Hands down, the epic hit of 2014 (though the series began in December 2013) is the Korean drama “ My Love From Another Star“.
This wasn’t the first time that these two actors had a part in a production; they were first cast together in the great movie from a couple of years back called The Thieves.
Fast forward to 2013, and Kim Soo-Hyun and Jun Ji-Hyun play Do Min-Joon and Cheon Song-Hee, respectively, in My Love From Another Star. Do Min-Joon is, basically, an alien from another planet. Due to circumstances, he lands on planet Earth and is destined to stay on the planet for a whopping 400 years.
The story sounds ridiculous, huh?
Add to this that Cheon Song-Hee is one of Korea’s famous actresses, who gets into mishap after mishap. She’s pompous and conceited but nonetheless cute — and unwillingly, Do Min-Joon begins to fall for her.
My Love From Another Star begins back in the Chosun Dynasty, with hilarious scenes. It’s expected as Do Min-Joon has been here for 399 years when the story begins. After 399 years of being alive, he’s bound to have some hilarious stories to tell.
For those heavily into television dramas, Kim Soo-Hyun was not unknown previous to My Love From Another Star. His acting career began back in 2007, and he was regularly in a series here and there. His name became much better known after him being cast as the lead in The Moon That Embraces The Sun — a role that he played very appealingly as the young but wise king of old-day Korea. This role made him quite popular in Korea — but little would he imagine the kind of national and international fame he would soon achieve.
Jun Ji-Hyun, on the other hand, has been a household name in Korean for many years. Having debuted in television back in the 90s, everyone in Korea knows of this astonishing beauty who holds her own in terms of number of commercials and endorsements she’s been part of. It was to the point that at one point, the market was oversaturated with images of Jun Ji-Hyun as the refreshing, clean and fun look for cosmetics, appliances and basically anything else being sold in Korea.
Much like her appearance, Jun was known for slightly erratic, funny and cute roles, probably solidified by her portrayal of the lead character in My Sassy Girl — a box office sensation that’s hilarious even when you watch it today.
But it was a big news item to have Jun return to television for a Korean drama. My Love From Another Star would be her first drama series since 1999 when she starred in Happy Together.
Her role as Cheon Song-Hee would confirm that nobody in Korea excels at this type of “crazy yet hilarious yet cute” type of female lead role more than Jun Ji-Hyun, at least to this day. Without going to too much of the story, I’ll just say that every episode has something that this character does or says that will leave you in stitches from laughing. She’s absolutely fantastic in My Love From Another Star.
But the real breakout from this series is the quiet and modest Kim Soo-Hyun. His role as Do Min-Joon was perhaps every girl’s fairy tale type of man; with magical powers and an undying love for one girl and one girl only, the role solidified him as the most popular actor in Korea.
I happened to actually be in Korea when My Love From Another Star was ending; that weekend would be the finale. Everywhere I went, folks — all I saw was posters of Kim Soo-Hyun, and much of the time even without Jun Ji-Hyun. He was plastered all over subway terminal walls; he was on billboard signs throughout the city of Seoul; watching TV, he was on so many commercials. While I, too, liked him in the drama series, I was SHOCKED at just how big he was in Korea.
His fame would exceed far beyond Korea and ridiculously throughout China, especially, where fans would risk life and limb to get one peek at him. They didn’t act like this was actor Kim Soo-Hyun; as far as one could tell, it was like they believed him to be Do Min-Joon, the character.
In May 2014, he retained his lead as the actor with the most number of commercials and endorsements, but would also be declared the wealthiest Korean actor with an estimated net worth of a whopping $1.2 BILLION dollars.
I explain all of this because it gives you the best idea of just how addictive and fun My Love From Another Star is as a Korean drama. It’s witty and well-written, and as fantastical as the storyline actually is, the writers and director did an amazing job of making it feel real. Towards the middle of the series, you forget that none of this is actually possible, and that aliens don’t actually roam Earth saving us and loving us.
At least we don’ t think so.
But then again, who knows when a real Do Min-Joon could actually show up as your neighbor?
If there’s one Korean drama series that I would highly recommend for you to watch immediately, it’s got to be My Love From Another Star. It’s 21 episodes in full, extended from the intended 20 episodes, and that’s 21 hours you are sure to enjoy. Also starring in the series is the hilarious actor, Shin Sung-Rok, currently starring in Trot Lovers.
If you have Dramafever, the entire series is available and subtitled there. You can also watch it on Hulu!