The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol Episode 23

Episode 23

In front of the dorm, Jeong Dajun and Kang Ichae were excitedly waiting for all the members to gather before entering together. The youngest planner and the manager were also present.

It was Lee Jihyeon, right? That’s the name, wasn’t it?

With a quick bow, they both greeted and approached us.

“Hey, move aside.”

Don’t be a nuisance. With two guys blocking the already narrow entrance, passing was impossible. This startled Kang Ichae.

“Hey, that’s my spot?!”

“I… I’m sorry!”

“Hey, stop taking photos and move out of the way already!”

These kids… What’s with their mentality? Should I say it was good or what?

I was worried they might struggle with hate comments online because of their sudden popularity, but it was just a baseless concern.

Amidst their playful banter, laughter was already starting to erupt among the manager and production staff.

“Ouch! That hurts!”

“Stop it, you brats.”

While I was scolding the two, Seong Jiwon and Kim Seonghyeon appeared.

“What were you guys doing?”

“They probably did something to deserve it…”

Seong Jiwon looked at us curiously, while Kim Seonghyeon seemed to grasp the members’ personalities well.

I casually greeted them and then looked at the sketchbook hastily filled by the youngest planner, Lee Jihyeon.

[Please react as you enter the lodging!]

Okay.

Everyone dragged their suitcases, their faces full of excitement. Kang Ichae pressed the secret code they just learned and played the background music.

“Ta-da!”

“…Ta-da?”

“So, what does The Dawn’s dorm look like?”

… It’s shocking.

As someone who naturally thought of the song by Loveholic,[1] I felt both familiar and unfamiliar when I heard the Netflix starting sound.

Meanwhile, Kang Ichae playfully opened the door to reveal the dorm.

With two rooms and a living area, it was a bit cramped but enough for about five people to live in. There was only one bathroom, which would likely cause a morning rush, but that was manageable.

Since we’re filming BTS, the camera was essential.

Where were they mounted? I scanned the room with eagle eyes. One on a teddy bear, another on the TV stand, and two beside the sofa…

They’ve set it up better than I expected.

Just as I was about to give a moderate reaction, Kang Ichae excitedly rushed toward the sofa, struck a pose, and recited his line.

“Why are you like that…? Do I look like a guy who owns a place?”

“It’s dazzling…!”

“It’s totally fine?!”

…?

Even Seong Jiwon entered the living room with a fluttering face.

“Why are they so excited?”

“Uh, um?”

As I looked at Kim Seonghyeon while speaking, I realized he was no different. With a flushed face, he was busy looking around. A feeling of pity surged inside me.

You guys… really haven’t been treated well at the company…

Even I, known as a ruthless PD, could see that the situation for these rookie idols was truly dire. Perhaps it’s just our agency that’s particularly like that.

I placed my suitcase in the corner of the living room with a bitter face.

The planning team focused on filming Kang Ichae with their cameras.

The big room was for Jeong Dajun, Seong Jiwon, and Kim Seonghyeon. The small room was for Kang Ichae and me. As our eyes met, he laughed. It was unsettling.

The youngest planner, Lee Jihyeon, caught my eye and gave a subtle nod.

“Everyone, do you like the dorm?”

“Yes!”

“I’m glad. Don’t worry because the cameras won’t always be rolling. We’ll only film when there’s content, and our company will do all editing, so don’t worry.”

I was worried.

“Today, we’ll film unpacking your suitcases, deciding on roommates, and reacting to the music video. Just a quick monitoring will do for the behind-the-scenes of the music video.”

Lee Jihyeon flipped through the sketchbook several times. Everyone obediently answered and gathered their suitcases, which had been piled in a corner.

Filming the suitcases?

What’s so fun about filming suitcases?

It might be fun for the fans. They were curious about everything related to idols, even their meals.

Still, I was worried since there wouldn’t be much content.

And precisely one minute later, my worry crumbled.

