My Love from the Star has such an intense following, it’s got its fans acting crazy. The show debuted on December 18, 2013 and had an average viewership of 24% in Korea. It then sold to China where it’s been viewed online through iQiyi, a Chinese video streaming platform, alone 14.5 billion times.
The premise is catchy: An alien lands 400 years ago in Korea and falls in love. Fast forward to present, he meets his first love’s doppelg?nger — a haughty starlet, and inevitably falls in love with her too.
The show has sparked all sorts of trends, namely one for chicken and beer as it’s the heroine’s favorite food combination.
Resulting in over 3.7 million posts on China’s microblogging platform about “chicken and beer” in the weeks following the episode’s airing.
Even China’s A-list celebrities bought into the trend. Gao Yuan Yuan posted this photo with the caption: “First snow. Where’s my fried chicken and beer?”
In Jiangsu, a pregnant woman nearly suffered a miscarriage from binge watching the show late into the night and eating too much fried chicken.
A couple in Tieling, Liaoning, reportedly ate themselves sick for too much fried chicken and beer. They were both admitted to the hospital for pancreatitis.
In Chongqing, a woman supposedly dumped her boyfriend after he refused to buy her fried chicken in the middle of the night because he wasn’t as romantic as the show’s leading man.
Another story reported that a 50-year-old Chinese woman suffered a heart attack from late night binge-watching and getting too “emotional” over the storyline.
Allegedly, a manager in Fujian, gave his employees the day off just to catch the series finale.
When Chinese officials met in Beijing this week, the show was the hottest topic of discussion. They debated why China hasn’t made a show nearly as popular.
The CPPCC National Committee even went so far as to deem that the fanaticism sparked by My Love from the Star has hurt the self-respect of Chinese culture.