Star Struck is a Korean BL series about two childhood friends from troubled homes. The main character lives with his depressed mother and struggles financially. His best friend is miserable due to his parents' constant quarrelling. Despite their family hardships, they rely on each other's companionship for emotional support. However, the protagonist's secret romantic feelings may jeopardize their precious bond.
As someone who adores romantic stories with childhood best friends, Star Struck naturally appeals to me. This moody BL drama captures the melancholy and torment of yearning for unrequited love. I am emotionally invested in the couple's volatile journey, which consists of arguments, apologies, confessions, and rejections. However, the short series has too many unnecessary conflicts, overshadowing the enchanting moments.
Star Struck Summary
South Korea (2023)
Han Joon and Yoo Jae are childhood best friends. As kids, they used to hang out by the playground swings and watch the stars together. Now in high school, Yoo Jae has become a popular figure on campus. Many female classmates swoon over him. Chae Young, one of the secret admirers, wants to be Yoo Jae's girlfriend. She asks Han Joon for advice on how to pursue his friend.
Han Joon and Yoo Jae are preparing for their university entrance exams. They plan on attending the same school. Han Yoon is an ace student who gets excellent grades. Nonetheless, he enrols in a tutoring centre to improve his studies. Yoo Jae and Chae Young are also part of the program. In addition, Han Yoon befriends Jin Hwan, who has a crush on Chae Young. Han Yoon helps his new friend get closer to her. However, Yoo Jae dislikes their growing bond.
The tutoring centre is expensive. Han Yoon comes from a single-parent household that struggles financially. His mother feels stressed about money and seems perpetually depressed about work. Han Yoon wants to cancel his tutoring since the fees will cover at least half the monthly rent. However, his mom wishes the best for her son and insists that he continue with the lessons. Like his friend, Yoo Jae also comes from a troubled family. His parents constantly quarrel. Their non-stop bickering makes Yoo Jae miserable at home.
Unbeknownst to Yoo Jae, Han Yoon sees him as more than just a friend. He harbours secret feelings for Yoo Jae. However, he doesn't dare to confess. After Yoo Jae declines Chae Young's love confession, he avoids her and no longer attends the tutoring lessons. Yoo Jae thinks staying friends with someone after being rejected is awkward. Han Yoon doesn't reply back as he reflects on his own dilemma.
Han Yoon hangs out with Jin Hwan more frequently, annoying Yoo Jae. The two leads have a heated argument. With their conflict unresolved, Han Yoon accidentally hurts Yoo Jae during a dodgeball match. Yoo Jae's injury breaks the ice between them. Both teens apologize to each other. Yoo Jae wonders if he takes after his parents, causing him to quarrel and hurt others. However, Han Yoon insists his friend is a kind person. As Han Yoon and Yoo Jae reconcile, they reiterate their bond. The pair makes future plans to live together as roommates.
Star Struck Trailer
Star Struck Cast
Kim In Sung (김인성)
Han Yoon is a high school student and Yoo Jae's best friend. The two have been hanging out since they were kids. Han Yoon is an ace student and gets excellent grades at school. However, he struggles financially. His mom is stressed about money and seems depressed about work. Han Yoon works part-time at a boxing club, and the owner gives him free lessons.
Kim In Sung
Kim In Sung (김인성) is a Korean actor. His first BL project is the 2023 school romance series, Star Struck.
Yoo Jae is a high school student and Han Yoon's best friend. As kids, they used to hang out by the playground swings, gazing at the stars together. Yoo Jae is popular with his female classmates, who have secret crushes on him. Yoo Jae's parents quarrel frequently. Their constant bickering makes him miserable. He plans to move out after graduating high school and wants Han Yoon to become his roommate.
Han Joon's mom
Yoo Jae's mom
Yoo Jae's dad
Chae Soo Ah (채수아)
Park Tae In (박태인)
Kwon San (권산)
Kim Yu Bin (김유빈)
Young Han Joon
Young Yoo Jae
- Chae Young's actress (Chae Soo Ah) had a supporting role in the 2023 Korean BL series The Eighth Sense.
