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Suzy, Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Sun-ho, Kang Hanna finalized for youth drama Start-up


Suzy, Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Sun-ho, Kang Hanna

It looks like another youth drama is in the works. Called Start-up (formerly known as Sandbox), this project has finalized its main cast to Suzy (Vagabond), Nam Joo-hyuk (The Light in Your Eyes), Kim Sun-ho (Catch the Ghost), and Kang Hanna (Designated Survivor: 60 Days). Let me just say, I’m getting a strong Itaewon Class-for-techies vibe, so hopefully it’ll be as good.

Suzy plays a poor girl named Seo Dal-mi with nothing but big dreams of becoming the next Steve Jobs. So far, she’s experienced all different kinds of part-time work in order to save up to accomplish her big dream. She invests in a start-up hoping to reverse her fortunes and hit it big.

Playing opposite Suzy, Nam Joo-hyuk has been tapped to play computer genius extraordinaire, Nam Do-san. Having won international math competitions at a precociously early age, he used to be the pride of his family, but after founding his tech company, he’s become the shame of his family. It’s been two years and counting that he hasn’t been able to pay them back for their financial investment. However, Suzy remembers him fondly as her brainy childhood first love and decides to invest in him.

Kim Sun-ho plays a man who decides to join the start-up in order to pay back his debt to the one person that showed him kindness before he was successful. His character is a manager for a top venture capital firm, and he has the Midas touch when it came to investments, so much so that he is called the “Gordon Ramsey” of the financial world.

Last but not least, we have Kang Hanna who plays a badass CEO with everything—top education, knockout appearance, and wealth. She thinks that her title as a second-generation chaebol is actually holding her back from getting recognized for her true potential. Despite working like a dog so she can to prove herself, she is betrayed by her father after she does his dirty work. She promises herself that she won’t be used again and joins the start-up.

Upcoming Saturday-Sunday tvN drama Start-up, directed by Oh Choong-hwan (Hotel Del Luna) and written by Park Hye-ryun (Pinocchio), will begin airing in October.

Via Xports News

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I thought they already started to film, there was a picture of Suzy and NJH at a bus stop... Weird.

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You are right. They do this a lot. I remember for Good Casting they did that too, when it was pre-produced. It is just another way to gauge and build up anticipation for an upcoming drama.

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Suzy is one of those rare actresses that always manages to exceed expectations. You think she is bad? She will prove she is worse.

In all seriousness, I will definitely watch for the second leads.

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"he has the Midas touch when it came to investments, so much so that he is called the “Gordon Ramsey” of the financial world."

The name of celebrity cook! Obviously he would be named that! It's not like there are any well known great investors out there (*cough* Warren Buffet).

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To be fair, the only way the Gordon Ramsey reference makes sense is if it turns out that the character has a talent for rehabilitating poorly-run enterprises, which would be consistent with the stated premise of the show. Otherwise, the reference is wholly off-base, as you point out.

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From one article, he was called Gordon Ramsey because he has a cranky personality.

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Interesting...there are certainly notable grumps with higher profiles who could have been name-dropped without causing confusion. But I could be underestimating the popularity of cooking shows in Korea.

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HAHAHAA savage. I was thinking the saaame after reading headlines though. I feel mean saying this but it's a shame that she gets offers other actors and actresses with real potential would excel (like actually) at. I can name soo many who deserve the opportunities afforded to her.

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Ain't it the truth? 😧

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She brings in money plus she has more top excellence awards than most people and the public loves her. Beauty over talent when it comes to SK but even veteran actors like Jung Yumi and Jeon Doyeon and Gong Hyojin have praised Suzy for her acting and personality so she has the right circle of influential people to succeed and become critically acclaimed.

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Such silliness. I mean she seems like a great person to know and hang out with so perhaps thats why fellow actors endorse her. Meh I guess even good actors are unfairly/disproportionately praised over novel actors with potential so I can't complain. Its just the nature of things.

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Yeah basically if top actors like Lee Jehoon keep repeating they want to work with Suzy in every other interview I don't blame top directors and writers for casting her. Some people their charm isn't their acting but their personality which it seems is good enough to get big casting opportunities. Lesson of the day : be a great person even if you can't act.