“Puhahaha! Hyung, what’s this?”

“A red ginseng set and ginseng extract…”

The first batter, Seong Jiwon. Half of his suitcase was filled with red ginseng. Seong Jiwon laughed sheepishly.

“Hyung, why do you have so many red ginseng sets in your suitcase?”

“My grandma gave them to me. She said we should all have some.”

“Your grandma is truly thoughtful…”

“Ooooh~ Ichae-hyung, that’s too much~.”

“No, that’s not what I meant.”

Kang Ichae, who had been joking around, hastily tried to explain himself. I seized the opportunity and discreetly approached Seong Jiwon.

“Can I have one?”

“Oh, of course.”

I quickly tore open the ginseng extract Seong Jiwon handed me and diligently sucked it dry.

His grandmother was really wise… I used to stockpile boxes of this stuff and have one every morning during my PD days.

Seong Jiwon carefully repacked his suitcase.

Next batter.

“Me!”

“Alright, Dajun. Go ahead and unpack.”

Jeong Dajun energetically opened his suitcase.

“… It’s nothing but snacks.”

“All you need are snacks!”

“Just kick him out.”

Seong Jiwon was a gentleman. Next up was Kang Ichae.

“Ta-da! Games!”

A laptop, mouse, PlayStation 5, Switch… It was all games.

Kim Seonghyeon immediately closed the suitcase.

“Throw it away.”

“Why would you do that?!”

“Practice instead of playing those.”

“I agree.”

“No, my babies…”

As even Seong Jiwon joined in, Kang Ichae hugged his precious suitcase protectively.

“Next up, Hoyun.”

“Okay.”

Ignoring them, I opened my suitcase. It was ordinary and lacked impact, so I figured it would be edited out anyway.

But then, there was silence.

“Hyung, what’s up with your clothes?”

“What?”

“…”

The members had been staring at my suitcase and whispering to each other.

“Did you see his suitcase? It’s all black. I thought it was a black hole. I should’ve noticed since he always wears black clothes…”

“I know, right? He’s always in head-to-toe shadow fashion.”

“Hoyun-hyung, what kind of idol does that…”

Even Jeong Dajun criticized me. I frowned. I don’t think I’ve ever been criticized for my fashion before.

“What? Black is pretty.”

“Next up! Seonghyeon-hyung!”

My opinion was quickly dismissed, and the last batter, Kim Seonghyeon, sighed deeply before opening his suitcase. And quite literally… he was like Doraemon.

“This is for Kang Ichae and Jeong Dajun. I knew they wouldn’t bring clothes. Seong Jiwon, you get a portable steamer.”

“I wanted that!”

“Seo Hoyun, you get vitamins.”

Somehow, I ended up with the most items. Feeling flustered, I asked him as I watched an endless supply of vitamins pour out.

“Why do I get vitamins?”

“Hyung, you collapsed last time.”

That was because of the system window.

“Right, Hoyun-hyung is secretly frail.”

“Exactly. Hoyun, you need to take better care of yourself.”

No, that was because of the system window!

But I couldn’t say it, so I kept my mouth shut. Obviously, I would be treated like a madman if I mentioned it.

Kim Seonghyeon proudly closed his suitcase after giving everyone the necessary items.

I hoped this would get edited out.

We already watched our music video countless times but doing it together on the sofa in our dorm felt different.

However, the problem was these pesky maknaes.

“… I’m sorry.”

“Ta-da!”

“Enough, guys…”

Kang Ichae and Jeong Dajun shared a laugh as they playfully picked on Seong Jiwon, who was sprawled on the sofa and appeared to be in agony. Since Seong Jiwon was the main character in the music video, they found it easier to tease him.

“Ichae, you look so cool! Like Hollywood.”

“Yeah, I rejected a casting offer last time.”

“Ichae, sometimes I envy your shamelessness.”

“That’s my charm.”

