The entertainment world naturally has its bifurcated acting system. Movie stars rank highest on the totem pole while the drama/television stars don’t command nearly the same level of clout in the industry. Some straddle both worlds on a regular basis but when a A-list movie star heads back to television there is always the rubbernecking interest on whether the fame transcends mediums as well as an eye for selecting the right project. A-list starlet Jeon Ji Hyun‘s first return to dramas in 14 years has been nothing short of a masterful success. You From the Star is a ratings winner from day one and its entertaining popcorn cheesiness with a side of sly humor makes for one easy watch. The drama is still a cauldron of wacky tonal shifts from screwball alien-human comedy to sociopath-on-the-loose murder thriller. Not that watching cackling villain Jae Kyung isn’t entertaining in a Dr. Evil in Austen Powers sort of way, but his story is clearly shoehorned in as the antagonist to put the two leads in constant danger. The entire murder and cover up is so over-the-top and the investigation hamfisted to drag out the danger element and ultimately I don’t think this story needs it since the very premise of an alien who is about the leave Earth falling in love and struggling with whether to stay or good is pretty darn good angst enough.
My gripes with the story construct aside, it’s Jeon Ji Hyun’s performance as Hallyu superstar Chun Song Yi that remains a revelation of charismatic acting and a wonderfully written character. Song Yi is the heart and soul of this drama for me and Jeon Ji Hyun more than proves her movie fame isn’t overrated in the least. Her meltdowns are epic and hilarious and her heartbreak moments raw and stirring. I’m still having a tough time connecting with Kim Soo Hyun’s stiff acting in this drama or his alien character Do Min Joon but there is no need to hash into it since it hardly distracts from my appreciation for Song Yi. Jeon Ji Hyun makes all these myriad of faces that deserves to be immortalized as how to act animated without being cartoonish. She is a pure and unfiltered delight to watch in YFAS and singlehandedly makes this drama for me despite me finding everything else mediocre – poorly written one-note supporting characters, uneven directing and spastic tonal shifts, and a howlingly bad OST. I used to have merely a fondness for Jeon Ji Hyun (after she did Daisy with my I Lub You) but now it’s a full blown “we are not worthy” salute to her existence to shine light on us mere mortals with her ability to entertain. Check out some of her “girl with a thousand faces” below along with clips of the best scenes in the recent episodes of YFAS.
The magic charm of Cheon Song Yi:
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