Sh**ting Stars Shines Bright

Gong Tae-sung (Kim Young-dae) and Oh Han-byeol (Lee Sung-kyung) both relish and despise the shared history that brings them closer together. | Photo courtesy of MyDamaList.

A gem that shouldn’t be missed from 2022, “Sh**ting Stars” — also known as Shooting Stars — is the perfect drama to kickstart your heart for 2023.

The romantic comedy follows top star Gong Tae-sung (Kim Young-dae) as he returns to Korea from a year-long volunteer trip, returning to both the cheers of fans and the chagrin of his old frenemy, PR manager Oh Han-byeol (Lee Sung-kyung). Kim Young-dae’s portrayal of the self-centered but clumsily earnest Tae-sung makes every viewer root for the charismatic actor. Side-by-side to our protagonist, the iconic Lee Sung-kyung — who is recognizable from the hit drama “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo” — grounds the star as Han-byeol with her sharp wit and passion. As they trade quips, sparks follow as old feelings rise to the surface, signaling the start of their chaotic and bright romance.

Tae-sung and Han-byeol’s banter provides well-needed relief and an escape from stress, as their chemistry is simple enemies-to-lovers fun. Since their history spans over a decade from college to adulthood, these two feign irritation over their involvement in each other’s lives but secretly indulge in the fact that they know everything about one another. The longing gazes in this drama are charged with dramatic tension that make every watcher aware of their own heartbeat as they wait in suspense for the couple’s next move.

After drawing viewers in for the fun tropes, the drama keeps them glued to their seats by making them truly care for the characters, laughter and empathy go hand-in-hand. The story offers surprising emotional depth for a light-hearted rom-com. The carefully timed backstory makes this show extra bingeable by continuously evolving the plot to keep the audience and characters on their toes. In addition, the love story is made more interesting by red herrings about the main characters’ pasts as they and audiences alike find out the true nature of the leads’ feelings for one another.

Even the side characters are charismatic and shine on their own. Lee Jung-shin — who starred in the classic “Cinderella and the Four Knights” — shows off his nonchalant charm once again as the second lead. Rising actor Shin Hyun-seung appears as a lovable rookie actor. He stars alongside Lee Si-woo once again, giving fans more romantic content from their previous drama “Be My Boyfriend.” Almost every character has a romantic plot line, which keeps the plot interesting and ensures that there’s a relationship dynamic to appeal to each watcher. Each couple embodies a unique trope and moves at their own pace. For seasoned K-drama fans, there are both famous guest stars and nods to dramas that the actors have previously performed in.

If you liked the romances in “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” and “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo,” the leads in “Sh**ting Stars” will finally be able to fill that gap in your heart from hoping for season two’s of your past favorite dramas. The show’s uncannily in-tune lead couple and lovable cast are sure to crash into your heart like shooting stars.

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