Star Struck Review
Drama Review Score: 7.5
Star Struck tells a classic love story between childhood best friends. The plot follows the two teens navigating between their confused feelings and repressed attraction. From longing gazes to unresolved tension, I'm absorbed by the emotionally charged narrative. My heart swells whenever the leads share a moment of intimacy. Yet, I'm devastated by their various clashes or misunderstandings. Star Struck is a moody and melancholic BL drama, portraying a precarious relationship with intense emotions.
When the main characters get along, they share precious moments together. A cozy chat, a simple meal, or an arm around the shoulder highlights their easygoing camaraderie. Star Struck is good at nurturing a romantic atmosphere. Picture the protagonists in their school uniforms, swaying on the playground swings in the middle of the night. As they exchange heartfelt promises, the weight of their adolescent worries dissipates. Wow, the ambiance is magical! The series can create these enchanting scenes that convey the couple's connection, even without a fancy production budget.
Despite its romantic backdrop, Star Struck is packed with drama. Affected by hormones, the characters are often irritable and argumentative. They jump to conclusions, express themselves immaturely, and offend each other with reckless remarks. Although these disagreements seem frustrating, I like the volatility of their relationship. The love story has many ups and downs, adding suspense to the couple's juicy interactions. Having a crush on your best friend isn't supposed to be easy. Star Struck captures the torment and turmoil that come with repressed desires.
There's too much conflict in this series. From jealous spats to heated confrontations, the excessive animosity overshadow the romantic encounters in the narrative. Instead of showing the couple happily in love, the storyteller wastes time introducing unnecessary tension. The constant dysfunction makes me doubt whether this pairing is compatible. Also, Yoo Jae comes across as prickly after each feud. He disregards his friend's feelings and gets upset over trivial matters. Yoo Jae's character seems unlikeable due to the emphasis on his aggravating behaviour.
I adore Han Joon's actor (Kim In Sung), who is charming and genuine. The performer handles his first on-screen role with steady confidence. His expressions contain a bright spark, especially the warmth spreading in his eyes when he grins. He has transformed Han Joon into a lovable yet vulnerable protagonist. His costar (Zuho) is not as captivating and appears stiff in some scenes. He also portrays his character with too much aggression, going overboard with the severity of his emotions. Yoo Jae comes across as a jerk because the actor doesn't convey his softer side.
The last few episodes seem rushed. Generic montages and sudden time skips gloss over the couple's relationship. The BL content should be the focus, yet it is neglected. Instead, the story indulges in family melodrama, even though these plots have no time to develop. The sloppy final arc is worsened by the timid displays of intimacy. For a series thriving on vivid emotions, it hesitates to showcase physical passion. Despite these faults, Star Struck benefits from my fondness for romances involving childhood friends. Ultimately, this turbulent love story has engaged me.
Star Struck is an emotionally charged love story about two childhood best friends. Their journey is filled with dramatic ups and downs, from intimate encounters to heated confrontations.
When the couple gets along, the bonding scenes highlight their easygoing camaraderie. However, they have jealous spats and misunderstandings. The animosity often eclipses the romance.
I am charmed by Han Joon's actor (Kim In Sung). He portrays a lovable protagonist with warmth in his bright expressions. His costar (Zuho) is too aggressive and doesn't exhibit enough charisma.
Star Struck has a happy ending as the couple reunites after a hectic evening. Yoo Jae reassures Han Joon he'll be there for emotional support. In my opinion, the last few episodes seem rushed.
Although it doesn't have a fancy production budget, the series creates a romantic ambiance during intimate encounters. The mesmerizing atmosphere strengthens the love story.
Star Struck is a moody BL drama with enchanting exchanges between two childhood friends. However, the couple's emotional turmoil and excessive conflicts overshadow the intimate moments.
