scene. How did she make it through a tornado without broken bones or more severe injuries?
After episode two, I stopped watching because I thought it would just be another silly and dumb Rom-com, with ridiculous pratfalls and grunts and “Wha’s!” with an abusively whiny protagonist female (like that The King: Eternal Monarch show).
But Son Ye-Jin played the part with so much heart is was hard to not enjoy what she brought to entitled chaebol Yoon Se-Ri. But then… it dragged on and on and on again.
There were so many great actors in the secondary roles and they had such a worthwhile story, like Seo-Dan’s family. Dan’s mom (played by Jang Hye-Jin) was both hilarious and truly heart-felt in how she gave everything to her daughter as a single self-made mom.
The women of the N. Korean town all had a story to tell. They brought both comedy and heart to their roles.
The four loyal N. Korean soldiers that haplessly follow their Captain Ri, risking their own lives by helping him hide Yoon Se-Ri’s identity.
Man Bok’s sad back story and his family was poignant at times. His wife, played by Jang So-Yeon (who was also the big sister and BFF in Something in the Rain with Son Ye-Jin)
And Man Bok does redeem himself by the end.
I was amazed this is the same actor, Kim Young-Min, who played the smarmy corporate boss in My Mister. He ends up joining “the boys” in S. Korea on their mission to bring back Captain Ri.
And then you had Yoon Se-Ri’s family.
This family was as boring as melting wax. I didn’t get her mom and her issues (they never really tell you, unless it was so boring I didn’t pay attention), and her dad was basically a plot device. Her brother with the sweet wife began to grow on me, and you could see the love for one another was real.
And then the evil couple who conspire with Seung-Jun (I’ll just call him Jun) in N. Korea, that Jun eventually backs out of, to get rid of Se-Ri so they can rule both her company and the evil son can take over the father’s company that Se-Ri was supposed to inherit. Here they are conspiring with Cheol-Gang to either kidnap Se-Ri and take her back to N. Korea, or simply kill her – which the sister-in-law (played by Yoon Ji-Min) is cool with, but the simp brother (played by Park Hyoung-Soo) says he has a problem…?
The payback to these two is actually quite gratifying at the end of the show. But overall, they were still pretty boring.
But my favorite couple was Seo-Dan and Seung-Jun (played by Seo Ji-Hye and Kim Jung-Hyun). I wouldn’t have minded giving them more screen time and lessening the same plodding romance between Se-ri and Captain Ri.
They had a really beautiful relationship to the end. I’ll just call them Jun and Dan to make it easy.
The Leap Between Genres!
But at times while watching CLOY I wondered, “Am I supposed to be laughing stupidly,
or sitting on the edge of my seat wondering who will die?”
It was action thriller and then silly Rom-com. It was corporate intrigue with loathsome bad guys that join forces from both N. Korea and S. Korea, and then slapstick hi-jinks in both N. Korea
and in S. Korea after the “boys” landed into the country to bring back Captain Ri to his dad, and they instantly meet a goofy delivery boy that’s been a N. Korean spy living in S. Korea and slowly losing his mind…?
I mean… just pick a genre!
This was a very cool HK-like action scene, though
But yeah, despite all that I still sat through 16 full-length movies (each episode is oddly around 80 minutes long!) to get to the end of the show. Mostly, because of the side stories and secondary characters, and I tend to just want to finish what I start watching.
CLOY Grows on You…
…If you watch it multiple times and speed through the unnecessary dialogue and scenes.
Son Ye-Jin and Hyun Bin really do have wonderful chemistry (they do misfire with some truly bad kissing scenes and awkward glances, but we let that pass) and by episode 6 you see they have fallen head over heels in love with one another. Until this episode it is a pretty sweet little love story.
The scenes in N. Korea and that first part for the first six episodes is a sweet Rom-com as they fall in love and you fall in love with the side characters of the town, like the four main women
and the four guys that become attached to our protagonist.
All Action Second Half
It hits high gear action the first time she tries to leave N. Korea.
And then she has to stay to rush him to the hospital and she misses her chance to leave N. Korea, which leads up to episode 7 and their first kiss
And nobody cries and shows emotion better than Son Ye-Jin and it’s why she is the queen of soapy and beautiful dramas
And so, I began to see a different show the second time – mostly because I could speed through the VERY long and drawn out show. Did they not have an editor?
In episode 9 she is kidnapped by Captain Ri’s dad and within meeting him and the mom they realize their son is in love with Se-ri. (This is so much better on a quick run through.)
