Celebrity Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – What is A-Ri’s background?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: June 30, 2023 (Last updated: July 2, 2023)
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Celebrity Season 1 Episode 1 Recap


Celebrity takes a while to settle into its structure, but a last-minute bombshell adds a lot of excitement for subsequent episodes.

This recap of the 2023 K-Drama Celebrity Season 1 Episode 1, “#get_famous”, contains spoilers.

“This is going to be a pretty long story,” says famous influencer Seo A-Ri. “I hope you’ve got some popcorn.”

One thing’s for sure — at twelve episodes, the Netflix K-Drama Celebrity is, indeed, going to be a pretty long story.

However, A-Ri’s sales pitch is attention-grabbing because it’s designed to answer an essential contemporary question: What is an influencer, why do they matter, and what is the secret — the cheat code, if you will — to becoming one?

Celebrity Season 1 Episode 1 Recap

Celebrity is framed almost as a tutorial, a member of the 1% revealing to the plebs that it’s really all a con. And that’s a sentiment it’s easy, ironically, to buy into. A-Ri has entered the upper echelons of social influencing, and she’s about to reveal how she got there by explaining a series of “cheat codes” that are the key to success.

Social media influencing is marketing, first and foremost. Are you beautiful and popular enough to be paid to hold up an item that millions of impressionable followers might buy? Congratulations, then. You’re influential.

Who is Biniimom?

But there’s more to it than that, obviously. Modern business is inextricable from influencing. It seeps into the lives and ambitions of the next generation. These days, having an Instagram or a YouTube channel constitutes a career. Living your life like an open wound constitutes a skillset.

It’s no surprise, then, that Seo A-Ri started in sales. But she was totally ignorant of the influencer lifestyle. She was focused on “real life”, totally oblivious to the appeal of a catfight that is sweeping social media. An influencer named Biniimom is involved in some kind of scandal. Someone said this, and someone else said that. A-ri sees herself as above it, understandably.

But A-Ri is also struggling financially, working hard for little reward, and feels somewhat behind the times. When she’s forced to hide in a giant walk-in closet during a sales pitch, she sees a designer life close enough to touch. That night, she creates an Instagram account, the narration of her future self wondering how life could have been so different from that point on.

What is A-Ri’s background?

By chance, A-Ri runs into an old school friend of hers, Min-hye, who is now a very successful influencer. But, much to the shock of A-Ri’s influencer-obsessed colleague, Min-hye is more impressed by A-Ri. Apparently, in high school, she was inadvertently an influencer herself; from a rich family, a fashion icon who graduated to an Ivy League school in the U.S. (Yale). 

Min-hye assumes A-Ri must still be successful. Privately, to her husband, Min-hye reveals that she hated A-Ri in school, and in brief flashbacks, we see how privileged and disconnected from normality A-ri was, so it’s easy to see why. Min-hye invites A-ri to a party, and she agrees to go, dipping her toe back into that lifestyle of superficiality.

What is the first cheat code?

A-Ri attends the party out of curiosity and quickly feels judged and alienated. She’s turned off by the conversation around her dress, an exclusive one of Si-hyeon’s she has “borrowed” from her mother’s dress shop, where it was in for alteration, and about her Ivy League education. Frustrated, she admits that while she got into an Ivy League school, she didn’t actually attend one, and that seems to be that.

Until that is, Biniimom, who has been removed from the guest list, comes storming in and slaps Min-hye. With a fistful of Min-hye’s hair, she accuses her of leeching off her, stealing her followers and her contacts. A-Ri realizes the first cheat code of being an influencer — being a parasite and attaching yourself to someone with more status than you. 

Celebrity Season 1 Episode 1 Ending Explained

“#get_famous” ends with a major bombshell.

As we see the influencer community frantically tuning in to A-Ri’s present-day live stream, they’re all shocked to see her. Why? Because, apparently, she died.

A-Ri obviously has intentions of exposing the influencer community from “beyond the grave”, which should be especially concerning for the person who killed her. But who could that be?

Well, thus far, it could be anyone.

You can stream Celebrity Season 1 Episode 1, “#get_famous”, exclusively on Netflix.

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