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reasons are pretty straight forward and there was an interview of directors and production houses quite a few years back where they stated the reason for hiring idols and specially popular ones like suzy (quoting her name)

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1. She draws eyeballs
2. huge fan following
3. attracts advertisers, because what she sells, sells super quick
4. if you watch her on variety shows you will realize that she has an amazing personality .. fun,bubbly.. not like other idols who are always super coy and do nothing ( so i knew suzy first as an actress and much much later in her variety persona)
5. co-stars etc want to work because, same reason..she guarantees fame for them in return because of her fan following and publicity her casting alone would garner

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@alasecond Everything you said is yes except shouldn't people like Jeon Doyeon and Lee Jehoon be earning more than her? Even a critically acclaimed director like Kim Taeyong personally reached out to Suzy for his new movie.

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everyone would say nice things in front of a camera if they don't want a backlash.

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also all these people are from same agency as hers :)

they have to promote each other

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Lol yeah, it's all in the name of good P.R.

Plus aren't the Top Excellence Awards brought/given by their agencies?

P.S: nothing against Suzy, I actually think she's a decent actress. However, more visual wise. In Vagabond, she was quite beautiful there esp. that last scene.

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I also think awards are bought which is why I don't understand why people get excited or upset over someone winning a daesaeng or excellence award as if it proves anything. Still we need something to measure someones "skill" so I can only refer to her awards because she won so many of them. Her, Yoona and IU have the most acting awards among actors in their 20s. I can only assume it means something which is what producers and casting agents look at.

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True but also not necessarily. They never once promoted Nam Jihyun has someone they would like to act with but SOOP and its actors have been fawning over Suzy since she signed with them. I don't like her acting but I would never blame her for getting these opportunities I blame the people involved who prefer money and beauty over anything else. I don't dislike Suzy either because she does have a great personality in real life based on her variety show appearances. She does as much as she can with whatever limited acting abilities she has.

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@ jane
She brings in money.. open and shut case

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@jane

Also, other actresses don't need the validation from others.. suzy needs this reinforcing publicity on her acting

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Those actresses are from her agency, Soop, so of course they would be gracious to their own. Current co-star Nam Joo Hyuk is also from the same agency. Most of her co-stars from her latest movie filmed, including Choi Woo Shik, again from the same agency.

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I feel like I remember someone once saying they were allergic to Suzy and I would like to reinforce that statement here today oops.

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Can't say even better than this statement. Her only works that really tolerable for me was While You Were Sleeping (with LJS). That and only that.

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I guess I could only watch Dream High.

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yesss WYWS was the only one I could even finish!

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The character descriptions for this are hmmmm, but I have a soft spot for Suzy despite her acting abilities or lack there of🤣, so I will watch or try to watch.

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This writer also wrote While You Were Sleeping and I Can Hear Your Voice but so far this drama doesn't appear to have any fantasy elements? No tragic backstories either with childhood traumas or dastardly murderers. On the other hand, it does give off underdog coming-of-age vibes but I'm sensing there will be corporate scheming and politics to drive up the tension meter on top of the standard romance.

I do wish that we have no clashing of love lines but Kim Sun Ho's character description is already warning me of a possible love triangle. Let's just keep the romances simple and have the second leads not be gate crashers for the first leads. They can have their own romance!

I don't know if I'll be watching this show (need more details since the synopsis so far seems pretty empty) but I do know who I'll be watching for though if I do watch it and I believe some of you may share the same feelings. But like seriously I had a reaction seeing the casting even if the fans say you shouldn't judge bla bla bla

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But there still is that childhood connection -- her first love! Fated! Right? Um, 'scuse me, but if she worked so hard for that money, wouldn't she have invested it carefully, and not just because she had a crush on the FML when she was a kid? Wait -- maybe that's the fantasy element!

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The part where she makes enough money from working part time jobs to fund a Tech start up is another "Fantasy"! :-D

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best comment

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Wait! Is this by Park Hye-ryun?

I like most of her work but I am not sure about this. I LOVE Kim-Sun-Ho.

