My Love From The Stars

Clip_2
My Love From The Stars (also known as You Who Came From The Stars) starts us off a good year in K-drama land with Jeon Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun. When the drama premiered, it received a rating of 17% for its first episode due to the fact that the story started off really strong and captivating with excellent special effects. It then gradually increases and ended with 29.6% for its finale.

My Love From The Stars has captured a lot attention before airing because it is the first comeback drama after 14 years from A-list actress Jeon Ji Hyun, and it is the second time that she and Kim Soo Hyun work together after the most talked about on-screen kiss they shared in the hit movie The Thieves (Jeon Ji Hyun doesn’t do kissing scenes and she has only ever done it with Hugh Jackman and Kim Soo Hyun). We also have Kim Soo Hyun who happens to I-don’t-know-for-sure-what but possibly a good eye for projects, or probably saved the universe in his past life that so far any projects he is in, it becomes a big hit and garners fantastic TV ratings in Korea.

1970209930_c9176bb1_01-EC9DB4ED9994EC9980EBA78CEB8298EB8BA4

Korean Title: 별에서 온 그대 / Byeoleseo On Geudae
Official English Title: My Love From The Stars
Also known as: You Came From the Stars / Man From the Star / My Love From Another Star
Genre: Romance, comedy, fantasy
Total Episodes: 21
Broadcast Network: SBS
Broadcast Period: 18 Dec 2013 to 27 Feb 2014
Air Time: Wednesday & Thursday @ 22:00
Director: Jang Tae Yoo
Screenwriter: Park Ji Eun
Original Soundtrack: My Love From the Stars OST
Link: Official Website
Official DVD: YesAsia

PLOT SUMMARY

The story begins with a UFO landing in the Joseon period in the year 1609. The arrival of the UFO causes atmospheric disturbance to the surroundings that the palanquin flew out the hands of the carriers and was in danger of falling off a cliff. Suddenly everything freezes in time and a man in all black is seen walking towards the palanquin and pulls it backwards. The man offers his hand and saves the 15 years old widow Seo Yi Hwa (Kim Hyun Soo) from the palanquin.

별에서 온 그대.E01.131218.HDTV.Film.x264.720p-LTE.mp40041

We are then brought back to the modern time, where that man – the alien now called himself Do Min Joon (Kim Soo Hyun) is seen doing an interview with someone, or with the audiences and telling us his story. He tells us that he was brought to Joseon in that UFO, that he is from a planet that is very similar to earth, and the earthlings named it KMT 184.05. Through Min Joon’s narration, we find out that he has lived on earth for around 400 years. He has learnt to control his powers, and has adapted to the earth’s magnetic field, gravity and water. His senses are 7 times more powerful than humans; thus, he hears, sees and senses things he does not want to. Even though he can eat any kind of food, but he cannot mix them with the earthlings’ saliva or blood. To be safe, he always eats alone. Min Joon’s current identity is a professor in a university, and he is returning to his planet in three months when the once in 400 years meteor showers hit earth.

별에서 온 그대.E01.131218.HDTV.Film.x264.720p-LTE.mp40050

Chun Song Yi (Jeon Ji Hyun) is a Hallyu Superstar who possesses beauty and money, but a brain. Due to her busy schedule since young, she hasn’t quite gained the general knowledge of anything; therefore, she is constantly getting herself in trouble, saying wrong things on the internet all the time. Her agency wants her to quit playing SNS, but that is her way of trying to connect to the world because she doesn’t have many friends. She has a pursuer named Lee Hwi Kyung (Park Hae Jin) and a close friend named Yoo Se Mi (Yoo In Na), who is secretly in love with Hwi Kyung. The three have known each other for 15 years from school.

606521390_042cc11c

How do an alien and a superstar have any relation one might ask? Easy! You make them neighbors! After an incident of mocha seeds (rather than cotton seeds), the whole nation makes fun of her lack of common sense and general knowledge. Upset Song Yi waits at the elevator to her apartment when Min Joon joins her. She then leaves him with a long-lasting bad impression that marks their first meeting.

Due to several incidents, Song Yi keeps invading Min Joon’s life that gradually, he starts to develop feelings for her. The feelings becomes so strong that he would risk his life to save her from Lee Jae Kyung’s (Shin Sung Rok) threats.

