First Impression: Shooting Stars

Drama Profile

Title: Shooting Stars / Sh**ting Stars
Main Cast: Lee Sung-kyung, Kim Young-dae
Writer: Choi Young-woo
PD: Lee Soo-hyun (The Witch’s Diner)
Timeslot: Friday and Saturday 22:40
Network: tvN
OTT: Viu, iQiyi, Viki, TVING
Episodes: 16
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Plot Synopsis:

Shooting Stars is about people in the entertainment industry who take care of top stars. They bleed, sweat, and shed tears to make their celebrities shine. A romance appears between the perfect and flawless top star and the head of the promotion team, who is at the forefront of the star management. This is about the sparkling stories of the two main characters and others surrounding them. (Synopsis from Viu)

Maknae’s Impression:

We often hear how a celebrity’s image is everything to them. Talent is just one of the things that make them into the bright stars we know them to be. Their image comprises talent, charm, and good publicity. The last one is being taken care of a set of people assigned to listen to everything said about the stars and promote them as best as they could. tvN’s latest offering delves into the behind-the-scenes of the entertainment industry in the eyes of a PR expert.

Shooting Stars centers around Oh Han-byeol (Lee Sung-kyung), the team leader of the PR Team of StarForce Entertainment. Her character introduction revolves mostly around what she does as a PR manager and how their team handles “scandals” or potential issues for celebrities under their care. And the celebrity they have to protect the most is top star Gong Tae-sung (Kim Young-dae).

Tae-sung, however, knows how to handle himself in public. He has a cunning (and petty) side but he knows when to charm off people when needed. And that doesn’t include Han-byeol. From the start, it was clear that he and Han-byeol had something in the past but the series only teases us with some bits of it. It’s safe to assume they are each other’s first love or great love in college but something happened that tore them apart. They only got reunited when Han-byeol made a terrible mistake as a rookie (which is a really hilarious reunion, a literal cat-and-mouse chase!).

The main characters’ romance wasn’t the priority, however, for the first two episodes of Shooting Stars. They instead used their pilot week to introduce us to the world of celebrity management. It could have been a bore to some but somehow, the series’ support group has their own colors that some people would find entertaining.

There’s the manager team composed of successful agent Kang Yoo-sung (Yoon Jong-hoon), who got Tae-sung’s back and knows him better than anyone, and the rookie agent Park Ho-young (Kim Yoon-hye), who works hard to make the actor under her care become a top star like Tae-sung. It was interesting to see how managers think especially because celebrities’ self-esteem – as Yoo-sung pointed out – matters more than anything else.

On the other side of things is reporter Jo Ki-bbeum (Sojin), who is Han-byeol’s close friend. I guess, since Han-byeol had to deal with reporters a lot, it’s inevitable to form a friendship with one. I was thinking Ki-bbeum and Ho-young are the designated female leads’ eccentric best friends but I actually like that the series is showing that Ki-bbeum and Ho-young have their own stories to tell. I wonder if Ki-bbeum’s story would involve a lawsuit and she have to deal with StarForce’s legal consultant Atty. Do Song-hyeok (Lee Jung-shin). This is, of course, a shot in the dark since it isn’t clear yet what role Song-hyeok would play when it comes to the main plot between Han-byeol and Tae-sung. But I rather get multiple love-lines than another heartbreaking love triangle.

Shooting Stars is a romance-comedy through and through. It has all the elements we often find in this genre: a funny meet-cute (or in this case an ugly scandalous reunion of ex-lovers), a reason for proximity (aka their work), and a support group that is as lovable as the main characters. The comedy they pretty much have covered with funny character and setting introductions but I must say the romance department lacked the oomph I was expecting. However, it seems the series is still brewing its ex-lovers-to-lovers-again trope for the coming episodes. Let’s see if Shooting Stars will fulfill our romcom wishes.

Afterthoughts:

-Looking forward to all the cameos! I was thrilled seeing Kim Seul-gi and Park Jeong-min in a TV series again!

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