Wannueng Jaa Pben Superstar aka I Wanna be a Sup’tar

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Wannueng Jaa Pben Superstar aka I Wanna Be a Sup’tar (Superstar)

CREDIT FOR ALL PICTURES GO TO THEIR UPLOADERS

I recently finished Thai GMM TV’s I Wanna Be a Superstar, which aired in August to  October 2015. The drama starred Put Puttichai as Win Pakorn, the superstar that comes into our heroines life. Gypso Ramita Mahapreukpong played Wannueng, our heroine who wanted to be the superstar. Woonsen Virithipa Pakdeeprasong played May, the superstar second lead. Tao Sattaphong Phiangphor played MeeDee, our lovelorn second male lead, in love with the clueless Wannueng. Bom Anuruk Boonpermpoon played Tom, Win Pakorn’s friend, and Thanawat Prasitsompom played Lukpit, Wannueng’s very supportive friend.

I Wanna Be a Superstar was about one girl’s dream of becoming a superstar. She has never given up on this dream, despite the disapproval of her parents, how tired her friends may have gotten carrying her while she is doing this, nor the fact that she has only ever gotten stand in jobs and been derided for her inability to act. Along comes Win Pakorn, the man who buys her home and changes her life. This is the story of how the common Wannueng becomes a superstar.

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The drama begins with Wannueng going to be the armpit stand in for a superstar. She does the stand in work, and then is disappointed by the small amount of pay she gets for the day. She goes and convinces Lukpit, her friend, to pay for lunch. She also has interactions with another friend, MeeDee, who is clearly in love with her. Wannueng has no feelings for him beyond friendship, but is not above hitting him up for free meals. Later that night, she sneaks into a home and goes to sleep. We find out that Wannueng’s family has sold the family home and gone to England. They call and urge Wannueng to join them, but Wannueng refuses, adamant that she will make it on her own and become a dara (superstar).

The new owner moves in, exacerbating Wannueng’s problems. It is Win Pakorn, the superstar. He was a big thing in the industry until a gay scandal broke out 5 years ago (a video of him in an intimate moment with another man was leaked by his manager, Wanwan) and Win left the country. He left behind a love, May, when he thought that she had also betrayed him with another man. He has come back five years later, and plans on still being in hiding. Win catches Wannueng in his home and warns her to stay away. When the paparazzi follow Win home one day, he convinces Wannueng to say that it is her home. In return, he allows her to stay in the home.

Over time, the two become closer when Win sees Wannueng’s dedication to becoming a superstar. Despite the numerous failed casting calls and even endangering herself, Wannueng refuses to give up. Win sees this, and begins to admire her. After interacting with May, he realizes that his feelings for her have changed. He still cares, but does not love her. On the other hand, his feelings for Wannueng have grown from admiration into something more. Wannueng also begins to have feelings for Win, but believes that Win is gay.

Win has a no explanation policy, and has spent the past 5 years not explaining about his sexuality, or that his manager Wanwan released the video to destroy his career or why he left May or how he isn’t gay to the one woman he is now falling in love with. He then spends a few episodes not explaining to Wannueng that he is not in a relationship with May, even though he has just kissed the poor girl and told her to not like anyone else.

Wannueng is recruited by Wanwan, who wants to use her to get to Win. Because Win told her nothing about Wanwan, she blindly signs a contract with Win’s ex-manager. Even though Wannueng gets an important movie role with Win’s help, she thinks that it is all Wanwan’s work. With Win’s help, she begins to learn how to act and gains confidence in herself. She gradually transforms into the superstar that she has always wanted to be. The two begin working in an international movie together, with Win as the main star and Wannueng in a small, but important, role.

The truth then comes out about Wannueng living in the same home as Win. This, coupled with her drunken behavior the night behavior and her supposed greed in going after both Win and her other costar, begin to ruin her reputation. The public turns against her. When Win tells her to ignore it, she tells him that if she waits for people to forget, there will be nothing left behind when the furor dies down. Incredibly hurt at Win’s refusal to tell her anything, she leaves the home, moving into Wanwan’s home instead. Win comes out as “officially gay” to protect her from the public’s censure. His revelation hurts Tom (whom he uses as a cover), and also endangers Win’s return to the Thai entertainment business.

When Win is finally ready to confess to Wannueng, Wanwan separates the two long enough for Win to leave in frustration. Wanwan then has Wannueng say some dialogue which he plays back for Win. Win hears Wannueng talking about how she is willing to use anyone to become a superstar., and is heartbroken. He then lashes out at Wannueng, when she comes to talk to him. She races away, heartbroken by his distrust. Win goes after her once he realizes what an idiot he has been.

In the time that it takes for Win to come to Wanwan’s home, Wannueng has heard the truth about how Wanwan fooled Win. Wannueng confronts him, and is beaten up and then almost raped by Aut, the man who was in Win’s video and is willing to do anything to become a star. Wanwan plans on videotaping Wannueng getting raped and then leaking the video to destroy Wannueng, thereby hurting Win in the process.

Win comes to the rescue, but when he asks Wannueng what happened, she begs to be taken away. She refuses to tell him anything. When Wanwan calls Win, he goes racing over and falls right into Wanwan’s hands. Wanwan threatens to release the video, and Win concedes defeat. He holds a news conference and tells the media that he is resigning from show business. Win then disappears from public view.

