Netflix's K-drama "Crash Landing on You"

Shows to Watch to Remember How to Feel: K-Drama Edition

Before I go on, as these are chaotic times, I sincerely hope you and your family are healthy, physically and mentally. I hope you are all holding up well. I’m here today to recommend some of my top-tier K-drama shows that I ugly cried to during this world pandemic. These K-dramas made me feel something again during these times of isolation. 

Feel yourself forgetting what love is? How pain feels? What it’s like to laugh? No worries, I’m here to save you. Below are my most cherished shows I’ve watched lately that I think would bring some light and joy to your life. 

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

image of Netflix original K-drama, "It's Okay to Not Be Okay"

This is the latest Netflix K-drama original. This show completely crushed all prior expectations I had for K-dramas and established new ones. The ending left me lying in a puddle of my own jumbled emotions, amongst those are the feelings of euphoria and mourning. Euphoria because I got to see such a perfect piece of cinema and that it exceeded all standards, and mourning because well…it ended. This show is pure excellency in moving picture form–the cinematography, the lighting, the soundtrack, the cast, the character development, and particularly the romance. Yes, let’s discuss the romance, shall we.

What’s this K-Drama about?

The love story unfolds between a children’s author who is diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, Ko Moon-young (Seo Ye-ji), and a caregiver, Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo Hyun). The two share nothing in common aside from the tragic childhood they endured. Moon-young is beautiful, successful, rich, and can basically have anything she ever wants in life. But she has never known love. Gang-tae, on the other hand, works constantly and cares for his autistic brother, Moon Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se), whom he only gives time and love for–he’s scared to even give himself those things. These hollow spirited individuals unknowingly begin a mutual emotional and psychological healing journey after their (re)encounter. 

How is this K-drama different?

Netflix K-drama "It's Okay to Not Be Okay"
“It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” / Photo credit: Netflix

Their love is not an easy love (to be fair, no K-Drama love is an easy love but I wanted to say that for dramatic effect). There are numerous layers of complexity due to their sad upbringings, inevitably creating hurdles they must face and overcome–and witnessing all of this really made me root (and cry) for them even harder. 

For those who are familiar with K-drama, this doesn’t follow the typical recipe of a love story. There is no parental bribing involved and no second male lead competing with the main male lead for the main female lead’s love. This K-drama is different, in every way. This is about two hollowed souls coming together and filling one another up with love so that they can become the whole beings they’re supposed to be. They are both learning (to love) and unlearning (negative coping mechanisms) at the same time, it’s so damn BEAUTIFUL. I’M TEARING UP JUST THINKING ABOUT IT. 

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay absolutely holds a place in my heart. This show is a masterpiece and the best 16 hours I have ever spent. From now on, the only love I want is tragic love–give me the drama, give me tears, give me pain. I do not want it if it’s easy! Actually, I’m going to re-watch this soon just to feel something again.

Goblin

Image from Studio Dragon's fantasy K-drama "Goblin"
“Goblin” / Photo credit: Studio Dragon

Oh God, with the amount of tears I poured for this show would’ve been enough to create another ocean

Summary

In this yet another beautifully tragic love story, two completely different entities become entangled: a goblin named Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) and a human named Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go-eun). Their seemingly fortuitous encounter actually is written in their fates. The goblin was once a human, more specifically he was once a decorated military general from the Goryeo Dynasty. The immortality curse was placed on his spirit after his death as a punishment for the murders he committed in wars. He has to endure the pain of watching his loved ones die over and over again as he lives his life from the other-worldly place.

The only way out from this painful monotonous life is for him to find the Goblin’s Bride, who will be able to pull the sword from his heart and help him go to the afterlife. The Goblin’s Bride is Eun-tak. This cheery high school student hasn’t experienced peace or happiness since her mom passed at a young age. She has the ability to see other beings.

The Ill-fated romance

Kim Shin and Eun-tak’s ill-fated love wounded me deeply. They encounter one another, Eun-tak learns of her purpose–to pull out the sword from Kim Shin. However, she doesn’t know that he’ll immediately vanish after that and return to the afterlife. Their love blossomed innocently and beautifully. Eun-tak’s personality enlivened everything, especially when it came to the bitter goblin who has lived for 900 years.

Their happiness soon comes with a price. As feelings for one another intensified and deepened, the challenges they face become tougher. What would you do if you learn that you’re the only person who can free your loved one from multiple lifetimes worth of pain, but after that, you can no longer have them by your side? What is one to do: be selfish or selfless? Their love broke me, man. 

The second tear-jerking love plot

It’s between the Grim Reaper (Lee Dong-wook) and Sunny (Yoo In-na). Usually, I find second love plots to be unnecessary and I don’t really care for them. However, this one had me crying just as hard as I cried for Kim Shin and Eun-tak. 

If fantasy is your cup of tea, this show is your pot. I wasn’t much of a fan of this particular genre, but I am a changed woman after Goblin. This show has done so much for me. It has also shown me the amount of tears I can unleash in one sitting and taught me that happiness isn’t free. Goblin pained me so much but I loved every single moment of it. Another best 16 hours spent of my life.

Goblin is also known as Guardian: the Great and Lonely God. And lastly…Gong Yoo and Lee Dong-wook visuals are grade-A, first class, ladies. 

Crash Landing on You

A woman walks behind a security guard at the train station in Netflix's K-drama "Crash Landing on You"
“Crash Landing on You” / Photo credit: Netflix

GUYS. THIS SHOW. ONE WORD: FUCKINGBRILLIANT. 

I watched Crash Landing on You because of all the memes I saw from it. And I was like, guys I want to laugh too. 

Summary

So the story is: A South Korean heiress, Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) goes paragliding and a tornado just so happens to be swinging by and accidentally swoops her up and drops her in North Korea, or well, specifically into the arms of a North Korean army officer, Ri Jung Hyuk (Hyung Bin). Jung Hyuk was then coerced into helping Se-ri hide and eventually get her back to South Korea–which isn’t easy. Of course, along the journey, these two learn things about one another and grow fond of each other, then after that comes sarang. And this love comes with serious hardships. 

Listen, need I say more? What’s more heart-rending than a forbidden love between a North and South Korean? 

Commentary

I love Crash Landing on You so much because it has a refreshing approach for the love story, and their love brought me the highest peaks of my emotions. When I was happy, I was seriously elated, when I was worried–I was literally on the edge of my bed, when I was angry, oh I was FURIOUS. And you already know I was bawwwwliiing during the sad scenes. What made me so immersed in the emotions portrayed was the authentic and raw chemistry between Jung Hyuk and Se-ri–it was oozing through my laptop screen. It felt like I was witnessing real love. They are so great at acting…or are they

And that’s a wrap gals and guys. I really hope you watch them because they are so binge-worthy, and don’t forget to let us know on Twitter @geekgalsco which one you ugly cried to.

Happy quarantining! Stay healthy, my lovelies.

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Featured image credit: Netflix

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