TM Chapter 82

Chapter 82: Star Manager (6)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir


 

Those who liked alcohol drank, leaving the meat pancakes and pollack pancakes on top of the platform table alone, and those who didn’t drink, including the quadruplets, ate fruits as they all waited for the TV commercial to end.

Of course, the topic of conversation on both sides was me.

“Sunwoo, if there were things like this, you shouldn’t have hidden it and told me right away. I almost missed it without knowing. Why? Did you not do well during the recording? Were you stuttering and trembling on TV?”

“But he isn’t the type to go somewhere and tremble, you know?”

“Also, all the weird parts would have been edited out anyways, right?”

“All broadcasts are like that. Don’t tell me you were completely edited out and you only show up for a few seconds?”

I emptied my heart and slouched deep into the sofa.

My older cousin, who was the latest to arrive, said,

“Ah, but eldest uncle set up the parking space outside, right? Some bad-mannered person parked his car there. A white minivan. Completely new. It’s not one of ours, right?”

“That’s mine.”

My cousin’s eyes widened at my words.

“You drove it here? Is it a company car? Hey, then is it a celebrity’s?”

“No, it’s mine.”

This time, it wasn’t just my cousin, other people’s eyes widened as well.

“What? It hasn’t been that long since you’ve started working and you bought a car already?”

“An installment plan? You bastard, you got some guts. You’re gonna break your back paying that off!”

“He didn’t buy it, his company CEO bought it for him. For doing a good job.”

My mom said abruptly. It seemed she still felt uneasy that I received a car as her expression wasn’t good. Well, it wasn’t only my mom who was like this. My brother and sister-in-law repeatedly told me it was strange and advised me to look into it.

My cousin dragged his butt over towards me.

“Your company CEO bought you a car? Is your CEO a woman?”

“What are you thinking? He’s a middle-aged man.”

“Then it’s even weirder? No matter how great of a job you do, instead of giving you a bonus or a raise, he gave a new employee a car? What kind of person is he?”

What kind of person was CEO Baek Hansung?

With the sweet persimmon the quadruplets brought me in my mouth, I mumbled,

“He’s someone a lot of managers consider a role model.”

To be honest, I thought the same before I met him, but after joining and interacting with him, everything about CEO Baek Hansung left a deeper impression on me. Should I say he was like the ideal ‘CEO’ I had imagined?

I had momentarily been lost in my thoughts when reality washed over me like a tsunami.

“Quiet! It’s starting, it’s starting!”

The title ‘Star Manager’ filled the TV screen.

The living room, which had been noisy as a marketplace, instantly became quiet. Even the quadruplets lined up in front of the TV and widened their already round eyes with the intent of finding me on the screen.

The jib operator swept over the studio with an overlooking shot.

On the managers’ side, it seemed like it should swipe past me when it caught me in a close-up.

“Oh my, brother. It’s Sunwoo, Sunwoo! There’s Sunwoo over there!”

“Wow, Jung Sunwoo! You really are on TV! But do you have makeup on?”

“Just how many celebrities are on there? Did you talk with all of them?”

With one hand tightly gripping the remote control, I replied to the outpour of questions. The broadcast was only starting but I felt parched. I glugged down my sikhye{1}.

Then I went into a coughing fit and almost threw it all up.

The MCs were about to introduce me when an insert began to play.

It was me sitting at a company desk, diligently adjusting the schedule. There was no one with me. It was just me talking into my phone alone. Then I crossed my arms together and nodded in front of the whiteboard.

It was the so-called setup shot for my profile.

“Wow, uncle is freaking cool! Is that W&U? Is Blackout there too?”

“Sunwoo, when you’re like that, you look like a different person. You look quite the part?”

“Is that your office? Are there nice female employee there?”

“Just let him be. Sunwoo might even marry a celebrity.”

Please let this just pass.

Please. Quickly.

They went through other people’s introductions really quickly, but why was mine so long?

Lastly, they showed a group picture of me with Neptune and a picture of Lee Songha clinging on my back, which I had no doubt the PR Team gave them. The living room erupted into a commotion once more. It was noisier than during the World Cup.

Alternating between the TV and my phone, I focused on monitoring the broadcast.

Although I didn’t want to think about work when I had come down to my parents’ home for the long weekend, my desire was surging right now. I felt like I had to work if I wanted to endure this for an entire hour.

