Small reason why you should watch this: This show was so popular that it’s slated by ABC for a future American remake. So why not watch the original?
I haven’t started another book this week and I feel extremely guilty of it because I spent that time watching the Korean drama “My Love From Another Star” (and I just finished Dream High and Coffee Prince). Believe it or not, MLFAS is immensely popular in Asia and it has also gained a lot of international fame in various countries which was made easier by the numerous available (now up to 60) language subtitles provided on website platforms like DramaFever, Hulu, and Viki. Note: I’m actually Chinese and don’t understand Korean at all. 5.0 Splendid Stars!!
The official blurb does a terrible job with summing up the story but the description is intriguing enough to reel in viewers:
It nowhere near does the drama any justice and it does not even hint at any of the strong comedic elements, cool CGI effects, and appealing visual scenes. The stunning detail to clothing, parallels to the unforgiving entertainment industry, and the brilliant deliverance of lines by the actors all contributed to this drama’s booming success. The problem is that the Hallyu (aka Korean Hollywood) culture differentiates so much from American culture with its roots cemented in ideals of romanticism, science fiction, and melodrama.
Aside from that, I just wanted to wax poetic on how much talent that was brought onto the scene and how this drama defied norms by giving the viewers a unique heroine who is unique and daring in so many ways. The actress Jun Ji-hyun plays a bubbly 30-year-old woman named Cheon Song-yi who is renowned for her social media blunders and lead roles in popular television shows. She is flawed and insecure despite her grandiosity and what she outwardly presents to the ruthless media that savor publicizing her pain and joy. The woman is hilarious, relatable, and from the viewer’s standpoint, extremely likable. If there’s no incentive for you, at least watch it for the stellar acting and multifaceted facial expressions of Cheon Song Yi. The screenwriting is one of the most enjoyable that I’ve ever seen and just the way Song Yi delivers her punch lines are absolutely perfect. The match up between tone of voice, inflection, action and facial expression all combined to deliver the full impact. She’s literally and figuratively the star of the show and carried the whole show towards popularity. Watch her here:
Kim Soo Hyun who plays Do Min-Joon, the male lead, is also talented and it genuinely shows when the camera pans in on his face. Sobbing, smiling, Min-joon feeling anger…I felt it all like a punch to the gut. It takes a lot of skill to vicariously affect viewers whether it be crying or fear. AND WAIT. THERE’S MORE. He was so good that I decided to watch his roles in other dramas. Yes, I think I just took things to the next new level but UGH, I was in tears at the end because the show was over and I missed all the characters. I have trouble imagining American actors on par with the ones in MLFAS due to the sheer amount of characterization and characteristic portrayals that play out on screen. Hollywood lean towards action and capturing behavior rather than showing emotions and they rely heavily on music to do so. With kdrama, it’s usually done with a simple shot of the person’s eyes. What I liked about the male lead Do Min Joon is how realistic each of his emotions are and it was never overly done or exaggerated. A lot of problems that stem from a show is overstepping a fine line of true feelings to satirical melodrama. Which is why the acting here is A+.
Although the mere thought of reading subtitles and exuding effort to watch something different/foreign may be frustrating, the rewards are infinitely higher and I personally believe it to be an enriching experience. I dislike the notion of ‘dubbing’ which replaces the original audio voices with new recorded voices in a different language to market towards audience who speak that particular language. It is often done with Japanese anime when the voices are traded out from Japanese to English voice actors in order to appeal to American viewers. It really takes away from the entire impact of the series because there are often meanings, native jokes and insiders, and emotional inflections that get lost between the translations. When poorly done or not explained, a funny jab or jib will render the scene useless and take away the small details that make the show shine.
The show is 21 episodes long and it’s so easy to blow right through them. The plot is tight-knit and storyline starts to pick up rapidly as the minutes go by. The characters are distinct and prominent in differences so they’re not hard to distinguish and it’s easy to keep track of who is who. The setting is outlined well and the stunning set design and city background adds to more joy. The clothes are on point and the fashion statements are super trendy, especially for the famous Song Yi who dons some amazing outfits that flatters her figure. Basically, I fell for everything hook, line, and sinker. It catapulted to my all-time favorite drama and it’ll most likely stay there for a while.
Someone also made an article reporting the mishaps and fanaticism that followed as a result of the drama. This is two-parts hilarious and one part derisively hysterical in terms of obsessive behavior: BuzzFeed Article
Links to start watching:
Viki (This is the best site to watch it on because there are viewer’s comments which are simply fun to read alongside)
There’s also Hulu and Netflix so go now!!