Where Stars Land Korean Drama Review

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon, Chae Soo Bin, Kim Ji Soo, Lee Dong Gun

Where Stars Land (also known as Fox Bride Star) is about two rookies who work in the passenger service department at Incheon Airport. Yeo Reum (Chae Soo Bin) tends to get into troublesome situations a lot while Soo Yeon (Lee Je Hoon) just wants to live an ordinary life but hides a painful secret.

Where Stars Land was my follow up drama to The Smile Has Left Your Eyes. And that definitely puts it at a disadvantage since that drama was so compelling. I ended up having some mixed feelings about Where Stars Land, but thankfully, it skewed towards the positive.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon

Lee Je Hoon plays Lee Soo Yeon who works in the passenger service department at the airport. He’s good at his job and prefers to keep to himself. He just wants to live an ordinary life. But a big secret he holds causes him to distance himself from those around.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Chae Soo Bin

Chae Soo Bin is Han Yeo Reum. Yeo Reum has struggled to get her position at the airport and tends to get into trouble a lot. But she is incredibly kind with a big heart and is more than willing to work hard. When she gets paired with Soo Yeon, they initially are at odds. But soon she takes notice of some unusual things about him and her curiosity continues to draw her to him.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Kim Ji Soo

Kim Jee Soo plays Yang Seo Koon who is a Team Manager in the passenger service department. She comes off a bit cold and stern, but she is very fair and has a kind heart. She’s always doing her best at her job as well as trying to help her team.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Dong Gun

Lee Dong Gun is Seo In Woo who is another manager. And this guy was something else! His animosity towards Soo Yeon was very overwhelming. He seemed set on causing him trouble and outing his secret. He’s a character I never really grew to like.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon and Chae Soo Bin

Where Stars Land is one of those dramas that I had some reservations about pretty early on. Now I was actually interested in it for a couple reasons though. I really like Lee Je Hoon a lot and also enjoy Chae Soo Bin. The writer of the drama also created a couple of my favorite dramas, King of Baking and Gu Family Book. So that was enough to pique my interest.

But I’ll admit, on paper, the story sounded pretty bland as it focused on people working at an airport. And while the trailers were fine, they really didn’t do a lot for me. So I just wasn’t sure.

But then it was really well received by fans, and I heard glowing recommendations for it week after week. Now I was excited to check it out. Then to my dismay, I was disappointed with the first few episodes.

Sadly, it mostly did just feel like an office type drama set in an airport. The big story wasn’t kicking in strongly, and it seemed to be settling into a pattern of the workers having to deal with a new crisis each week. Oh no, not an episodic office drama! I was pretty dismayed. Now it’s not that it was bad, it’s just not my kind of thing. I started contemplating dropping it.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon

But there was one thing that I held on for. Lee Je Hoon’s character of Soo Yeon. Lee Je Hoon is already an actor I think is very talented. He has this subtle charisma that I find very charming and endearing. And he was perfect for the character of Lee Soo Yeon.

Now I will be openly discussing Soo Yeon’s secret since it is revealed in the first few episodes. For a drama that seems very ordinary, it suddenly introduces something pretty unusual. In the early episodes, Soo Yeon demonstrates what almost seems like superpowers when using his right arm. It has super strength, doesn’t feel pain, and is magnetized. What on earth was going on?

Well, it turns out, he was in a terrible accident as a teenager and damaged his right arm and leg. And with a bit of a miracle, he was given a robotic device to wear over his injuries that allowed his to function normally. Well, a little better than normally! I was highly interested in this story.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon

And what a story it was! My heart absolutely broke for this man. Soo Yeon went through something terrible, faced judgment, and almost took his own life after the accident. But he was given a new opportunity in life. And he wanted nothing more than to be ordinary. He wanted to blend in, have no one notice him, and just live his life.

But being the good man that he is, when people were in need, he couldn’t resist helping them, which consequently, brought attention to his abilities. And that attention was always a threat to the normal life he wanted to live. He didn’t want to be judged and just wanted to enjoy his simple life. And all of that was being threatened not only by his good deeds, but by a person from his past creating trouble for him. I just felt so bad for him and really felt his pain.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Kim Kyung Nam and Lee Soo Kyung

I did still find much of the airport happenings fairly mediocre though. Of course, there are a variety of characters we meet, and we get a window into life at the airport. Multiple relationships are explored as we learn several people’s stories.