Star Struck Episodes
Star Struck has a total of 8 episodes. Each episode is around 15 to 20 minutes long. It is a medium-length BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 3 hours. Star Struck started on May 18, 2023 and ended on June 8, 2023.
Episode 1 Summary
This episode introduces Han Joon and Yoo Jae, two childhood best friends. The opening scene shows them as kids, playing on the swings in the middle of the night. They gaze at the stars and talk about meteor showers. That's how they become friends. Later, we see the two leads as high school students. Chae Young, an assertive classmate, has a crush on Yoo Jae. She asks Han Joon for information, but he evades her questioning. Han Joon also ponders the relationship between Chae Young & Yoo Jae.
This episode shows the two teens and their personal lives. Han Joon works at a boxing club. His boss gives him a raise due to the financial struggles at home. Meanwhile, Yoo Jae can't focus on studying since his parents always quarrel. Later, the students meet at the tutoring centre. It's Han Joon's first day of lessons. He meets Jin Hwan and teaches him how to box. Jin Hwan has a crush on Chae Young. The episode ends with Yoo Jae falling asleep on Han Joon's shoulder. Han Joon smiles secretively at his friend.
Episode 1 Review
This episode is a decent start to the series. It offers a quick glimpse into Han Joon and Yoo Jae's lives as high school students. From Han Joon's financial troubles to Yoo Jae's family quarrelling, these scenes give context to their hardships. I'm curious to learn more about them. The relationship drama with the teens is presented heavy-handedly, making the scenes clunky. Oh, she likes him! And he likes her! Whatever~ Even so, I'm intrigued by Han Joon's crush on his friend. Let's see how this love story develops.
Chae Young says an interesting line to Han Joon at the end of the episode. "If you come here, Yoo Jae will follow naturally." Yoo Jae arrives at that precise moment to join the chat, proving her observation is true. He glances at Han Joon and has a sheepish expression. This subtle moment highlights the close bond between the leads since they're always together. Furthermore, it makes us wonder about Yoo Jae's feelings toward his friend. There's room for interpretation, creating suspense in this budding love story.
Episode 2 Summary
The episode opens with Han Joon, Yoo Jae, Chae Young, and Jin Hwan enjoying lunch together. Han Joon observes the cozy bond between Yoo Jae and Chae Young. When he returns home, his mom is stressed and drinking alone. He offers to cancel his academy lessons to pay the rent. However, she insists that he continue studying. Later, Yoo Jae joins Han Joon for a meal and feeds his friend food playfully.
Han Joon and Jin Hwan exchange messages. Jin Hwan speculates about Chae Young's MBTI type to determine their compatibility. While Yoo Jae dismisses the theory, Han Joon thinks it's cute. An annoyed Yoo Jae directly asks Chae Young this question. Later, Chae Young assumes the question means Yoo Jae is interested in her. Han Joon claims his friend is insensitive to Jin Hwan's feelings. Yet, Yoo Jae questions his loyalty. "Whose side are you on?" He doesn't understand why Han Joon helps Jin Hwan pursue Chae Young.
Han Joon and Jin Hwan chat in person. Jin Hwan won't confess his feelings to Chae Young and describes his fear of being rejected by her. Han Yoon can relate to his experiences. Upon returning home, Yoo Jae has been waiting for his friend. He is annoyed that Han Joon and Jin Hwan have spent time together at the boxing club. Yoo Jae mocks it as reckless punching. "Don't say things that would hurt others," Han Joon warns him during their argument. The episode ends with the the leads avoiding each other.
Episode 2 Review
OMG. So much hilariously dumb teen drama over MBTI. However, Yoo Jae questioning his friend's loyalty is an interesting response. "Whose side are you on!?" Chae Young and Yoo Jae are openly flirting. Yet, Han Joon helps another guy win over his best friend's girl. Is his motivation driven by not wanting Chae Young & Yoo Jae to end up together? I never saw the situation that way until Yoo Jae pointed it out. Even though they argue about trivial stuff, I appreciate the layers to the relationship dynamics.
