Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Eun Gee Joh
tvN’s Sh**ting Star is a workplace rom-com drama depicting the hardships of office workers and their heart-fluttering romances. The story takes an inside look into the entertainment industry, which always brings curiosity and wonders to us. The drama features the stars under the spotlight, the publicists who make them shine, and the various people in the industry including tabloid reporters and celebrity lawyers. It aims to pleasantly portray the lives of people in the industry and their blooming romances with dreamy top stars.
The publicist in Star Force Entertainment, Oh Han Byul (played by Lee Sung Kyung), makes her living off of chasing celebrities. She is glued to her laptop and phone on and off her work, busy talking to reporters twenty-four-seven, covering up scandals, or writing promotional articles about the artist she represents. Due to their hectic schedule, her colleagues and herself have no time to do anything other than work, so even getting a simple medical check-up is an impossible task for them to tackle. However, a person grabs the attention of the weathered publicist who almost seems to have attained her nirvana, and his name is Gong Tae Sung (Kim Young Dae), the biggest celebrity client in Star Force Entertainment. And it looks like there’s much more going on between the two, other than just simple business.
The beginning of the play focuses on capturing the stories of industry insiders rather than the subtle relationship between Han Byeol and Tae Sung. As it is written by former publicist Choi Yeon Soo, the show vividly captures the competitive daily lives of industry insiders in the show business. Although some of the scenes were portrayed in an exaggerated light to bring comedy into the show, its detailed and realistic portrayal of actors, agencies, publicists, and reporters made us quickly tune into the show.
The actors gave a wonderful portrayal of showbusiness insiders. For instance, Yoon Jong Hoon, Park So Jin, and Jin Ho Eun nailed their roles. Yoon Jong Hoon plays Kang Yoo Sung, the head of the talent management team who subtly shows his crazy passion for his job as he does everything for his client with his gentle appearance. Park So Jin plays Cho Gi Peum, a tabloid reporter who often has a meltdown due to her work pressure. She won rave reviews for her realistic portrayal of the journalist who is constantly under pressure to write exclusive articles. Jin Ho Eun brings pleasant laughter to the audience by playing a fiery rookie talent agent named Byun Jung Yeol who lacks flexibility but is filled with incredible passion. Plus, the show never fails to entertain us by featuring a jaw-dropping list of cameo stars like Park Jung Min, Choi Ji Woo, Kim Seul Ki, and Lee Ki Woo.
Perhaps because it puts too much weight on the eventful daily lives of business insiders, the show is intriguing as an office drama but lacks its potential as a romantic comedy. It describes the bickering relationship between Han Byul and Tae Sung in a rather lame and transparent fashion and fails to add heart-pounding romance to the plot. And because the love and hate relationship is not as attractive as it seems, it is very easy for the viewers to tune out of their narrative as well as the show itself. On top of that, the acting of Kim Young Dae, who plays a huge Hallyu star, seems to be dragging this whole show down.
Nonetheless, the show is full of potential as it has just begun airing. In episode 4, Do Soo Hyuk (Lee Jung Shin) created a love triangle by being upfront about his feelings toward Han Byul. With this unfolding of events, there will be a big shift in their relationship dynamics, which have not been up to par with our expectations. I hope the show will play out its romance as interestingly as the stories of people in the entertainment industry. (5/10)