Updated: May 22
The spelling might seem like a translation mistake at first glance. The poster has stars in place of the "oo"s in "shooting", and you can be forgiven for assuming that someone took the design too literally while typing out the name of the drama for international marketing.
But a typo or a gaff would have been corrected pretty quickly. Especially since the name now looked like "Shitting Stars" and what production company would leave that up for long?
It also wouldn't have been reposted exactly as is by sites like Rakuten Viki or Viu which have the airing rights for the show and a large English speaking staff.
Instead the asterisks remained. 😏
Which prompted our intrepid drama geek brains into some detective work.
(too long didn't read version 👇)
It turns out that the original Korean title 별똥별 is actually a pun on "celebrity poop". It’s based on a common phrase, 별들의 똥을 치우는 별별 사람들, which literally means “cleaning up the poop of celebrities”, which was then abbreviated in korean to byulttongbyul or 별똥별 - which does mean “shooting stars”. But do you see the ttong in byulttongbyul? It means shit.
So, anyone familiar with the phrase knows that the abbreviation is a reference to cleaning up messes created by celebrities.
But how do you translate something like this to international viewers who aren’t familiar with popular Korean slang?
Well, they did it with the asterisks.
It’s freaking genius.
And you cannot convince me that it was unintentional now.
When the original pun was clearly talking about celebrity poop and the English title looks like "Shitting Stars", the chances of this being a coincidence is nada.
Whoever thought of it... bravo. Bravo.