But I have worked for a start up and I know someone similar to the Kang Hanna character (albeit a male).

But the weakest link is Suzy character. She seems like the enthusiastic and ambitious without a real talent kind of FL. (Which is typical for most workplace setting with romance characters)

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Dream High is the only popular dramas from this writer without fantastical element, no? Startup in this drama would be similar with journalism in Pinocchio, law in IHYV and prosecutor in WYWS I guess 😂 but all of them are feel good dramas so finger crossed that it deliver the same warm fuzzy feelings!

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I have not seen only Dream High! :-D

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The character descriptions for a tech company...man oh man 🤣🤣🤣 ....The leading lady wants to be Steve Jobs but no mention of her coding skills...The lead guy is a math whiz...okay acceptable...the investor is Gordon Ramsey of Investment...yeah, foul mouth doesn't sell in corporate culture...it gets you cancelled...only Kang Hanna seems to have a proper description worth looking at

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Hear hear!

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Steve Jobs didn't do any coding. He's a business man first.

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He had enough technical knowledge to know what to add and where...not coding itself... but every other tech guy in silicon valley in todays world knows coding to a level...selling her as a genius on that level would be a bad idea. Its clear that Sun Ho is their CFO, Hanna would be CEO, Ji Hyuk developer/programmer/share holder so what does Suzy bring to the table? Steve Job level perception of market tech demand...tough sell but we will find out.

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I'm not thinking big about the plot. Sounds to me she just wants to be rich from scratch like Steve Jobs hence the title Startup 😅. I would prefer if they model her character from Kakaogames CEO, iirc he doesn't have a game making background, he studied business marketing but he mingles with the right crowd. Developers develop a platform, he goes door to door promoting it. And he has an eye for new technology. He appeared as a master in Master in The House, his career path is so interesting. Kakao is listed as one of the best companies in Korea.

Returning to Startup the drama...Suzy is a shareholde too, she invested money in the startup project. And who knows...maybe her character is like Karlie Kloss. Hahah

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This might actually work. I liked Suzy in DREAM HIGH, so a story where she's just a young woman with a dream (not a cop or reporter or so-called warrior) may suit her.

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She should've climbed her acting career as 2nd female lead first. 2nd female lead who annoying yet pretty or something maybe suits her. But sadly she's always been the first female lead since decade ago.

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She was second female lead in her drama with gong yoo

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I'd forgotten about this drama. I like the writer. I'm happy to see a project of hers without Lee Jong Suk. Unfortunately, it does have Suzy and Nam Joo-hyuk who have never impressed me with their acting skills. I do really like Kang Hanna and Kim Sun-ho though.

I like the idea of the characters joining a tech start up.

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Me too, I like Kim Sun-ho and Kang Hanna.

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🙋

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I'm one of those people who really don't want to see Suzy in anything, with anyone. The one thing about a drama that stops me cold is the actors. If there is an actor present that I really don't like, I generally don't watch the drama. Sometimes, if another actor is in the drama that I love, I will give it a try despite the actor I dislike. But with Suzy, it just doesn't work. I love Lee Seung Gi, but could not get through Vagabond and dropped it part way through. Go Ara is another one that I just can't force myself to watch. I really like Kim Sun-ho, so I might at least start watching this and see what happens. Nam Joo-hyuk isn't very skilled either though, so it might not be good.

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I don't have strong opinions on Suzy but just accepted that she is not that good of an actor. Nam Joo Hyuk was really bad in School 2015 but endeared me to him on WLFKBJ. I just want this to be good for Kom Seon Ho.

The idol actor I can't stand now is Joy. So I symphatize with you.

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I was about to say the same thing. I haven't seen any drama of Kim Sun Ho, just their clips but he seems to be a good actor. Nam Joo Hyuk was super endearing in WFKBJ and he nailed all the emotional scenes so I have a soft spot for him. I hope it's a good drama for the sake of everyone other than Suzy

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I love a lot of idol-actor but for actress I guess I can stand to watch YoonA, mostly because she's been careful (?) enough to choose her projects.