There are similarities between Jin Hwan and Han Joon's situations. Both have secret crushes on people who may not reciprocate their love. Jin Hwan doesn't confess his feelings because he fears rejection. "I don't get my hopes up. I learn to be content with what I have," Jin Hwan says. The story cleverly uses this side character to allude to Han Joon's inner torment. Like Jin Hwan, Han Joon is trapped in his own unrequited love. The uncertainty of a love confession drives the suspense in this BL drama.
"Don't say things that will hurt others!" Ooh, drama~ Yoo Jae is acting like a jerk. His jealousy isn't a good look, making me want to jump ships. At this point, I'd rather see Han Joon and Jin Hwan as a couple instead. I also think Yoo Jae's actor portrays the character too harshly. When he yells at Han Joon, his expression and voice appear vicious. Yoo Jae looks like he actually hates Han Joon. That isn't how you want to behave toward a love interest in a BL series. A skilled actor would show subtle vulnerability and tenderness to take the edge off these exchanges.
Episode 3 Summary
Still upset about their previous feud, Han Joon unleashes his rage during a dodgeball game. He throws the ball aggressively at Yoo Jae, giving him a nosebleed. Yoo Jae exaggerates his injury to earn Han Joon's pity. At the infirmary, they apologize to each other and become friends again. Han Joon wonders if he takes after his parents and seems inclined to hurt others. However, Han Joon insists his friend is a kind person.
It's summertime. Han Joon and Yoo Jae study in a hot, stuffy room. They avoid the academy because Yoo Jae feels awkward around Chae Young. Previously, he rejected her love confession. Yoo Jae denies any possibility of them being together. "I rejected her once. Would it be weird to accept her again?" The two teens decide to study at an internet cafe for the A/C. As they sip on cool lemonade, Han Joon and Yoo Jae talk about their future plans in university. They want to drink and date.
Han Joon is upset after finding out Yoo Jae's father has made a fortune in investments. Han Joon thinks his friend kept this news from him out of pity. Yoo Jae insists that isn't the case. Later, Han Joon's mom tells him that she must relocate for a new job. She can only support him until he finishes his exams. The financial strain stresses Han Joon, causing him to cry. Despite their feud, Yoo Jae forgives his friend. They chat on the playground swings at night. Yoo Jae reiterates their plans to live together as roommates. The episode ends with Yoo Jae tying Han Joon's shoelaces.
Episode 3 Review
Yoo Jae apologizes to his friend at the infirmary. "I guess I take after my parents. I keep hurting others." This line resonates with me, redeeming Yoo Jae's character despite some questionable behaviour. One, it shows self-awareness. Yoo Jae realizes he made an offensive remark and feels remorseful. Two, he appears vulnerable. I like seeing him open up about his insecurities. And three, he speaks about how family trauma passes down to him. His self-reflection is poignant, as it highlights the impact of his upbringing.
I adore the relationship scenes in this episode. The leads spend lots of one-on-one time together, including the infirmary, bedroom, internet café, and playground. I enjoy the easygoing camaraderie displayed between Han Joon and Yoo Jae. They have casual chats and discuss their future plans. Despite the simplicity, each exchange captures the essence of a teenage love story. The atmosphere is delicate, filled with ambiguity between friendship and romance. I sense a genuine spark that not every BL drama demonstrates.
Chae Young is heartbroken when Yoo Jae declines her confession. Afterwards, Yoo Jae avoids her since he feels awkward. He seems unwilling to change his mind. "I rejected her once. Isn't it weird to accept her again?" In fact, they can't even stay friends. As Yoo Jae explains his rationale, Han Joon looks sad and averts his gaze. Chae Young's rejection echoes Han Joon's anxieties about his unrequited love. What if he confesses, too? There's a chance he may lose Yoo Jae's friendship forever. The story raises the stakes of the love story and heightens the emotional tension.
