This week is all about fire–fire on a plane, fire in the office, and fire in Soo Yeon’s heart. I love that the romance is starting so early in the drama. Now if we can just keep that fire burning for the foreseeable future. Let’s chat episodes 9 through 12 of Where Stars Land!
Karie the Maknae: For some reason, the pacing feels slower and more contemplative during this set of episodes. It makes sense, in retrospect–the pace reflects the pauses that Soo Yeon takes to reflect on what he’s just done or said, and gives Yeo Reum time to process things. After the hustle and bustle of the airplane fire, though, the slowdown is definitely more pronounced.
Kdrama Jen: I have mixed feelings about the pacing. I think it has given me more time to ponder why everyone is making such a big deal about his artificial or augmented limb. And, as usual, I am struggling a bit with the ex-hyung/boss dude and his motivations for wanting to destroy Soo Yeon’s life. If you were being eaten with guilt, would you try to harm the person you were slightly responsible for being harmed in the past? I would think he would be like, “Cool. He didn’t die and he has been able to lead a productive life.” Maybe they need to pick up the pace so I stop questioning his motives.
Kmuse: Ugh! Don’t even get me started on the ex-hyung storyline. His weird reaction to Soo Yeon being OK is driving me nuts, to the point where it is ruining the drama for me. I hate his character.
MiataMama: The slow pacing this week was a bit “meh” for me. Our leads are handsome/pretty, but there were a LOT of long, drawn-out scenes of them just staring. At each other. Into space. No dialogue. I guess I’m just not feeling as contemplativeca about things as the characters are?! Also, the cheesy background music they are using during the tense scenes is really distracting me.
Stars on Fire
Karie the Maknae: The airplane’s engine catching on fire was VERY dramatic, but also ended up being easily handled, to my way of thinking. Well, as easily handled as anything is when a bird flies into an engine and makes it explode. It was interesting to see people’s responses to the fire–Yeo Reum’s mom being cool-headed during the trauma vs. the businessman who couldn’t handle being held up, Soo Yeon making sure Yeo Reum was ok while the second lead stayed in his spot to do his job, and all the bickering supervisors pulling together to make sure the passengers were cared for.
Kdrama Jen: Kim Yeo Jin is my favorite Kdrama mom. I fell hard for her in Angel Eyes (didn’t love the whole drama, but I adored the mom). She just seems to pop up as the calm and capable and amazing mother in so many dramas. I think she was in Solomon’s Perjury too. Anyway, I love her to pieces.
Kmuse: I also thought this part was quickly handled and then mom disappeared to wherever kdrama moms go when they are not needed to move the plot along. I was actually pleasantly surprised with how they handled Yeo Reum’s feelings in regard to her mom and the accident. I would have been annoyed if she somehow ran out onto the tarmac to look for her mom herself.
MiataMama: The way mom handled the jerky businessman was just awesome! And the brief interaction between her and the mom and son pair sitting next to her was so sweet. I may have gotten teary-eyed during that part of the episode. She seems to be a gold-star mom character in all her dramas– I love her!!
Mother and Daughter Reunion
Karie the Maknae: It cracked me up that Yeo Reum’s mom got off the plane, hugged her, watched her work, and then waved and took off to her next destination. There was no slowing that woman down.
Kdrama Jen: I would be really upset if my mom flew in from Africa, almost died in a plane crash, ended up with a head wound, and then just politely asked me if I was going to be around over the weekend.
Kmuse: At least this hug/reunion was pretty in a screenshot. I could have used more in the actual show and not just as a plot device to make a plane explosion emotionally relevant.
MiataMama: I’m with Kdrama Jen. I get that mom doesn’t seem to be an overly mushy type. And I totally understand wanting to head home and decompress after the almost plane crash. But why didn’t mom and daughter head out together?! Ah, well, I guess the writer needed to keep Yeo Reum homeless for other reasons.
The Brothers Have a Backstory
Karie the Maknae: I did not expect to have a complete revelation of the stepbrothers’ backstory so soon! Well, In Woo and Soo Yeon are sort-of stepbrothers–sounds like In Woo’s dad moved on pretty quickly. I’ve wondered that before–does the stepsibling relationship stop if the marriage bringing them together dissolves?
Kdrama Jen: Anything that lets me watch Nam Da-Reum acting broken and devastated is fine with me. That sounds so awful, but for a young actor, he knows how to make the audience feel his pain. I love that he has been the younger self of some of my favorites: Yoo Ah-in (Six Flying Dragons), Lee Jong-suk (Pinocchio), Junho (Just Between Lovers) and Jong Ki-young (Come and Hug Me). No matter who he is supposed to be portraying, I always believe him and I always feel like it really could be the younger version of the older actor. I am not sure how that could be possible, considering none of those actors I listed really look alike.