Seong Jiwon tried a weak counterattack, but it didn’t affect the mentally strong Ichae. Seong Jiwon was already clenching his fists.

I wondered if Seong Jiwon would ever punch Ichae.

“Hoyun-hyung is really good at shuffling cards.”

“Hyung, are you a card shark?”

“Stop it… Are you trying to cheat?”

“Hahaha!”

As I played along with them, the kids went wild with excitement.

The BTS video was edited as I suggested, like that of the show Screening Humanity.[2]

The rainbow-colored cursive font spelling “A Day in the Life of an Idol with an Extreme Job” was quite satisfying.

[Today, Kim Seonghyeon goes to the practice room again.

  1. What do you think about while practicing?
  2. (Kim Seonghyeon) What do I think about? I just do it…]

The BTS video was a mix of various memes circulating on the internet.

The more serious the members appeared, the funnier it was. The highlight was when Joo Woosung made an appearance.

[Joo Woosung: Hello~.

Members: (dumbfounded) Why are you here, hyung…?

Seo Hoyun: (calmly) Let’s practice.]

“I was really surprised back then.”

“He’s a celebrity among celebrities.”

Joo Woosung was just a guy distracted by love.

Clicking my tongue, I focused on the video. Before I knew it, the BTS footage led to the music video.

[Today, The Dawn takes their shooting seriously. Suddenly, Ichae gets up.

Kang Ichae: Hyung! How tall is a monkey?!

Kim Seonghyeon: (with a resigned face) About 121cm…?

Seo Hoyun: (hearing the answer) Vague[3].]

“I got goosebumps…”

“Hyung ordered that.”

Everyone laughed comfortably, knowing that the video wouldn’t include their reactions. The planning team seemed quite satisfied with how the shoot went.

“Good job, everyone! We have a music show filming starting early tomorrow, so get some rest.”

While greeting the manager and the planning team, I made eye contact with the team’s youngest member. I gave a natural business smile, and Jihyeon flinched.

“Ms. Jihyeon.”

“Yes, yes. Mr. Hoyun.”

“Thank you. We got great results thanks to your excellent planning.”

Jihyeon scratched the back of her head nervously, her face saying, ‘Why is he talking to me?’ Jihyeon, being new to the company, didn’t understand why I was talking to her and not the team leader.

“No, not at all. You guys matched so well that it was more rewarding for us.”

But why was I approaching Jihyeon?

Obviously, I was laying the groundwork.

Great planning, especially in competition programs, was crucial.

Despite her wariness at my sudden move, Jihyeon obediently answered.

“Could I ask you for advice on planning in the future?”

“…Yes?”

“You know this stuff well, Ms. Jihyeon.”

“…All right, then.”

Jihyeon clenched her fists.

I waited. Promotion? Bonus? Will she ask for more? Although it was not within my authority, I was prepared to do my best to persuade the CEO or team leader.

“Can I pour out all the settings I want?!”

“…Yes, sure.”

My response came half a beat late. Maybe I was being too realistic.

“Kyaa! Thank you! I love how my thought-out settings move in 3D, no, 4D! I’ve been thinking about a sequel to this apocalypse concept, and how it would connect is….”

“Ah, I’m a bit busy right now.”

I quickly cut her off. I didn’t plan on listening to a stan talk all day. Jihyeon looked disappointed as she said goodbye and walked away with a flushed face. …Well, it worked out.

This should be enough for now.

I looked back.

“Ah, I’m exhausted, so exhausted.”

“Should we grill some pork belly?”

“Let’s practice.”

“Practice bug…”

“Let’s practice.”

“…Yes, understood.”

The rest was up to us.

Ignoring Kang Ichae, who was mumbling nonsense about being an idol forever, the diligent Seong Jiwon was preparing his practice clothes. I wanted to see the stats of Seong Jiwon, who had the best balance among us.

Seong Jiwon’s stats.

[Opening Seong Jiwon’s stats.]