By the end of episode 9 she is making her second attempt to leaving N. Korea, but then she runs into Jun at a hotel (wait, that was before this, but I got mixed up), and he makes poor decisions because he can’t leave N. Korea without going to jail in S. Korea, and so, he tries to make a deal with the evil brother and evil sister-in-law, but then somehow it gets convoluted, and Captain Ri has to fight a bunch of bodyguards, and gets beat up again, so that Se-Ri runs away from Jun’s N. Korean abode, and finds Captain Ri, still recovering from his shot, and in a car that ran out of gas, and so they have to stay in a cabin (romance trope).
Honestly, that whole section (around three episodes of stuff) I just explained I totally forgot and when I skimmed it I forgot the parts as well, other than she wore a really cute multi-colored sweater while with Jun.
Overall, her N. Korean sweaters were each perfect. The pink one. The yellow one. The grey one. The fashion in this show is basically one of the stars.
Until she finally does leave N. Korea because of the help from the fab five, and we get this beautiful scene.
And then by episode 10 she is back in S. Korea, but the bad guy actually makes it there too. (I told you – he is an amazingly resourceful bad guy!)
While in S. Korea it was nice seeing all her outfits. She is gorgeous in high fashion.
This is where the show completely drags on. There are two drawn out episodes unnecessary episodes of N. Korean boys acclimate to S. Korean culture.
And then somehow Cheol-Gang was in S. Korea, has infiltrated Se-Ri’s security and is already trying to take her back to N. Korea, or kill her in GoT fashion and take her head back in a box to N. Korea to show he killed her – I don’t really know.
After Captain Ri makes it in time and bad guy has to run away, we have more light-hearted hi-jinks and fights and such, and then…
Se-ri gets shot
Hyun Bin’s acting is questionable after she gets shot.
I don’t know why, but I laughed with this scene. (I’m laughing now in memory of his bad acting here.)
After this, Captain Ri finds Cheol-Gang and finally shoots him dead, but its a drawn out death scene so that Cheol-Gang can tell him the entire history of what happened to his older brother when he killed him because everything in this show ties into something else to a ridiculous level
Captain Ri gets taken in afterward by the very lax S. Korean special police and then they let him hang out with more unnecessary dialogue until Se-Ri goes to visit him while hanging onto life from her gunshot wound that is still healing.
She falls over after the visit and is hospitalized again because of blood poisoning because the one time Captain Ri acts like a jerk is when she is barely holding onto life but wants to meet him while in S. Korean custody. This was a belabored scene, by the way. I honestly skipped this entire scene three times.
Favorite Couple Time!
While this is happening, we had the more interesting love story going on between Dan and Jun. We see them dating and kissing, and showing how he crumbles her barriers and lips and wow, they actually looked sincere when they kissed.
He actually saves Dan in a warehouse and gets shot in the process, after being a badass and shooting like 10 bad guys in a memorable shoot out (which makes sense because early on they show he is a fantastic ace sharp-shooter).
He risks everything – his freedom outside N. Korea and in Europe – because he finally found true love. But then…
And they captured the death of Gu Seong-Jun with a simple showing of his hand falling from her hands
And I bawled with Dan.
And then… the ending was belabored. Back to the couple that bored me at times, Captain Ri and Se-Ri. She’s alive and well.
When did he find the time to make all those recordings? Seriously? It would have been more in line with the whole, “We’re in the same place, as if fate is guiding our entire lives because our love is so great and meant to be! Destiny!”
Couldn’t they still have randomly met in Switzerland at the ending? Could we get more time with Jun and Dan?
All the recordings were so drawn out and added so many unnecessary minutes to the show. It was sweet, but was it necessary? Really show? Was it?
I just think they didn’t want to leave any of their ideas left out, and so you had a bloated and unedited piece of show. That was WAY TOO LONG!
But yeah, after all that I still kind’a liked the show. 😀
By the way, the music, I have to say, is top notch. The entire OST is fantastic, and this brought the show from a 7 to a 9 out of 10 for me. That’s how much K-drama music plays in making a show. I wish I could place all the songs here from the main theme, Destiny Like A Coincidence to Sunset, Flower, and IU’s beautiful love theme, I Give You My Heart. But here are two:
IU’s beautiful love song here:
Fantastic playlist can be found on YouTube, just look for Crash Landing on You OST.
Have a great weekend of searching and seeking and loving some binge watching!
Goodnight Gracie! 🙂 ❤