REVIEW

40012

The plot is quite simple actually, an alien with superpowers that falls in love with the heroine. It’s a lot like Superman, but only it’s better because he doesn’t wear an undies outside (Frau might kill me for saying this, lol). In contrast to Lex Luther, uri Jae Kyung has plentiful hairs and a bad habit of spinning his ring. Oh~ did I mention I love seeing Do Min Joon’s multi-era looks and especially love him in Joseon costume? 🙂 The fashion in the drama is to die for, wish I can own Min Joon’s closets (and his wealth) although I’ll pass on the colourful shoes. 😛

The script writer did a remarkable job in writing the characters and in the way she presented the story (I supposed the director gets credit for that too). It still has flaws, but the flaws are overshadowed by how great the other elements are. The show hit the jackpot because the story captivates us and the characters connect with the audiences. It makes us laugh out loud with Song Yi/Min Joon and cry along with them. It also makes us care for them.

2949323161_18c1dfbe

It really helps that Jeon Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun’s on-screen chemistry is convincing and natural. When shooting began, it usually takes a few episodes for the main leads to become comfortable with each other and during those times, their ‘distance’ is inevitably obvious on screen. However, due to the fact that double Hyun have previously been acquainted with one another in The Thieves, so their on-screen interactions was very natural, convincing and comfortable to watch since episode one. The dynamics between Min Joon and Song Yi is superb, it makes me fell in love with both of them almost instantly. Whenever the two are together, the screen lights up with sparks, and their interactions in every scene are way too enjoyable to get enough of. Apart from them, I also love most of the side characters especially Hwi Kyung, Yoon Jae, Bok Ja and Lawyer Jang. They are so funny, cute and loveable.

— Spoiler Alert —

Clip_3

Jeon Ji Hyun is excellent in her performance because she breathes life into Song Yi and made her unique, the same goes to Kim Soo Hyun. There are people who thinks Kim Soo Hyun was lacking in portraying Min Joon, and that he pales in contrast to Ji Hyun, but we should keep in mind that he is playing an alien. We can compare Soo Hyun’s alien potrayal to what we have imagined, watched or read from other stories or movies, but there is no absolute basis on how alien is to behave, so it is up to Soo Hyun’s interpretation of the character as well as Writer Park’s description of Do Min Joon (if there is any extra information given to the actor) to help Soo Hyun shape the character into his own. In my opinion, it is unfair to say he pales in comparison to Jeon Ji Hyun – one is playing a loud character and the other is the complete opposite – so who do you think will grab move attention? The answer is obvious – of course the loud one. To be fair, I do think there are times when I find Jeon Ji Hyun went overboard and comes off exaggerated in her acting. For example, the chicken-like voice and aegyo she puts on when she asked Min Joon to teleport to her room.

77

Initially, Do Min Joon is emotionally shut-down, or I should say he is highly in control of his emotions; therefore, a lot of the time Soo Hyun’s facial expression is subtle, and easily missed. This perhaps give viewers the false impression that he is expressionless if one doesn’t pay attention closely, and thus this is probably why it takes a longer time for viewers to connect with him. Soo Hyun also chose to speak in a monotonous manner that I believe could be one of the reasons why at first people find his acting plain. After all, not everyone likes “a stoic expressionless character”. On the contrary, I was already intrigued by Do Min Joon from the very beginning because I personally find stoic characters interesting to watch. I love the process of them gradually go through change or character development, as well as learning to open up their hearts, and become animated after interacting with the female lead.

I like the idea that Do Min Joon is 100% the opposite of Kim Soo Hyun, so it becomes challenging for Soo Hyun (who in real life is always all smiles and bubbly) to transform into a stoic, quiet and ‘boring’ Do Min Joon. Yes, Do Min Joon is boring before he met Song Yi. He lives his life in routine and in a sea of calm for god knows how long until this weird, sassy and arrogant national goddess Chun Song Yi changes all that. She makes his life interesting and shows him how to love. Song Yi can be annoyingly invasive at times and pushy, but she’s also lovable and hilariously comedic that you just can’t bring yourself to fault her. What I like about her is her kick-arse and optimistic attitude since I’m not one who loves melodramatic, pessimistic or weak female characters; thus, Chun Song Yi is my perfect heroine. There really isn’t anything to nitpick on Do Min Joon in my opinion – he is smart, rich, knowledgeable, and loyal to his loved ones and has good manners. Both of them aren’t the sulky melodramatic type so I’m pretty happy with their character set up.

