As much as I loved the whole star-crossed lovers plotline of “Crash Landing On You,” I feel like we’re sleeping on something just as central to the story: Yoon Se-ri’s character development. If you’ve watched the series, you probably know that she’s established her own company despite already being an heiress of a conglomerate in South Korea.
For the benefit of those who haven’t watched it, the story, set in both North and South Korea, follows heiress Yoon Se-ri’s quest to escape North Korea after a paragliding accident. It starts off with showing her life in South Korea which consists of handling a big fashion company (Se-ri’s Choice) and highlights her strained relationship with her family (which led her to start her own company in the first place). The pilot episode sees her father announcing that he chooses Se-ri as his successor, much to her brothers’ chagrin.
Which isn’t a surprise since she’s been making a name for herself in the business world by putting up her own fashion brand: Se-ri’s choice. This was built 10 years back when she was estranged from her family after she left them to live on her own.
Se-ri was born into privilege, but she knew that that meant a lot more was required of her. Despite being groomed for finance, she chose to start a business that also matched her interest: fashion. Her choice to live away from her family has become an advantage to her as it allowed her to be more self-sufficient and helped her survive when she fell into North Korea.
She also understood how she had responsibilities and commitments that she couldn’t just leave unattended, like running a business and providing jobs for her employees. It’s the discipline she acquired by pursuing her own path that enabled her to carry on. She even went straight back to work despite having just returned home to Seoul. While she was attending to her responsibilities, she used the time apart from Ri Jeong-hyeok (a North Korean soldier she fell in love with) to improve herself so that when the time came for them to meet again, she was ready to take their relationship to the next level.
Oftentimes, women are depicted as those who neglect responsibilities when favorable, more convenient options arise. These opportunities don’t give us a pass to press the pause button in our lives because responsibilities don’t really go away. It’s rather sad that we often see characters in movies or series represented as such. Apart from this, there are movies that would go way off by depicting women as mere accessories to a man’s success. There are many people fighting for better representation, and I think the media should be welcoming and encouraging more of it given the influence of movies and TV on contemporary life. Proper representation is important and we’re hoping nuanced female leads become a norm in movie and TV.