My Love From Another Star (aka You Who Came From the Stars, etc. ) is a 20-ish episode KTV drama from 2013-2014.
Story: Alien comes to Earth 400 years ago, learns to live among humans, and eventually falls for a girl right before he has to go back to his home planet. It's a romantic fantasy themed melodrama that has become very popular in this medium over the last decade or so.
This show pulled huge ratings and was a smashing success for its creators. It follows a virtual can't-miss formula for this genre (i.e. good looking actors & actresses in a star crossed love story). The writers of this show certainly know their target audience, and, they delivered exactly what was expected. If you're not part of the target audience however (i.e. guys, people above a certain age, or those that are simply looking for a superbly woven story), this show might not be suited for you.
There's a heavy emphasis on catering to "fan-girls" throughout this series. This show is basically geared towards young women and it provides a very non-threatening view of relationships accordingly. There's nothing wrong with this, but, I think anyone expecting otherwise should be aware of this from the outset. The female lead basically serves as a proxy for viewers to identify with; she lives the lavish fantasy life-style complete with various trials and tribulations to overcome. Meanwhile, there are 2 handsome rich guys for her to choose from; one is the aforementioned alien & main love interest, the other is her childhood friend that dotes on her endlessly. In an indication of how "safe" this show is for young female viewers, the alien love interest is still a virgin and can't even kiss a woman without fainting. He can't handle alcohol either, but he does happen to have chivalrous values, super-powers to protect our heroine, and a rockin' set of abs.
The childhood friend represents Plan B for our heroine if things don't work out with the alien. He's walking a very fine line between "nice guy that will always be there for her" vs. "obsessive stalker that won't leave her alone". This guy's older brother portrays the villain from central casting; he's good looking too, but in a fashionably evil way. He plays your typical Chaebol heir lunatic that must control everything while eliminating everybody that gets in the way, and, this show goes to great lengths to let you know he's "the bad guy" every time he appears on screen; he's involved in a number of murder/mystery sub-plots that soon finds him facing off against our two leads.
Jun Ji Hyun (Gianna Jun) and Kim Soo Hyun are your two leads; she's the eccentric and conceited top Korean actress, he's the noble alien from Planet "Korean Hunky Dude". Gianna Jun is a hugely successful Korean film star, but her presence and style of acting does seem somewhat ill-suited for the small screen; she's a movie star that should be starring in movies, not playing stock KTV "damsel in distress" roles. Kim Soo Hyun is a star in the making, and seems to be a capable enough actor; he's given a predictable K-drama male part as the "stoic white knight". As such, he's allowed few opportunities to show much range that are afforded these types of roles. The two of them have worked together previously, and they complement each other nicely here. There's a bunch of supporting actors and actresses involved; some current and up and coming talent, along with several K-drama veterans that all did what was asked, but several of these parts were under written and/or non-essential. Acting, overall, was solid throughout.
As expected, production values are quite good, and this show comes complete with loads of stylishly beautiful people. Cohesive storytelling is sometimes lacking however; it's clear the writers were just making things up as they went along (which is not really all that uncommon for these shows), but they really pushed the limits on occasion here, and I found this to be quite irritating. The rules governing what will happen to the alien and what he can/can't do are ever changing; his powers come and go when convenient to the plot, he's apparently not allowed to kill humans or he'll die too (yet he somehow managed to serve 50 years in the military throughout various wars without killing anyone), etc... Random side characters come and go too, without ever being appropriately developed within the overall story; the estranged father shows up just in time to donate blood to save his daughter, then he just disappears again for a while, and, I question the need to tie any of this story into the alien's first encounter with an earth girl. I know they were aiming for a fate/destiny angle here, but that girl in the past really has nothing to do with the woman in the present other than looking similar to her. It's this kind of writing that is really annoying to me, and I see no reason why the writers couldn't still appease their target audience while tightening up the story some. And, while I see many people liked the ending, I can't help but point out that it practically negates the importance of everything that occurred prior to it.
Summary: This will be well received by the crowd it's aimed at. It's not blatantly immature and has enough decent moments for viewers outside of the "in-crowd" to enjoy...I found the little 1st person vignettes throughout the show to be a particularly nice touch. Still, it should have been way better than what it was, and, it could have had the best of both worlds if the producers/writers were willing & able to try a little harder to appeal to a wider audience.
Bottom Line: For the right audience, it's 8-9 out of 10 stars. For "not the right audience", it's closer to 5-6 out of 10 stars. Split decision leaves it at 7 stars IMO.
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