It seemed that IBC worked hard to promote the program. There were quite a few viewers uploading comments as they watched the broadcast.

To be honest, I was worried how they would deal with the overall crisis, but after seeing the broadcast, it seemed I was worried for nothing.

They didn’t call producers ‘producers’ for nothing.

They added a sufficient amount of comments by the celebrities and did their best to liven up the disordered managers with captions and through editing.

Park Taepyeong mumbling about how the program would flop like this and the celebrities were at a loss for words as they saw how their managers behaved, adding these reactions enriched the fun. It was to the point it made me expectant of the viewers’ reactions.

First of all, the reactions at home were explosive.

Thrilled, the quadruplets clung to my arms and legs and pled,

“Uncle, can I tell others at school that you were on TV?”

“Me too! Can I tell them that the quadruplets you mentioned were us?”

Of course, the adults were thrilled as well.

“Oh my, look at him. Oh, gosh. Why is he so funny?”

“Hey, it’s strange that someone I know is on TV making me laugh!

“Isn’t Sunwoo appearing a lot? Isn’t he appearing more than celebrities?”

However, this excitement filled with this positivity changed once Lee Songha’s story began.

After steadily setting up the kindling by talking about the controversies that came up since she was cast for the drama and the process she underwent to overcome them and become an ‘icon of unanticipated surprise’, she poured embers and oil all over it at the end.

The verbal abuse she received from her acting teacher.

The cast on the screen was outraged and so were my relatives sitting in the living room. In the internet site I briefly entered, an unspecified majority of viewers were criticising, saying, ‘Just where did a fool like him come from?’

It was at this moment when the reporters, who had to wait after receiving the press release due to the embargo, published their articles at once. With this much firepower, it would undoubtedly still be a hot topic after the long weekend.

Teacher Shim Kyungtaek should be with his family during the holiday too, right?

When I thought about what kind of expression he would have if he was watching this broadcast right now, I felt like I was showering in carbonated water.

My smile was reaching my ears when I felt a ticklish gaze. When I looked around, it was my father. What should I say? He was looking at me with a slightly happy face, but when our eyes met, he quickly cleared his throat and turned away.

When I looked around, it wasn’t just my father. My mom, brother, even my relatives. They were all looking at me in a new light.

As soon as I saw the TV, I knew why.

On the screen, Songha was talking about me with glittering eyes.

“Big brother doesn’t need to worry about his second child anymore. It looks like he’s doing well.”

At my aunt’s words, my father didn’t reply and simply drank his alcohol.

With a face brighter than ever, my mom’s gaze was fixed on the TV screen. Whenever my face appeared on the screen or when the Neptune members talked about me, she drew my brother and sister-in-law closer and began discussing with them.

When looking at her like that, I felt it wasn’t that bad.

Although it was a broadcast I appeared on due to various circumstances, well, it wasn’t bad.

As soon as the manager quiz corner began, the living room became noisy again. On the set, Lee Songha and I were way ahead of the others, and the edited version reflected just that.

Every time Lee Songha raised her hand, my relatives laughed their heads off.

Looking at my phone, the viewers’ reactions were the best so far.

 

-Those depressed during this holiday, quickly turn on IBC! So fun!

-I’m watching it with my family as well and we’re all laughing our heads off. It’s great. It’s the best entertainment program I’ve seen recently.

-I only knew Lee Songha from Neptune, but their other members have a ton of charm too. Especially their manager, he’s been carrying hard for a while now.{2}

 

It was great that the reactions were so explosive, but I felt troubled because it seemed like the word ‘manager’ was being mentioned as much as the names of Neptune’s members. I hoped that it would burn well throughout the broadcast, leaving only ash afterwards, so that it would quiet down.

I was more concerned because I was contacted by various people, including my friends, who seemed to be watching the live broadcast. I was also receiving a ton from broadcast producers and reporters I was familiar with.

I was purposely not checking them so that I could once I regained some mental composure after the broadcast, but one message caught my eye. It was from Producer Go Joontae. He hadn’t contacted me personally since the casting of Seo Jijoon fell through.

Since I saw an unexpected emoticon as well, I checked it out of curiosity.

 

-Mr. Sunwoo! I am currently watching Star Manager’s broadcast, but if I had known Mr. Sunwoo had such great entertainment senses, I would have already-

 

After reading this far, I turned my phone off. This guy was impossible.