I like the concept of Han Joon and Yoo Jae's financial inequality causing a wedge in their friendship. It's a more compelling source of conflict than jealousy over a love triangle. Han Joon feels insecure about being poor, so he misinterprets his friend and believes Yoo Jae looks down on him. However, the series doesn't execute this storyline smoothly. When Han Joon snaps at Yoo Jae in this episode, his reaction escalates too intensely. His accusations don't seem rational.
I love the romantic ambiance of the playground scene. The characters sit on different swings, but Yoo Jae brings Han Joon near him. He closes the distance between them, overcoming their earlier tensions and financial gap. They speak about their future plans of living together, evoking a tiny hopeful smile from Han Joon. Ahhh, I am giddy~ 😚 I also like the symbolism with the shoelaces. Earlier, we see Han Joon tying his shoes by himself. The episode ends with Yoo Jae doing it on his behalf. This intimate gesture shows Han Joon doesn't have to handle his struggles alone.
Episode 4 Summary
The episode begins with Han Joon unable to sleep. He reminisces about a childhood memory where he and Yoo Jae talk about stars. In the morning, Yoo Jae picks up his friend from school. Han Joon hides that he has moved out of his home due to financial struggles. He currently lives in a run-down place alone. When Han Joon sounds sick, Yoo Jae gives his friend a coat to wear. Han Joon discovers receipts in the pockets, and Yoo Jae admits he has bought decorations for his new room.
Han Joon and Yoo Jae light sparklers at night. They discuss their aspirations after becoming college students. Yoo Jae wants to go to New Zealand to see the penguins ("New Zealand from penguin!!!" is his exact phrasing.) Han Joon admits, "No matter where I go, I'd be happy as long as it's with you." Before their entrance exams, Yoo Jae pulls a leaf from a tree, giving it to Han Joon for good luck. Han Joon also gifts Yoo Jae a box of heart-shaped chocolates. It's an expensive present out of his price range, but he still buys it anyway.
The exams go well. Yoo Jae wants to meet up to celebrate. However, he's shocked to discover Han Joon's run-down living conditions. Yoo Jae is upset and tosses away the chocolates. Firstly, he hates that his friend hid his financial struggles. Secondly, he doesn't understand why Han Joon buys such an expensive gift. Yoo Jae thinks Han Joon perceives him as materialistic and feels pressured into spending money. Han Joon denies it. As the confrontation escalates, he confesses his feelings. Yet, Yoo Jae rejects him. The episode ends with Yoo Jae walking away.
Episode 4 Review
The first half of the episode conveys a romantic vibe. It begins with a childhood memory, reiterating the history between the characters. Then, we see Yoo Jae and Han Joon bond tenderly. Whenever these friends make plans for the future, they always include each other. I love the ambiance when they light sparklers. "As long as I'm with you, I'd be happy." So sweet! I also like the scene where they marvel at the snowfall before their entrance exams. It's an atmospheric way to denote a milestone in their adolescence.
Poor Han Joon is hopelessly smitten. That box of heart-shaped chocolates is not something you give your platonic bro. Given his circumstances, this expensive gift is a misuse of money. While I hate Yoo Jae for snapping at his friend, a part of me can understand his outraged reaction. Someone needs to teach Han Joon responsible financial planning! Look at Yoo Jae. This guy is rich, yet he only plucks a leaf from a tree and considers it a suitable present. Not a penny spent lol.
As mentioned earlier, the storyline about Han Joon's financial struggles is clumsily written. Yoo Jae is an ass for overreacting and should've shown sympathy toward his friend's situation. However, I like that the episode is an emotional rollercoaster. After easing us into a cozy romance, the relationship suddenly collapses in the final scene. I was devastated when Yoo Jae threw away the box of chocolates. The pitiful visual of the broken heart on the floor is allegorical to Han Joon's feelings after his failed confession. "I want to date you, you jerk!" Poor Han Joon! 😢
Episode 5 Summary
The episode begins five months after Han Joon's failed love confession. He now works as a tutor. Han Joon hasn't stayed in touch with Yoo Jae. In fact, Han Joon avoided going to school altogether. He didn't attend the graduation ceremony, so Yoo Jae retrieved the certificate on his behalf. In an extended flashback, Yoo Jae challenged his friend's confession. "Are you saying if we don't date, I'll never see you again?" Since Yoo Jae doesn't reciprocate his feelings, Han Joon has vanished from his friend's life.