33

There are so many gems sprinkled in this drama that I could not possibly address it all without getting overly wordy. Just to name a few, at the end of each episode, we always get an epilogue that convey a side story for our leads – this comes across as refreshing and unique for the viewers. At times, the epilogues give us extra information whereas other times it would be a scene that touches our hearts. I love writer Park’s humour when she cracks an in-joke/meta, or writes a parody that is related to the casts’ past projects or about the latest dramas. The show also makes you look forward to the cameo appearances in each episode – it was lovely to see a mini reunion of Soo Hyun with his ex-costars like Suzy (Dream High) and Jung Eun Pyo (The Moon That Embraces The Sun). It has fantastic cliffhanger at the end of each episode too, but this becomes insignificant if you watch it all in one go.

e65b7a039245d68813addceaa6c27d1ed31b2473 20_012

This show is a true romance + comedy as it really does concentrate mostly on its romance, and aimed to deliver us the comedy. In K-dramaland, a show usually becomes extremely mellow after it goes over the half way mark of its total episodes, and it can become emotionally draining to watch. However, Stars did not become mellow or sad until episode 19. I am 90% satisfied with the ending for the Stars couple – they are cherishing ‘the moment’ they have together rather than worrying about the forever, as the message Writer Park tries to convey. The 10% dissatisfaction lies in the fact that my heart bleeds for Min Joon when … (oh crap, I nearly wrote a spoiler). Well he would have no regrets, but I just hate thinking about the ‘but’. 😥

As for the flaws, people complained that the villain’s storyline is weak and dragged on too long. I would have to agree, but I also think it is trivial for this show because its focus is on the romance. Lee Jae Kyung exists as a plot point to create conflicts and helps to push the couple together; it also existed so that Hwi Kyung gets his fair share of character growth. My gripe with the drama lies in the strings of unanswered questions created when the writer tried to introduce more conflicts or limitations into the storylines.

0bd50dd4b31c8701ad99dca8257f9e2f0608fff3

Ideally, I wanted Min Joon to eventually become human, start a family and grow old with Song Yi. But scientifically and realistically (OS: but it is a fantasy!!!), he should remain as an alien because evolution takes million of years to happen; therefore, it would be unreasonable that he evolves into ‘a human being’ after only 400 years. Although we can also argue that maybe alien can evolve at a faster rate, who knows? There are probably other universal/galactic mechanisms involved too, but unfortunately this is as far as my scientific mind can go in discussing on this point. It would also become impractical for the writer to go in-depth since this is clearly not her focal point for the drama.

33470991_e257761c 33470991_e257761c

So these are the not-so-important flaws in the drama, but they aren’t significant enough for me to write off the show since there are so many good stuffs weighs over the bad. This show truly is one easy to love and extremely hard to hate drama. Most importantly, the cinematography is absolutely stunning, even after it went on live shooting. I must say I was very impressed because usually the quality of a K-drama deteriorates when it runs behind schedule. This drama really sets a preceding record in terms of quality, and proves that extension doesn’t always ruin the drama, as the drama’s pace did not get affected by the extension like viewers had feared. The drama also inspired many artists and that made me a very blissful collector of fan arts and videos (1) (2).

In conclusion, My Love From The Stars is truly a fan-STAR-bu-lous drama backed by amazingly talented casts and BTS crews with beautiful OST. It’s a must watch fun drama!

