Published: Wednesday February 19, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday February 19, 2014 MYT 10:24:47 AM

Star of the show

Showstopper: Jun Ji-hyun is an absolute scenestealer in this quirky romantic series.

Showstopper: Jun Ji-hyun is an absolute scenestealer in this quirky romantic series.

For all the intergalactic romance in this South Korean series, its stellar female lead is the one true standout.

SOUTH Korean drama trailers have a knack for being dismissible at times, especially those sappy romantic ones. Perhaps it’s the clichéd ambiguity of the preview – boy and girl embracing under the cherry tree/in the middle of falling snow/insert your choice of setting.

It doesn’t help that whatever heartfelt dialogue is spoken usually gets lost on non-Korea-speaking viewers thanks to the absence of subtitles in the trailers.

In many ways, the preview of My Love From The Star suffers from the same problems. The only difference, which makes all the difference in the world, is the way Jun Ji-hyun (My Sassy Girl) makes the most out of the limited time she has in the trailer to command your attention in each shot that she appears in.

That being said, Jun (also known as Gianna Jun in her Western ventures) is all the reason you need to devote your attention to this modern-day romantic comedy. The girl’s a scene-stealer!

You could argue that I’m just being a shallow hot-blooded male because, seriously, the actress is pure hotness.

But then again, Jun’s fantastic portrayal of “National Goddess” Cheon Song Yi on the show has just the right amount of sass and humour to win over women viewers too.

A quick search on the Internet validates that, with many fans of the fairer sex wanting a cool eonni (a Korean term for “older sister” as addressed by younger girls) like Song Yi.

Story-wise, My Love From The Star doesn’t venture far from the typical fluffy Korean love story.

For starters, you have Kim Soo-hyun (Dream High, Moon Embracing The Sun) playing the significantly younger male lead who is brooding and ridiculously rich, partaking in ridiculous but obligatory shower scenes.

And of course, there’s the whole unfortunate unrequited love aspect of the story (because, God forbid, romance without love triangles just doesn’t belong in the K-drama universe) which is played out by two equally good-looking supporting performers, Park Hae-jin and Yoo In-na.

What is distinctive about the premise is its sci-fi element: an unaging alien falls for a famous actress.

Kim plays Do Min Joon, an extraterrestrial who landed on Earth 400 years ago during the Joseon Dynasty. The man possesses a near-perfect human appearance and enhanced physical abilities.

In the past, he got into a scuffle after developing a kind of brotherly affection for a child widow. As a result, he missed the departure of his spaceship and ended up stuck on Earth.

Fast-forward four centuries later, and Min Joon has grown disillusioned by mankind’s petty life. He prefers not to intervene even when he can and leaves fate to run its course, living a quiet existence as a university professor.

When news of an approaching comet is reported, Min Joon realises that his time on Earth could be up within three months.

But as fate would have it, he crosses paths with Song Yi. Despite the age gap between the stars (he’s 26, she’s 32), there is some beautiful chemistry between Jun and Kim, which isn’t surprising, considering the fact that they have both acted together before – in the blockbuster film The Thieves.

Most of the time, though, it is Song Yi’s quirky antics that makes the series watchable.

I also appreciate how her aegyo (cutesy demeanour) isn’t built on the “ditzy bimbo” template. Credit has to be given to writer Park Ji-eun for concocting ample scenes that reflect South Korea’s glitzy celebrity culture.

One particular scene where Song Yi complains about being full after eating only “an apple and half a Brussels sprout” is one of the show’s many highlights.

Leave it to Jun to deliver a humorous yet clever jibe at the image-obsessed country. Long live the National Goddess!

My Love From The Star airs every Wednesday and Thursday at 8.55pm on ONE HD (Astro Ch 393). Send feedback to entertainment@thestar.com.my.

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment, My Love From The Star, TV review, Kim Soo Hyun, Jun Ji Hyun, Gianna Jun, You Who Came From The Star, Korean, Korean drama, K-pop

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