This was my first venture into the world of K-drama but it certainly will not be my last. I really was not even going to review this 16 part epic series. It is just too long, too complex, and with so very many fascinating characters. But I just can’t help it. I will be brief, however.
First of all, the concept of the plot was brilliant and brave. A beautiful and successful CEO of her own South Korean international beauty company para-glides by mistake into North Korea. I’ll just pause right there to let that idea settle in. I mean, can you imagine?! She falls from a tree into the arms of a North Korean army captain. Who is much more than he first appears to be. I will stop there about the plot because if I went further, I would have to go on for pages and pages. I will just say that it is part fish-out-of-water romantic comedy, tender heartwarming drama, fabulous action, and nail-biting suspense thriller. There is a lot of backstory to both of the main characters involving family betrayal, tragedy, and intrigue. There are characters you absolutely fall in love with, laugh at and with, and hate with a passion. And some characters, you don’t know what to think about until the end.
In the last part, the tables are turned. Se-ri, our heroine, finally makes her way back home to South Korea to re-claim her company and her lifestyle. She is followed by Captain Ri, our hero, and eventually his 4 loyal troops, to protect her from assassination by the villains. And the fish(es) out of water story continues. As well as the drama, action and suspense. The whole series was absolutely gripping.
I only want to add my praise for Hyun Bin, the actor who played Captain Ri Jeong-Hyeok. He was riveting as the reserved, unbending, and enigmatic love interest, whose devotion to Se-ri is largely unstated until well into the romantic drama, but is there behind his eyes. He conveys his power and uncompromising integrity as well as his inner kindness and compassion. Somehow, he was vulnerable and invulnerable at the same time. I’m afraid I have a case of hero-worship when it comes to the character. But I am happy to say that his co-star, Son Ye-Jin was a worthy match as the beleaguered yet indomitable heroine.
I now have the enviable task of deciding which of these Korean Dramas to delve into next. What a wonderful dilemma to have! If it is half as engrossing as this one was, it will be time well spent.
January 19. 2022