A Message for Stars Lovers:

Writing up this drama review sucks the life out of me because I find the more I love a drama the more it becomes difficult to write and do it justice. I find myself re-writing it over and over, unsatisfied with everything I write. The fact that Stars has so many lovable, fun and special moments, I had to restraint myself from sharing it all in the review. I did not want to include any spoilers because I want those who has not seen it to enjoy and be surprised by it on their own. It was a torture not having to mention any spoilers in the review. *Major mental breakdown*

Well if I can’t do it at least you guys can. You guys can share what you love about it in the comment section. I look forward to read about it ~

Image source: credit to its owners

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “My Love From The Stars

  1. Thank you for this review; it’s always a treat to read your posts about YFAS.
    Also, I appreciated your defense of Do Min Joon’s character–I know that many people prefer the exuberant, outgoing and verbose character types (and I did love CSY as an example of that kind of character), but I also hold a real soft spot for the quiet, stoic, (seemingly) unflappable types. Thus I loved Do Min Joon (just like I loved Faith’s Choi Young), and I thought Kim Soo Hyun did a great job at portraying the gruffness and self-possession of Do Min Joon, and the gradual thawing due to his falling in love with CSY. Not to mention: that boy sure can cry (and break your heart in the process).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, KSH’s acting when he watched CSY’s proposal video was all sorts of fabulous. He’s smiling and then he’s tearing up while smiling, and then his tears just keep falling in this stream of pure, unadulterated grief. It was really well done, I thought (when I finally got to analyzing the scene; of course, the first time I say it I just *felt*)

      Like

    • Likewise, Petite. I only cried at the crying scene he had with lawyer Jang in the park and with CSY in the balcony. Though I did appreciate his crying scenes because he does them well and in character. But only these two scenes moved me to cry myself.

      Like

      • I think its more because I’m getting older. Before, I would cry while listening to a sad love song. Now, I just sat in my car for about 2 minutes and stared out blankly through the windscreen and thought, “What a very sad song.” [This was my reaction when I first listened to “In Front of Your House”] It is unfortunate because I do miss the ability to be able to cry at the drop of a hat. Like KSH said, it is good to unburden those emotions.

        Like

  2. I have a hard time on saying good bye to this drama. I love everything about it. I even unconsciously compared every new dramas after this one ended.

    Every scene looks like copying the scenes from My Love From The Stars drama. I saw more deep kisses, more cheek pinched, more sassy lead females, more rich – stylish- stoic lead male, more skinship, more hugging, more “alien” word in every dramas after MLFTS ended.

    Is it only me????

    Like

    • I do love IHYV and comparing every drama with it before. And then MFTS beat the passion of Park Soo Ha and Jang Hye Sung.

      I can’t post pictures here, but I did some comparing scene between MLFTS with new dramas after it.

      Just reading recaps or watching the clips of them, sounds unfair if I said I’m comparig it. But first 2 episodes of them just can’t catch my attention.

      Cheek pinched like Song Yi did to Min Joon on their 1st dinner after Alien status revealed, I found the exact similar scene on Bride of the century, even it’s not on dinner.

      DMJ pinched CSY cheek on the balcony found the similar scene on Single cunning lady, lead female got cheek pinch on rooftop.

      Stoic lead male with black suit and clean cut hair like DMJ also found on Bride of the century lead male.

      Couch kissing like DMJ did to CSY after playing go stop, even it’s not on the couch, I found the similar scene on ER couple.

      I found many “alien” thing mention on some dramas. Another Parting is a webdrama with Seo In Guk as the alien who has limited time living on earth to found the reason why human cry. in Guk even dressed like DMJ, I guess the hair style also similar.

      Kisses on KDrama usually begin in the middle way of the serial and only happen twice or 3 times. MLFTS had earlier kiss scene on 4th ep and happen many times after that (about 8 times or 10 with forehead and cheek kisses). Then here we go now with Secret Dating, ongoing drama from Yoo Ah In. Has passionate kiss early and even bed scene.

      Huging begin to be more casual usually in the most kdrama wrist grabing is the most usual skinship.

      And like you’ve mention. I felt less chemistry on another couple. And yes….now I’m watching God’s Gift and 3 Days as the replacement because of the different genre. So I don’t have to compared the couple. ^_^

      Like

      • Yes, you right. I’ve watch Faith actually after IHYV while watching The Heirs. I might watching it too late, or may be I don’t really into historical drama. But while wathing IHYV and Stars I watch live streaming and joining drama communities discussion boards. It might giving me stronger passion and drowning my self into the story too deep. LOL

        Like

  3. Petite, reading your musings on Stars was a great start to my morning. At first, I thought, why would you write this now? Two months after the fact? That gave me pause and I smiled because, look at me, two months after the end of the drama and I am still looking for new stuff to read on anything related to Stars and its main actors.

