Min-Joon (played by Kim Soo-hyun) is an alien who seems to hate just about everything. He's not so gauche as to actually state it outright, but this is clearly someone who has seen all that there is to see of the world and is consequently completely sick of it. I'm going to guess that in his past four hundred years on Earth, Min-Joon has figured out the basics of human emotional facial expressions, and is just choosing not to use them anymore because he's just that indifferent.
His opposite number here is Song-I (played by Jun Ji-hyun) a woman who...you know, it's actually not as easy to pin her down. Certainly, the woman seems to have contempt for just about everyone around her, yet there's a significant part of her personality that really feels kind of pathetic. Song-I is kind of like a real-life Internet troll, feeding relentlessly off the emotional reactions she emanates and provokes. This is a woman who knows that there are basically no consequences for behaving badly, and milks this advantage for everything it's worth.
"My Love from the Star" has its foundation in a very strange spot. On the one end we have Min-Joon, who we see in flashback hanging out in Joseon-era Korea. Min-Joon does not strike me as being the nostalgic type, and I doubt these Joseon flashbacks are going anywhere fun. But then we get a look at Song-I tweeting. Everything about this woman's connection to the digital age is rife with dark comedy. It's pitiful, but funny.
So, what do the storylines of an alien who has (probably justifiably) lost faith in humanity and a woman who leads a glamorous but pathetic life have in common? ...I have no idea. If nothing else, "My Love from the Star" scores points for having main characters so completely out of synch with each other it's impossible to guess what their relationship dynamic could be. Different walks of life, different temperments, that stuff's easy. But these two feel like they belong in completely different kinds of genre fiction altogether. And yet somehow this doesn't feel like a fusion drama. The sense it gives off is, well, kind of alien.
"My Love from the Star" is, as of yet, difficult to process. It has a very unusual sense of narrative logic that strangely makes more sense the less I try to think of it in logical terms. We're almost immediately introduced to what could best be described as Min-Joon's superpower. And yet there's none of the pretentiousness or far-sightedness that's common in superhero fiction. What any of this has to do with anything...well, it's a mystery to be sure, but one I'm curious to find the answer to.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 1"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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