“Great job, Suhyeon! Here, take a shot and cheers with your uncle.”
The PD sitting across from him laughed heartily and handed Suhyeon a glass full of cider.
It was a celebratory drink for the protagonist of the rising viewership ratings.
“Yes, thank you.”
How high will it go?
Suhyeon sneaked a glance at the staff checking the viewership ratings.
Considering the drama had only started 10 minutes ago, a 20 percent viewership wasn’t a pipe dream.
The rapidly rising numbers were truly intriguing.
In the past, there really wasn’t much to do. The ratings were divided three ways, so things were really relaxed…
As he stared blankly at the screen and lost in these rather rude thoughts, he heard that the ratings had broken through 15 percent.
The constant white noise buzzed in Suhyeon’s ears.
And it made his mind hazy, like a lullaby.
“Suhyeon’s getting tired. Are you sleepy?”
“Look at you, all warm and toasty. You’re still a kid, aren’t you? Can’t even stay awake till 9. I’ll take you to your mom.”
Chaemin picked up the yawning Suhyeon and left his seat.
Jiyeon, who had just reentered the restaurant after finishing her work, quickened her pace when she saw Chaemin carrying Suhyeon.
“Oh my, Chaemin! I’m so sorry. Please give him to me.”
“He’s not that heavy. I’ll take him to the car.”
“Shouldn’t you be there since you’re the lead actor?”
“The star of the day, this little one, has fallen asleep, and all I have to do until the end of the drama is drink.”
He laughed heartily and pointed to the back with his chin.
There was the overjoyed PD and Seohan, who was being forced to drink by that PD.
“So, I’d be grateful if you let me take him to your car.”
“Then… I’ll leave it to you. Thank you.”
“Yes. It’s not really a favor, but could you take a picture? The kid’s adorable even when asleep.”
“Thank you. Here’s my phone.”
Even with the ability to see through the camera lens, Suhyeon couldn’t cover the pictures taken while asleep.
Offering the delicate picture on the border of humiliation and cuteness as a sacrifice, Suhyeon managed to keep his dream of leaving on time.
And that day, Promise of the Blue Summer began its smooth sail with a viewership rating of 20.3 percent.
* * *
[NBC Weekend Drama Promise of the Blue Summer records 20.3 percent, promising a sensation]
NBC Weekend drama Promise of the Blue Summer…(excerpt)…contrary to the concerns, the two child actors signaled a smooth start with superb acting. Along with…
└Yesterday’s drama summary = Jiwu’s smile.
└Honestly, I don’t remember anything else ㅋㅋㅋㅋ. The protagonist is Gaeun but sorry…
└Children can see this. Let’s use clean and noble words~
└You do that.
└Does anyone know the previous work of the child actor who played Jiwu yesterday? ㅠㅠ He looks very experienced, but I can’t find his filmography ㅠㅠㅠ.]
“Wow, there are quite a lot of comments?”
Hochan, who was playing with his son to celebrate the weekend, opened his laptop, curious about the reactions his son mentioned.
And he was surprised at the unexpected praise.
“It’s all about our son. Amazing.”
“…Dad, didn’t you watch the drama yesterday?”
“Ah, yes. That’s…”
It was a rule not to associate with those who didn’t catch the premiere of his debut work.
Suhyeon quietly got off Hochan’s lap.
“I’m disappointed in Dad… I’m not playing with you anymore.”
“Suhyeon, Suhyeon! You can’t leave Dad! Dad was wrong!”
Jiyeon, busy with the finishing touches for today’s feast, glanced at them with a pathetic look.
“You two are playing nicely.”
“Suhyeon’s mom, Suhyeon’s mom. Use polite words.”
“Ah, hmm! Our Suhyeon is having a good time with his dad.”
Suhyeon stared at the awkwardly laughing Jiyeon in confusion.
Every time she made an unintentional mistake, it reminded him that she was still a novice mom.
