4 years of Crash Landing On You: 4 reasons why Hyun Bin, Son Ye Jin’s cross-border romance still makes fans swoon

Iconic K-drama Crash Landing On You starring Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin has completed 4 years. Let’s take a look at why this drama is still relevant and heart fluttering after all these years.


Crash Landing on You, a 2019–2020 South Korean television series, follows the story of a successful South Korean businesswoman and heiress. While paragliding near Seoul, she faces an unexpected storm, leading to a crash landing in the North Korean portion of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). There, she encounters an army captain, the son of the Director of the GPB in the Korean People's Army, who decides to help her in hiding. As their paths intertwine, a love story unfolds, transcending the challenges posed by the historical divide between their respective nations.


The series, which aired on tvN in South Korea and globally on Netflix from December 14, 2019, to February 16, 2020, holds the distinction of being the highest-rated tvN drama and the fourth highest-rated South Korean TV drama in cable television history.

Plotline of Crash Landing on You

Crash Landing on You narrates the tale of Yoon Se Ri (Son Ye Jin), a South Korean heiress of Queen's Group, and Ri Jeong Hyeok (Hyun Bin), a North Korean elite and captain in the Korean People's Army. Their paths cross when, during a paragliding excursion in Seoul, South Korea, Yoon Se-ri is unexpectedly diverted by a tornado, rendering her unconscious. Upon regaining consciousness, she discovers herself in a North Korean forest within the DMZ, an off-limits zone for South Koreans. There, she encounters Ri Jeong Hyeok, who extends his help, providing shelter and crafting plans for her clandestine return to South Korea. As time unfolds, their connection deepens, defying the geopolitical rift between their nations.


Intertwined with Se Ri and Jeong Hyeok's story is the narrative of Seo Dan (Seo Ji Hye) and Gu Seung Jun (Kim Jung Hyun). Seo Dan, the cultured daughter of a prosperous North Korean department store owner, returns from studying the cello in Russia to fulfill her engagement with Jeong Hyeok—an arrangement made through limited meetings. Simultaneously, she crosses paths multiple times with Gu Seung Jun, seeking refuge in North Korea to evade Se Hyung (Se Ri’s brother)'s pursuit after embezzling substantial sums of money under Se Hyung's negligent supervision, aided by corrupt North Korean officers.

As the drama hits 4 years mark let’s look at reasons why this Hyun Bin, Son Ye Jin starrer cross-border romance still makes fans swoon-

Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin as Romeo and Juliet of an epic cross-border romance 

The forbidden love across borders between a South Korean heiress who accidentally lands in North Korea and is helped by a soldier has kept viewers hooked throughout the series. This charming romantic comedy explores themes of sacrifice, family, and unity, evoking both smiles and tears from its audience and leaving them eagerly anticipating each new episode. The show presents a straightforward and compassionate portrayal of North Korea, challenging common stereotypes and emphasizing the inherent goodness of humanity that transcends political differences.


Many aspects of the drama stand out like the comradeship between Se Ri and the North Korean soldiers. Even after Yoon Se Ri returns to South Korea as a hero, a group of her comrades secretly crosses the DMZ, slipping into Seoul undetected to rescue her from a villain. The way that Ri Jeong Hyeok helps out Yoon Se Ri in every step protecting her even when they are countries apart strikes a chord with fans. And here Se Ri also does her best to help Jeong Hyeok when he comes to North Korea to protect her. Although the couple doesn’t end up together in the conventional way, the storyline still gives us a bittersweet ending as we see them reuniting in Switzerland against all odds together. 

The top-tier chemistry of leads

Describing Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin's performances in Crash Landing On You as remarkable would be an understatement. The on-screen chemistry between them evolved into a real-life romance, deepening the connection between the characters and the actors. The confirmation of their relationship after the show only increased fans' affection for the series, creating a beautiful link between fiction and reality.

This marked the second time the actors collaborated within a year, having previously worked together in the film The Negotiation, where Hyun Bin portrayed a weapons smuggler and Son Ye Jin played a crisis negotiator. In an interview with Esquire Korea, Hyun Bin expressed his admiration for Son's acting skills, expressing a desire to work with her again. Their on-screen interactions are skillfully captured, showcasing the nuances of their smallest moments to grand romantic gestures.

In typical K-drama fashion, the love between their characters is tested by various obstacles, primarily arising from the fact that they come from opposing countries. This narrative theme is not entirely new, as the idea of love transcending North-South Korean boundaries has been explored in other series, with Snowdrop being a recent addition to this trope. But nevertheless, Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin pull off the star-crossed lovers trope perfectly.

A glimpse into the lives of people in world’s most secretive country- North Korea

The comedic elements in the series serve as a counterbalance to the more somber aspects, particularly during cultural clashes. Se Ri's transition from the vibrant and affluent Seoul to the simplistic lifestyle in North Korea creates a stark contrast, as she grapples with challenges like limited access to beauty products, water, and electricity. Despite the hardships, these moments lead to genuine and humorous interactions between the main characters.


The drama provides viewers with a glimpse into the North Korean world, and while the accuracy of the portrayal may be subject to debate, the inclusion of a writer and actress from the North has garnered praise for depicting everyday life, including accents and language nuances.

Fascination among viewers is notably directed at the humble lifestyles of North Korean villagers. The portrayal of these neighbors, technically at war with any citizen contact prohibited, highlights scenes such as a woman using a plastic bag to retain bath warmth or a resident pedaling vigorously on a bicycle-powered generator during a blackout to keep the television running. The series aptly captures moments of joy, laughter, and everyday conversations among North Korean people, providing an interesting depiction of the hidden country. However, the writers also skillfully convey the challenges faced by the characters, shedding light on the harsh realities of life in North Korea, including homelessness, illegal markets, and power blackouts. Overall the beautiful and simplistic cinematography while depicting North Korea adds to the charm.

Bonus: The heartbreaking second lead couple

Yoon Se Ri and Ri Jeong Hyeok aren’t the only star-crossed lovers of the show. The second lead couple with a tragic fate Gu Seung Jun and Seo Dan are also loved by fans of the show. Even in beloved K-drama classics like Crash Landing On You, there's room for second lead couples that fans passionately support. Seo Dan, back in North Korea after her studies in Russia for an arranged marriage, repeatedly crosses paths with Gu Seung Jun, who is on the run after embezzling money from the main character, Yoon Se Ri's family. Their romance is filled with playful banter and the classic "will-they-won't-they" dynamic, making it an irresistibly charming pairing.


Gu Seung Jun (Kim Jung Hyun)’s love for Seo Dan (Seo Ji Hye) stands out for its pure and innocent nature. Their love story unfolds with heartbreaking beauty, and despite the challenge of sharing the screen with the prominent leads, Kim Jung Hyun and Seo Ji Hye deliver an incredible performance, holding their own and adding depth to this captivating subplot.

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About The Author

Pratyusha Dash is an English Literature Graduate from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies with a deep passion for Korean

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