Crash Landing on You

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Crash Landing on You
Crash Landing on You main poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Also known as
  • Emergency Love Landing
  • Love's Crash Landing
  • Crash Landing of Love
Hangul사랑의 불시착
Hanja사랑의 不時着
GenreRomantic drama[1]
Romantic comedy[2]
Created byStudio Dragon
Written byPark Ji-eun
Directed byLee Jung-hyo
Starring
Opening theme"Sigriswil" (Opening Title ver.) by Kim Kyung-hee
Composers
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Production
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)
External links
Website
Production website

Crash Landing on You[4] (Korean사랑의 불시착; Hanja사랑의 不時着; RRSarang-ui Bulsichak; MRSarang-ŭi Pulshich'ak; lit. Love's Emergency Landing) 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 South Korean chaebol heiress who, while paragliding in Seoul, South Korea, is swept up in a sudden storm, crash-lands in the North Korean portion of the DMZ, and meets a captain in the Korean People's Army. Over time, they fall in love, despite the divide and dispute between their respective countries.

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.

Story[edit]

Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) is a South Korean chaebol heiress to the Queen's Group. However, her existence threatens her elder half-brothers and she is intensely disliked by her stepmother so she steps away from the family business and successfully founds her own fashion and beauty company, Seri's Choice, which makes her independently wealthy.

Se-ri's father, who was recently released from jail and can no longer run the Queen's Group, 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 and into North Korea, 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 to 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 elder brother Se-hyung (Park Hyung Soo) becomes chairman and his wife, Sang-ah (Yoon Ji-min), wants to take over Se-ri's company. When Se-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 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 brother's murder. Cheol-gang is brought to trial and found guilty, 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 Se-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. Se-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 stepmother, 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 Se-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 parents that she will never marry and intends to continue her musical career.

Three years later, Se-hyung remains in jail and files for divorce. Se-ri continues managing Seri's Choice and her other half-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. One day, 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.

Cast[edit]

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

Main[edit]

A South Korean chaebol[6] 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[6]
    • 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.

Supporting[edit]

People around Ri Jeong-hyeok[edit]

  • 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.
  • Yang Kyung-won as Pyo Chi-su, a Sergeant Major in Company Five, who enjoys drinking and antagonizing Se-ri because of his paranoia against South Koreans.
  • Lee Shin-young as Park Kwang-beom, a Staff Sergeant in Company Five, oblivious of his model good looks.[9][10]
  • Yoo Su-bin as Kim Ju-meok, a Corporal in Company Five, who uses his fascination with Korean dramas to explain South Korean culture to his team.
  • Tang Joon-sang as Geum Eun-dong, a Lance-Corporal in Company Five, who is the sole provider of his family and the youngest member of the unit.

People around Yoon Se-ri[edit]

  • 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 Se-jun, Se-ri's immature and hot-headed eldest half-brother, who sides with Se-ri against Se-hyung.
  • Hwang Woo-seul-hye as Do Hye-ji, Se-jun's materialistic but supportive wife.
  • Park Hyung-soo [ko] as Yoon Se-hyung, Se-ri's unflappable older half-brother, whose greed and naiveté allowed Seung-jun to embezzle funds from Queen's Group.
  • Yoon Ji-min as Go Sang-ah, Se-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 Seo Dan[edit]

  • Jang Hye-jin as Ko Myeong-eun, Dan's wealthy mother who owns Pyongyang's largest department store and is eager to see Dan married.
  • Park Myung-hoon as Ko Myeong-seok, Dan's maternal uncle who is also a Major-General in the State Security Department and supportive of both Jeong-hyeok and Dan.

People around Gu Seung-jun[edit]

  • Hong Woo-jin [ko] as Cheon Su-bok, a corrupt North Korean government official who helps people illegally enter and stay in North Korea.
  • Yoon Sang-hoon [ko] as Manager Oh, an intermediate broker who connects Seung-jun to the North Korean "keeping business".

North Korean military housing[edit]

Korean People's Army[edit]

  • 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.[11]
  • Kim Young-min [ko] 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.[11]
  • Kim Young-pil [ko] as Kim Ryong-hae, a Senior Colonel who is Jeong-hyeok's superior and Young-ae's husband. He dislikes Jeong-hyeok but, after knowing his real identity as the son of the Director of the General Political Bureau, he tries his best to please him.

Others[edit]

  • 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
  • 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.