[Singing: A0

Dancing: A-

Variety: C-

???: ???

??: ??

Charm: B-]

Wow, what were these stats for Seong Jiwon? What did singing A0 mean? And what’s with the A- for dancing?

I knew he was talented, but seeing it like this was shocking. Training really paid off.

Variety and charm would come naturally as he gained more broadcast experience.

“Hey, you must have been born to be an idol.”

“Huh? What are you talking about all of a sudden? That’s you, Hoyun.”

My goodness, he’s even humble…

Seong Jiwon frowned and smiled. I gestured for Seong Jiwon to come forward as our tank.

“Seong Jiwon, come here for a second. You guys too.”

“Huh? Oh, okay.”

There was something important to tell them. Kim Seonghyeon stopped organizing his carrier and sat down in the living room.

“What’s up, hyung?”

“Is the camera off?”

“Yeah, they took it away.”

“Good.”

“What is it? Why are you setting the atmosphere like this? It’s scary.”

It’s important. I remembered the warning I gave them on our first day in the practice room.

They all seemed to remember that day clearly, swallowing nervously. I slowly looked at each member’s face.

“We got an offer to appear on a variety show.”

Everyone’s jaws dropped.

“Really?”

“It won’t be funny if you’re lying, hyung.”

“You don’t trust me?”

Every single one of them had a face filled with disbelief.

“I’m hurt…”

“…Let’s get to the point.”

Even pretending to be hurt didn’t work on the members. Seong Jiwon looked at me nervously.

“We got an offer for a competition show. The CEO said it’s a program on cable where we compete with other idol groups to win first place.”

“Really? For us?”

Everyone’s eyes widened in surprise. Then, Jeong Dajun bounced with excitement. As I explained in detail, some members became excited, while others had worried expressions.

Kim Seonghyeon thought for a moment.

“If we rush into it, it could be a negative experience.”

“True, the criticism can be harsh. There have been idols who went on similar shows and only ended up ruining their image. Some even disbanded as a result…”

“It’s not a situation where we can just think positively, huh?”

“It’s either a huge success or a huge failure? Either way, we’ll be on fire on the internet.”

Kang Ichae shrugged his shoulders. Everyone’s faces grew even more somber at his words.

These people, who had yet to taste success, were already consumed by negative thoughts; that’s just how it was.

What should I do about this?

Should I try giving them a bit of shock therapy like last time?

“Hmm…”

As I pondered what to say this time, Seong Jiwon suddenly turned his head.

“Hoyun, what do you want to do?”

At Seong Jiwon’s cautious question, the members’ gazes naturally fixed on me.

“Of course…”

My answer was already determined.

“We’ll face the criticism if we have to.”

This was precisely the time to jump into the fire.

[1] It is likely that Seo Hoyun was referring to Loveholic’s “Butterfly” (나비), a popular ballad from the early 2000s. The song includes the lyrics “바람에 흩날리는 그 집에” which can be translated as “In that house fluttering in the wind.” The song has been featured in various Korean dramas and movies.

[2] Screening Humanity is a long-running KBS documentary program that explores ordinary people’s everyday lives and struggles.

[3] The joke is a pun that plays with the similarity between “monkey” and the Korean word “몽키” (Mong-key). The punchline, “몽키” (Mong-key), is a play on words, as it can be interpreted as “monkey” or as a Korean word “blurry” or “vague.”


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The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol

The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol

Score 9.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: , Artist:
[Congratulations Seo Hoyun! You have been selected as a player in the Unknown Idol Tycoon.] The good-for-nothing PD, who is criticized by everyone, becomes a unknown idol in a parallel world. Only his younger sibling remembers him. To return to the original world, he must become a top idol and clear the game! “…Quest accepted.” “Are you crazy?” “Don’t we need to eat and live?” His specialty is blackmailing, his hobby is persuasion. The survival story of the unscrupulous PD-turned-idol who will stop at nothing!
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