K-drama Review : You Who Came From The Stars

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(Also known as “My Love From Another Star“)

It’s been a while since I last watched a K-drama, and it’s been even longer since I last saw one that got me completely captivated. The last one was probably Secret Garden, back in 2011. (Although I did really enjoy To The Beautiful You). My sister is still pretty updated with the latest dramas and she strongly encouraged me to watch this one. She told me that since I love shojou mangas with a tsundere male, I would enjoy this a lot. And surprise surprise, she was right. Just one episode in and I was hooked.

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SUMMARY:

Here’s the basic plot of the story according to Wikipedia:

Do Min-joon is an alien that landed on Earth in the year 1609 during the Joseon Dynasty. As his spaceship is broken, he is stranded on the planet for the next four centuries. He possesses a near-perfect appearance, enhanced physical abilities involving his vision, hearing and speed, and a cynical, jaded view regarding human beings. He meets a young girl whom he saves from death, but later on she gives her life saving him.

As time goes by, Min-joon is forced to take on a new identity every ten years, as his human appearance never ages.

In the present he works as a college professor and finds out that due to a comet coming in three months, he will be able to return to his home planet. In the meantime he accidentally meets famous actress Cheon Song-yi, the biggest Hallyu star in Korea, when she moves in next door to his luxurious apartment and also turns out to be attending his classes at college. Song-yi is an obnoxious, entitled attention seeker, someone who became a top star in her teens and never learned how to live a normal life. Min-joon finds out that Song-yi looks like the young girl he fell in love with in the Joseon era. He tries to keep himself away from her, as he needs to leave the planet.

However, Song-yi gets entangled in the dangerous game of Lee Jae-kyung, the elder brother of Hwi-kyung, who has been her friend since middle school and is in love with her. As Jae-kyung tries to silence Song-yi, Min-joon finds himself saving her multiple times and eventually the neighbours fall for each other. But Jae-kyung turns out to be much more dangerous than Min-joon suspected and he mysteriously also starts to lose control over his superpowers, making his only friend and confindant, Lawyer Jang worried about his life and return to space.

(The summary is pretty accurate, except for the part where it says his spaceship was broken. I’m pretty sure the reason he was stranded on Earth was because he was poisoned when it was time for the spaceship to leave so he got left behind. But I definitely agree with the statement about his “near-perfect appearance” XD)

I have just got to say that I LOVED this drama. So even though I’m extremely busy with work, I just had to write this quick review. To keep it short (well, shorter than my other K-drama reviews), I will try to focus only on the aspects of the show that I liked. Please be warned that this review will contain MAJOR SPOILERS. So if you plan to watch it, then you might want to close your browser now.

THE CHARACTERS/CAST:

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Cheon Song Yi (Jun Ji Hyun)

She was one of the main reasons I decided to watch this K-drama. My Sassy Girl is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I loved her in it. I remember first watching it back in college. I enjoyed it so much that I even made all my friends (and a few family members) watch it. I love that Cheon Song Yi’s character in this drama is pretty similar to her character in My Sassy Girl. They’re both bossy, confident and ultimately “sassy”. One major difference from her character in Sassy Girl is that Cheon Song Yi is pretty ditzy, which only makes me love her more. You guys know I have a soft spot for girls who are adorably cute and clueless. (think Go Mi Nam in You’re Beautiful, Mi Ho in MGIAG, Nodame in Nodame Cantabile and Yuan Xiang Qin in It Started With A Kiss). I say “clueless” because I don’t believe that Song Yi was actually stupid, despite what her bashers say – in fact I think she’s pretty clever. It’s just that she’s always had someone around to do things for her and clean up her mess ever since she was a kid, so she’s never had to fend for herself. She never had to take school seriously either because she started acting and earning big money at such a young age. Naturally, when the people taking care of her abandoned her, she was at a loss.

I truly admire Cheon Song Yi’s confidence and tenacity. And I applaud her for going right up to Do Min Joon and admitting her feelings to him. Personally I think it’s absurd to love someone and not tell them (unless they’re married or in a relationship or something). You’ll just waste years of your life wondering about things that could have been (example : Yoo Se Mi). I understand that confessing to someone can be terrifying, but at least you’ll know how they feel about you. If they like you too then hooray! And if they don’t then you can make a choice to keep fighting for them or move on.

