“Queen of Tears” to Surpass “Crash Landing on You”? There’s a Long Way to Go

The viewership ratings of “Queen of Tears” are rising, but its impact still fall behind “Crash Landing on You”. 

If there were a race with “Crash Landing on You,” it seems that currently, “Queen of Tears” is pushing itself backward.

Even before its premiere, “Queen of Tears” has been consistently compared to the blockbuster hit “Crash Landing on You.” Not only do they share the same broadcasting station and the same screenwriter, but the “Queen of Tears” team also continuously evokes thoughts of Son Ye-jin Hyun Bin’s work by building the image of the main on-screen couple. Additionally, “Crash Landing on You” and “Queen of Tears” share various similar details and tropes, such as the “wedding of the century” and “chaebol family”.

Gradually, the approach of the “Queen of Tears” team unintentionally makes “Crash Landing on You” a benchmark for both quality and popularity for “Queen of Tears”, especially at present, when Kim Soo-hyun and Kim Ji-won’s series is only 0.058% away from being on par with “Crash Landing on You” in terms of ratings. 

So, when comparing the works of screenwriter Park Ji-eun, which one truly deserves the title of tvN’s K-drama rating king?

Works that embody screenwriter Park Ji-eun’s spirit

Park Ji-eun (born 1976) is a South Korean television screenwriter, who is famous for hit dramas such as “My Love from the Star,” “The Producers,” “The Legend of the Blue Sea,” “Crash Landing on You,” and currently, “Queen of Tears.”

Similar to her previous works, both “Crash Landing on You” and “Queen of Tears” embody the essence of a Park Ji-eun production. It’s evident in her dramas that the female lead character doesn’t fit the traditional Cinderella mold. 


Particularly, both Hae-in (Kim Ji-won) and Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) are wealthy tycoons who stand out and are more talented than the men in their families. For them, love is part of life, not the sole pursuit as seen in many other romantic dramas.

Initially, screenwriter Park Ji-eun was successful in creating a strong and independent female lead character in “Queen of Tears.” In fact, compared to Se-ri from “Crash Landing on You,” Hae-in initially stood out as even more outstanding, ambitious, and capable. 

queen of tears

Through both dramas, audiences witness the characters’ journey of growth, self-discovery, and overcoming obstacles, portraying strong “feminist” themes, consistent with Park Ji-eun’s style.

By doing so, both “Crash Landing on You” and “Queen of Tears” are romantic comedies that stand out from typical dramas of the same genre. While they emphasize the value of love and life, they also highlight a crucial aspect: characters solve problems with their own strength, prioritizing their identity and life.

Yet, there’s something that “Crash Landing on You” has that “Queen of Tears” has bene unable to achieve. 

A nearly perfect K-drama until the end

Before “Crash Landing on You” aired, many viewers worried that its storyline might contain sensitive political elements, considering it involves characters from two countries unlikely to be happy together. 

In particular, male lead Jung-hyuk (Hyun Bin) is a North Korean soldier, and his father is even the Chief of the General Political Bureau. Meanwhile, Se-ri is a South Korean heiress, born into a wealthy family and has never experienced poverty. 

Due to a paragliding accident, Se-ri “lands” in North Korea and is secretly sheltered by Jung-hyuk and his team. Living together and quietly trying to find a way for Se-ri to return home, Jung-hyuk and the South Korean heiress gradually develop precious feelings. There are moments when, standing at the border between two countries, they are willing to run towards each other, regardless of the possibility of being shot at any time.

Hyun Bin

Unlike “My Love from the Star” or “The Legend of the Blue Sea,” “Crash Landing on You” doesn’t have supernatural or fantasy elements, yet it presents a love story beyond imagination. With this work, screenwriter Park has successfully crafted a very compelling story from start to finish. Whether it’s the main or supporting characters, in both North Korean rural areas and bustling Seoul with Se-ri’s luxurious apartment, each plays their role to the fullest. Whether they bring laughter or belong to the antagonist line, whether they are just nosy neighbors or a cunning colonel targeting Jung-hyuk, they all leave a strong impression on the audience, contributing to a harmonious and complete overall picture, full of joys and sorrows.

crash landing on you

In addition to the “star-crossed lovers” story, “Crash Landing on You” cleverly intertwines dramatic elements such as political issues and tense struggles within the tycoon community. 

The land where Jung-hyuk lives, initially unfamiliar to viewers, is described in an interesting and familiar way, although it sometimes causes controversy due to excessive romanticization. In particular, the drama provides many laughs for the audience when the story isn’t overly heavy, and it doesn’t intentionally try to evoke tears like typical motifs in Korean dramas—a trap that recent episodes of “Queen of Tears” have fallen into.

….Versus a K-drama that is slowly deviating from its trajectory

“Queen of Tears” is a rare black comedy in screenwriter Park’s career, and it’s undeniable that the K-drama’s sometimes controversial humor occasionally leaves viewers dissatisfied. 

This is not a significant problem, however, as “Queen of Tears” still successfully captivates audiences with an interesting motif, refreshing compared to the current landscape of Korean dramas. 

The story of a “male Cinderella”, the creative transformations in love storylines and tycoon relationships, the establishment of truly good characters make “Queen of Tears” the next pride in the career of talented screenwriter Park Ji-eun.

Unfortunately, such comments only apply to the first 12 episodes.

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Within episodes 13 and 14, the efforts of the entire team, most notably the Kim Soo-hyun – Kim Ji-won pair, have somewhat collapsed. Viewers left many negative feedbacks when screenwriter Park actively pushed conflicts to the extreme in rushed developments, going too far from the original nature of the series. 

Now that there are only 2 episodes left until the conclusion of “Queen of Tears”, countless unresolved issues stand, with the battle for the “Queens Group” not yet over, the additional characters not yet having any chance to shine, and the villain growing repetitive and annoying in their schemes. 

The moment Hae-in wakes up after surgery, the only thing she remembers is the name of her husband, Baek Hyun-woo, but she is manipulated by Eun Sung, pushing viewers’ frustration to the breaking point. 

park sung hoon queen of tears

Viewers are also fed up with how screenwriter Park builds the villain’s character, a psychologically disturbed individual who, halfway through, only cares about love affairs and can’t be completely ruthless. Additionally, the film’s attempt at humor once again backfires, and the “memory loss” details are really getting on some people’s nerves.

Additionally, despite knowing that “Queen of Tears” wants to emphasize the value of memories and love, viewers still can’t help but feel uncomfortable with intentional provocations towards Hyun-woo’s wife, especially the situation where he deliberately attracts the attention of other women.


If the overall script, especially the character development in “Crash Landing on You,” demonstrates the screenwriter’s firm grip from start to finish, then “Queen of Tears” seems to be gradually losing its strength at the end. 

The illogical development of the plot and the unnecessary drama, have turned “Queen of Tears” from a unique entity into a typical “weekend K-drama” with convoluted and infuriating developments.

queen of tears

“Crash Landing on You” made an unlikely love story end in fulfillment through very natural developments, without needing to forcibly emphasize additional tragic elements. Meanwhile, “Queen of Tears” shows that the screenwriter is struggling in her attempts to make the characters suffer somewhat excessively. 

With the current development, it seems achievable to bring a truly satisfying ending to the main couple, as Hae-in has successfully returned from the brink of death. However, with only 2 episodes left to draw that conclusion, it will be challenging to bring a sense of completeness to the audience.

Source: K14

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