Being a star isn’t always pretty or glamorous. There are aspects of the profession that can be downright dishonest, disgusting and tainted. This show does not romanticize the entertainment industry for being the glitz and glam that it appears to be, but the show puts bad management in the spotlight. If chosen poorly, one can severely be taken advantage of.
Case in point, Ann, Madam Butchi’s beloved friend. In the past, Madam Butchi is merely Paksi, Ann’s sidekick. The two had promised to stick together and pursue the stardom (with Paksi being the rock of course.) They meet the renowned Je who turns Ann into a star, and utilizes Paksi like a slave. In retrospect, this taught Paksi all there is to know about the entertainment industry.
Unfortunately Paksi learns that Je has manipulated (sold) Ann to the highest bidder. As Paksi storms into Ann’s hotel room, it is all too late, because the distraught Ann blows her own head off due to the self respect and dignity she lost. This explains clearly the conflict and competition between Paksi-who is now Madam Butchi- and Je. Butchi vows to seek retribution for her deceased friend: she will find a way to strip Je of his respect and reputation. That also explains the tell-all book. Je denies all claims, and is adamant that he had nothing to do with Ann’s death.
It is interesting that stardom is portrayed as a means to an end. Butchi wants to make it big so she could beat Je, and Next wants to be a celebrity so he could earn enough money to find his biological father. Despite their similar goals and expectations, the two are like oil and vinegar. Next left home, his controlling father and pre-determined fate, to meet a new life with a controlling agent. It’s laughable. Butchi is convinced that she’s got the experience and knows what’s best for Next and she comes across as ‘my way or the highway.’ And if the younger man doesn’t adhere to her orders, than she’s got a tough fist to combat it.
While Next on the other hand is an easy going guy, loyal and reasonable. He’s also a lot more mature than he let on, despite his calling her auntie all the time. And in episode 3, when he tells Je that he’s sticking to Madam Butchi’s management, he showed me a lovable character (Mario oh Mario!) Especially the sidelong way he peers at her, as if she’s quite lost her mind. It is clear that Madam needs him more than he needs her. Let’s hope she sees it soon, because with her bulldozing ways, she’s going to test his patience. And yet I can’t blame her, her desire to best Je is not solely for competition or for money, but to redeem her dead friend’s honor. I love motives!
And Madam has to be careful when she underestimates this star of hers, because if she seemingly forgets and utilizes him as a tool to make her love interest jealous (as indicated in the preview), or think that she can control him the way that his father has tried, she may find herself sadly mistaken.
And just for kicks and giggles: Madam Butchi and Je (her gay nemesis) used to be in a lakorn together!