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Those are two beautiful actresses you are talking about. Some would watch dramas just for pretty faces. I’m now curious about their acting or lack there of.

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Many people do watch dramas just for pretty faces, there is no question about that. Same goes for actors. That's how it is possible to have a person in a main or supporting role that is disappointing in how they portray the character. Some people just bring in the money because they have fans that like them no matter their acting skill (or lack of it)

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Kang Hanna is talented but she must not have good management.
She could be the leading lady for the likes of Lee Je-hoon, Song Joong-ki and even Jang Hyuk.

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She should join Suzy's agency. They seem to get Suzy these roles.

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She is certainly earning them more than enough to get her these roles.

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Suzy is with SOOP and they are very picky with who they let in. Nothing less than S class celebs for them or rookies with the potential to become S class.

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She did Designated Survivor, pretty solid role...also she hosts Volume Up now...that's a very popular radio show. I just can't with these casting...second fiddle to Suzy...I hope she has her own arc.

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OMG I dropped Designated Survivor because of her. She was just running here and there and I'm the one who tired.

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I forgot that somehow she was in the drama 🙈🙈🙈.
Well, Designated Survivor such a great remake and JJH is the only reason that I watched it.

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I actually thought this was finalized a long time ago. 😒 Filming has started if I'm not mistaken. Seonho mentioned in one of the 1N2D eps.

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I thought this has been finalized already ad the title has been Startup since the beginning.
This drama sort of reminds me of "Halt and Catch Fire" (American show on AMC) .

I was sooo impressed by Nam Joo-hyuk's performance in The Light in Your Eyes. I'd love to see his next drama but with Suzy... SIGH...
Personally I think she is super overrated.

I will watch this drama though, at least first 2 episodes.

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Halt and Catch Fire! If it even has the pathos that, that show had it would be good. But this is K-dramas, so nope jk. Who knows? Altho, the tech landscape is intriguing.

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Right, this is K-drama, so no... I know I know...
And Suzy... definitely no (sorry if you are her fan)

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I still cringe 😬 whenever I remember Suzy’s acting in Uncontrollably Fond (sorry to Suzy’s fans) I love Seon Ho, but this one is a pass for me.

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what is with dramaland and insisting on casting superior actors to play second fiddler to far less skilled actors? (damn did I just describe Lim Ju Hwan's entire career?)
Obvs I'll still watch at least the first few eps for Kim Sun-ho, because <3, but I don't see me finishing this one (I feel like I'm the only person in the world that is kinda ambivalent about this writer, too).

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also worth noting that I didn't see 'The Light in Your Eyes' and apparently Nam Joo-hyuk was really, really good there- so maybe my pessimism is unwarranted! (*side-eyes Suzy*) Or maybe not. We'll see.

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NJH was ok in LIGHT IN YOUR EYES but his role was small compared to the leading ladies. I liked him in WEIGHTLIFTING FAIRY KIM BOK JOO, didn't care for him at all in SCHOOL 2015, and I did not watch BRIDE OF THE WATER GOD (fortunately it seems).

Likr Suzy, he seems to need the right role and a director who knows his limits... so I'm not sure if pairing them together is a good idea to be honest. The second leads are more well-rounded actors.

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He was really likeable in Weightlifting Fairy but I always wonder how much of that was because the character's main role was to be handsome and friendly... No offence to Jung Joonhyung, I did root for him!

Water God was a disaster.

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I still have nightmares with Nam Joo-hyuk in School 2015.

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I was hoping that Kim Sun-ho graduated full time to leading status after Catch the Ghost, he has the acting chops for it. But alas, he's back to playing second fiddle and to Nam Joo Hyuk of all people. Maybe it's more of an ensamble drama and he'll have a decent role rather than the classic second lead?

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here's hoping...

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No! I have a fond spot for the writer too. The reason if I have to state is the sort of idealistic (although simplistic) values she writes about.

We have so much of negativity in all the shows these days that her more idealistic view gives me peace.

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Lol you got me at 'Lim Ju Hwan's entire career'.