Kmuse: I don’t care about the backstory. In Woo is a total ass and I hate him and his stupid selfishness.
MiataMama: There was more backstory, yes. But I’m still confused as to their actual connection and the reason for hyung wanting to distance himself?? Questions aside, I do agree that Nam Da-Reum is doing a fantastic job as the younger Soo Yeon. ALWAYS happy to see him show up in my dramas!!
The Arm of Mystery
Karie the Maknae: WE GOT TO SEE THE ARM!!! That was cool and a little disturbing. Looks like Soo Yeon scored some kind of high-end upgrade to a prosthetic arm. Seriously, it really is all about the people you know. And then your former stepbrother starts to get jealous of your super strength and gets people to investigate you…
Kdrama Jen: I am confused. There is some crazy advanced technology out there. I mean, I just read an article about how they can digitally print a vertebrate replacement and inject it with your own fat cells and make new bones. Seriously, why is everybody so shocked about his bionic arm or whatnot?
Kmuse: I have to agree with Jen, the reaction to him having a bionic arm is really weird. It isn’t like he is a freak of nature or anything. I also am not totally processing Soo Yeon’s emotions well. His need to pretend to be like everyone else just isn’t clicking. Yet again, this aspect feels like something from a different drama story that they snagged and are trying to fit into this story. Things going on and emotions are not gelling.
MiataMama: I’m still on the alien tech bandwagon. Especially after the eerie glow that came out of the secret cupboard in his apartment. This would account for his need to hide the fancy prosthetic AND his desire to appear normal to everyone. At least this is how I’m making sense of things in my head!
She Asked. He Answered.
Karie the Maknae: Also WHAT THE WHAT?? He’s revealing his feelings to Yeo Reum THIS EARLY??? Hmmmm . . . this should be interesting.
Kdrama Jen: My favorite parts of this whole show are the quiet moments between them. I would be fine if all the daily airport incidents faded away and we never dug deep into his backstory. I just want his soulful eyes and sweet moments under an umbrella. Is that too much to ask?
Kmuse: This was beautifully done and the scene made me want to take a million screenshots. Very beautiful confession. Now if only she felt the same way…
MiataMama: Um, okay? That was a bit sudden. I think I might be the loner, that wasn’t terribly moved by this moment of confession.
The Ultimate Brawl: Suits vs. Skins
Karie the Maknae: I’ve watched episode 12 three times now. The conflict between corporate and the valet team, ending in that epic brawl, cracks me up EVERY time. And I love that the valet team, in all their tattooed glory, absolutely adores Yeo Reum because she can beat them up.
Kdrama Jen: I was definitely trying to figure out how Yeo Reum knew this bunch of fellas. It always fascinates me, though, when security or the police are brought in and that doesn’t end it. I guess we know from Live that the police are really not supposed to use force. I kept waiting for them to break out the tear gas and guns, but then I remembered it was a Kdrama.
Kmuse: My favorite part was when the airport president walked in, saw the chaos, humphed and walked back out. Pure comedic gold.
MiataMama: I LOVED that the tattooed valet thugs were all chummy with Yeo Reum!!! And the way that the Team Leader Lee handled, yet didn’t handle, the situation was fantastic. I’m really liking his character more and more each episode.
When You Need a Place to Stay, You Can Always Count on the Guy Who’s Crushing on You
Karie the Maknae: I told you the luggage thing would blow up in Yeo Reum’s face!! What I did NOT expect was for Soo Yeon to offer her a place to stay, especially after she turned down our second lead. This could get interesting.
Kdrama Jen: I have some serious second lead syndrome. So, maybe NOW she is all into Soo Yeon, but are you telling me she hasn’t once thought about her bestie as a man? I don’t believe it. Also, she really deserves to be fired. She makes so many bad choices. It is likely even the decision to stay over will backfire. I’m calling it now.
Kmuse: As much as I am loving Soo Yeon and his sweet feelings, I would choose her bestie as the man best suited for Yeo Reum. I’m just not feeling the OTP no matter how pretty they are in the rain.
MiataMama: Was I the only one who was expecting way more drama over the stashing of the luggage in the storage room? And yes, Yeo Reum staying with Soo Yeon isn’t going to end well. Here’s an idea–WHY NOT GO STAY WITH YOUR MOM???
Flashbacks Within Flashbacks
Karie the Maknae: Well, they didn’t meet as children, but Soo Yeon met Yeo Reum’s dad before she was even aware of his existence. I can’t wait to find out more about that story. I love this drama so much already–Monday needs to come NOW.
Kdrama Jen: The flashback within the flashback kind of made my head hurt. I hope my questions will be answered soon.
MiataMama: The flashbacks are confusing. I’m hoping we get more details soon, so I can sort everything out properly!
Until the next plane lands, we remain–
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi