Well, drama fans, that wasn’t the ending I was hoping for. Come see what MiataMama and I thought of the finale of Where Stars Land.
The Brothers Were the Story After All
Karie the Maknae: Well, karma came back to bite me in the rear. Mean Hyung’s boring storyline WAS the main story after all, the only story that came full circle and had a resolution. The barely-there parents got a nod, except for Yeo Reum’s dad — he obviously introduced Mr. Jang to Soo Yeon, but we never got the reason why!
MiataMama: The wrap up of the brothers’ storyline came and went so fast, I don’t know that I really understood what happened?! They’re back to being friends now, I think. Meanwhile, Mean Hyung’s motivations were never fleshed out well enough for me to actually care about him. And what happened to the gang boss and all his thugs? I have a hard time believing they just gave up on harassing Soo Yeon.
Can’t Break From the Formula
Karie the Maknae: This drama has it all — a second lead with an undying love, a main lead who suffers from noble idiocy, and above all, a year-long break with no communication between our OTP. We’re just missing an amnesiac chaebol and a scrappy lower-class heroine!
MiataMama: I can roll with just about any K-drama trope you throw at me— BUT my absolute LEAST favorite is the year-long absence. In this day and age, there is NO excuse for not keeping in touch with a loved one on another continent!!! Especially a country as tech-savvy as Korea. I saw that ending coming a mile away and was groaning all the way through the last episode.
Security Couple is the Cutest Couple
Karie the Maknae: All hail the true OTP! After watching this drama, I am more and more convinced that Kim Kyung Nam (Oh Dae Gi) is well on his way to a lead role. And he absolutely has earned it. His ability to make the security couple my favorite couple, even though their story was extraordinarily low-key, spoke to his range and ability. The role of Oh Dae Gi is a far cry from Hyun Moo, the broken psychotic brother in Come and Hug Me, and the silly reporter brother in Prison Playbook. I’m a fan for life.
MiataMama: I absolutely loved our security couple!!! Their scenes this week were the only ones that made me happy. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Karie— I will be fan-stalking Kim Kyung Nam from here on out. He brings a fresh face and a depth to his characters that sticks with you. I hope we won’t have to wait long for him to star in another upcoming drama!!
The Pros of Watching Where Stars Land
Karie the Maknae: I will give Stars this–they did an excellent job highlighting just how difficult it is to be disabled in Korea. The lack of service and the fact that Soo Yeon’s mom just ran away, rather than take care of him, astounded me, but MiataMama has some insights there.
MiataMama: Yes, Korea is definitely NOT handicapped friendly. There are stairs everywhere, most sidewalks are paved unevenly with brick, subway stations usually have one (inconveniently placed) elevator . . . I could go on. But I don’t have to, because I think the drama DID do a great job highlighting those roadblocks for handicapped persons living in Korea. However, perpetuating the idea of disabled people being “less than” and Soo Yeon only able to work or be with his loved ones when he wasn’t stuck in a wheelchair really, REALLY bugged me. Trying not to have a soapbox moment here, but the ending irritated me in more ways than one.
The Ending Can Make or Break a Series
Karie the Maknae: I found the ending to Stars to be rather weak, especially the part where they didn’t show Lee Je Hoon’s face at the end. Why wouldn’t they do that? I’m 95% certain it was him, but what was with the gimmick? I don’t get it.
MiataMama: I felt like I was watching the finale on fast-forward and that I missed ALL the important parts! It jumped from one plot point to the next, trying to offer up resolutions and coming up short every single time. I still have a plethora of unanswered questions and am disappointed that a seasoned writer, such as this drama had, couldn’t provide the viewers with a better story and/or ending.
Would We Recommend It?
Karie the Maknae: As you all know, I’m a pretty forgiving drama watcher, hoping for a gem in the rough. However, to me, Stars seriously under-served its talented cast with poor characterization, loose focus, and untied ends galore. It’s hard to see the great potential in a series like this, and then watch it drain away into meh-land. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re a dedicated fan of Lee Je Hoon or Kim Kyung Nam. This was not Chae Soo Bin’s best work, so Chae Soo Bin fans should give it a miss.
MiataMama: What Karie said! I have watched many amazing dramas over the last seven years and have slogged through some pretty disappointing ones too. Sadly, Stars falls onto the latter list for me. I really wanted it to be good, but unfortunately, the talented cast just wasn’t enough to rescue this story from crashing and burning.
Relieved that the last plane landed, we remain–
Karie the Maknae & MiataMama
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi