K-Drama Review : Stars Falling from the Sky

This review is not spoiler free.

attorney won

 

You know dramas where the main guy is a complete and total jackass? Well, not only did Stars Falling from the Sky star out with the main male lead, Attorney Won Kang Ha, as a stone cold jerk, but also with the main girl, Jin Pal Gang, acting even worse! I’m talking a girl who steals money from her adopted younger siblings’ piggy banks in order to get her hair permed, for god’s sake. Insert one big “uh-oh” on my part. But despite the lacking personalities of the main leads at the very beginning of the drama, I was very glad that I stuck it out and was rewarded with a touching and memorable drama, with mostly great character growth, albeit one with an ending that felt a little cheesy and rushed.

 

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“Useless Jin” as Pal Gang is dubbed at her workplace, an insurance company, is the worst performing seller of insurance. She spends most of her work and free time, not on studying or being a half-decent older sister, but on wracking up debt on designer clothes in an attempt to impress the company’s cold and womanizing Attorney Won Kang Ha. Pal Gang lives with her parents and her five younger adopted siblings. Yes, you read that right, five siblings. Though living with this many siblings is a bit of a nuisance for her, it is about to get a lot worse. When Pal Gang’s parents die in a suspicious car accident, she suddenly finds herself as the sole provider for her siblings.

 

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After they inevitably lose the house, they are forced to live on the streets, as no inn will except 4 children and a crying baby—until Pal Gang finds an available position as a live in housekeeper. But here’s the kicker, it’s in Attorney Won’s house. Exhausted from working to the bone, Pal Gang gives up her love for Attorney Won and her pride and begs for the job. She is hired by Attorney Won’s brother Won Joon-ha, but she has literally nothing going for her—she can’t cook even the simplest things, clean, or maintain house very well–not to mention having 5 siblings. And that’s the plain truth, she doesn’t mention it! 😉 Instead, Pal Gang secretly sneaks the kids in after the three men of the house, Attorney Won, Joon-ha, and their nephew Won Tae-gyu, fall asleep.

 

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The kids trying to quiet baby Nam’s cries.
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The kids soon become part of the men’s  lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound impossible? It certainly is! It’s only a matter of time until the kids are caught. And when Attorney Won finds out, he tries to kick them all out immediately, regardless of their dire circumstances. Luckily Joon-ha and Tae-gyu intercede on her behalf and Attorney Won agrees to give them 1 month to find another place. Little does he realize how smitten he will become of not only the children (who by the way are FREAKING adorable and named after different colors—who could resist that?), but also Pal Gang, the woman who unsuccessfully pursued him romantically for 5 years.

 

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Jung Jae-Young is the second female lead and extremely detestable.

But there is another woman who is interested in Attorney Won, and that is Jung Jae-Young, a woman who will stop at nothing to marry him. Though Attorney Won cruelly insists that he will never “see Jae-Young as a woman” and other caustic remarks, she pursues him doggedly throughout the series, even pulling at the heartstrings of a sympathetic Joon-ha. I held my breath for a good portion of the drama, waiting for Jae-Young to discover that Pal Gang—a woman she even tries to fire from her Grandpa’s insurance company—lives with Attorney Won and to flip out. At first, it appeared that I would be wrong about Jae-Young, but after her plans to blackmail Attorney Won into marrying her appear to be failing due to his newfound interest in Pal Gang, she loses it and lashes out at everyone in true-Kdrama-second-female fashion. She even furiously slaps Pal Gang and several other characters.

 

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Um, holy reconciliation, batman!

And though the writers do a great job at transforming Pal Gang from a bratty, selfish, and immature girl into a capable, strong, and independent woman and Attorney Won from cruel and cold to caring and funny the show utterly fails with Jae-Young’s character development and the ending. I still don’t understand how she went from blackmailing Attorney Won into marriage, claiming that she didn’t care if he loved her as long as he was hers, into a woman who does a complete 180 in seconds and suddenly didn’t want a loveless marriage and laughs off Attorney Won standing her up at engagement party, loving Pal Gang and her siblings, and all of the other crap he put her through. Um, what? And as the show reaches it’s end, I was totally shocked to see her sitting at a table with Pal Gang and Attorney Won, and Joon-ha (who had also been turned down by Pal Gang). Guess blackmail of that degree and complete and total rejection between close friends are all just magically water under the bridge, huh? With this instantaneous overnight reconciliation, I couldn’t help but feel that maybe the writers ran out of time for the ending.

 

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Them wearing matching aprons was too much for me!

And if I couldn’t believe that, the sight of Attorney Won jokingly begging a reluctant Pal Gong to marry him, wearing a matching apron and cooking with her, was really unbelievable (in fact, I would have laughed in your face if you had told me that at the beginning of the drama). But none of this compared to the sight of a baby waiting on their doorstep for a new home. And when Pal Gang suggests they get married now that they have ANOTHER baby to take care of him, I wanted to fall over anime style.

 

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These two came such a long way.

Despite these rough spots near the end of the drama, I was so happy to watch Pal Gang change into a strong-willed woman/mother, who even refuses monetary payoffs multiple times for fear of shaming her younger siblings and going back to her old selfish ways. It was truly a surprising delight to see her find her own inner strength and independence, even with the three men of the household falling in love with her, vying for her attention, and willing to make her into a “Cinderella.” Refreshingly, she always sticks to her morals and puts the children first.

 

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But even greater than seeing Pal Gang’s transformation, was watching Attorney Won’s hard exterior melt. I especially enjoyed his development under the affection of one of Pal Gong’s younger siblings, the absolutely adorable Pa-Rang. Pa Rang likes him the best out of the three men in the house and disregards his siblings’ favorites (they each pick a Won man to try to get to marry their sister and it turns into a bit of a friendly competition). It’s so cute to see Pa-Rang “sleepwalk” into Attorney Won’s bedroom (which had been explicitly forbidden to others) and crawl into bed with him, claiming that he misses sleeping with his parents and that Attorney Won is cool like a “power ranger.” Before long, Attorney Won is buying him video games, letting him sleep with him every night, and getting more involved with the other kids—even changing diapers, taking them out to dinner, giving them pep talks, and dropping everything at his all important job to find them when they’re lost. 

 

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Pa Rang giving Attorney Won his approval for liking his sister.

And as if that weren’t heartwarming enough, near the end of the series, when Pa Rang asks Attorney Won in front of Pal Gang’s family and friends, “Do you love my sister?” and Attorney Won responds, “I do love her,” I literally made a noise between a guffaw and a happy squeal! These funny, heartwarming moments far outweigh the negatives of this series—even its goofy/surreal ending—and the show succeeds in making you care about its characters and wanting to be part of this nontraditional family. I’d recommend Stars Falling from the Sky to anyone looking for a solid lighthearted romantic comedy.

 

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One big happy family.
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Posted December 7, 2015 in K-Dramas, Watch

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