Shooting Stars: Episodes 3-4
Cloudy backstories, continued bickering, and more behind-the-scenes celebrity craziness as we delve further into the world of our stars and their orbits. While celebrities might not be the easiest people to deal with, their team will do everything possible to manage them. Even if it includes maxing out their stress-o-meters.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
Following the news of Han-byeol being Tae-sung’s university ex, the PR staff excitedly develop shipper theories. Thankfully, they manage to take down the post before it spreads, but Han-byeol is horrified nonetheless and tells them to report to her if the picture goes up online again.
Tae-sung runs into a fellow actor at the agency (cameo by Lee Ki-woo). He looks really sick and says he doesn’t have much time to live… but as it turns out, he’s just a bit too into the character he’s currently playing in his sob-fest melodrama. Unfortunately, his method acting lands both him and his manager in the hospital and the PR team has to deal with the aftermath (which includes their boss demanding the actor’s next role be one where he plays a healthy and successful character lol).
Dae-soo and Yoo-sung, with their respective actors, meet outside the audition for Tae-sung’s upcoming drama, and Dae-soo wishes a promising rookie would fall out of the sky.
Not out of the sky but in a local restaurant, a handsome cook, KANG SHI-DEOK (Lee Seung-hyub), rejects a scouting offer from the enraptured Ho-young. She goes to Ji-hoon for advice on securing her diamond in the rough, and we see how he had convinced Tae-sung to sign with StarForce Entertainment.
Even during his high school days, Tae-sung (who has always been a grumpy-pants) had received a lot of scouting offers. But with Ji-hoon’s persistence and a “business secret” (and some hilarious Heirs meta for our enjoyment), he managed to win Tae-sung over.
Everyone at work is required to fill out a stress-index questionnaire and Tae-sung’s new manager BYUN JUNG-YEOL (Jin Ho-eun) — the junior staff scolded by Yoo-sung last week — brings it to him. To nobody’s surprise, though, grumpy-pants refuses to fill out the questionnaire.
The results of the audition come in and Dae-soo’s actress passes because she’s a rude brat in real life, and her role is that of a rude top star — they thought she was acting the part lol. Unfortunately, Yoo-sung’s rookie actor did not get the role. Even though his audition was amazing, the role was given to a different actor out of pure nepotism.
To de-stress, Han-byeol goes to watch a movie, but the source of all her stress also comes to watch the same movie. Sigh. A flashback to their university days shows them at the cinema and while Tae-sung had been staring at the screen, she was looking at him. The reverse is the case now, and it’s his turn to stare at her.
Tae-sung still thinks Han-byeol sent him to Africa on purpose, so they discuss what led to his volunteering trip. A year ago at a press conference, one of Tae-sung’s rivals (is that you Jang Ki-yong?) was in the news for voicing his dreams of helping those in Africa. Tae-sung wondered if he could also volunteer, but Han-byeol didn’t think he had it in him. Fueled by her lack of faith, he declared loudly that he would go to Africa! Unfortunately, his declaration was caught on camera by the horde of reporters and headlines were made. Talk about bad timing.
At home, Tae-sung reads the news about an older actress (cameo by Choi Ji-woo) getting a divorce, and a panic attack comes on. From his hazy flashbacks, we see he has a connection with the actress… because what’s a K-drama male lead without a painful backstory?
Just then, Han-byeol calls — and a part of me thinks she read the news and wants to check up on him — but somehow, she ends up nagging him about the stress questionnaire. They make a bet to see who is the most stressed between them, but the gold medal for stress is awarded to Ki-bbeum, who keels over from acute appendicitis and has to be rushed to the hospital.
Even while hearing she needs surgery, Ki-bbeum is still in reporter mode and continues to write an article until she is dragged away by the doctors lol. Meanwhile, Ho-young visits our method actor in the hospital and asks if he regrets her scouting him to become an actor. He says he doesn’t, and she runs off with renewed vigor to Shi-deok, who finally accepts her scouting offer. Yaaay!
