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To My Star Review – Soppy & Sweet

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It looks like South-Korean creatives are trying to give Thailand, Taiwan & Phillipines a run for their money when it comes to LGBT friendly content. Since Korea is viewed as a traditional, conservative society, it’s pleasantly surprising that we are getting to see actors take up challenging roles. ‘To My Star’ is the latest South-Korean mini-series to join the list & follows the story of a popular actor falling in love with a newbie chef.

Directed by Hwang Da Seul, ‘To My Star’ has a small cast, with limited characters and things unfold at lightning speed. Actor Kang Seo Joon (played by Son Woo Hyun) finds himself in the midst of a controversy and his talent management firm makes him move to another place to keep away from the media. Enter chef named Kang Min (played by Han Ji Woo) who is his new flatmate. The two become close as they live together, but with the media always at his back and a public persona to boot, can things get serious between the two?

With 9 quick episodes, the viewer feels like the characters aren’t able to see too much growth. The change from strangers to lovers between the two lead characters within a week is not convincing enough. Although, since they are two very attractive looking people, maybe it shouldn’t be too hard to digest; but in that case, the story should’ve shown more spark and passion between the leads, instead they are seriously in love, the kinds that usually takes time to build-up. There’s the classic trope of opposites attract – Kang Seo Joon is friendly, open and speaks his mind; while Kang Min is broody, introverted, uptight & overtly serious.

There are a lot of things to like in this series though, first off – the cast is very convincing in their roles. Director Hwang De Seul avoids over the top melodramatic tropes. It’s refreshing to see Kang Seo Joon being straight-forward about his feeling and intentions. There was one scene where he kisses Kang Min for the first time, but he first asks for his consent, then counts to 10 (almost) out loud, before going ahead with it. Can’t remember the last time somebody sought consent before a kiss in a series, although there are some films and series that have done it, just can’t think of one right now. But it’s good to see shows these days inculcating the idea of consent into the plot.

The makers give an interesting glimpse into the life of a Korean star, we see how Kang Seo Joon is hounded by the media, to the extent that he has to leave his own house to lay low. The cinematography was simple, most of the scenes take place in three primary locations and the series has a very homely, relaxing vibe to it.

While I felt like the show was a little soppy and finishes too quickly, but is great for a one-time watch. It’s a 7.5/10 from me.

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