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I didn’t think I could love Jun Ji Hyun more after My Sassy Girl but this drama proved me wrong. The reason I enjoyed this show so much was because of her crazy antics. She’s not afraid to make herself look stupid or crazy, and I admire her for that. She’s confident, self assured and dauntless, but you can’t help but want to take care of her because she’s so clueless. Even her brother, a high school student, seems to know more about the world than she does.

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I read on Allkpop that Kim Soo Hyun personally called and persuaded Jun Ji Hyun to play this role after they worked together on Thieves, because she initially refused. KSH believed that JJH is the only actress who could do this role justice so he convinced her. I’m glad he did because I don’t think this drama would have done aw well if it wasn’t for JJH 😀

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Do Min Joon (Kim Soo Hyun)

Ah, Kim Soo Hyun. Why must you do this to me? It’s been a while since I obsessed over an actor. I was doing pretty well but you had to go and ruin that. Gaaaah! Why must you be so perfect~

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Yep, you know it~

I absolutely loved Do Min Joon. I’m such a sucker for male tsundere characters (i.e. Hwang Tae Kyung from You’re Beautiful, Chiaki Shinichi from Nodame Cantabile and Jiang Zhi Shu from ISWAK). I love how they try to act all tough and emotionless, but deep down they’re willing to go through anything for the girl they care about. *sigh*

Kim Soo Hyun did an amazing job in this drama. I smiled when he smiled and cried when he cried. I broke down in tears when he told Cheon Song Yi to leave him alone because he doesn’t have feelings for her, but froze time as she walked away so he could give her a goodbye kiss and tell her how much he truly loves her. And when he started crying as she was talking about the things she wanted to do for their future anniversaries (because he knew he be gone by then) – that was just heartbreaking. This was my first time watching any of his work, but you can be sure that I’ll be keeping a lookout for him now.

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(I found this on Tumblr and I gotta say I agree XD)

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Lee Hwi Kyung (Park Hae Jin)

He was one of my favorite characters on the show. I was a big Family Outing fan so I’m happy to see Hae Jin in this drama. Although, honestly, I didn’t recognize him at first. He got so thin!

I thought Hae Jin did a great job with his character.  I never knew he was such an amazing actor.  His actions and expressions are just spot on.  Lee Hwi Kyung’s the kind of guy that girls would want to have in their lives. He was caring, loyal, attentive and he never expects anything in return. (Like that scene when the reporters had Song Yi trapped in her apartment building – his first thought was what if she was starving in there.) He would go to the ends of the earth for Cheon Song Yi if she asked him to. He hopes that Cheon Song Yi will love him back someday, but he doesn’t pressure her to do anything she doesn’t want to do – he just waits patiently by her side and constantly lets her know that he loves her and will do anything for her. She’s rejected him for 15 years, but he never gives up. Honestly, part of me was hoping that they’d end up together, because I felt bad for him. But love is never that simple. And to be fair to Song Yi, she never lead him on. She made it clear that she never saw him as anything more than a friend, and tells him that that’s all he will be to her. There even came a time when she thought about giving up their friendship because she didn’t want to cause him more pain by keeping him around, but he refused. He believed that being friendzoned is better than not being with her at all. Seriously, I just wanted to reach into my laptop at times and give him a hug.

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Don’t worry Hwi Kyung – girls will be lining up just to be with with a guy like you. If I didn’t have my Ckloy (and if you weren’t fictional) then I’d be right there along with them.

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Lawyer Jang (Kim Chang Wan)

He was a minor character but I thought he was hilarious. He’s a distinguished lawyer and yet he gets into these petty arguments and fights with Do Min Joon (like that cellphone incident). They’re relationship is pretty complicated. Lawyer Jang acts like Do Min Joon’s father because he looks the part, but he also respects Do Min Joon because technically he’s older (plus he saved his life). I thought it was hilarious when he defends Do Min Joon in front of Cheon Song Yi’s mom, the way a real father would defend their son. I admire him for being a loyal friend to Do Min Joon for the past 30 years.

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Lee Jae Kyung (Shin Sung Rok)

I normally only talk about characters I like in my reviews but I thought Shin Sung rok was worth mentioning. Obviously as the villain in the story, I did not like his character AT ALL. He was a psychopath with lots of money and power – which made him pretty unstoppable, and he knew it. He was arrogant, two-faced and a cold-blooded killer. Just seeing him on screen made my blood boil. But the fact that he can induce such strong feelings of anger and hatred in me from this drama just goes to show how great of an actor he is. I seriously doubt that he’s as crazy or evil in real life – so I’m quite impressed by his acting. Like the saying goes, a hero is only as good as his villain.

