Three Korean dramas with scenes that will take you to the field and sea

Our Blues’ haenyeos on a boat. (YAMYAM ENTERTAINMENT's YouTube channel)

Korean dramas cover a lot of themes both in and out of the realm of reality, and scenes showing characters involved in any form of farming and fishing are no exception.

Here’s a list of Korean dramas that touched on farming and fishing life–both in the ground and under the sea.

Warning: This article contains spoilers. 

Crash Landing on You (CLOY)

Crash Landing on You is a K-drama that will transport your imagination to North Korea and make you more curious about the country and its culture. Although not actually shot there, the drama depicts what life is like in North Korea.

CLOY is a story of love and bravery, which happened after the accidental landing of Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye Jin), a South Korean CEO of a successful fashion and cosmetic brand, in a demilitarized zone in North Korea, where she met Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin), aka Captain Ri, a North Korean army officer.

Captain Ri looks at the tomato plant Se-ri planted in his yard. (Screenshot grabbed from Crash Landing on You)

After all the hiding and finding a way out for Se-ri, the story revealed the characters’ nurturing sides when they grew plants that they got for each other.

In the last episode, despite going back to their respective homes, Se-ri still receives scheduled phone messages and random gifts from Captain Ri, who at that time, already returned to his normal life in North Korea.

In one of the text messages, he penned: “Today is the Mangzhong season. It’s the day we, [North Koreans], plant seeds,” to which Se-ri reacted, “What? Mangzhong? Was he a farmer in his past life?” 

“So you’ll be getting a flower pot. You’ll know what it is after you grow it. It may be sensitive and fussy, but if you do as you’re told, it’ll sprout after two weeks. You need to water it, but since it’s sensitive to humidity, don’t give it too much. Give it a moderate amount of water,” Captain Ri added.  

“It needs sunlight as well, but don’t put it under the sun for too long. Keep it under the sun for a moderate amount of time. And lastly, this is the most important part when growing plants. You probably know it well. Say nice things to it every day.” 

“This is so much work,” Se-ri remarked, then she followed Captain Ri’s instructions, stating 10 nice things in her life, including the latter’s name. 

Se-ri later found out that it was an Edelweiss flower.

The following scene showed Captain Ri on the other side of Korea admiring his flowering tomato plant, which Se-ri had given him as a thank-you gift in episode three. For this, Captain Ri labeled himself as a “tomato cultivator,” and you’ll know more about it when you watch the drama.

Captain Ri’s tomato plants started fruiting. (Screenshot grabbed from Crash Landing on You)

The disparities between the North and the South in terms of food production and processing were also significantly evident in CLOY.

The North Korea portrayed in the drama isn’t exposed to a lot of food options and systems. Rice cookers, for example, are associated with luxury and are primarily owned by wealthy families. To cook food, most households use grills and fire pits.

Additionally, blackouts are commonplace, so the locals rely on age-old techniques of food preservation. Fresh produce and fermented food like kimchi are kept in an underground pantry instead of refrigerators that require power. 

On the other hand, in South Korea, almost everything can be acquired in an instant. This was shown in the episode where the North Korean soldiers marveled at the vast quantity of food, especially rice, at the convenience store when they snuck into the South.

My Liberation Notes

This slice-of-life drama series features three siblings who are exhausted with life and seeking liberation from different things, including their tiresome daily commute.

On weekdays, they work and go home from Seoul to Sanpo, a countryside village that’s hours away from Seoul. On days they are free, they help their farmer-parents do household chores and farm work.

Several scenes in the series showed the family harvesting crops like sweet potatoes, chili peppers, squash, and more.

One of the scenes in My Liberation Notes. (Screenshot grabbed from My Liberation Notes)

This drama depicts the difficulties of a farming family, as seen in episode 13, where the mother suggests selling their field because “farming is too much.”

Out of her frustration from the unfortunate events they encountered that day, one being bad-mouthed and compared to another family because of their yields, she said, “Tending the crops that grow like crazy–sowing and harvesting them–I can’t do it anymore.”

My Liberation Notes is a realistic portrayal of a family living in a rural area and the silent battles they have to go through every day as individuals.

Lee Min-Ki (Yeom Chang-Hee), Kim Ji-Won (Yeom Mi-Jeong), Lee El (Yeom Gi-Jeong), and Son Suk-Ku (Mr. Gu) are among the cast members.

Our Blues 

You don’t have to go far to see breathtaking landscapes that will soothe your heart and spirit because Our Blues offers exactly that.

This is a feel-good Korean drama that features bittersweet stories of people living in a small farming village on Jeju Island, where the sea is the primary source of income.

Some of Jeju Island’s women divers at work. (Screenshot grabbed from Our Blues)

In this drama, they highlighted the haenyeos, also known as sea women or women divers, who free dive in the ocean to harvest seafood like abalone to the market. It also showcased how the villagers treat each other like family while everyone is busy making a living. 

Our Blues’ haenyeos on a boat. (YAMYAM ENTERTAINMENT’s YouTube channel)

Seeing this drama will make you want to leave the bustling city life in exchange for a simple, laid-back life by the sea.

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Vina Medenilla
Vina Medenilla is a content producer for Agriculture Monthly magazine. She is a graduate from Miriam College with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. Fashion, photography, and travel are some of the things she loves. For her, connection with nature is essential to one’s life.

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