[Recap] “Man from the Stars” Hits the Right Notes in Episodes 1 & 2
The new SBS drama “Man from the Stars” kicked off on December 18 taking over the Wednesday/Thursday time slot from Heirs. I will be covering this fantasy rom-com for Soompi on a weekly basis. Please be sure to check in and share your thoughts about this drama!
When Do Min Joon landed on Earth 400 years ago, he didn’t realize how much he would dislike living there. He doesn’t age, making it very hard to build relationships with other people, and his super abilities like extra sensitive hearing and the power to stop time don’t seem to do him much good. It’s understandable that over time Min Joon has developed a very cynical outlook towards human life. How will this viewpoint change as he interacts with the loud and opinionated actress Chun Song Yi? As fate would have it, these two already have a deep connection, a connection which spans over 400 years. Get ready for a romance that is out of this world!
This show is adorable. The plot is refreshingly different and I’m enjoying how the characters are developing. The two leads in particular have captured my attention and I can’t wait to see their relationship develop onscreen. It’s always fun when the leading man has special abilities- you just never know what new twists will be added to the usual formula!
[Warning: This Post Contains Spoilers for Episodes 1 & 2]
Do Min Joon played by Kim Soo Hyun
Do Min Joon is an alien who landed on Earth during the early 1600s. He has lived more than 400 years as a human and prefers to keep his distance from other people. Retaining the same handsome, young appearance since his landing comes with a whole range of difficulties. Every 10 years Min Jin changes his identity in order to avoid suspicion. Not only that, but he also has senses 7x more acute than humans and has the power to stop time and even sometimes see into the future. His vast range of experiences and constant loneliness has instilled in him a sense of detachment and pessimism. According to him, there’s no point for him to be involved with people. Good thing he’ll be returning to his home planet in three months!
Chun Song Yi played by Jun Ji Hyun
Chun Song Yi is a famous actress who is notorious for her stunning looks and stupidly silly social media updates. She’s at the top of her game and is currently filming a new drama. While stubborn and opinionated, Song Yi is also troubled by the loneliness and isolation that comes with being a top star. When the media gets wind that she hasn’t been attending her graduate school classes, she is forced by her agency to attend on a regular basis. As fate would have it, her professor turns out to be none other than Min Joon, the same Min Joon who also happens to be her new nextdoor neighbor! Ready or not, her fate is already entwined with the stoic alien.
Yoo Se Mi played by Yoo In Na
Yoo Se Mi plays the second lead both in dramas and in her own life. She and Song Yi grew up together and both decided to pursue acting careers. Worse yet, she is in love with her friend Lee Hee Kyung, but he already loves Song Yi. Se Mi just can’t catch a break.
Lee Hee Kyung played by Park Hae Jin
Lee Hee Kyung is the youngest son of a conglomerate. He is head-over-heels smitten with Song Yi and has been since their middle school days. He doesn’t have much of an interest in the family business and would much rather chase after his love. He’s proposed to Song Yi on multiple occasions, but they have thus far all failed. Don’t worry, this hasn’t stopped him from trying again and again.
Min Joon and Song Yi
The interactions between Min Joon and Song Yi drive the plot of “Man from the Stars”. In the first two episodes, there have already been a number of cute, endearing, and even heart-tugging encounters. Highlights include:
Their First Encounter
This scene set the foundation for their future interactions. Thus far, 95% of the time Min Joon acts as his stoic self while Song Yi will expressively make her opinions known. The extreme contrast and great comedic timing makes their encounters highly entertaining. To be fair, in this scene Song Yi believes Min Joon to be stalking her. I guess thinking are being followed can bring anyone’s emotions to a boiling point, right?
Song Yi Disturbing the Peace with her Horrid Singing
Min Joon wasn’t too happy to hear his neighbor’s attempt at signing. When he goes to tell her to stop, he instead gets an earful from an emotional Song Yi who had a tough day filled with criticism from netizens. Lesson learned: Don’t mess with an emotional Song Yi.
Song Yi’s Request for a Homework Exemption
Having “Top Star” status has really gone to Song Yi’s head. Since she now must attend classes, especially Min Joon’s, she asks her new neighbor for a favor and promises to pay him back. Little does she know what Min Joon’s personality is actually like. He quickly shoots down her request, making her feel awkward and embarrassed in the process. The “I’m going to talk to you as if I want to kiss you” aspect made this a particularly memorable scene.