And while I still didn’t love the crisis of the episode scenario, most of the situations that were dealt with were emotional and heartwarming. Some of it felt a bit forced, but overall it was done well enough.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon and Lee Dong Gun

I also thought the show took way to long to dig into why In Woo had so much hate towards Soo Yeon. It seemed excessive, and I kept waiting to get a little more insight into their back story than the little bit we were given.

It would have helped to learn his motivations sooner so that maybe I could have some sympathy towards him. We don’t really get any answers until almost the end of the drama. That’s way too much time spent disliking a character to have any major turn around.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon and Chae Soo Bin

But back to the good stuff! The way the drama was written and directed was in such a thoughtful way. A lot of care was put into many of the important scenes to really make an emotional impact. It just had a lovely and moving feel to it.

This was highlighted the best concerning Soo Yeon’s story. Thankfully, the second half of the drama focuses much more heavily on him. That was something I was very grateful for! My interest in the drama grew immensely.

I will mention that some of the finer details surrounding his bionic arm and leg are a bit fantastical and to much scrutiny could definitely ruin the story. Don’t think about the logistics to hard. The main focus of the story is mostly his personal journey and the immense pain he deals with.

We watch him try his best to be normal and see just how much his injury affects him. It’s a really interesting scenario where with his robotic arm and leg he is basically super human, but without it, he is wheelchair bound. Those are quite the extremes. He hates feeling helpless and like less of a person without his aids, so he wants to use them at all costs.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Chae Soo Bin Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon

But then they start to act up a bit, drawing extra attention to him. And this happens just as he is getting to know Yeo Reum. His feelings for her are rapidly growing, and he is captivated by her. She is also drawn to him and curious about who he is.

And I loved how supportive of him she was. As strange things happen because of him, most want explanations. But she sees the struggle he is having and allows him to take his time and only open up when he is ready.

Her feelings for him are so genuine and caring. Yeo Reum’s acceptance of Soo Yeon was truly moving. And the relief he felt by being accepted by her was so sweet. I really enjoyed watching this relationship blossom.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon and Chae Soo Bin

SPOILERS BELOW

But of course nothing is easy. Soo Yeon continues to want to hide his disability and then finds out his robotic aids are malfunctioning due to his feelings for her as well as muscle necrosis starting to set in. He then proceeds to jeopardize his health in order to continue the relationship as well as working his job all while still hiding what was going on.

And of course, just when he begins to think he may be able to be happy with her despite his disability and was ready to show her his true self, she gets injured, and he is unable to be there for her. This amplifies his feelings of helplessness.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon

The latter episodes of the drama have Soo Yeon being so stubborn and wearing his robotic aids even at the cost of his life. His health rapidly deteriorates, but he has basically decided he would rather die than be back in the wheelchair. This was so sad to see.

The drama adequately portrayed his extreme feelings around the issue, but I was just so hoping for that point where he would see that he could still find happiness even without the robotics. Watching him allow his health to spiral downward was frustrating.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon

Now for the ending. I’m one who isn’t usually too bothered by the classic separation of the couple that happens so frequently in kdramas. I definitely don’t love it or think its necessary, but it doesn’t upset me. But this drama is one of the exceptions.

I disliked the one year separation because I felt it took away the impact of many of themes the drama was hitting upon. Soo Yeon struggled the entire time with accepting his limitations and loving himself as he was.

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon and Chae Soo Bin

And while I am glad that he ultimately decided to live after seeing how much Yeo Reum loved him, I hated that he basically disappeared for a year until he could use his robotic aids again.

It would have been much more meaningful to have Yeo Reum be there during his recovery and while he was in his wheelchair. Then he still could have still eventually got better and used the aids again. And it would have been fine because he would have seen that Yeo Reum loved him either way and that he could have loved himself and found some happiness even in that condition.

But instead we needed the dramatic reunion after a separation moment that didn’t really have the impact it could have. This wasn’t a major issue, but I really think there was a missed opportunity.

END OF SPOILERS

Where Stars Land Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon and Chae Soo Bin

In conclusion, while I didn’t love some of the airport happenings and wish the focus of the drama would have been greater on Soo Yeon from the beginning, Where Stars Land is at its heart a very moving story.

It highlights how we all just want to be accepted, faults and all. But it’s hard to reveal your true self because of the fear of judgment and the effect that can have on our lives. It really starts with accepting ourselves. There will always be people that judge us and look down upon us. But realizing that each of us is important and unique should build up our own self esteem. Then the people that truly matter will accept us. They are the ones that count.

Watching Soo Yeon struggle was difficult, but it highlighted some important issues. Life may not always be easy, but we need to start with loving ourselves just as we are.

