I’M JUST A STARLET, STANDING IN FRONT OF AN ALIEN…
Do Min Joon (Kim Soo Hyun) is an alien who lands on Earth in 1609. He lives through the next 400 years where he becomes a university professor and falls in love his conceited, next-door neighbor and Hallyu star, Chun Song Yi (Jun Ji Hyun).
Sung Shi Kyung – 너의 모든 순간 (Original) (Every Moment of You (Original))
At the foremost, what stands out about this drama is the incredible chemistry between Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun. I know it’s been a long time since Jun Ji Hyun has starred in TV drama but I only know her as a movie star. It’s great to see that she can dazzle on the small screen as much as she can shine on the big screen.
As Chun Song Yi, she is incredibly funny and yet her ditziness makes her relatable. She’s also a top star who is pretty enough to date anyone and yet falling in love with an alien was a humbling experience.
Various Artists – Waltz With star
On the other hand Kim Soo Hyun balances the highly energetic Chun Song Yi with the mellow Do Min Joon. Except he’s not normal since he uses supernatural abilities to his advantage. While the starlet’s attitude changes through the course of their relationship, so does Min Joon’s impression of humanity. Previously, he felt resigned to just be a distant observer of the human condition and not actively participate until he meets her. That’s what makes their pairing so unique.
While the casting of the two main leads alone would easily make the drama a trendy, the drama carefully plots out the major story points with good pacing that made it thrilling and enjoyable. Supplementing that storyline, the drama is filled with little side plots and characters that endear us and round out the characters’ worlds.
Made popular in recent years, I’m always intrigued to see dramas incorporating the use of “Epilogues” at the end of each episode. Some dramas opt for additional tangential clips that add humor or look at the same story with a different lens. This drama does both as we got a funny punchline early on in the series but through each epilogue we also got to see different points of views or gain a greater insight to our characters.
Just – I Love You
However, I feel quite differently about the supporting characters. While Lee Hwi Kyung (Park Hae Jin), Yoo Se Mi (Yoo In Na), Lawyer Jang (Kim Chang Wan) and Song Yi’s family members are important characters in the drama, their importance in the drama always goes back to the main leads. They furthered Song Yi and Min Joon’s character development and they didn’t feel important enough to stand on their own. That’s okay as their characters served their importance in the drama.
As for Lee Jae Kyung (Shin Sung Rok), I did have difficulty accepting his character at first. His character lacked depth which annoyed me at first. I think Detective Park makes an interesting observation about him as he didn’t understand what Jae Kyung’s motives could be to cause the deaths of the people around him. He’s got a great job, rich, good family, good-looking, can date anyone he wants to. He’s got the whole world at his feet. But simply put, the guy is psychotic. Once I accepted that, it was easy to see how the other storylines and characters are perfunctory compared to the main point of the drama about how two individuals from different worlds could find enough reasons to be together.
You know what? It’s a big risk to bet your entire project on the strength of your leads and their chemistry. That is, if your leads aren’t Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun.