Much too long intro:
Secret Garden was my gateway drug into Korean pop-culture, stemming from randomly watching it on Netflix. I fully embraced the crazy, the repetitiveness, the odd couple(s), and the ridiculata. It wasn’t till months later I started watching dramas regularly, so I really had no idea of just how crazy popular it was both in Korea and world-wide. But once you watch three dramas in a row using the Secret Garden OST, suddenly the 8th billed actor is getting their own starring roles, and you see articles from the WSJ on Hyun Bin’s return date from the military, one begins to think that this show might have had some cultural impact.
It will be interesting to see if such similar phenomenon will occur with My Love From the Star, which IMO has been the next drama that enraptured world and provided gangbusters ratings. Thus far MLFTS has sold out lip-stick, opened drama based-exhibits, and made Jeon Ji-Hyun (and chicken with beer) more popular than what was thought not possible, but I feel it’s star will fade faster then SG. Mostly because there is so much more material rife for parody with SG. Simply put, the humor from SG came from a mix between laughing at it, as well as with it, whereas MLFTS has decidedly less mockability. This may seem like a total take-down, but it’s not my number one drama for nothing. It’s much easier to remember Gil Rae Im and Kim Joo Won walking at a turtles pace in tandem then even a well-crafted joke or one-liner. Which is why I took note of the many, many times Korean shows payed homage to the body-switching phenom, and before you can say “but the cheesecake, that was some other bitch” here is number 5.