My love from another star: Mid-run Review

Hello. This is a Korean in America. The “My love from another star” preview I did is the 3rd highest viewed article on my bog currently. So, I am getting greedy and doing a review of the first 10 episodes. This is a sequel to my previous preview. So please read that first. Here is a link.

P.S. Please go to Amazon when you want to purchase anything via any of the ads on the blog. It does not matter which one. I get some referral $ from it.

The elephant in the room… Jun Ji Hyun
At the beginning of the series, Jun Ji Hyun was the most problematic actor in the cast.

She is not a good actor.

However, you do not necessarily need to be a good actor to be a famous one. If you have enough screen presence, you only just need to develop an acting comfort zone in which you can exploit that presence with only a limited amount of actual acting. Think of actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Jun Ji Hyun has that screen presence!
Jun Ji Hyun made a CF career off of the ability to capture the audience’s attention.

The problem with the first 2 or 3 episodes of “My love from another star” was that Jun Ji Hyun seems to be somewhat out of practice in regard to staying in her acting comfort zone. As a result, when she stumbles out of her acting comfort zone, it was very noticeable.   Luckily, she seems to have found a solid footing and the creative team behind the show were able to tailor her role to fit into her comfort zone.

So, after the 4th episode, we have Jun Ji Hyun doing what she does best.

It is a joy to watch!

An Immortal being or just an old soul?
In my previous preview, I stated I glimpsed some story elements pertaining to the theme of Immortality.  Sadly, “My love from another star” never really went deeper into that theme. Instead, the aspect of the alien’s longevity is just used as a gimmick or for one-liners to spice up the somewhat unconventional love story.

While this approach is not inherently uninteresting, it does lack depth. It changes the main characters’ dynamic from possibly being a “normal human and immortal being” love story to a “silly human and an old soul stuck in a young body” romance story. While the former dynamic is more complex, the latter is much easier to do.

For the “silly human and an old soul in a young body” romance story, you do not really need the alien to start his journey 400 years in the past. You could just drop him off after the end of WWII and it would basically be the same story. It would actually make more sense since you could claim that the Atomic bomb caught the aliens’ attention. Thus, the alien got stranded while researching this event. It is better than what the show actually did which was that the alien got stranded on earth during a leisure trip to see the primitives.

So, he missed the bus on a school trip…

For what the show was intending to do, this whole thing is rather redundant and gets in the way of the plot development.

Is he really an alien?
When trying to look into why this happened, I came to the conclusion that this is because the nature of the alien was never really well defined.  At the midpoint of the show’s run, we basically know nothing about the alien species itself.  You cannot infer what his species is like from the male protagonist since he basically is acting like a spry 60 year old Korean man.

All of his thoughts are obviously human.

The lack of definition is more evident when the powers of the alien came more to the forefront of the show. The alien seems to be a random mix of superman, X-men, ET. There is no logic to how his power works and even what powers he actually has.

To be frank, there is no real reason for the male protagonist to actually be an alien. He could just be an angel or a god who fell from the sky and the show would basically be the same. Actually, being an ancient Korean god would work better with the 400 years in the past story element.

So, I came to the conclusion that the writer never really had a clear idea what the male protagonist should be. Rather, the writer only had a general idea about making a love story between an actress and something not human.  As a result of this, the plot of “My love from another star” has a lot of redundant elements which a good literary editor would have edited out as they create more problems than they are worth.

Redundant elements
Another seriously redundant plot element is the whole “alien saved the actress 15 years ago” plot line. The only reason for that plot line is to connect the main couple together via fate. However, the alien met the actress’s doppelganger 400 years ago. There is no reason to have another fate connection.

If the show left it as just a fate thing, it would not be bad. However, in the last few episodes, it has become a large focus of the show and is clogging up the plot like tossing paper towels in the toilet and flushing.

It is a terrible plot line that is poorly written and more poorly executed.

This plot line is basically the only real thing the 4th wheel girl, played by Yoo In Na, does. She is also terribly redundant. Without this plot line, you can even remove her entirely from the show and it would not make a dent in the show.

Well, you would not have a love rectangle but that was going nowhere any way.

Another redundant character is the owner of the comic shop.

Why is she here?

She is literally pointless as a character. She plays no role in the plot. She has no influence in the love story. She is not even comic relief.

The victims of redundancies
The core plots of “My love from another star” are the love story and the whole murder plot line. However, because of the redundancies, the whole murder plot line is woefully under-developed. The detective stuff is interesting but there is simply not enough there which reduces the need for the brother of the 4th wheel girl to be in the show.

The “monster who is human” is just a comic book psychopath in the vein of Batman’s Joker. The partial purpose for the 3rd wheel man is to use him as a window into the mind and life of the “monster who is human”. However, this is barely used which makes the 3rd wheel man rather redundant too.

The most serious problem with the “monster who is human” being just Joker is that this makes the alien not just killing him an act of total stupidity. The alien is not Batman who has sworn not to kill. At least, Batman puts Joker in jail.

The alien just leaves the comic book psychopath with a warning!

And it is not that the alien is terrifying enough that a comic book psychopath would back off with just receiving a warning.

He looks so cute trying to act tuff!
I want to just cuddle him!
No! I’m a man! Boobs … It worked.

The Alien…

What is the male protagonist thinking?

While watching this show, all the so called fantasies about aliens disappeared. While he acts like he is better than everyone else, he has no plans and is rather idiotic in some ways. He should not have survived for 400 years on earth. A human would at least developed a brain to navigate through that amount of time without getting revealed or get killed which seems to be a possibility since it may actually be easy to kill him.
Just line up women to kiss him and he is dead!

What works?
The romance works!

The two leads work well off each other with the male being the straight man while the female is the funny person. They have great chemistry.

It really does.

It works so well that it drags all the redundant dead weights along at the brisk pace.

At the end
After seeing the first 10 episodes, “My love from another star” is not the great/ special Korean drama that I wished but did not expect to get. It is just a good Korean drama that has some serious issues and is totally dependent on the two lead characters’ chemistry.

I give it a fun but flawed grade of B.

Grade: B

Streaming link: Good drama Net


Post a Comment