“Now, now! Since Suhyeon was on TV yesterday, I’ve prepared a meal with Suhyeon’s favorite side dishes to celebrate! Applause!”
Suhyeon clapped in time with Jiyeon’s words.
It was an action he had often done as a guest, and he liked the situation where “the family sat around harmoniously celebrating something.”
On the contrary, Hochan couldn’t hide his disappointment as he clapped along with her words.
“When I got promoted to Level 7, we celebrated by eating out.”
“Are you and Suhyeon the same? Why are you being childish now that you’ve become a father?”
“It feels like there’s a temperature difference…”
“Aw, our immature Hochan, where did you put your age?”
Suhyeon focused on the food his mother brought, deliberately ignoring his parents, who were producing goosebumps while immersed in their own world.
From tteokgalbi to colorful rolled omelets, a meal that was not inferior to any banquet greeted him.
Somehow, the taste is nostalgic.
Suhyeon cut the tteokgalbi with a fork and put a piece big enough for a child’s mouth in his mouth.
With the sweet and savory taste, a day when he laughed and chatted with his family before regression came to mind.
That’s right, I want to protect this. Let’s stay alert.
He looked at his parents, still squabbling, with warm eyes.
As he saw them exchanging passionate glances after pecking on the cheek, his head turned away on its own.
…I should just finish checking the comments now.
Suhyeon ate another mouthful, quietly grabbed the neglected computer mouse, and clicked on another link.
Promise of the Blue Summer was being discussed among the posts about dramas, proof that it had become quite the topic.
Oh. They’ve already made this into a GIF?
After clicking on several posts, Suhyeon stared at the screen, forgetting to eat.
It was because the brilliantly captured video caught his attention.
It seems like they’ve edited my entire part of the drama. My number one fan is amazing.
The images of the post continued endlessly.
From GIFs that captioned his lines on his brightly smiling face to just chubby pictures. It was enough to call it an obsession.
“Oh, I have to save this. It’s really cute?”
“I don’t know who it is, but they’re really dedicated.”
Jiyeon and Hochan, who had finished their love quarrel, sat behind Suhyeon and watched the images together.
They enjoyed reading over 200 comments together.
Of course, they covered Suhyeon’s eyes when they saw malicious comments.
In the end, they had a good but hard time.
“…Our son is too popular.”
“Suhyeon is really cute and an angel… Ah, so that’s why he’s popular.”
There were many celebrities who rose to stardom because of a one-hit work, a single line, or a buzzword spat out by accident.
However, neither Jiyeon nor Hochan expected it to happen to their child.
“This is a bit burdensome.”
“Let’s think positively. It will help if Suhyeon continues to want to be an actor.”
“He’s only five. Can we really expect him to stick with the career he’s chosen now for the rest of his life? He’s bright, so heading into a specialized profession would probably be better for him….”
Jiyeon, having watched Suhyeon on set, hoped that he would leave acting as a pleasant memory of his childhood and choose a “sa” character profession as his career path.
This was a plan she made without considering Suhyeon’s opinion at all.
“I enjoy acting!”
“Oh, sure. Our Suhyeon, you’re really good at it.”
Suhyeon was frustrated by Jiyeon’s dismissive attitude.
And he deeply understood the feelings of a child wanting to become an adult.
I wish I could go back to being about fifteen! No, that’s not it. The problem is that I died when I was in my prime! Damn, that tow truck!
He was upset enough about having to go to the military again, let alone having his opinions dismissed because of his youth.
After a long time, he resented his regressed age.
“Okay, okay, Suhyeon’s mom. We promised not to dictate our child’s future when Suhyeon was born. His current dream is a dream nonetheless. Let’s just watch over him.”
“I’m just feeling regretful.”
“You know there’s no end to it if you start that, right? Suhyeon, your dad and I will fully support whatever you want to do. It’s just that there are still many possibilities for you, Suhyeon, so let’s equally value those possibilities.”
