And…You From Another Star draws to a close, reaching ratings of 28.1%. While it didn’t break the 30% mark, consistent mid-twenties ratings are nothing to laugh at. This drama was a good comeback to the small screen for Jeon Ji-hyun, and also once again proved the impeccable touch of Kim Soo-hyun.
I think the level to which you enjoy this drama, really depends on your motivation for watching it. If you’re watching for the romance and the chemistry between the leads, the drama is not stingy at all with skinship and kisses. If you’re here for likeable characters and relationships, the Cheon siblings fit the bill to the T. But if you’re expecting a well-developed and fast-moving plot, I think you might be sorely disappointed.
After episode 19 ended with Song-yi’s heartfelt confession, most of episode 20 was spent on debating whether Min-joon should risk his life, or return to his planet. While I did mention previously that this is the meat of the conflict that I wanted to be tackled, I didn’t expect the drama to approach it in such a simplistic manner. Song-yi wants him to return because she can’t stand the thought of him dying, while Min-joon wants to stay because he can’t imagine living hundreds of years without her by his side. And pretty much, the conflict ends there without any new developments, and the same old arguments are continually revisited. Seeing that this is the main conflict for the latter part of the drama, I was definitely expecting a lot more conflict and complications on this front .
Even if I’m not satisfied with how we got to the ending, the drama did deliver the happy ending that the audience wanted. Fans were probably either expecting him to either stay on earth or return to his planet, but the ending actually delivered the best of both worlds. While he had to return home, he could still take short business trips to earth to visit Song-yi. I don’t entirely understand the ‘wormhole’ concept, and the writers should have made this solution much more credible. Especially since it was only introduced in the last ten minutes, it honestly feels like a cop-out resolution. Many fans have been likening it to the The Time Traveller’s Wife, except — may I add — that he needs to disappear and reappear in his birthday suit for it to be accurate.
This lack of credibility applies to the entire ‘alien’ concept of the drama. The charm of supernatural dramas is that the alternate world is carefully thought-out and well-developed, instead of something that feels haphazardly put together and half-assed. Since the entire conflict and premise of this drama stems from this ‘other star’, I felt that Min-joon’s alien world could have been explored deeper, and it would have made for a much more intriguing ride. Arang and the Magistrate pulled this off particularly well, especially since the audience was constantly surprised with new discoveries of the other world, which was hinted at or foreshadowed in previous episodes.
Going back to the ending, there was a redeemable aspect of it that I really appreciate. This happy ending, however cop-out it may be, was not easily achieved. Min-joon had to keep on trying and trying to find a way back to Song-yi. Min-joon has to return to his planet? OK, but that’s not going to stop him from trying repeatedly to fight that fate, to fight for his happiness. This happy ending didn’t just fall on their laps, he had to earn it, although I do wish we had spent less time on Song-yi moping around, and more time exploring the struggle from Min-joon’s perspective.
One other relationship that I haven’t touched on much before, is the bromance between Lawyer Jang and Min-joon. Episode 20 shed some light on their history, and it was really heartbreaking to see how attached Lawyer Jang has become to Min-joon. Min-joon is Lawyer Jang’s benefactor, making Min-joon into some sort of a hero and mentor in his eyes. However, as Lawyer Jang grew older, Min-joon did not mature, physically or spiritually, in the last thirty years, which explains the age reversal between the two of them. Now, Lawyer Jang feels like the parent who is sending his son away. This dynamic that had so much potential, and I feel like we barely skimmed the surface.
Other than that, the last episode tied up most of the loose ends. Song-yi’s mother finally turned over a new leaf, and grew a heart. Jae-kyung got his comeuppance and will be stuck in jail for a good while. Despite flunking out of college, Yoon-jae discovered an asteroid with Min-joon’s telescope and even named it after him. And my favourite one, the Cheon family (plus Min-joon) finally have their requisite family dinner, which actually brought to light a few interesting facts.
Firstly, the inability to make delicious soup runs in the Cheon females bloodline. Secondly, blood is hardly thicker than water after all, since we see where exactly Yoon-jae’s allegiance lies, when he chooses to obey Min-joon’s word at the blink of an eye, but completely ignores his mom. Lastly, this is the first sibling rivalry I’ve seen, that has the sister and brother fighting over the same guy. One benefit of the live-shoot process, is that the Yoon-jae and Min-joon bromance was given the screentime that it deserved, due to its popularity with its viewers. Who says only a love rival can ignite the second lead syndrome?
To sum up, while the plot might not have lived up to standards, the character and relationships were extremely enjoyable to watch. Song-yi remains one of my favourite female heroines ever. She is incredibly vulnerable, but isn’t afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve entirely. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, to profess her love, or to even propose to Min-joon. And although he wasn’t the most cuddly or expressive character ever, it was cute to see how he slowly warmed up to Song-yi, and actually started to enjoy the little things in life, like a normal human being.
Their relationship, although quite stagnant at times, was not as frustrating as it could have been. Other than Min-joon’s initial noble sacrifice, they were always honest with each other, and faced their problems by coming to a solution together. That’s pretty much the whole point of a relationship — to make decisions together, instead of making decisions on behalf of the other.
At the end of the day, the messages that the drama is conveying are really quite simple. Aptly summed up by Song-yi, we should strive to live every moment without regrets, since we never know if it will be the last moment. And also, as Min-joon demonstrated, instead of making do with what fate has dished to you, go and fight for what you want, for your happiness. When life give you lemons, go find chicken and beer.
So, what do you guys think of the ending of You From Another Star?