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Yoo Se Mi (Yoo In Na)

I didn’t like her character either. She was traitorous and backstabbing and I don’t really feel like talking about her. But she was a major character in the show so I suppose I should say a few things. I understand where all her anger is coming from – having to live in your best friend’s shadow for years must get annoying, but she should have just said something instead of pretending to be a good friend. And she should just have admitted her feelings to Lee Hwi Kyung from the start instead of suffering in silence.

Yoo In Na did an okay job with her acting. I think she could have shown more expression, but maybe that’s how the directors wanted her to play the part. It would make sense that since Cheon Song Yi never once realized that her best friend held so much contempt for her.

I didn’t like Yoo Se Mi that much in the show, but she had this one scene where I couldn’t stop crying.  It was when she realized how much Lee Hwi Kyung loved Cheong Song Yi, and she finally decided to give him up.  She went up to Song Yi to ask her if she could just take Hwi Kyung for his sake.  I believe her exact words (according the subtitles in the version I was watching) was “If Hwi Kyung couldn’t have you he’d be miserable, but you wouldn’t be miserable having Hwi Kyung.  He will cherish and love you forever.  Between the two of us, shouldn’t one of us be happy?”  It was such a selfless act and it redeemed her a little in my eyes.

SCENES I LIKED:

I loved the whole show but here are some scenes that I especially enjoyed

  • Cheon Song Yi’s and Do Min Joon’s first meeting in the elevator. As well as her noisy singing later that night (ep 1)

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  • The Cheon Song Yi Special when she said “propofol” instead of “porpolis” 😄 (ep 2)
  • Lee Hwi Kyung changing his computer wallpaper to a family picture after being told off by one of his colleagues. His boss’s reaction was priceless (ep3)
  • The whole appendicitis incident. I was cracking up the whole time. Do Min Joon is a total tsundere! Who goes to the hospital at 2 in the morning just because they “need to take care of something”. And Cheon Song Yi trying to put on her makeup while she’s in so much pain is just hilarious (ep3)

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  • Cheon Song Yi’s and Han Yoo Ra’s modelling showdown at the wedding (ep 4)

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  • Cheon Song Yi hiding out in Do Min Joon’s apartment – lots of little funny moments there (ep 5)
  • Cheon Song Yi’s whole driving fiasco. Gawd, this scene had me in tears from laughing so much! The way she baby talks to her car just cracked me up. Who leaves their handbag hanging on the side mirror! (ep 6)

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  • Lawyer Jang being angry at Do Min Joon for the cellphone incident. I thought it was adorable how angry he was when he found out he wasn’t #1 on Do Min Joon’s speed dial 😄 (ep 8)
  • The Sassy girl reference in episode 6! OMG, hearing “I Believe” almost brought me to tears!
  • When Do Min Joon dropped down from the sky to save Song Yi from going over the cliff. So hawt and awesome!! (ep 8)
  • When Manager Beom came over to tell Cheon Song Yi that he’s grown to love her bad attitude and that he misses her (ep8)

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  • The 15 Second Fairy incident. Kyaaaaaah~ That kiss totally took me by surprise! (ep 8)
  • Cheon Song Yi the sleeping bag worm (ep 9)
  • The whole kimchi container incident (ep 10)
  • Drunk Cheon Song Yi – she’s adorable (ep 2 and 11)

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  • Do Min Joon’s dream about his future with Cheon Song Yi – so sweet~ (ep12)
  • Cheon Song Yi calling out for Do Min Joon in the mountains to see if he truly has super hearing (ep 13)
  • Do Min Joon imagining Cheon Song Yi’s life with Lee Hwi Kyung, lol (ep 15)
  • That sweet kiss in Euro-town and the cute bed talk that followed after that, awwww~ (ep 16)
  • When Cheon Song Yi’s younger brother caught her leaving Do Min Joon’s apartment the next day. I love the talk that he gave her and Do Min Joon (ep 16)
  • The scene when Cheon Song Yi was playing cards at the movie set. It was a short scene but that shy smile from Do Min Joon was absolutely adorable (ep16)
  • Suzy’s cameo~ I haven’t seen Dream High, but I have an idea what it was about and how the story goes (ep17)
  • When Cheon Song Yi’s brother learned Do Min Joon’s secret and turned into such a fanboy, lol (ep 18)