    Now, my thoughts…I loved Kim Soo Hyun’s portrayal of Do Min Joon. He had that character down pat. From his precise movements, tone of voice, tiny facial movements…KSH made DMJ real for me. I was not seeing KSH but I was seeing a grumpy 400 year-old alien who couldn’t care less for those loud youngsters (read: Earthlings) who didn’t know what was good for them. By then he had become an arrogant intellectual living in his ivory tower. Though said ivory tower was invaded by Cheon Song Yi and he was never the same after that. Bwahahaha! And to me, DMJ was not expressionless. Sure, his face might have been impassive but his eyes spoke all the time. The tiniest pursing of his lips conveys displeasure. The slight pull of a muscle on the side of his face along with the expression in his eyes could be more expressive than words. Hmmm, he reminds me of So Ji Sub.

    For the gorgeous Jun Ji Hyun…ahhh…she is truly gorgeous. Drunk, angry, crazy, it didn’t matter, she still looked yummy. CSY was arrogant, lacking in brains but she made up for it in street smarts. In life, CSY had plenty of common sense and guts by the truckload. That’s why I loved Song Yi, she was a fighter. She refused to let all the bad things happening in her life bring her down. I bow down to JJH’s talent for comedy, she was brilliant. But I agree with you Petite, she did overdo it a bit later on. Thankfully, it was only for a short time.

    The funniest scene for me was ET finger-touch. OMG! I laughed so hard like I haven’t laughed in 10 years! It was precious and right up until the next day, every time I thought about it, I burst out laughing. The kisses, God, they are sweet! I swear, this boy films kiss scenes like no other. I fell for their chemistry so hard that I felt proprietary of JJH’s kiss scenes on film. She cannot kiss another actor on-screen. She can only have kiss scenes with Kim Soo Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun alone. And I still feel that way.

    Gosh, sorry, this is a long post. I better stop while I still can.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I agree with you. LMH is a good kisser. Though I am still trying to erase the Heirs kisses from my mind. Sigh. The CH kiss was great!

    I am actually looking forward to more kisses from KDramas now that Stars has paved the way for this new era of kisses. Hehehe. Watching Bride of the Century was a delight. The two leads are good and the kissing started early. Lee Hong Ki bowled me over with his solid acting, what with the character being the opposite of him in real life. Also, the female lead is doing a great job with the dual characters.

    Mind you, I’m happy with plain kissing and hugging. If I want torrid ones I can watch it on American telly.

    Like

    • Ugh! The Heirs kisses definitely fall in the yeck! category. What a waste of LMH’s kissing talent. ;-D One of the reasons KSH does it so well is because he knows how to work the angles and gives it just the right amount of emotion. Oh dear, I’m fangirling again.

      Btw, thought I should mention that Faith is also one of my all-time faves.

      Like

  5. Nice review! Just want to make a note~

    For the part you said CSY overact (the part she asked DMJ to teleport to her room), actually she was parodying a scene in a Korean variety shows (if I haven’t remembered wrongly as I have watched it before), so that’s why the Korean viewers couldn’t help laughing out at that part and enjoyed it but we (if haven’t watched that variety show) would feel blank.

    Like

    • I didn’t mind that one so much because I had a feeling that she was overdoing it on purpose. But there was one episode (it may have been the episode after the one where she got drunk…I can’t really remember now) where her antics just got to me. The morning-after-she-got-drunk episode was hilarious. After that I remember watching a scene (not in the same episode) and thinking, “Enough already, I know she’s funny…but too much of it is getting annoying.” It was also the script’s fault, like, yeah, let’s put more CSY funny scenes. Thankfully, they eased up on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for your review. I’ve been writing an article about this series and found your post very useful. I can definitely relate to what you said about finding difficulty writing posts for series you love. By the way, how long have you been watching K-dramas. I started in 2010 but haven’t watched much since then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’ve never watched Faith. Just shows like Your Beautiful, Personal Taste and a few others. Trying not to get too into K-drama again though. That usually results in obsessive behaviour 🙂 But yeah, since I was writing the article for work purposes I don’t feel too bad, yet 🙂

      Like

Comments are closed.