Anyways, seeing as how Producer Go Joontae was behaving like this, it seemed that today’s broadcast really was a success.

Just as I was thinking about how great it would be if we could nab both viewership ratings and trendiness so that Neptune’s popularity could rise significantly, the mood in the living room stirred greatly.

I quickly looked at the TV. I felt it would be the case, but the MCs were asking the celebrities about their managers’ dark pasts. When my mom asked what a ‘dark past’ was, the quadruplets chattered away, explaining it to her.

“Even if it’s an entertainment show, why do they ask things like that?”

Even while saying this, my uncle’s torso had already turned partly towards the TV. Although my other relatives were acting like they weren’t interested, I could tell they all had their ears perked, ready to listen.

Just as LJ opened her mouth on screen, I secretly pressed the mute button.

Should I say it was my last struggle to avoid public embarrassment?

“What the? Why isn’t there any sound? What did that girl just say?”

“I think someone pressed the mute button? Where’s the remote? The remote!”

The people who were going through the living room looking for the remote quickly declared me as the culprit. So quick-witted. When I looked at them with narrowed eyes, they each raised their voice, asking if they were the type who would mock me after listening to my embarrassing story.

Their expressions were already prepared to mock me though.

Luckily, since there wasn’t anyone taller than me, I endured while holding my hand that was holding the remote up in the air. A few were shouting about wanting to hear what was said, and others were laughing hysterically at this sight.

Then my cousin took out his phone.

“I bet someone already mentioned it on the internet?”

He said before his eyes went wide after a few taps.

Damn it, he saw it.

My aunt, who had been vigilantly targeting the remote, urged,

“Why? What is it? Just what is his dark past that’s so surprising?”

“No, that’s not the problem.”

My cousin said in a dazed voice as he looked at me.

“He’s currently ranked 1 on trending.”

 

Star Manager hit 11% national ratings in the end.

It was the best result out of the Lunar New Year’s Specials each channel showed off. Since the second highest barely passed 8%, we were unmatched as first. Reporters and critics said that, if this had been a pilot instead of a special, it would undoubtedly have become a regularly scheduled program.

Search terms related to the special were lined up along the search rankings. Since the broadcast felt well composed on top of being on a public network, I had held a bit of expectation for it, but it was way beyond my imagination.

Although I had expected Lee Songha to receive attention, the amount of attention on Im Seoyoung was great as well. After having checked the reactions on the internet and of those around her the next day, Im Seoyoung even called me, crying and saying that she couldn’t believe it.

Also, what was most important as that Neptune’s popularity surged.

If they had slowly built up their image as a talented girl group on Next K-Star, a competition program, then this time, they properly showed off Neptune’s charm, which they hadn’t had the opportunity to show off until now.

For something that the company employees had difficulty achieving no matter how much they racked their brains to be accomplished with one entertainment show. So this was why celebrities tried so hard to get on public network entertainment shows.

Since their value increased, a sudden change occurred.

Requests for events came in like crazy. We also received a few broadcast casting calls.

Many were looking to cast Lee Songha or Im Seoyoung, but there were also quite a few who wanted to cast Neptune as a complete group. There were big weekend public network entertainment shows which we hadn’t dared to even try to appear on among them as well.

These were the happy things that occurred during the long weekend.

On the other hand, there were also troublesome matters as well.

My name was at the top of the lineup of Star-Manager-related search terms in the search rankings.

Many of those big entertainment programs who gave us a casting call, as if they were buying a ‘1+1’ deal, wanted me to appear on the show with Neptune.

Also, damn it.

People recognized me now.

 


{1} Korean Sweet Rice Drink. Also, meat pancakes and pollack pancakes are variations of Korean pancakes mentioned in the previous chapter.

{2} Gaming term – He’s doing a lot of the work. ‘Carrying the team’, etc.

 

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Comments 18

  1. Aghhh!!! The damn pull away bait. (╬ಠ益ಠ) I thought for sure the dark past would have been revealed this chapter. I was too naive…
    Thanks for the new chapter!

    1. Wasn’t LJ the one who said the thing about him practicing smiling in a mirror? I seem to remember Im Seoyoung being the one who raised her hand later saying “sorry we’re losing at this rate”? I’m also curious 😛

  2. I love this chapter. Even though I know the MC is just a character, but why i feel like I want to pat his head and say, ‘Good Job, I’m proud of you’. Hahahhahaha… Love his family interaction… Next pleaseeeee

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