My Rating: 7/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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35 Responses to Where Stars Land Korean Drama Review

  1. Kate says:

    I too was not eager to watch based on previews but enjoyed the first half of it as all of the characters and their stories were introduced and I love Chae Soo Bin! But the latter half was a mess and his decisions were ridiculous. You pretty much covered it all in your review but count me in as disappointed 😦 Only real bright spark was the cute security couple, wish there was more of them.

    Liked by 3 people

    • subhajit20015 says:

      Yup ! Lee seon yeon made some pretty bad decisions and I seriously think that he didn’t had to mess with the bad guy at the airport ( the one who injured Han Yeo Reum) , that one incident caused most of the mess. Also.. Han Yeo Reum was way too foolish to try to stop that guy holding knife at the airport.
      The thing that made me interested in this drama was the production value , but seeing lee seon make so many foolish decisions was too disappointing for me.
      But still , it was a great show and now that I think of it , it seems that the story(Lee seon’s) was more about conveying the message than being more logical. Or it could be that all those years of hardships made him make those decisions.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Looks like we had a similar experience based on the previews. It’s interesting though how you liked it more going in and ended up disappointed whereas I was disappointed going in and ended up pretty happy, lol. And I do agree, his decisions were terrible! He was on a path destruction and didn’t seem to care one bit. But I mostly just saw it as his immense fear of being in the wheelchair completely messed up his judgment. Sometimes people do stupid things. I did also grow fond of the security couple as the drama went on. It was a slow burn, but they were the best characters after the main couple 🙂

      Like

      • Kate says:

        SPOILERS!
        Agreed, he seemed to just want a fleeting bit of happiness before giving up which was selfish because it involved another person’s heart/life. The most disappointing aspect was not allowing the relationship to play out. Why not show HYR caring for LSY while he’s recuperating? It would go a long way to allay his fears about being in a wheelchair and contribute to his character growth. Yes it would have been difficult, but she was willing to do it with eyes wide open. The kdrama trope where disappearing for a year fixes everything was really frustrating. Ugh.

        Like

        • Kay says:

          Yep, he just could not see past his own fear and then chose to exclude Yeo Reum. I do really wish they would have went through the recovery process together. It would have made such a difference to him.

          There’s another drama that did literally this exact same thing that came out a couple years ago. Not sure if you’ve seen it, so I’m hesitant to say the name in case you ever watch it. But the ending situation was so much like this. I actually found it even a bit worse though just because his reasoning for leaving was spelled out much clearer, and I hated it, lol. I sure do like it when dramas explore difficult themes like this, but I do wish they could nail the final moments of really cementing the proper message.

          Like

          • Kate says:

            You gotta tell me which drama you’re referring to so I can add to my list if I haven’t already! I’m curious how another drama dealt with the theme – even if I fast forward through it 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • Kay says:

              The drama was Oh My Venus. I mostly enjoyed that drama too, but it had some issues. And in the spoiler section of my review for that one I mention the same thing about how I hated him leaving to recover alone. Grr… I just really dislike that being the reason for a separation. I can handle the standard career opportunity or what not, but that I will never love, lol

              Like

              • Kate says:

                Oh you’re right, yes, I did see that one! I’d forgotten they ended it the same way. It’s just a kdrama trope that needs to end! It’s never made sense to me and it’s so common!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Kay says:

                  Yep, it was like the same logic in having to suffer alone during recovery and not letting the girl be there with you. That one also had some good themes and the ending just sort missed the opportunity to drive them home.

                  I do wish they would branch out from that separation kdrama trope. It’s not a major bother for me as I know the point is usually to show that the characters are able to achieve their dreams first and then still come back to love. But almost every drama does it, and in cases like Where Stars Land, it just doesn’t really make sense. Times like that it definitely needs to go!

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally love the cute security couple too~ I guess for the latter part that was what I’m waiting to see more… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey Kay! I’ve been watching it and I’m kinda losing interest in finishing this one too… I’m at episode 25… Ah~ hoping to finish it though…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. subhajit20015 says:

    I really liked the drama! Story was good , but I too think that Lee Seon should have been with Han Yeo reum during his treatment and that would have been a better ending for the story.
    But I seriously think that he didn’t had to mess with the bad guy at the airport ( the one who injured Han Yeo Reum) , that one incident caused most of the mess. Also.. Han Yeo Reum was way too foolish to try to stop that guy holding knife at the airport.
    The thing that made me interested in this drama was the production value , but seeing lee seon make so many foolish decisions was too disappointing for me.
    But still , it was a great show and now that I think of it , it seems that the story(Lee seon’s) was more about conveying the message than being more logical. Or it could be that all those years of hardships made him make those decisions.
    And special thanks to you ! Kay , for being so nice to all the commenters and writing so many great reviews , one after another. It’s just amazing how we all just completely agree with you views .
    It would be great if we all could meet in real life!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I’m glad you had a pretty good experience with the drama too 🙂 I know what you mean about Yeo Reum too. Her heart was always in the right place, but she tended to rush into situations without really thinking.