Wannueng returns home from the hospital to find Win gone. She tries to end her contract with Wanwan, but he laughs at her, telling her that she must pay a penalty if she wants to end the contract. When she brings up his heinous behavior, he asks for evidence. While she is down about being trapped, her best friend Lukpit by her side, Aut calls. He makes a deal with her, and then all three and Wanwan’s latest protege, Guy, cause Wanwan’s downfall by letting the world know of Wanwan’s habit of videotaping his stars and then blackmailing them. Lukpit is quick to point out that Wanwan did the same to Win.

When Win hears the news of Wanwan’s downfall, he comes back, only to find Wannueng with Guy. He thinks the two are dating, so leaves heartbroken. When Lukpit and Tom conspire to get the two together to talk, Win misunderstands once more and leaves when Wannueng takes a call from Guy. Wannueng confesses in front of the entire world during an interview that she is in love with the man who taught her how to act. She tells him she misses him. Tom also tells Win that he is too quick to make assumptions, and that he did the same exact thing with May. Win begins to finally think and goes and confesses to Wannueng. The two kiss and then walk down the red carpet for an event. Win is now back in the movie, and the two will live happily ever after in the same home.

Side story on the second leads – Both MeeDee and May spend a large part of the drama chasing Win and Wannueng. They each have moments of backing off and then beginning the chase once more. MeeDee and May have lots of moments together, him treating her for injuries/illnesses, the two drinking together, eating together, and then kissing. In the end, each lets go of the impossible dream and the two find happiness with each other. MeeDee proposes and May accepts his proposal.

The End.

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As I was watching this drama, I came to heartily dislike most of the characters in it. I spent more time wondering at the stupidity of the characters than enjoying the story itself. The drama itself was too long.

At certain points, I felt the story began to repeat itself . ..  how many times could Wannueng need to be rescued or Win catch his love interest with another man? How many times would Win hold a press conference or retire from show business? The writer kept the two main leads apart for no other reason than that there were still 10 or 5 more interminable episodes to go.

As for the characters . . .

We had Wannueng – this woman who wanted to be a dara, a superstar. She wanted to be famous. Now, did she do anything to support herself so that she wouldn’t be a burden on her parents and friends while she was pursuing this goal? No. She freeloaded for food and a roof over her head, because of her selfish dream. Her mindless pursuit bothered her parents so much that they sold their home and left the continent! Did she do anything to improve herself? No. No acting classes. No studying. Nothing but thinking that dumb luck would get her that one chance. Was she realistic about her goals? Did she research a job before going to a remote location and almost getting raped by a pervert? Did she read the contract before signing with Wanwan? Did she ever think before leaping? No. No. No. This character grated on me, and her levels of selfishness, especially when she was using MeeDee, got on my nerves. I could not like her, and therefore did not think that she deserved her fame or the love she got in the end. She was so dumb, and her lack of ability to even connect the fact that Win was coming out as gay or resigning from show business for her, even when those events happened so closely to whenever her reputation got damaged, irritated even more. And if I can’t like the heroine in some small way, a drama will not leave a good impression on me.

We had Win – the man who was stabbed in the back by his own manager when Wanwan thought that he was leaving him for better prospects. Win never explained himself. Initially, one might think that was a noble principle, but one would be wrong. He didn’t tell the world he wasn’t gay. He saw May with someone else, and disappeared from her life. Not only did he lose out on his career, but he also lost the woman he loved at the time because of his idiotic policy. When he fell in like with Wannueng, he never told her that he wasn’t gay. Despite knowing that Wanwan was using Wannueng and may harm her at any time, Win never warned Wannueng to be careful. When she begged for answers, he kept his lips shut. He believed Wanwan, the man who had betrayed him, and Guy about her motives! He ran away, giving up his career, but left Wannueng having to deal with Wanwan on her own. Wanwan still had her under contract and he still planned on leaking the video, and Win didn’t think any of that through before making his noble sacrifice and disappearing. And because of that, Wannueng had to join hands with her almost rapist to free herself. Win was dumb, dumb, dumb.

And that is why I felt that Win was a good match for Wannueng. Both were equally idiotic, but maybe Wannueng was a bit more so.

May got closer to another man and then married him to make Win jealous. That didn’t work. She then spent 20+ episodes chasing Win and deriding Wannueng. At no point did Win ever tell her what he saw and what he suspected, but he did show her the ring he was going to use to propose to her. I still wonder at that scene that Win saw the night he went to May’s home, and wonder still at what actually happened. The drama failed to explain, but I still felt sorry for the woman who never knew why she lost the man she loved. That is, until she refused to just let go.

MeeDee spent 20+ episodes idiotically chasing Wannueng and allowing her to use him. He seemed to have some masochistic tendencies, since, regardless of her rejections, he kept going back for more.

I felt that MeeDee and May were a good match for each other since they both seemed to have obsessive, clingy personalities.

Wanwan was a horrible human being who thought nothing of blackmailing others to keep them under his control. He spent years trying to destroy Win because he thought Win had dared to leave him. If Win had opened his mouth and explained that he wanted to leave show business because of May, Wanwan would never have gone that far. At least, not with him.

I liked Lukpit for his silliness. He was a wonderfully supportive friend to Wannueng, even when she was a big burden on him.

Tom was a good friend to Win, and we later find out that he has been in love with Win this entire time. When Win uses him to protect Wannueng, he was justifiably heartbroken. He found his own love at the end.

I Wanna be a Superstar was a fail for me. I would give it a 3.5/10. The music didn’t stand out. The acting was fine. But the writing and the characters . . . Wannueng needed to grow up. Win needed to open his mouth. And both MeeDee and May needed to learn to let go like normal human beings. Unless you are a really big fan of Put Puttichai or Gypso Ramita Mahapreukpong, I’d say skip this drama.

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