I’ve been meaning to watch the very popular SBS drama My Love from the Star 별에서 온 그대 for a while. Then when all the Chinese fans of the drama arrived last month to visit the filming locations (and eat chicken and beer) I decided that now really was the time to watch it… And I loved it. It’s such a FUN fantasy romance.
It’s a love story between a top actress Cheon Song-yi (Jun Ji Hyeon) and an alien Do Min-jun (Kim Soon Hyun) who is working as a university professor. He came to earth during the Joseon period in 1609 – during the reign of Gwanghaegun when a UFO was seen in the sky (and this really is in the history books). He’s now been here for 400 years and has learnt a lot about life on planet earth. But he leads a lonely life unable to reveal who he really is.
The idea of a love story with an alien sounds cheesy and of course far-fetched, but somehow it works – as long as you’re not too concerned about the scientific details and just enjoy the story!
pictures yonghap news – My Love from the Star fans from China enjoy a drama tour in Korea
The chemistry between the quirky characters of Song-yi and Min-jun makes the drama fun to watch. She can be arrogant – sure that all men find her attractive – but she has never really been in love and he brings out her vulnerability as well as her playful side. At first he is sullen and serious because he has had to hide who he really is. He knows from past experience that revealing his supernatural powers will not impress people. It will frighten them and make them run to the police!
So over 400 years there are only a few people who can accept him. The relationship between Min-jun and his coworker Lawyer Jang is adorable and the most moving. They have remained friends for 30 years but Min-jun still looks the same age as he did then, but his friend has aged.
Min-jun’s sophistication and knowledge contrast with Song Yi’s ignorance! He reads a lot and has had lots of professions over the years. And he has met major players in history. He was given a painting by Kim Hong Do, one of the most famous Joseon painters. And when he fell ill he met the famous Joseon doctor Heojun.
Song-yi isn’t interested in studying and knows nothing about history. Her manager has even banned her from using social network sites as she embarrasses herself with her uneducated comments on Twitter. This is endearing though since she is trying to connect with her fans because she’s lonely.
There are enough supernatural obstacles in the way of our lovers but on top of this is the the human villain of the story Lee Jae-kyung, the bad older brother of Song-yi’s childhood friend Hwi-kyung. Coming from a chaebol family he is set to inherit his father’s company and is happy to kill anyone who gets in his way including Song-yi who knows too much about his dodgy past. He plays with his ring (which looks like a nail) menacingly when he’s agitated. (This is a bit melodramatic and unnecessary since his greased-back hair is enough to show that he’s the BADDIE). But the mood of the drama remains upbeat and fun even under the threat of murder.
We also have the obligatory love triangle with Song-yi’s childhood friend Semi who is in love with chaebol good guy Hwi-kung who is love with Song-yi. It wouldn’t be a Korean drama without jealousy and chaebols now would it?
The outlandishly huge and luxurious apartments and over-the-top fashion are a feast for the senses and remind me of dramas based on manga like Boys Before Flowers. Noone really dresses like that or lives in such huge apartments with large balconies over the city. Still, it’s nice to dream. The drama is filmed in some interesting locations which have become tourist attractions. And the characters often order food such as chimaek – chicken and beer which has helped make chimaek popular abroad especially in China.
I like how Min-jun can freeze time. Here’s an example – Min-jun sends a text to Song-yi and immediately regrets what he wrote. (we’ve all been there) He rushes to her side to delete it before she reads it. He freezes time, takes the phone out of her hand, deletes the text, and puts the phone back before she can read the text. (I bet we all wish we could do that sometimes!)
So yes, he has supernatural powers (that’s cool) but he gets sick if he comes into contact with human saliva or blood (that’s a problem!) And his time on earth may be limited. But the important thing is making the most of the time there is and living life to the full. Ahh.