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  • Cheon Song Yi’s “Marry me” dance for Do Min Joon. It was sweet, funny and adorable. And it made me cry T__T (ep 20)
  • The red carpet moment (ep 21)
  • I also loved all those short clips they show at the end. Sometimes they’re an extension of what happened in the episode (like when Do Min Joon stood closer to Cheon Song Yi after he told her to back off in the balcony – sweet), and sometimes they show the characters being interviewed (documentary style). I thought that was pretty interesting

MY THOUGHTS:

Obviously I loved this drama. I’m even rewatching it right now.  The chemistry between the actors is great and the story is light but captivating.  I love seeing how the characters develop and grow in the story.  I’m a huge huge fan of this show, but I gotta say that there are two minor details that bug me a little.  Just a little …

First, Do Min Joon’s shower scenes. Not to sound like a perv or anything, but what’s with the towel?? I understand that the director wanted to give us some eye candy and still keep things PG, but c’mon! Who takes a shower with a towel on?? They should just have cropped the shot so it will only show his upper body if that’s what they wanted.

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The second thing that bugged me (and this is just a personal preference) was all the turtleneck sweaters. I really don’t like turtlenecks.  I understand that some people find them stylish, but personally I think they’re extremely unflattering. I understand that this drama was set in winter and that they wanted to keep their necks warm, but c’mon. When did scarves go out of fashion? Scarves are stylish and much more flattering in my opinion. There was even a scene where Cheon Song Yi’s mom was wearing this turtleneck sweater with cut outs:

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It kind of defeats the purpose of keeping her warm, don’t ya think?

(Whenever I talk about something I don’t like in my Kdrama reviews, I usually get a bunch of hater comments.  But I’m not saying this to offend anyone.  If you like showering with a towel on and prefer turtlenecks over scarves then good for you.  Like I said, it’s just personal preference.)

Anyway, I’m really glad my sister recommended this drama to me. I lost several hours of sleep while watching this, but it was totally worth it. This drama definitely makes it into my All Time Favorites.

I suppose my only other minor complaint about the show is the soundtrack. Don’t get me wrong, I love the songs in the album!  I’ve been listening to Hello, Goodbye by Hyorin on repeat since yesterday.  The songs in the soundtrack are great, which is why I wish they played them more in the show.  I felt like they only song I kept hearing was You Are My Destiny by Lyn.  It’s lovely but there are other great ones in the OST that they could have used as often too.  Though, I must say, I did love the background music for this drama (the ones without lyrics).  I especially love Space Love and Missing You.  The melodies set the tone quite well for certain scenes.

THE ENDING AND MY RATING

I would give this drama 4.9 out of 5 stars. I deducted 0.1 stars because I’m not completely satisfied with the ending. (Although I very rarely find a drama where I was completely happy with the ending – probably because when I really like something I don’t want it to end.) I had several unanswered questions after the show ended. Like what happens to Hwi Kyung? Did he find someone else to love? What about Yoo Se Mi? Will Do Min Joon be able to live on Earth permanently someday? Will he stay young forever and have to watch Cheon Song Yi grow old and die? Will they finally be able to kiss or makeout without him passing out? Can they have a family? What did they tell the media that made them back off regarding his teleportation?

Despite all those loose ends, I really enjoyed this show a lot. This is one of those dramas that I know I will watch over and over again. If you like romantic comedies then I highly recommend you give this a try 😀

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PS. I just found out that they released a short epilogue after the actual ending (it’s only a couple of seconds long). You can watch it HERE

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6 thoughts on “K-drama Review : You Who Came From The Stars

  1. Pingback: INSTABITS : March 2014 | What I have shown you is reality ...

  2. Pingback: My Love from the Star | Off The Wall

  3. I also love this K-drama, even if I cried a lot. 😦 I liked KSH on Dream High but I loved him in YWCFTS (too long :P). I thought the lead actress is Song Hye Kyo. They look alike for me. 😄 KSH was great in Dream High and I love its ending. Hihi 🙂

  4. Pingback: INSTABITS : November 2014 | What I have shown you is reality ...

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