Han Joon begins his first year of university. He meets a friendly senior, Seung Min, from the boxing club. Seung Min encourages his junior acquaintance to attend more school activities. When Han Joon arrives at orientation, he reunites with Yoo Jae. Yet, they don't talk to each other. Another classmate, Yoo Bin, is homesick and envies Han Joon for having a good friend on campus. He sulks about their lost friendship. Han Joon gets drunk and regains consciousness with Yoo Jae caring for him.
As they chat intimately, the two former friends make up. Yoo Jae wants to be a part of Han Joon's life, as they had promised in high school. They return to a friendly relationship, at least on the surface. However, there is tension when Yoo Jae notices the box of chocolates in the room. Han Joon has kept the memento. Yoo Jae asks permission to throw it away, indicating a fresh start in their relationship. The episode ends with Han Joon reflecting on the chocolates in the trash can, mulling over their complicated relationship.
Episode 5 Review
What happens if your best friend doesn't return your feelings? Can you still stay close? This episode tries to answer the tricky question. Han Joon responds by distancing himself from the relationship. I like how Han Joon doesn't mope around pathetically over his unrequited love. The story shows him focusing on school, work, and finances. Our protagonist is productive and independent, devoting his attention to other priorities. Life doesn't stop just because a guy rejects him.
"Will I never see you again if we don't date?" Yoo Jae feels cornered by his friend's love confession. All along, he only saw Han Joon as a friend. He never considered their relationship romantically. One night, his friend presents a sudden ultimatum. Date me, or else I'm gone for good. Yet, Yoo Jae isn't mentally ready to accept his friend as a lover. Although Yoo Jae handled the confession inelegantly, I understand why he'd be overwhelmed. After a few months apart, he takes the initiative and wants to repair their relationship. Yoo Jae doesn't want to lose Han Joon forever.
I inhaled sharply when Yoo Jae disposed the box of chocolates at the end of the episode. OMG, that's an iconic moment! For Yoo Jae, the chocolates represent an unpleasant memory that tore apart their friendship. By throwing the gift away, he wants to forget the past. For Han Joon, the chocolates symbolize his unrequited feelings. Seeing the memento in the trash hurts. He must face the reality that Yoo Jae doesn't want to be his boyfriend. Despite their reconciliation, the episode ends ambiguously, making us doubt whether the leads can still be friends.
Episode 6 Summary
Han Joon meets with Yoo Bin. She flirts with him and seems interested in dating. However, Yoo Jae keeps intervening in their conversation and sabotages the couple. She is turned off and makes a hasty exit, giving up on the relationship. Later, Yoo Jae gets drunk and rambles to his friend. He's upset that Han Joon has bought new shoes for himself, even though they promised to go shopping together. He also worries Han Joon may leave him again.
The leads arrive in the bedroom. The intoxicated Yoo Jae confronts his friend, asking him to sleep together. Han Joon refuses. Yoo Jae protests, "You won't let me even touch you anymore?" Han Joon maintains his resolve and leaves him. Later, it is Han Joon's birthday. Seung Min wants to celebrate with his boxing club buddy. Yoo Jae is annoyed by their chumminess. Yoo Jae gives a laptop to Han Joon as a present. Yet, he refuses the expensive gift.
Han Joon and Yoo Jae arrive at a birthday party. During a game, they are dared to kiss each other. Yet, Han Joon can't bear their intimacy and flees the scene. Yoo Jae chases after him, and they meet on the playground in the middle of the night. Han Joon admits he cannot separate his romantic feelings from their friendship. He keeps fantasizing about them being together. "Can we put our arms on each other's shoulders and hug, like nothing happened? I can't!" Han Joon tries to leave, but Yoo Jae stops him. The episode ends with Yoo Jae initiating their first kiss.
