What Planet Are You From? (MBC TV Series)
YA Entertainment // Unrated // $99.99 // February 13, 2007
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted February 17, 2007
M O V I E
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version

The Mini-Series

What Planet Are You From?, also known as What Star Are You From?, is a Korean television drama (K-drama) produced by the South Korean television network MBC. It first aired in Korea during the first half of 2006. It is an uplifting tale about two people in love, who find themselves in an-almost tragic and very conflicted relationship. The general premise deviates from the common K-drama baseline and focuses on a couple different aspects beyond a love triangle. It is the character conflict, past relationships, and family problems at the height of the drama. Overall, What Planet Are You From? is a fun and enjoyable drama that is also sweet, passionate, loveable, and doesn't go over-the-top with drama.

The story takes place three years after a tragic event. Years ago, Choi Seung-Hee (Kim Rae-Won) fell in love with Lee Hye-Soo (Jeong Ryeo-Won). Oddly enough, they went to the same high school and by chance they never met. After high school, Seung-Hee went to Australia to attend college. He majored in film and won a prestigious award for a short film. Seung-Hee was a rising young director with the world at his feet. During his celebration party, his high school friend Han Jung-Hoon (Ok Ji-Young) introduced him to a good family friend, Hye-Soo.

For Seung-Hee and Hye-Soo, it was love at first sight. They became involved and soon after engaged. Life was almost perfect, except for the fact Hye-Soo's mother Jin-Hee (Lee Bo-Hee) disapproved of their relationship. She, for a lack of better words, despised him. Hye-Soo came from a rich and influential family, while Seung-Hee's family was far from that. Despite the conflict, they still intended to wed. Unfortunately, Hye-Soo died in a car accident. Three years later, Seung-Hee is finally getting over his loss and trying to get his life back in order.

Jung-Hoon, who now owns a film production company, encourages Seung-Hee to move on with his life. Trying to let go of Hye-Soo, Seung-Hee travels to the country to get away. He meets a kooky girl named Kim Bok-Shil (Jeong Ryeo-Won) and decides to follow her because she looks like she could be Hye-Soo's identical twin. He wants to make sense of it. As the two get to know each other in the country, there are some fun scenes. This portion of the show (the very beginning) is a solid example of the light banter that the two leading characters share with each other, as well as the general silly situations they get into. It was an aspect that helped make this show very enjoyable.

After they spent a couple goofy days together, Seung-Hee leaves, only to return with a production crew to film a music video. Jung-Hoon and Yoon Mi-Hyun (Kang Jung-Hwa), Hye-Soo's cousin, join him and are shocked when they meet Bok-Shil. They immediately notice the resemblance between Bok-Shil and Hye-Soo. Then through a series of events, Jung-Hoon confirms something for the Lee family, Bok-Shil is their missing daughter Hye-Rim! Long ago, Bok-Shil's mother Soon-Ok (Im Ye-Jin) lost her only daughter in a poisonous gas accident. Later, she found a baby all alone and tried to locate the parents. She failed in the task and decided to take the baby into her care. At the same time, Jin-Hee lost her youngest daughter and had assumed she perished. Little did everyone know or expect that Bok-Shil is Hye-Rim!

As imaginable, a lot of drama comes from these different situations. The major focus on drama that ties into everything else is Seung-Hee and Bok-Shil's relationship. The relationship is unstable because of the various conflicts the two individuals have with it. Seung-Hee falling in love with the long lost younger sister of the woman he loved? Talk about conflicted morals! He repeatedly gives Bok-Shil the cold shoulder, even though he loves her. Bok-Shil also has problems settling down with him, which are more or less due to the disapproval of her new mother. Jin-Hee hates Seung-Hee and blames him for Hye-Soo's death. She does not want her long lost daughter to be involved with him.

Another big aspect of the drama comes from Bok-Shil's new life as Lee Hye-Rim. She is forced out of her loving mother's care into her birth mother's. Jin-Hee having found her daughter again, wants her to be with her. Of course, Bok-Shil does not always seem to reciprocate. Jin-Hee also has problems with Bok-Shil's direction in life. She wants to study under Seung-Hee and become a writer/director like him. Jin-Hee wants her to go to college, major in business, and run the family business. She is painted as the real villain and can be found at the center of a lot of the drama.

The final significant piece of the drama comes from the supporting characters that have romantic interests in the leading characters. Jung-Hoon was in love with Hye-Soo, but never had the chance to tell her because of Seung-Hee. He also falls for Bok-Shil, but has problems getting her interest. She always has Seung-Hee on the mind. Mi-Hyun has the hots for Seung-Hee. Before Hye-Soo's death, she had hoped to steal Seung-Hee's heart. But when Hye-Soo died, she was unable to get close to him. Now that he has moved on, she wants to be his woman. Of course, he his eyes are on Bok-Shil. These love triangles are not a huge focus of the show and do not really show up until the second half. When they do, there is some drama to be had by all.

Overall, the show provides a fun, uplifting, heartwarming romantic story that will leave a smile on your face. The two lead characters are adorable together and have a wonderful chemistry. I really enjoyed how the story carried their relationship and put them in light-hearted, comical situations, as well as soapy melodramatic situations. The balance between the two helped give the show a very good pace. In the end, What Planet Are You From? is a solid drama that has a lot of character and heartwarming goodness.

The DVD

Video:
This release is given in anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color. The picture quality is excellent, providing a clear and clean picture with minor color distortions and compression artifacts. Both dark and bright colors are represented very well.

Audio:
The audio track supplied is in Korean 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The dialogue comes off a little flat and some of the soft spoken actors/actresses are a bit hard to hear. But the track is generally audible for most characters. The music sounds good; it is dynamic and vibrant. The only problem is that the same tracks are used over and over again.

For non-spoken language options, there are subtitles in English provided. There are a few grammatical errors and odd word usages, but for the most part the subtitles provided were easy to follow.

Extras:
For extras, there are two items included on the sixth disc. First is a behind the scenes featurette (14:44). The featurette is not very exciting. It consists of behind the scenes footage of filming, shots of the cast smiling, posing, and acting slightly goofy, and a short cast interviews. There is also a behind the scenes peek at the production side, which includes a discussion with the special effects crew (not very special). The second and final item is the first twenty minutes of the K-drama My Love Patzzi.

Final Thoughts:
What Planet Are You From? is a K-drama about two individuals who find happiness in each other, despite everything and everyone standing in the way. Their lives are filled with lots of drama from past relationships to long lost families. What really sets this particular K-drama apart from others is the sweet and wholesome tone the show takes with its characters and storyline. In the end, What Planet Are You From? makes for a very enjoyable melodrama with a wonderful cast.



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