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The writer seems to understand Suzy's limits enough to make Suzy a likable character (Dream High, While You Were Sleeping). Maybe it'll work, or maybe it'll be a decade of almost nonexistent growth as an actress.

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Aw, come on, maybe they can stop the action again for some more fabulous scarf twirling. How many actresses can pull that off?

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I'M DYING LOL *hides*

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Honestly bummed that KSH is part of what sounds like a very meh drama and an equally meh sounding character description. KHN's role reminds me a bit of her role in JBL so I'm sure she'll do great. But yes this was confirmed ages ago so what's up with that.

I love Seon Ho but I don't know if I'll get through to watching this. 🤔

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Let's consider this as Seon Ho building his portfolio? 😅

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True, Seon Ho on my screen is always good. I'm hoping he has enough scenes to where he'll be a scene stealer, a la Strongest Deliveryman.

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What fresh hell is this

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*dies laughing* Maybe your fans will force you to cameo in this one too.

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Damn my popularity

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🤣 😆 😂

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LOOOL
this comment is why I'm back on db after 6 months despite being annoyingly busy in school

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Giggling at this. I am going to watch this, LT! I am so excited! Are you excited for me?

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I'm excited for you but I'm not sure I'll have the time for this one.

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l laughed so hard at this. But this is the one though, this is the next vagabond. The character descriptions are super tropey, the acting talent is meh, and the plot clearly has no idea how silicon valley works. I plan on being fully entertained at how bad this will be.

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This comment is everything!

I am rolling on the floor laughing!

I am evaluating if I should give it a go or not.

I HAVE worked for tech start ups and am curious what we will get to see. Will it be "so bad that it is good" ? Or just plain bad?

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With descriptions like this the prayer is always so bad it is good

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Indeed!

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Me too... never watch IHYV, Dream High, forgot halfway of Pinocchio, WYWS is tolerable (managed to finish it 😭)... still debating on give it a go or not 🤔.

Going into withdrawal syndrome soon...

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I'm hoping for a few LT jackets just to add to the fun!

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Everybody taking about how Suzy or Nam Joo-hyuk can't act. Come on, beanies... if they are not given the chance, how they can improve????
This writer is good, at least we have that.
And well, again, these kids need to be put in the spotlight so that they can grow. I am sure they will. Let's be optimistic!!!!!☺

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I am with you. NJH broke my heart in The Light in Your Eyes. Suzy was sweet and ditzy and likeable in Vagabond. I wanted her to be with the Hot Cold Boss, but, alas, that ship was never meant to be.

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My Vagabond Rock Candy ship 😭. It sank before it sailed. Sobs

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@javinne,
I agree with your sentiments. My first reality show COFFEE FRIENDS is the only show I have seen Nam Joo-hyuk in and he was delightful. I saw a lot of good reports about his work in THE LIGHT IN YOUR EYES. I just queued up on Viki his (2018) film THE GREAT BATTLE.
Even though I won’t be watching I wish all the leads good luck in their upcoming drama.

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I have known NJH only from WLFKBY and The light in your eyes, and honestly I don't have complains about his acting.
I watch him a little bit in the Bride of the Water God, but the script was bad and the plot insufferable, so... I don't think it was his fault.
Suzy is another story, but anyway... I don't hate her either. She was ok for me in Dream High, and pretty decent in While you were sleeping.
So then again... I am ok with this pairing. Maybe they will do a good job here too...

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I don't think Nam Joohyuk can be worse than he was in Water God, so really the only thing putting me off from this is Suzy. Sorry! I really like everybody else, but I couldn't even bring myself to carry on with While You Were Sleeping, so I doubt there is any hope for me and this drama. I'll give it a shot but the outlook is bleak.

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This sounds like Candy who levels up all the way to the top. I can't wait to see the part-time jobs she takes on with grit, cuteness and determination. Add a nosebleed or two, a humiliating fall in front of the snooty Chaebol Other Woman, and we've got an exciting drama lined up. Nam Joo hyuk as her first love is an added bonus. Can he be charming and sweet, flirtatious and serious? He was all those things in Weightlifting Fairy, and this jaded Candy heart skipped two beats, flipped, then melted for him.