Episode 6 Review
Yoo Jae's jealousy oversteps into annoying possessiveness. Whenever a supporting character gets close to his friend, expect Yoo Jae to throw a tantrum. His behaviour seems controlling. He monitors Hae Joon and forbids him from forming other companionships, not even harmless platonic bonds. I don't like that. In a healthy relationship, you should trust your partner enough without policing their every move. Star Struck may want to convey that Yoo Jae is "protective" of Hae Joon, but his actions don't feel romantic.
This episode continues navigating the hazy boundaries between friendship and romance. As both characters discover, they cannot maintain a platonic bond. Hae Joon used to be comforted by Yoo Jae's touch. A friendly arm around the shoulder was supposed to feel reassuring. Now, their physical contact triggers Hae Joon's self-consciousness. Likewise, Yoo Jae seems increasingly attached to his best friend. He cannot imagine life without Han Joon by his side. I like the compelling tension between the pair. It's building up to an iconic climax.
LMAO. The fake kiss tricked me until I replayed the scene and realized the actors' lips never touched. Imagine watching a love story, but the couple's first kiss is an ~optical illusion~ with creative camera angles. The lengths some BL dramas will go to avoid same-sex intimacy are astounding. 🥲 Despite being salty, I am glad the "kiss" happened. This climax propels the romance forward. It could've been an iconic moment with a passionate smooch, but oh well. After much confusion and torment, the childhood best friends are finally together! Hooray!
Episode 7 Summary
Episode 7 begins with Han Joon avoiding Yoo Jae after last night's kiss. He feels awkward and wants alone time. They finally meet by the swings at night. Han Joon claims the kiss was a mistake and didn't feel enjoyable. Yoo Jae argues otherwise. "I'm just saying what you want to hear, asshole," Han Joon retorts. He is embarrassed by their ordeal and suggests reverting to a platonic friendship. Yet, Yoo Jae proposes that they should start dating. Thus, they officially become boyfriends.
After coupling up, there's a quick montage of their relationship moments. They go on various dates, including cycling, selfies, and 100-day anniversary celebrations. The couple also holds hands and enjoys ice cream in public. To mark their time together, the pairing books a restaurant reservation. However, Han Joon panics when he can't contact his missing mom. Meanwhile, Yoo Jae's parents are getting a divorce. Yoo Jae argues with his father, who threatens to cut him off financially. The episode ends with him defying his dad despite his threats.
Episode 7 Review
Han Joon describes the first kiss, "It's not even that good." Okay, I laughed. At least this series is self-aware. 😆 I like the couple's chat on the playground as they define their relationship. My favourite part is when Yoo Jae grabs Han Joon's swing and yanks him closer. I can't articulate why, but that interaction is such a turn-on lmao~ It achieves the right amount of flirtiness and assertion without coming across as aggressive. Every now and then, Star Struck can produce a BL moment that I find alluring.
After the protagonists start dating, this episode should have been packed with romance. It's the perfect opportunity to highlight Han Joon and Yoo Jae as a couple, solidifying their relationship. Instead, the series glosses over the BL content with a generic, meaningless montage. How disappointing! Somehow, the characters reach their 100th-day anniversary after a rapid transition. WTF? No, I want to see actual scenes! Star Struck drops the ball by not emphasizing the couple's affection. It is too timid to show Han Joon and Yoo Jae being in love.
I don't completely hate the family melodrama in the last two episodes. Firstly, these subplots haven't been prominent. There are barely any scenes with the parents, so their characters still contain some novelty. And secondly, they add emotional weight to the protagonists' backstories. However, it's too late to introduce these intense conflicts in the final arc. It has no time to develop the narratives satisfyingly. Star Struck should have focused on the romance and kept the last-minute tensions simple. The divorce and the mom's health issues are unnecessary distractions.