Professor Min Joon Publicly Shames Song Yi for her Plagiarism
Because Song Yi couldn’t get out of turning in her homework, she did the next best thing she could do in her situation- hand in a an expertly copied essay! Min Joon instantly flips through the pages, announcing each part that is plagiarized to the class. Even worse, there is a camera crew present that records the entire thing. Even the uncaring Min Joon regrets his harsh words later once he realized the problems this has caused for Song Yi. His heart is beginning to awaken!
Song Yi Drunkenly Thinks Min Joon’s Apartment is Her Own
This was one of my favorite scenes thus far. Song Yi is her usual boisterous self, expertly intruding in Min Joon’s private bubble. Her little “Open Sesame” dance was hilarious and it was fun to see Min Joon freak out when she enters his home. Whether Min Joon likes it or not, I can already tell Song Yi will be breaking down more than just his door in the future. Min Joon, get ready for some emotion!
Both of the lead characters have a range of special issues related to their own situations.
Let’s start with Do Min Joon’s #AlienProblems
His super sensitive senses, while really awesome, also cause him a whole host of problems.
Super hearing is particularly tough to deal with.
He can’t sleep well and overhearing unwanted conversations is a constant annoyance.
Not aging has made him hate making connections with people. What’s the point? They get old and he forever stays the same. During his 400 years, Min Joon has locked himself into an extremely isolated lifestyle.
His age and ever changing identities has also meant he’s had to enlist in the army 29 times! In case you were wondering that accounts for 49 years and 7 months of his life on Earth.
Min Joon cannot exchange fluid or blood with humans. As a result, he always eats alone. Makes me wonder how kiss scenes will work in this drama. There better be some magical exception in place! If the guy can stop time, there must be a way around this silly rule.
A prevailing issue revolves around Min Joon’s use of his powers. Yes, he can stop time, but he questions the point of ever using it. According to him, things that are meant to happen will still occur no matter what his actions are. The few times that he has helped someone, his interference only made the situation worse. For now, he’s given up trying to use his powers for good.
Now for Chun Song Yi’s #TopStarProblems
Song Yi isn’t always the sharpest tool in the shed and her ignorance has backfired on many occasions on social media. SNS posting mishaps are a normal occurrence for her. She may have 20,000 friends online, but they are quick to ridicule her stupidity. Being famous is quite the lonely line of work!
Reporters constantly bombard her, whether that be at school, onset, or in her daily life. It’s all part of being a Korean Star.
Her mother has mooched off her money and fame one too many times.
She has a jealous rival actress eager to cause her trouble. Cat fights are another one of those issues that are all part of the Top Star package.
Last but not least, her ego is very inflated . She can’t even comprehend that Min Joon hasn’t heard of her.
Don’t worry Song Yi, he certainly knows now!
Let’s Talk About Fate
By the end of the first episode, we know that Min Joon and Song Yi have intersecting fates. He not only saves her life upon his arrival to Earth, but he also saved it again 12 years ago. He’s not sure how or why she appeared before him this second time, but it is his wish to see her again before he leaves. The clock is ticking- he’s all set to return to his home planet in three months. It’s funny how fate works: the one he’s looking for is right in front of his eyes and she is annoying him to no end with her #TopStarProblems.
Without a doubt, fate will be taking center stage during this drama. Even the ending song proclaims “You are my destiny”. I’m excited to see how these characters handle their criss-crossing paths and differing personalities. Now that Min Joon knows exactly who Song Yi is, I’m expecting some more wonderful interactions. It’s only a matter of time until his stoic attitude starts to fall for the charms of Song Yi. It’s going to be a fun journey!
I very much enjoyed the first two episodes of “Man from the Stars”. I highly recommend that you check out it this fantasy drama. I’m glad that the characters are unique and maintain their own strange problems. I’m not quite sure what will come next, but I am more than ready for the next installment. We haven’t seen too much from the supporting cast and I’m interested to see how the characters of Se Mi and Hee Kyung will fit into the story’s framework.
I’m also glad that Min Joon likes brooding in the shower. He’s already had two shower scenes and I’m hoping this becomes a normal occurrence!
What are your thoughts on “Man from the Stars”? Feel free to comment below!
Rachel’s K-pop and K-drama blog Rarapop is full of good information any fan of Korean entertainment will enjoy. You’ll find articles like “Korean Celebrity Inspired Wants”, “Top 5 Engrish Phrases in K-pop”, and a whole range of music video and drama reviews. Warning: T.O.P’s cheekbones may be a frequent topic of discussion. Be sure to check out this great blog!