6 Major Stressors In Episodes 3-4 Of “Sh**ting Stars” That Had Everyone Exhausted

Sh**ting Stars” returns this week with everything we loved about the premiere… and unfortunately, the very problematic plot point of those initial episodes as well. Oh Han Byul (Lee Sung Kyung) and Gong Tae Sung (Kim Young Dae) continue to drive each other and themselves insane in the most delightful of ways. Stress is the name of the game this week as a questionnaire forces each character to examine the greatest enemies to their mental health. The importance of work-life balance is subtly woven in at every juncture as is the fact that such balance isn’t always feasible. Without further ado, here’s everything that stressed everyone out this week including ourselves – the exasperated viewers.

Warning: spoilers for episodes 3-4 below.

1. Viewers: “Can we please stop with ‘Africa’?”

As discussed last week, the inclusion and mention of Africa as a country (it’s a continent with 54 countries!) supposedly full of people waiting for saviors like Tae Sang to swoop in and dig them wells is… so tiring. It’s so, so unnecessary. Dramas should really stop with this. Worse, instead of hopefully learning from international outrage, the drama digs in and brings up Africa again this week. It turns out that going to Africa was a spur of the moment declaration by Tae Sung at the wrong place and wrong time. A room full of reporters seized upon it and ran with it, so Tae Sung wasn’t even out to be a savior. It was an accident.

Now, this clarification is all nice and dandy, but the fact remains that the drama still shows all his volunteer work in the continent as part of what makes him a good person. And this comes at the expense of an entire continent that is all labeled as needing people to give them water. Plus there’s that horrid yellow filter in all the “Africa” scenes that’s used to indicate poverty as well as the tone-deaf “Lion King”-style music. This is a shame for the cast who had no say in the writing (especially Kim Young Dae, as this is his first lead role) because this has turned many people off the drama. It’s especially sad because the rest of the show is goodStill, dramas can and should do better. And who better than us fans to hold them accountable? Do better, show!

2. Han Byul: “Why Gong Tae Sung? Why?”

As head of PR, Han Byul undoubtedly has many stressors, what with having to clean up after the numerous talents under Starforce Entertainment. Hence her 70 points on the stress questionnaire. But without a doubt, her biggest (and hottest) headache is Gong Tae Sung. First, he shows up to the office and makes a nuisance of himself by hovering about her. Then, he vanishes, and she breathes a sigh of relief, but now he isn’t picking up her calls or doing the company-wide mandatory stress questionnaire. It’s only when she makes it into a game with him, where the person with the highest stress wins, that Tae Sung suddenly grows interested in listening to her.

Still, Han Byul doesn’t seem to realize that half of that stress comes from how much she genuinely cares about Tae Sung. She has an actor and a manager under her company who are in the hospital for malnutrition and overdoing method acting for heaven’s sake (cameo by the ridiculously handsome Lee Ki Woo). Yet, Han Byul doesn’t even visit them. Tae Sung might stress her out, but that’s because she’s always watching out for him. If only she realized that.

In fact, it’s all that watching that sends her into overdrive when she realizes that Tae Sung really is worn down with a fat 100 on the questionnaire. And she panics so hard when she sees him trip that she overdoes her rescue and ends up as a viral sensation. Poor Han Byul, she never gets a break. But she isn’t the only one.

3. Gi Bbeum: “Appendicitis? Who cares when there’s a scoop?”

Jo Gi Bbeum (Sojin) is stressed to the max. Her lazy boss wants her to write hit pieces on an actor for no good reason and berates her for not getting scoops all the time (as if they fall out of thin air!). And worse, she has appendicitis. So, when it comes to choosing between getting surgery versus filming an actor lashing out at hospital staff with the classic, “Do you know who I am?” statement, she chooses the latter and types up a press release while her appendix is about to burst. Han Byul has to intervene, and the doctors drag her away, but Gi Bbeum’s final words before a potentially life-threatening surgery are still “Hit the publish button!” to Han Byul. Work-life balance? Impossible. Not in her line of work.

4. Ho Young: “How can you show love for humanity in the way you shut a van door?”

As the youngest member of the management team in Starforce Entertainment, Park Ho Young (Kim Yoon Hye) has something to prove. She has to manage her existing talents (who are still low on the acting ladder), seek prospective talents via street casting and convince them to join the company, and bring other actors to the company. It’s no wonder she thinks she’s finally hit jackpot when she signs Han Seung Il (cameo by Lee Sang Woo), a well-known actor. Han Byul’s nervous for her as Seung Il is known in circles as impossible to communicate with, but Ho Young’s convinced he’s alright. After all, he speaks to her in jondaemal (formal speech). But the catch raises its head soon enough. Seung Il is particular to the point of absurdity, and Ho Young is left trying to figure out how to convey respect, loyalty, love for humanity, and a whole host of other factors all through closing a van door. She and the other members of Seung Il’s entourage rehearse closing the van door through the night. Stress? At peak levels.

