The reason why the French comedy-drama Call my agent! was such a hit for Netflix because it showed that the agent-actor relationship, built on trust and lies at the same time, is the same overseas as it is in Hollywood. Now, a version of the series has premiered in South Korea. How will the show translate?
Opening shot: A man riding a scooter, a toy propeller on top of his helmet.
The essential: Method Entertainment is one of the best talent agencies in Seoul, with the best clients. The man on the scooter, agent Kim Jung-don (Seo Hyun-woo), tries to get to a photo shoot for his longtime client Cho Yeo-jeong (playing herself). She’s thrilled to be in the final stages of a deal for a new Quentin Tarantino movie; she even learns to ride a horse. During the photo shoot, however, Jung-don receives a text message saying that the film is abandoning Yeo-jeong because she is too old for the new direction they are going. Now he has to tell her the deal failed without telling her. Why.
Back at the office, a discouraged Jung-don plods to his desk, dodging calls from his main client. Another agent, Chun Jae-in (Kwak Sun-young), burns yet another assistant. And a young woman named So Hyun-joo (Joo Hyun-young) drops by unannounced to see the office manager, Ma Tae-oh (Lee Seo-jin); the two have a personal relationship and Hyun-joo wants to work for him and learn how to be an agent. He tells her to work somewhere else, even when she says she will keep their relationship a secret.
After an explosive staff meeting where Jung-don reveals that Yeo-jeong lost the role, Jae-in fires her assistant in front of Hyun-joo. Seeing an opening, Hyun-joo tells the veteran agent that she will do the job. But on the first day, when Yeo-jeong walks into the office looking for her suddenly secret agent, Hyun-joo, starstruck, accidentally reveals why she lost the role in Tarantino’s film.
This sets off a series of events where Yeo-jeong fires Jung-don, Tae-oh steps in to reclaim Yeo-jeong’s role and debauchery as a client, Yeo-jeong has to deal with being an actress of over 40, and Hyun-joo tries to get her job back after Jae-in discovers her accidental loose lips.
What shows will this remind you of? behind every star is based on the French Netflix hit Call my agent!but with some of the usual romantic and fantasy touches we see in K-dramas.
Our opinion : The structure of behind every star lends itself to fun stories involving the main characters and the people who play the supporting staff. In each episode, a new client – who will be a well-known Korean actor playing himself – will have a problem for their particular agent to solve, but the ongoing stories are widespread, showing just how messy the lives of these agents are. . because they spend all their time supporting their customers.
It looks like the characters are well established by the end of the first hour. We get a good idea of Tae-oh and Hyun-joo’s relationship, but unfortunately it’s not fully revealed in the first episode. But there will be some interesting interactions between the two, especially after Tae-oh takes over as president of the agency. Jae-in must constantly prove herself as a woman in a male-dominated industry. she is tough and tough with assistants, but has to be tough to succeed. Jung-don gets emotionally close to his clients, which helps and hurts in equal measure.
The comedic parts of the show are more goofy than funny, like Jung-don and PR manager Choi Jin-hyuk (Kim Tae-oh) yelling at the fact that they keep hanging up Yeo-jeong when she calls. . But it’s a tone that helps lighten the most dramatic moments, as well as romantic moments, like when Jung-don and Yeo-jeong reconcile (yes, an actor-agent relationship box be romantic).
Sex and skin: None.
Farewell shot: The team learns by telephone that the president of the company, Wang Tae-ja, has died while on vacation in Brazil.
Sleeping Star: Kim Tae-oh has some of the funniest lines and physical takes as PR manager Choi Jin-hyuk.
The most pilot line: While at a bar consoling Jung-don after Yeo-jeong fired him, Jae-in punches a handsome man sitting to Jung-don’s right. “Are you made of magnets or something? You attract men everywhere you go. We get what he’s trying to say, but that’s definitely a clumsy way of saying it.
Our call: SPREAD IT. Whereas behind every star has some of the treacly aspects of romantically oriented K-dramas, there are enough fun moments to keep the show grounded.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he’s not fooling himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.comFast Company and elsewhere.