Celebrity immerses us in the world of Korean influencers and their ruthless universe. After joining this elite, one of them decides to blow everything up, for our greatest happiness.
Sclerotic society and colifichets
Seo-A-ri is a cosmetics saleswoman, going door-to-door. She belonged to Korean high society in her youth. Unfortunately, her father went bankrupt, she was never able to get a higher education and since then she has been working hard to support her mother. We admire the philosophy and the hindsight that she shows. She takes the situation with an almost European phlegm.
It may seem surprising to read this. But, as we could see in The Glory, Korean society seems extremely sclerotic. For the French, such a situation is beyond comprehension, especially since everything seems to be based on two factors: money and social class. That the reader does not see it as a gratuitous criticism of Korean society, but rather a misunderstanding.
Korean productions are another way for the country to make soft-power. Apart from new technologies and pop music groups, South Korea is trying to make itself known culturally on a global scale, thanks to its series. But, there are also Korean influencers, who manage to get an audience outside of Asia. Celebrity plays on these two channels of influence: social networks and audiovisual productions.
Seo-A-ri comes face to face with a former high school classmate, who has become a successful influencer and by a combination of circumstances, Seo-A-ri in turn becomes a successful influencer. The most amusing thing is that she seems to despise this universe.
She contemplates the matter with a certain disdain, a distance that is finally all European. Maybe that’s why, unlike The Glory, Celebrity works.
We catch ourselves chaining episodes together because the drawer plot works extremely well. This is all the more true since the heart of the subject is a theme that has been talked about a lot in France in recent weeks, namely influencers. But, here, there is no conspiracy theory or other nonsense, we are talking about handbags, clothes, fashion accessories, etc.
Influencer: a real job?
Let’s take our French prism again. Without going so far as to say that French influencers have the effect of barely literate turkeys, we will admit that there are very few that we really want to take seriously as soon as we are past adolescence. It’s even the opposite effect, probably because many of them come from reality shows.
Conversely, American and Asian women seem much more professional, at least, for those who pop up in my Instagram feed. We don’t necessarily see their face, but each publication is calculated, thought out, calibrated. We know that it is a question of selling one or more products. But, the overall staging makes you want to.
Moreover, a detail that may seem trivial: publications do not need to have sound to be effective. Most of the publications of French influencers need audio.
In Celebrity, we are in front of real businesswomen, who take advantage of their notoriety and their income from money, to create their own companies, their own brands and boutiques. Influence serves as a starting point, but is not an end in itself. Of course, we see them in their daily lives, but without (too much) excesses, without delirium. Everything is measured to the point that it makes you want to become an influencer.
We are also shown an agency, through which Seo-A-ri passes, which supervises the influencers, finds them contracts, gives them a makeover, etc. They are taken in hand, at least at the beginning. In a word as in a hundred, here, we talk business in an extremely serious and supervised way.
The preferred social network in the series is Instagram, and this also explains a lot, not only in the aesthetics of the series, but also in its plot. Everything is “clean”, everything is calibrated, millimeter, optimized, corrected. Exactly like in an Instagram post. It must be noted that it works.
Mixing of genres
At first glance, we think we are in front of a teenage girl’s bluette. Then, we think it’s a Korean version of Dynasty. To arrive at something that looks like Remember last summer (the movie, not the series). Does this seem absurd to you? Put it this way, obviously it is. The most difficult thing now is to explain to you why the whole story holds up, without revealing key elements of the plot.
The first minutes of the first episode shows Seo-A-ri doing an Instagram live. So far, nothing surprising, especially for an influencer. Except that she passed away. When these former friends/rivals discover the live show, they panic and get together. They understand that the video is not a delayed recording and are in the middle of a hysterical fit.
It is in the very last episode that we will understand how she did it. Just know that the technology used exists. It is still rudimentary, but it will be democratized in a few years and this is extremely worrying for all of us. Although here we are talking about technology, we can’t say more about it, without spoiling the plot for you, and that would be a great pity.
Who is Celebrity for? Honestly, to everyone, even if you’re not a fan of k-dramas. The subject is global enough to speak to everyone and the plot is written in such a way that anyone can find their way around it in one way or another. Several themes are addressed, including harassment. We’ll even go further: if you are one of those parents whose child wants to make a career in digital influence, you should take a look at the series to show a very professional vision of the profession, with all that it implies.
Possibly keep a currency converter nearby, because we are quickly lost with the different amounts in question. Beyond the Korean counterexample of influence, Celebrity is a very good series and it is rumored that Netflix is thinking about a second season.
Celebrity is available on Netflix.