Star Struck has a happy ending where Han Joon and Yoo Jae remain a couple. Despite some minor drama, they don't break up at any point. The finale begins with Han Joon worried about his missing mom's whereabouts. She has racked up debt with her employer due to making mistakes. Han Joon pays off the settlement fee. Later, a colleague tells Han Joon that his mom is hospitalized. She has concealed an illness from her son.
Han Joon arrives at the hospital, feeling emotional. His mom apologizes for hiding her condition and comforts him. She notices her son is dressed up fancily and guesses he has a prior engagement. Han Joon's mom encourages him to go. She says, "Han Joon, don't give up on what you like easily." Despite being strapped for cash, the mom still takes money from her wallet and gives him the cab fare. With her permission, Han Joon leaves and attends the anniversary dinner. Yet, he's too late. Yoo Jae waited the whole night without his boyfriend's arrival.
Han Joon arrives at the playground, where Yoo Jae waits for him on the swings. Despite the missed dinner, Yoo Jae isn't upset. The couple exchanges anniversary gifts. Han Joon has given his boyfriend lip balm and helps him apply it. Meanwhile, Yoo Jae has gotten them matching rings. Han Joon apologizes again for missing the meal, but Yoo Jae simply smiles and puts the ring on his finger. Despite an imperfect evening and unfortunate circumstances, the couple is happily in love. The series ends as Han Joon and Yoo Jae hold hands, gazing at the stars together.
Let me preface by acknowledging the Star Struck ending has noticeable flaws. Focusing on Han Joon's mom isn't the best way to finish the BL drama. Also, the scenes could be executed better. However, I'll defend this storyline because it ties together the overarching narrative themes. The two ongoing plots in this series are money and family. Many conflicts start since the leads are devoid of financial resources or parental love. The last episode relays these messages poignantly.
In the previous episode, Yoo Jae clashes with his dad, who cuts off his financial support. Despite their immense wealth, everyone in that family is miserable. In contrast, Han Joon and his mother are broke. She has even racked up debt with her boss. Although the mom desperately needs money, she still gives away the little cash in her wallet. This small yet significant sacrifice indicates Han Joon's mom prioritizes his happiness. Unlike the selfish dad, she'll forfeit everything for her child. The story shows material wealth and parental warmth are not tied together. Love is priceless.
"Don't give up on what you like easily," Han Joon's mom tells him. It's the encouragement that her son needed to hear. Previously, Han Joon felt defeated about his unrequited love. He hid in cowardice after a failed confession. Han Joon's mom has faced many hardships, from health issues to financial woes. Despite her misfortune, she believes in her son's happiness. The message is to maintain optimism in the face of adversity. Notice how the camera shows Han Joon's worn-out shoes as he runs toward his lover. The imagery symbolizes his grit and perseverance.
Han Joon misses the 100th-day anniversary dinner. He is upset, thinking his boyfriend will leave him over a broken promise. Of course, their relationship survives. Yoo Jae is reasonable enough to overlook a small piece of drama. He doesn't seem upset, other than a snarky comment. Although the couple isn't in a fancy restaurant, they still celebrate their anniversary on the playground. It's a less glamorous location, yet their love remains unaffected. The story reiterates that they don't need money to be happy together.
Star Struck doesn't end with the best circumstances for the protagonists. Yoo Jae's dad has disowned him, while Han Joon's mom faces health issues. Despite the adversity, the series ends hopefully. The couple holds hands and smiles as they gaze at the night sky. Our protagonists cannot change how the stars are aligned in their lives. Fate challenges them repeatedly. Yet, these two lovers have learned to stay resilient amid their misfortune. They're determined to overcome any hardships together. With the stars twinkling in the sky, there is always hope for a brighter future.
Star Struck Information
Park Sun Jae (박선재) is a Korean director. His portfolio of work includes Mr. Heart (2020), Color Rush (2020), and its sequel Color Rush 2 (2022). In addition, he co-directed the 2023 BL series Star Struck with Kim Hoon Gwang (김훈광).