Special appearances[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleOriginal release dateSouth Korea viewers
(millions)
1"Episode 1"December 14, 2019 (2019-12-14)1.508
Knocked out by fierce winds while paragliding, Yoon Se-ri, a wealthy businesswoman from South Korea, wakes up on the north side of the DMZ and is discovered by Ri Jeong-hyeok, a Captain in the North Korean Military.
2"Episode 2"December 15, 2019 (2019-12-15)1.773
After talking Jeong-hyeok and his comrades into hiding her in his home, Se-ri gets a taste of his way of life. Gu Seung-jun buys refuge in a secluded villa in North Korea through a broker.
3"Episode 3"December 21, 2019 (2019-12-21)1.894
Se-ri is discovered hiding at Jeong-hyeok's home during an unexpected home inspection. He invents a bold background story for Se-ri as a recently-returned agent from Division 11, the secret division of North Korean military which has spies sent to South Korea. He calls Se-ri his fiancée, in an attempt to protect her. However, his rival, Cho Cheol-gang, is not fooled. Seo Dan, Jeong Hyeok's actual fiancée for ten years, returns to North Korea after finishing her studies in Russia.
4"Episode 4"December 22, 2019 (2019-12-22)2.225
When her escape plan falls through, Se-ri turns to another idea. Dan heads to the village to see Jeong-hyeok. The villagers are confused on seeing Dan, as they were told that Se-ri is Jeong-hyeok's fiancée.
5"Episode 5"December 28, 2019 (2019-12-28)2.210
Jeong-hyeok agrees to marry Dan sooner, as his parents wish, but they must do him a favor first. Seung-jun discovers Se-ri is also in North Korea.
6"Episode 6"December 29, 2019 (2019-12-29)2.414
Dan is less than happy when she hears Jeong-hyeok and Se-ri are at a hotel together. Meanwhile, Seung-jun plays what cards he has to save himself.
7"Episode 7"January 11, 2020 (2020-01-11)2.510
A flight out of North Korea awaits Se-ri at the airport. But, unwilling to leave Jeong-hyeok while he's injured, she brings him to a hospital instead, thus missing her flight.
8"Episode 8"January 12, 2020 (2020-01-12)3.043
Keeping Jeong-hyeok away from Se-ri turns out to be much more difficult than Seung-jun anticipated. Cheol-gang stays on their tail.
9"Episode 9"January 18, 2020 (2020-01-18)2.941
Se-ri faces her kidnapper. Elsewhere, Jeong-hyeok is forced to spread a formidable rumor about himself in order to escape Cheol-gang's clutches.
10"Episode 10"January 19, 2020 (2020-01-19)3.927
Back to her cushy life in the spotlight, Se-ri takes care of business — though nothing feels quite the same. Jeong-hyeok goes after Cheol-gang in South Korea, who in turn is after Se-ri in order to use her to blackmail Jeong-hyeok's family.
11"Episode 11"February 1, 2020 (2020-02-01)3.726
It is Jeong-hyeok's turn to adjust to a new world. Back in North Korea, Dan gives Seung-jun a place to stay after he loses his protection.
12"Episode 12"February 2, 2020 (2020-02-02)4.782
Hoping to meet Jeong-hyeok, his comrades attend an event hosted by Se-ri's company. Seung-jun opens up to Dan over a bowl of rice porridge.
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, Jeong-hyeok leaves behind a surprise that keeps on giving messages from his phone everyday. The last message tells Se-ri where to find him. Dan delivers bittersweet justice.

Production[edit]

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

Development[edit]

The premise of Crash Landing on You was inspired by a real event involving South Korean actress Jung Yang.[13][3][14] 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."[13][15] Park Ji-eun, the drama's screenwriter,[13] was introduced to North Korean defector turned film adviser and writer Kwak Moon-wan, who became part of the drama's writing team.[16][17] 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.[16][17]

Netflix's investment also helped the show to garner the budget of US$20 million, allowing the drama to film in Switzerland.[5]

Filming[edit]

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.[18] The use of the honorific Chairman to refer to North Korea's leaders was avoided, 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, and the North Korean lapel pins used by the cast members taking North Korean roles were one third smaller than their actual size.[19] 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". They worked with guidance from North Koreans living in South Korea and their research.[3][18]

