The series portrays North Koreans as being well-disposed towards the South. On a visit to a jangmadang — an informal but increasingly widespread and tolerated black market in the North — a vendor tells the heiress her company’s cosmetics are among her most sought-after items.
One North Korean soldier is a fervent fan of Southern dramas and secretly watches the forbidden clips even when on duty, while a Northern teenager uses the latest Southern slang.
Thae Yong Ho, a former senior North Korean diplomat who defected to the South in 2016, said: “One thing for sure is that if this TV series is smuggled into North Korea, it will be hugely popular.”
Some critics have accused “Crash Landing on You” of peddling propaganda for the North, with a small right-wing group seeking a criminal investigation.
The Christian Liberty Party accused the producers of glorifying North Korean soldiers, who in real life were an enemy that “point their guns and knives at us”.
But the series has the crucial ingredients for commercial success of big-budget production values and a star-studded cast, led by Hyun Bin playing the officer and Son Ye-jin the heiress.
Most fans appeared not to be thinking “too deeply” about the Koreas’ division, said professor Yun.
Kim Eun-ji, a 33-year-old office worker who has freed up her weekend to catch the finale, said: “It’s pure fantasy.”