      Soo Yeon definitely made some awful decisions and just kept making them! It was hard watching him spiral out of control and not thinking logically about the situation. I think the same as you in that all the years of suffering and being confined to the wheelchair messed up his judgment. His fear of being that way again overtook him. It’s difficult seeing a character act in that way, but I personally didn’t think it was bad writing or anything, just that he was a scared person making stupid decisions based on that fear. But I too do really wish Yeo Reum could have been with him during treatment as it would have tied together a lot of the themes of the drama.

      And thank you so much for saying that! I’m really glad you enjoy the reviews 🙂 I love writing them and getting to interact with other drama fans. It would be awesome if it were easier for us drama fans to meet up. On one hand, it’s difficult being so far a part, but on the other hand, we still get to interact with people all over the world online. I’m definitely glad for that! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fred says:

    I too did not expect much from this drama. No compelling backstory from the get-go. I personally stay away from ‘profession dramas’ like doctors, lawyers, drivers, or whatever profession. If there is no back story then I would not bother watching – unless of course you give it a high rating HAHA. Too bad, though. I would have wanted to watch another Chae Soo Bin drama. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Yeah, I’m also one who really prefers to have that strong back story present throughout. And like you, that’s why profession/slice of life dramas don’t frequently hold my interest. Where Stars Land has one it’s just more minor in the first half and then becomes more prominent in the second half. I thought the main story deserved at least at 8 while the airport stuff would get a 6 which is how the drama landed at a 7, lol. But most people liked the airport stuff and weren’t as sold on the main story like me. So not sure if I would recommend it. Chae Soo Bin was very lovely in the drama though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. MyKDramaticLife says:

    I did not expect your 7. Hehehe. Because it is 8 at the very least for me. Well, every KDrama fan has his/her own preference, right? And I believe your 7 is already a good rating. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Haha, don’t worry, a 7 means I really liked the drama 🙂 I don’t go as much for the work place stuff, but I sure did love everything about Soo Yeon’s story. I would totally give that a 9. I was just so moved by him, and Le Je Hoon’s portrayal of him was fantastic. He really made the drama 🙂

      Like

  7. MyKDramaticLife says:

    As i was reading your review, I came to like the last three paragraphs especially the line “There will always be people that judge us and look down upon us. But realizing that each of us is important and unique should build up our own self esteem. Then the people that truly matter will accept us. They are the ones that count.”. THEY ARE THE ONES THAT COUNT. I love it! It is even more heartlfelt than the drama itself. Hehe. Amazing review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Melissa Elizabeth says:

    I agree with a lot of your thoughts, I really wish they had included them being together throughout his recovery too! I’m glad he didn’t die but it would have been nice if they had challenged the trope of living with a disability is worse than death. A lot of people live happy, full lives and have disabilities. I feel like they tried but never succeeded because as you mentioned LSY never really learns to love himself with the disability.

    I also really loved is their struggle with his life choices. No matter how much you love someone sometimes they are going to make choices you don’t like. It’s not up to us to change that and take away their autonomy (which is a big issue with the disabled community). You just have to love and support them through it because it’s their life.

    There was just so many layers with this movie which was great. Now if they had only actually shown his face at the end… -ARGH-

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I really love the thoughtfulness and insight of your comment. Yes, we definitely feel the same way about how they ultimately portrayed the theme of loving yourself with him not fully accepting himself with the disability. They did a lot right by showing how those around him who cared for him accepted him, but it would have been nice if he could have fully embraced himself and allowed her to be with him during recovery.

      And I agree with your thoughts on his life choices. It was terribly frustrating for those around Soo Yeon and even us as the audience to witness some of the choices he was making, but ultimately, they were his choices to make. Yoo Reum eventually does come into the equation to the extent where his choices were greatly affecting her, but even then she still very much questioned her right to make such a big decision for him. Definitely a lot of great topics explored. And yes, if only we could have seen his face…lol

      Like

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