“…Was I too hard on you? Our Suhyeon, don’t look so upset. We’re not scolding you.”
Hochan pinched Suhyeon’s cheeks to lighten the awkward atmosphere and made a duck face.
It was just to make the child laugh, but once he got addicted to his squishy cheeks, he kept pinching them until Suhyeon was genuinely annoyed.
“Suhyeon’s dad, Suhyeon, stop fooling around and focus here. We have to watch Episode 1 properly if we’re going to catch the live broadcast later.”
In the meantime, Jiyeon pressed play without delay after setting up the recording feature.
With the title screen, the living room was filled only with the sound of the TV.
Suhyeon had fallen asleep halfway through and hadn’t watched it properly, so he focused entirely on the drama.
Monitoring his own work was also an important part of being an actor.
The angles in dramas are definitely more varied than in photos. It feels quite different.
He recalled the two or three windows that had appeared in front of him throughout the shoot.
Unlike 20 years later when studios would bring in multiple expensive cameras to shoot from various angles simultaneously, today’s production made actors shoot the same scene multiple times instead of increasing the number of cameras.
Thanks to this, his focus was less scattered, but it was a problem that needed to be solved when considering changes in the future.
It’s convenient to monitor in real time, but that means I have to practice even more thoroughly.’
He was constantly exhausted from trying to focus on his co-actor and the camera at the same time, falling asleep as soon as the shoot ended.
But when he thought about pushing it aside, he felt empty as he had gotten used to checking himself from various angles.
Well, what can I do? I just have to work hard like I did when I was an idol. What’s honey to my fate?
While Suhyeon was tasting the sentiment of giving up, Hochan and Jiyeon made a fuss and hugged Suhyeon after the episode ended.
It was because Suhyeon’s appearance in the drama was murderously cute.
“Our Suhyeon! What will we do if you go to kindergarten looking this cute?!”
“The touch of a professional is indeed different. The photo book we got last time was great, but it’s really impressive this time.”
“Mom, then can I…”
“Yes. Let’s talk about that when you grow as tall as me.”
Suhyeon was trying to sneak in a positive answer amidst the admiration and warm atmosphere, but he became sullen because of his mother’s firm response.
He just wanted to pursue acting as his life’s path, yet his mother was too worried.
“Suhyeon’s mom, isn’t that a phone call?”
“A call? Who could it be on the weekend?”
As the three of them were spending the weekend bickering over trivial things, Jiyeon’s phone rang.
The bewildered Jiyeon checked the caller’s name and looked even more puzzled.
– “I’m really, really sorry, sunbae. I know it’s the weekend, and you’re on break, but I’m also a working professional who earns a salary…”
As soon as Jiyeon answered the phone, Hanna, her former colleague and the person who led Suhyeon into the entertainment industry, started making frantic excuses.
Her voice was so loud that even Suhyeon and Hochan heard the content of the call.
“Alright, enough with the preface, straight to the point.”
Hanna kept appealing her situation and circumstances as if she was the most pitiful person, but Jiyeon cut off all her rambles with a few words.
Under such a firm demeanor, Hanna fumblingly stated the purpose of the call.
– “Can Suhyeon shoot just one commercial?”
 Her “mistake” was using informal language. “놀고들 있네” (“You two are playing nicely”) is more casual and less formal in the Korean language because of the bolded letters. She then corrected herself by saying, “우리 수현이가 아빠랑 잘 놀고 있네” (“Our Suhyeon is having a good time with his dad”) which is a more respectful and polite way to say that Suhyeon is playing well with his dad. In Korean culture, when speaking about one’s children, it is considered more appropriate to use respectful language, even when the child is not present. This is because it is believed that speaking well about one’s children can bring good luck and positivity to the child.
 사 (Sa) character profession refers to jobs like lawyer (변호사), doctor (의사), prosecutor (검사), etc., which are traditionally considered the most prestigious in Korea.
 It’s a Korean idiom implying there’s no sweetness or easy path in one’s life.
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