The Destructive Power of Fame, Anonymity, and Life Choices | K-DRAMA REVIEW of “Celebrity (2023 Korean Drama) 셀러브리티”

On June 30, Netflix released the latest explosive Korean Drama entitled CELEBRITY that talks about the effect of social media on people’s lives. As expected, this thought provoking and very intense drama reflects today’s internet savvy generation. I won’t delve into the details of each episode as we encourage you to watch it with an open mind. See how you view the characters and possibly relate to each one of them. Rather, I want to expound on the message of the drama about the power of fame and anonymity especially in the context of social media, and the effects of our life choices in the lives of people around us.

CELEBRITY K-Drama Official Poster from Netflix

FAME is a beautiful word. It’s the culmination of a tumultuous journey to success. Usually, it’s a product of hardwork, talent, and perseverance. Sometimes, it comes with sheer luck. But for others, they try to achieve it with techniques, cheat codes, and dirty tricks.

While the means doesn’t always justify the end, meaning a success cant be called and won’t ever feel a real success when you achieve it through a dishonest means. But many people still resort to it because of greed, pride, and the sheer delusion of success.

ANONYNIMITY is supposed to be the opposite of fame. It is defined by the quality or state of being unknown to most people. However, in the world of internet and social media, we saw the power brought about by this status – anonymity gave some people the ability, the drive, the courage to do, and say, or express whatever they want without any consequences… at times, while it’s dangerous, they don’t feel any guilt and worst, it gave them a different kind of satisfaction… feeling of success and even fame (esp if they were able to convince other like-minded people). It’s nice that this horrible reality was highlighted in this drama to reinforce the idea that it’s not good to do this things.

OUR LIFE CHOICES. Time and time again, we know that our life choices affects the lives of people around us. The effects of the choices, we, parents make to the lives of our children. The choice to love and to leave someone. The choice of fame and simple life. The choice to do good or something evil. We can talk about this whole day yet in the end, we know how valuable and difficult it is to make a choice. We either try to lessen the pain, and choose the “lesser evil”, or we follow the right conviction even if it cause us what we want or the one’s we love.

“CELEBRITY” drama is very relevant in today’s society and should be viewed with the idea of breaking the wrong mindset about fame and anonymity. It also cautions us on the life decisions that we make and ultimately reminds us to set our convictions right from the start.

The drama revolves around the lives of famous SOCIAL MEDIA CELEBRITIES. They are made by ordinary people’s power to be influenced. The more people they reach, who engaged with them, and eventually followed their lifestyle (from actions and nuisances, to product purchases), the more success it will bring them in terms of money and fame. On the other hand, THE PEOPLE (we now call citizens of the internet or “netizens”) who patronize these social media celebrities can make or break them, too. One nice post and you can became an overnight sensation… the man of the hour, the ideal lifestyle everyone can only dream of. But one wrong move or words… or someone’s anger because of pride and envy… can suddenly make you a liar, a social climber, a scam who deserves to vanish on earth as quick as possible!

It proves that if not managed properly, the world of social media will become a very dangerous world to live in. If you revolve your world in social media alone, if you use social media and its parameters as a barometer of fame, success, and identity, then you will be in for an unimaginable stress and desperation in the end.

People, even the ones in the bible, will praise the king one day and shout crucify him the following day. As cruel as we may seem, it’s in people’s nature – very unstable and very insecure. Even elections will show how differences in opinions expressed on social media can ruin one’s reputation and relationships. It’s indeed a very stressful world. But no matter what bad things we do in the dark, it’s just a matter of time that it all be put to light. Evil won’t triumph over good just as death is always a promise of life.

At least, in the context of K-dramas that we are watching, we are always presented with two ways to succeed: to use your own skills and hardwork to achieve it, or to use fraud or dishonesty to get what you want (especially if you are very impatient and too ambitious). It’s all a matter of desire and conviction. However, life can be unimaginably complicated and in reality, very crook and even broken. We live in a world that’s run by business and politics and sheer talent and determination won’t simply work. That’s why we live in a very conflicting values and beliefs that must be tamed by a more powerful force like FAITH IN GOD.

On the one hand, as someone who has the power to decide and even make someone successful, let’s use the internet and social media to make this world a better place. Let’s not use social media to badmouth other people, or worst – destroy someone’s reputation by being anonymous (using fake accounts and acting like a troll). This uncanny feeling of satisfaction derived from expressing even hurtful words yet don’t feel any guilt is definitely a mental disorder. Without guilt or an emotional discomfort that you feel when you believe that you were responsible for something that offended or hurt someone is worst than murder and a crime.

We hope that everyone would go back to becoming someone who would be kind and empathetic with one another. We hope that people will go back to using social media the way it was meant to be used – for connecting people and as a quick source of information and inspiration.

So when life teases us with fame and success, let’s make sure that we have our convictions right. We don’t want short-lived success but we want the one that gives us peace of mind and ensures the love of the people around us. That’s real success! Fame is when people view your life as something that is amiable and inspiring only because you are living your best life with your feet firmly anchored on the ground and a heart that is close to God.

Edited for K-Drama review by Zeke Tunay of BEST LIFE QATAR from Netflix: Celebrity K-Drama

Celebrity (Korean: 셀러브리티) is a 2023 South Korean streaming television series written by Kim Yi-young and directed by Kim Cheol-kyu. Park Gyu-youngKang Min-hyukLee Chung-ahLee Dong-gun and Jun Hyo-seong round out the ensemble cast. It was released on Netflix, on June 30, 2023 at 14:00 (KST)

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