Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 11 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 12 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 13 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 14 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 15 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 16 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
‘Shooting Stars’ is a 16-episode tvN drama that revolves around the life of a superstar and his management label. When the initial teasers of the show were dropped, it was expected that the show would get into the nitty-gritty details of the industry and expose the true personalities of celebrities. In reality, the show is lukewarm at best.
With most of the episodes focused on the love lives of the characters on the show, the K-drama turns into a fun joy ride filled with chaos and confusion that romanticizes the idea of being a PR Manager to a famous actor.
‘Shooting Stars’, also known as ‘Sh**ting Stars’, revolves around the life of Gong Tae-sung (played by Kim Young-dae) who is the nation’s biggest superstar to ever exist. He is managed by an Entertainment agency that is now run by the rookie who scouted Tae-sung years ago.
The same company has a set of managers. Due to the chaos Tae-sung often causes, he is never able to last as a manager long enough. The company has a PR Team that is run under Oh Han-byeol (played by Lee Sung-kyung) who can get celebrities out of any pickle with her quick wit.
Han-byeol and Tae-sung had been college acquaintances but the PR manager kept herself from falling in love with the actor after a heartbreak. However, a simple mistake made by Han-byeol, which tainted the actor’s public reputation, turned him into her bully.
Years after tormenting the PR Manager, Tae-sung realizes that he actually loves Han-byeol but will he be able to confess knowing his reputation? Will Han-byeol accept his feelings after being hurt once? Do they have a smooth-sailing relationship considering the business Tae-sung is in?
Going into the story, you may be tricked, like I was, into believing that the gory details of the Korean Entertainment industry will be exposed in front of fans. However, the show is as predictable as can be, and this is the reason why so many fans love the show.
It’s a perfect family entertainer with romance, melodrama, and comedy – all genres that typically work well with people of all ages. As soon as the first episode of the show aired, Shooting Stars became a hit among fans because of the conviction with which Sung-kyung played the tormented PR Manager who does not have a minute to rest and the menace Young-dae tries to be with his narcissism.
The show has a basic plot of ‘boy meets girl’ and makes you believe that fans will be able to make it as an employee who works for a fictional show. But, the reality of working as a mere employee in the Entertainment business is far too grim to fit the narrative of this K-drama.
Despite being a predictable story, the show does an amazing job at redeeming Tae-sung’s behavior and making him someone fans will love by the end of the show. His issues are graver than what meets the eye. However, the show does miss a trick by not showing how celebrities deal with severe anxiety due to toxic hate comments – an angle that is not explored well through the medium of the show.
Having Lee Sung-kyung as the female lead of the show is an amazing decision from the makers as she fits the role well. Kim Young-dae does an impressive job as Tae-sung, while the side characters, namely Lee Jung-shin, Lee Seung-hyub, Jin Ho-eun and Shin Hyun-seung, all steal the show with their respective roles.
Shooting Stars features a wide range of cameos – all celebrities who played actors or K-pop idols that revolved around Reporter Ki-ppeum (played by Sojin). It was fun watching the reporter learn about the true behavior of actors when the cameras are turned off, all thanks to the profession she is in.
The OST for ‘Shooting Stars’ has a wide range of songs but it seems like the title track ‘Shooting Star’ by Nam Woo-hyun is a gem that is un-skippable. The single ‘My secret, My everything’ is the most loved track on the ‘Shooting Stars’ album though, and we have Sondia and Vincent Blue to thank for it!
‘Shooting Stars’ is a fun show that essentially works as an office drama where two employees fall in love with one another; one of the two in a bigger post than the other. With that being said, the target audience is likely to be much younger with this one, which is why the story works well. It’s not perfect, and it could have dived into the darker side of the entertainment industry, but there’s enough to like nonetheless.
Verdict - 7/10