I have finished watching all 16 episodes of "Crash Landing on You" (CLOY) on Netflix.
I don’t know if I laughed or cried harder.
At one point I was crying hysterically. Episode 16, time stamp 33:03 (on Netflix), to be exact.
If you were to watch that scene without context, you probably wouldn't feel anything.
But because I have developed a connection with each character and their stories throughout the series, that scene hit me like a bullet train (a truck is too minor for this).
And that’s probably what I like most about this drama — the emphasis was not just on the main leads, but on the entire ensemble, who also carried the story.
Hesitant to start
When I first saw the thumbnail and title on Netflix, I wasn’t intrigued.
“What a cheesy show title,” I thought to myself.
Men in uniform on the thumbnail? Not my cup of tea.
I also thought it was a historical drama, and I only watch modern dramas because I am uncultured like that.
But Netflix kept pushing and recommending this drama to me. They kept auto-playing the snippet on the header each time I logged in. Oh my god stop, who gave you the permission to invade me like this!!!!
To set some context, some of the Korean dramas that I love and watch on Netflix include "Her Private Life", "Extraordinary You", "Love Alarm" and "School 2015/2017".
So you roughly know my taste in shows. Trashy, basically.
Sadly, I ran out of things to watch on Netflix (yes, that happens when you have no social life).
So while scouring for a new show to binge-watch, I clicked on the thumbnail for CLOY, read the synopsis, and decided to give it a try.
Same storyline in a refreshing setting
It started off like every other Korean drama.
The male and female leads get into a conflict, gradually develop feelings for each other, face obstacles along the way, and end up happily together.
However, what's refreshing about CLOY is its setting.
The drama is about a South Korean heiress, Se-ri (played by Son Ye-jin) who ends up crash landing in North Korea after a paragliding mishap.
There, she meets Jeong-hyuk (Hyun Bin), who is a captain in the army.
If you thought long distance relationships were hard, imagine a cross-border relationship. It’s like forbidden love, but worse.
In a way, the setting helped to elevate what was a very predictable storyline.
Hiding someone in North Korea?! Saying she’s your fiancée when you already have a fiancée?! LYING TO AUTHORITIES ABOUT HER IDENTITY?!?!?!!!!
Supporting cast that made a difference
While the entire ensemble was very endearing, I sometimes find myself wanting to watch more of the supporting characters than the leads.
Even though you might not like them at the start, you will grow emotionally attached to them by the end of the series.
So let me briefly introduce to you the three sets of supporting characters.
1) The village ahjummas
Be prepared for a whole lot of sass and drama. Don’t say I didn't warn you. At some point you might feel personally attacked, but that’s your fault, not theirs. Don’t blame the ahjummas.
2) The comrades
If you Google the definition of a man-child, these four will show up.
It was nice to see them transition from uniforms to civilian clothing, though.
3) Se-ri's family
More specifically, her second brother and his wife:
Trash in human form. ‘Nuff said.
Should you watch it?
I don’t want to tell you what to do but yes you should watch it.
If you don’t trust a stranger's opinion on the internet then at least consider this: The series has set a new record for the second highest viewership in Korean cable history.
If you have Netflix, all 16 episodes are already available on the streaming platform. There’s nothing to lose. Especially if you’re a single soul still sore about spending the Valentine’s weekend alone, this is the perfect excuse to cry it out.
Each episode runs between 70 to 90 minutes (with the exception of the finale, which is 111 minutes long).
But prepare tissues before you press play. You’ll need it.
Top image via TvN