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You left out an IV or two before the Candy levels up.

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Candy (but she has money to invest?), childhood connection first love, genius guy, 2nd lead with a chip on her shoulder, 2nd lead with a debt to pay (prolly to the FL).. what else?

I’ll prolly check this out but can’t the girl be the genius for once? Or they all be normal people trying to make a living? 😩

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I have almost NEVER seen a genius girl in any of these shows.

If she has enough brains to fill a teacup, I am still glad. That is higher end of FL intelligence in dramaworld.

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I enjoyed both While you were sleeping and Pinnochio, so I have good hopes for this one too. Will definitely check this out.

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Ah okay, so the second leads are going to carry the acting department?

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If they get screen time. PHR generally LOVES her main couple more than anything in all her dramas and writes the best scenes for them. I wouldn't bet on them getting anything more than supporting actors with 10 mins of screen time per episode.

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Ah That's a waste of Kim Sunho and Kang Hanna.😭

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Sunho might still get the love triangle angle but Hanna yeah she'd just be there for comic relief or to look pretty. PHR writes her main leads romance awesomely so I fall for them even if I don't like one or both actors.

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My thoughts exactly.

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no mercy in the comments 🤣 I'm less concerned with acting capability since the lead's descriptions are....very tropey. The second leads actually sound a bit more interesting although I'm not sure what to make of "Gordon Ramsey"

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Please prove me wrong Suzy, PLEASE! I really want to watch this drama (I made a pact with myself after watching I Hear Your Voice and losing my mind that I would watch everything the writer did) but I just have never liked her in a drama. Not once.

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I feel you! I hear your voice is one of my all time favourite but the characters here seem like someone who heard about start ups is writing them.

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I once thought that Suzy is getting better after bearable acting in WYWS. But then she proved me wrong after Vagabond 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️.
If this one is no impressive arc from her acting skill, will abandon her for good (just like I did to Lee Minho - his last work had me enough of him).

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Eh Kim Seon Ho or not tropes or not I was going to watch it anyway. But please be good enough. I know not a lot like Suzy but makes me want to give her even more of a chance. Have seen Nam Joo Hyuk only in water god. Also wasn't the lead guy supposed to be into knitting too. I think that's what made me think I might watch. Also like some have said please no love triangle.

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I thought Suzy was really good in While You Were Sleeping. It was a character she could pull off, so there might be hope.

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How ironic indeed, everybody else |(including the writer and the PD) make me more interested in this that the leads themselves. Sould they be called leads in this case?

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I am putting my faith on the writer-nim the characters she writes are always easy more wholesome and interesting than how they sound on paper...also I have watched all of her drama...love her style of humour...😊😊

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The PD and writer are from my favourite dramas! it's really promising.
Although for the cast .. hmm .. I prefer Kim Sun-ho as lead role actually.

This would second drama of Suzy pairs with writer Park Hye-ryun. The writer often cast actors from her previous drama (name Lee Jong Suk with 3 dramas of her!) and it could be that she likes Suzy and love to work with her again.

Nam Joo-hyuk is 2nd model-turn-actor that has the most follower in IG after Lee Jong Suk. They gain the most popularity outside Korea, so maybe they cast him to attract international fans also.

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Happy ᴼᵀ

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I think the problem with Suzy is that she is a really beautiful woman, a reasonably decent actress, and everything seems to come too easy for her. Any star she wants, she can have. Any role she wants, she can have. And she does indeed have a fun, bubbly personality. Don't we all feel that if we were just lucky enough to be born that as pretty, that could be us, too? But we aren't. So instead of Lee Min Ho tying himself into knots trying to get a date with us, we have to settle for Mister Ordinary round the corner. In reality, we are probably a lot happier than she is, but we still think that maybe, maybe, we might have been happier if we looked like her? And maybe, instead of waking in the morning to Mr. Ordinary snoring peacefully on the other side of the pillow, it might have been Nam Joo-Hyuk? Sigh! And that makes us feel extremely, if unreasonably, envious? Just a thought!

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So excited for this drama! I love the main leads but honestly, I'm more excited to see Kim Seon Ho in a drama again!

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