Shooting Stars is a romance-comedy series set inside an entertainment company. Looking at the premise alone, this series might come off as that ordinary rom-com filled with a trite love story and overly ridiculous comedic sequences. But it turned out, it was a rom-com done right.
Like most romance stories, Shooting Stars banked on its setting to differentiate itself from other series in the same genre. The show delves into the behind-the-scenes of the entertainment industry in the eyes of a PR expert – our main heroine Oh Han-byeol (Lee Sung-kyung). She’s the team leader of the PR Team of StarForce Entertainment, which is the agency handling the career of top star – and the story’s male lead – Gong Tae-sung (Kim Young-dae). The series was able to make the behind-the-scenes work of those in the entertainment industry interesting. Not just through Han-byeol and Tae-sung’s interaction but with the stories of the supporting characters as well.
Shooting Stars have multiple lovelines as if everyone in this universe had been struck by cupid’s arrow. But I’ll take that happily over a grueling love triangle any time. The main plot, of course, focuses on Han-byeol and Tae-sung’s love story. In my First Impression, I thought their story is an ex-lovers-to-lovers-again trope but it turned out it was frenemies-to-lovers. They have known each other for years (since college) and Han-byeol, at some point in the past, fell in love with Tae-sung. But the timing wasn’t on their side at that time since Tae-sung was just starting to get famous when that “misunderstanding” happened. Their romance only blossomed when Tae-sung finally realized he had feelings for Han-byeol all along. Their relationship progresses with each episode. It was entertaining to watch how the “nation’s boyfriend” struggled to prove his feelings for Han-byeol. Our heroine, for her part, was relatable when she had to decide whether she should risk having her heart get broken and her privacy sacrificed by dating someone like Tae-sung. When they were finally together, they had to go through a few challenges – mostly about Tae-sung’s past – but none of those were able to break them apart. Their story was a lighthearted journey filled with lots of cute moments and swoony confessions. The same goes with the series’ secondary couples.
The sunbae-hoobae story of StarForce’s managers Kang Yoo-sung (Yoon Jong-hoon) and Park Ho-young (Kim Yoon-hye) also ended warmheartedly. Ho-young’s years-long secret crush on Yoo-sung started when he inspired her to change her career path and become a talent agent. Ho-young hid her feelings so well that I didn’t notice, at first, the subtle cues of her one-sided love for Yoo-sung. But it was hinted all along – she named her newly discovered actor after him and she always talked about him whenever she, Han-byeol, and Jo Ki-bbeum (Sojin) met for a drink. Yoo-sung, meanwhile, is that kind of sunbae who is nice to everyone he worked with. His personality made his feelings harder to decipher but since this is a rom-com – where everyone gets their happy ending – Yoo-sung, eventually, realized that he also likes Ho-young. Their side story was a nice addition since these two characters are the closest to our main leads.
The other two characters closest to Han-byeol and Tae-sung were reporter Ki-bbeum and StarForce’s legal consultant Atty. Do Song-hyeok (Lee Jung-shin). The latter actually became Tae-sung’s rival in the earlier episodes that I thought my original hunch about him and Ki-bbeum was wrong. But then their paths crossed and my headcanon suddenly became canon. It was, personally, the most satisfying development as I was rooting to get an alpha-alpha pairing from this series. The only downside was that they only had a few episodes for their relationship to develop but all of their screentime together was worth the wait. Add the fact that the actors ooze chemistry whenever they were in one frame. I wouldn’t complain if K-drama gods decide to pair them up again in another series.
Aside from the three main pairs, the relationships and friendships of other characters filled up the storyline for the rest of the 16 episodes. The enemies-to-lovers banter between rookie actors Yoon Jae-hyun (Shin Hyun-seung) and Jin U-na (Lee Si-woo) was a fun break when the main plot started delving into Tae-sung’s dark past. The platonic relationships were also entertaining to watch like Byeon Jung-yeol (Jin Ho-eun) and Tae-sung’s actor-manager dynamic, and even the Publicity Team’s daily work rants.
Overall, Shootings Stars has been an entertaining show that one should watch if they are just looking for something feel-good and you just want to unwind. It could definitely sit alongside the recently-aired romance series that have been fulfilling every rom-com lover’s wishes.
-The amount of cameos here is stellar but the special participation of Choi Ji-woo as Eun Si-woo was a very much pleasant surprise as I thought she would only appear for one episode.
-My other favorite cameos was Lee Sang-yeob as Atty. Do’s brother, Song Ji-hyo as actress Song Ji-hee, and of course, the Penthouse Villains’ reunion with Uhm Ki-joon and Bong Tae-gyu.
-Nam Woo-hyun sang the main OST for this series!!! My 2nd-Gen-Kpop fan heart was so happy.
-So… I can actually safely assume that Baek Da-Hye (Jang Hee-ryung) and Kang Si-duk (Lee Seung-hyub) are the implied endgame, right? Because these two lovely characters also deserve a happy ending after their crushes remained unrequited.