The first script reading took place on July 31, 2019 in Sangam-dong, Seoul, and filming overseas started at the end of August 2019.[20] North Korean scenes were shot in South Korea and Mongolia.[3] Scenes that took place in Switzerland were shot on location.[3]

Original soundtrack[edit]

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.[21][22][23] Singles included on the album were released from December 15, 2019, to February 16, 2020.[24]

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 performance[edit]

Title Year Peak
positions
Remarks Ref.
KOR
Gaon
KOR
Hot
"But It's Destiny" (10cm) 2019 108 72 Part 1 [25][26]
"Flower" (Yoon Mi-rae) 22 20 Part 2 [27][28]
"Sunset" (Davichi) 47 32 Part 3 [29][30]
"Here I Am Again" (Baek Ye-rin) 2020 4 6 Part 4 [31][32]
"Someday" (Kim Jae-hwan) 18 17 Part 5 [27][28]
"Photo of My Mind" (Song Ga-in) 35 31 Part 6 [33][28]
"The Hill of Yearning" (April 2) 187 Part 7 [34]
"All of My Days" (Sejeong (Gugudan)) 50 31 Part 8 [35][36]
"Let Us Go" (Crush) 3 7 Part 10 [34][28]
"Give You My Heart" (IU) 1 3 Part 11 [37][30]

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

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.[38] 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][39] There was also an increase in sales of the Swarovski earrings worn by Son Ye-jin.[40]

International response[edit]

It was a success in China. The hashtag for the drama's final episode has received over 460 million views on China's Weibo. The streaming website for the drama, which holds the copyright in China, crashed on the night it aired the final episode due to the enormous number of users. It was popular in Japan[13] during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic via Netflix.[41][42] 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.[41] 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.[43]

In the United States, Variety named Crash Landing on You one of "The Best International Shows on Netflix",[44] and one of the "Best International TV Series of 2020."[45] Time also ranked it as one of the best Korean dramas on Netflix.[46] Elle ranked it number 1 (out of 10) on the October 2020 10 Best K-Dramas To Binge-Watch On Netflix list,[47] and Vogue listed it as one of "Netflix: 4 Korean dramas to discover this summer."[48] BuzzFeed listed it as number 3 of the top 27 best K-dramas on Netflix.[49] Forbes noted that it ranked number 1 out of the top 10 on a Netflix's Instagram list of its most romantic series,[50] and Screen Rant ranked it as having the #2 (out of the top 10) "tear-jerking scenes in K-dramas."[51] In addition, Jo Walker of The Guardian's "Stream Team" called it "addictively off-the-wall, heartbreaking and hilarious."[52] 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."[53] 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."[54] 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."[55]

Al Jazeera stated that it is a hallyu success.[56]

Representation of and reception in South and North Korea[edit]

General[edit]

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.[57][19][16][58][53] 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."[58] 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.[59] 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 homeless) 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".[60] 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".[61]

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:[62] "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".[63] 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.[64] 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]".[65] 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".[64] 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".[64]

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.[66][67][68] 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.[69][70]

Scholarship[edit]

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."[71] 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."[58] 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."[17]

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."[65] 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."[65] 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.[72]

Ratings[edit]

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.[73] Early in its run, Crash Landing on You was the fourth highest rated Korean cable drama.[74] The final episode's ratings made it the third highest rated Korean drama in cable television history, surpassing fellow tvN dramas Reply 1988 and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God.[75]

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.[76]
Average TV viewership ratings
Ep. Original broadcast date Average audience share
(AGB Nielsen)[77]
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.[78]

Accolades[edit]

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."[53][79]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2020 56th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Drama Crash Landing on You Nominated [80]
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 [81]
Best Drama Series (Grand Final) Won [82]
Asia Contents Awards Best Asian Drama Nominated [83]
Best Creative Nominated
Best Writer Park Ji-eun Nominated
Korea Cable TV Broadcasting Association Global Award (VOD Category) Crash Landing on You Won [84]
Tokyo Drama Award 2020 Overseas Drama Special Award Crash Landing on You Won [85]
2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best OST "Here I Am Again" (Baek Yerin) Nominated [86]
3rd Annual Global TV Demand Awards Most In-Demand Korean Drama Series Crash Landing on You Won [87]
7th APAN Star Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Hyun Bin Won [88]
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 [89]
"Give You My Heart" (IU) Nominated

Adaptation[edit]

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.[90]

Notes[edit]

  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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