5. Tae Sung: “Why is Byun Jung Yeol an idiot?”

Tae Sung is absolutely under a ton of stress. Much of it seems to have to do with Eun Si Woo (cameo by the beautiful Choi Ji Woo), but the rest of it has to do with one person: Byun Jung Yeol (Jin Ho Eun). Earnest and well-meaning, Jung Yeol does his best as Tae Sung’s manager, but his best efforts almost always border on the idiotic and have unintended consequences for an irritated Tae Sung. Take the time Jung Yeol buys a refreshing beverage for everyone on set. It’s a great idea, only the beverage is repped by Tae Sung’s biggest rival Shin Joo Hyun (a seriously creative cameo by Jang Ki Yong), and now everyone’s carrying out bottles with his rival’s face instead of the brand Tae Sung represents.

Then there’s the time Tae Sung’s drama was shooting on location, and Jung Yeol decided to do Tae Sung’s laundry. Again, a great idea, only he strings a clothesline from the van to a wall and hangs Tae Sung’s boxers for the world to see. A beleaguered Tae Sung uses every curse in his vocabulary and roars that Jung Yeol must be an anti-fan. But Jung Yeol, for all his mistakes, evidently cares. And when his tendency to overthink and overpack saves a man’s life (Jung Yeol even brought a defibrillator in case Tae Sung collapsed!), Tae Sung can’t help but warm up to the younger man. Jung Yeol will likely continue to stress him out, but he’s the best sort of person to have on Tae Sung’s side. Plus it’s worth every aggravation to have Han Byul showing up on set to smooth things over. Tae Sung is so smitten it’s adorable!

6. Yoo Sung: “Scheming is so tiring”

Kang Yoo Sung (Yoon Jong Hoon) cares deeply for his talents and is prepared to go to any length to ensure that they get their time to shine. When one of his actors who did well at an audition is passed over in favor of a drama investor’s nephew, Yoo Sung purposefully gets said nepotism nephew drunk and gleefully watches as he turns violent. Yoo Sung lets himself get hit and in return gains leverage over the nephew, which he uses to boot the man from the drama and install his actor instead. Whew. All in a day’s work for Yoo Sung. Of everyone in Starforce, he has to be the sneakiest. Han Byul is no-nonsense and practical, Ho Young is an earnest go-getter, but Yoo Sung knows everything and everyone and what makes them tick. Sounds like a bad enemy.

Speaking of which, he is shown meeting Eun Si Woo, the same actress who almost sent Tae Sung into a downward spiral. Just what was the purpose of his meeting? And what would Tae Sung do if he knew? It makes you more and more curious.

The drama also continues to keep us guessing as to the state of Han Byul and Tae Sung’s past relationship. During them bickering through a movie, we get flashbacks of another time when they sat through another film after accidentally ending up sitting beside each other. Something clearly happened in the past, and they’re evidently close enough to nag each other. But just what was it? And if they did date and break up, whose fault was the split?

Next week shows an additional stressor heaped on Tae Sung as Do Soo Hyuk (Lee Jung Shin) makes a move on Han Byul. He’s charmed by her and seems like a decent enough guy. For her part, she seems flattered enough. Tae Sung, on the other hand, looks heartbroken. The trouble with him is that he’s such a goof that it’s hard to take him seriously at times. Han Byul seems to seriously think that he’d cut her pay or what not, but it’s pretty obvious that he never would and simply tries to make her notice him in teasing her in inoffensive ways. Only it’s resulted in her thinking of him as an overgrown child. Just what will it take for her to see him in a romantic light? Or realize that she thinks of him more than anyone else? Perhaps next week will tell us!

This man is such a sucker for her, I can’t!

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Shalini_A is a long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she works as a lawyer, fangirls over Ji Sung, and attempts to finish up the greatest fantasy romance of all time. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and feel free to ask her anything!

Currently Watching:  “From Now On, Showtime!” “Again My Life,” and “Sh**ting Stars.”
Looking Forward to: “Adamas,” “Why Her?,” “Link,” “Island,” “Insider,” “Tomorrow,” “Little Women,” “The Sound of Magic,” “Big Mouth,” “Chaebol’s Youngest Son,” “Carter,” “Queen of the Scene,” and “Black Knight.”

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