Speaking of managers who go all out for their stars, Yoo-sung craftily snags back the role that was unfairly taken from his rookie. He does this by staging an elaborate scene at a bar where the actor is present, eventually (and intentionally) catching a punch from him, which leads to a settlement. Yoo-sung might have a near-concussion, but his rookie now has the role. Now that’s dedication!
Meanwhile, at a fan-signing event, Han-byeol notices that Tae-sung seems to be tired, and when she spots his now filled out questionnaire, warning alarms go off in her head. He stumbles ever so slightly onstage, and while he is steadied by a bodyguard, her instincts also kick in to catch him. As she rushes to the stage, she trips and goes sliding into the middle of the two mens’ legs. The embarrassing moment is played for comedy to the Titanic theme song, and captured by countless fancams. It goes viral on the internet. Poor Han-byeol.
Of course, Tae-sung will never allow such a golden opportunity for a tease to pass him by, and he makes the exact same sliding pose at his next photoshoot. He really is the bane of her existence, isn’t he? To make matters worse, he gets a “perfect score” on his stress-index questionnaire and wins their bet. As a result, Han-byeol has to get a 3-month pay cut. Yikes! Still, Han-byeol worries about him and wonders if he’ll go through counseling because of his high stress score.
Shi-deok officially joins StarForce Entertainment, and becomes roommates with Yoo-sung’s rookie actor YOON JAE-HYUN (Shin Hyun-seung). Meanwhile, not resting on her oars, Ho-young poaches another actor (cameo by Lee Sang-woo). According to the rumors, he is a royal pain, but Ho-young argues that he’s well-mannered. Anyway, he ends up proving that two truths can coexist, by being a very polite jerk!
Filming begins for Tae-sung’s new drama, and Jung-yeol goes over and above in his managerial duties on set – sharing drinks endorsed by Tae-sung’s rival, taking instructions too literally, and even spreading Tae-sung’s wet briefs in the open. He’s so earnest and unintentionally hilarious. Anyway, all of this naturally gets Tae-sung gets upset, and he refuses to film like a true diva. To smooth things over with the crew, Han-byeol and her team bring snacks and a coffee truck to the filming location, and a surprised Tae-sung has the biggest of grins on his face when he sees her. Aigoo! He is so smitten.
When an elderly passerby collapses in the middle of the set, Jung-yeol, who happens to be a former ambulance driver, performs first aid. Thankfully, the elderly man survives, and Tae-sung begins to soften in his attitude towards Jung-yeol.
In his office, Soo-hyuk watches Han-byeol’s viral sliding clip and thinks she’s cute. On another occasion, he spots her in a cafe on the weekend and treats her to coffee. Then at work, he walks in on the PR staff developing new TaeByeol theories, and in the end, he asks Han-byeol point-blank if she’s dating Tae-sung.
For someone who was just thinking about how nice Tae-sung can be on occasion – he saved her from further embarrassment on her sliding mishap and didn’t follow through with the docking of her paycheck as per their bet – Han-byeol flat out denies such a preposterous claim. Tae-sung, who’s listening in down the hall, stands there unhappily, while Soo-hyuk is clearly delighted.
Well, what did I say last week about love triangles? I really need to stop being so quick to judge dramas by their first week. While I’m happy to see more Soo-hyuk scenes this week, this has all the makings of second lead syndrome.
Two weeks into the drama, it doesn’t seem like much is happening plot wise, as the story is more about the characters instead. By the way, is it just me or are there a lot of characters in this drama? Just when I think we’re done with character introductions, another one pops right out. I’m not complaining, because I enjoy the secondary characters, but I wonder if the drama will be able to properly develop their respective storylines.
Shooting Stars continues to be a light and easy watch, and the cameo appearances are icing on the cake – the method actor and his manager were my highlight of the week! While I would appreciate a little more plot development, I’m not in a rush for Tae-sung and Han-byeol’s romance to begin. I’m a sucker for their petty bickering, so bring it on.
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