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Start-Up: Episodes 7-8 Open Thread

Now that they’re official, it’s time for our team to actually develop their product and get their business off the ground. There’s something special about Samsan Tech, though — while they’re fighting for the success of their company, they also pour so much heart into their work, their motives, and their business plan. But the more they have, the more they have to protect, and this week we see how far everyone is willing to go to hold on to their dreams.

 
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP

Every week this show takes me through such an array of emotions! But they’re so perfectly balanced, giving us the right amount of humor, with the right amount of pathos — goshdarnit, it’s a really well-written drama. How did our writer get all these big pieces and little details to fit together so well? I’m almost jealous.

Speaking of jealous, the second lead syndrome is kicking in big time this week, because we watch Ji-pyeong start to get a little “weird” around Dal-mi. He thinks it’s absurd when Do-san asks him if he’s jealous, but I think we can all see (and Ji-pyeong is definitely starting to see) how much he cares about Dal-mi. Ji-pyeong’s character is so well-developed, and Do-san’s imposter syndrome so believable, that I’m caught in a tangle of emotions over which way the story is going, will go, and how I want it to go, or even think it will go.

Do-san and Ji-pyeong competing over centimeters in height, shoving each other to change halmoni’s lightbulb first, and rushing around trying to show off how many manly chores they could do — this was such a hilarious sequence. But it was also a meaningful one, with so many layers to it, not only because the men are competing (whether they realize it or not) for Dal-mi, but they’re also competing for halmoni.

Ji-pyeong has such a touching (and unshakable) connection to her, but it was so sweet to see her forming a bond with Do-san as well. She’s just magic at loving people, isn’t she? Do-san agreed to keep the secret of her failing eyesight from Dal-mi, and even gifted her with his little RGB scrubbies in full-on nerd mode, so between his actions and halmoni’s ability to read peoples’ hearts, it’s clear she knows he’s a good seed.

But halmoni also knows that there are two Do-sans, and even asks Dal-mi which one she would choose “if” the Do-san from 15 years ago was different from the one she knows today. And then comes the truth: she would choose the Do-san from the past.

The Do-san from the past is, of course, Han Ji-pyeong. Han Ji-pyeong with the gorgeous handwriting, gorgeous car, and yes, gorgeous dimples. That handwriting, though, is going to be the wrinkle in the plot that eventually reveals who Dal-mi’s old penpal really is.

As much as I want more Ji-pyeong on my screen, and to see him bonding with the Samsan team, I really appreciate how often the story shows him alone. It’s such a great bit of characterization, continuing what we learned about him in the past, and boy does it make my heart ache. He needs love, he needs family, he needs support. (I’m here, Ji-pyeong!)

Whether it’s his choice to be alone, or just his default mode, we do see him observing Dal-mi and Do-san together much more this week… Sigh. Does he realize that hand-written notes on Dal-mi’s business proposal will be enough to catch her attention and have her recognize the writing? I don’t think it was intentional (at least consciously), but why weren’t they more careful if they knew how much Dal-mi treasured those letters? Because between the handwriting and the “shared” birth date, Dal-mi is starting to realize something fishy is going on.

But first, let’s talk about the fact that it’s halmoni’s eye condition that gives Do-san his eureka moment for Samsan Tech. Each member of the team pitches their idea, but they settle on Do-san’s, which is to use their AI image recognition software in tandem with the voice recognition of Yeong-sil (belated Yeo Jin-gu shout-out!) to create an app to help the visually impaired. They quickly build it, brand it, and name it — now all they have to do is get someone to pay for it.

The team at Samsan Tech might have their hearts in it 100%, but Ji-pyeong is right (as usual) with his criticisms of their cost of service. Each call to Yeong-sil’s API is expensive, and their model basically means that the more users they have, the more expensive their service is to run (not good, since scaling should mean the opposite). So, though their app is pretty amazing, it’s not something that would attract investors.

This leads us to the other plot arc this week, and our emerging villain DIRECTOR WON (Eom Hyo-seob) — also In-jae’s step-father. I’m not sure how much our story needs A Villain, but I really liked the themes that this storyline pulled out, and also how it allied In-jae and Dal-mi just a teeny tiny bit. (Yes, Show, let’s have them unite against this awful man!)

First, Dal-mi decides that instead of purpusing their own business plan, Samsan should first submit a proposal for Director Won’s company, Morning Group. They’ll make money and a good connection — but wow, it turns out to be bogus. As if In-jae’s step-brother WON SANG-SOO (Moon Dong-hyuk) wasn’t a big enough of a jerk to our CEO and CTO, Director Won is a thousand times worse. He actually has the nerve to tell Dal-mi she should have left her father when In-jae did and became his daughter instead. Barf!

Director Won’s comment cues a pretty great act of righteous anger, and by the person we least expected it from. After previously telling Dal-mi that when he’s angry he knits and only imagines yelling at people or smashing things, Do-san does just that. He grabs Director Won’s glass name plate and smashes it on the desk so hard that it shatters into bits. It’s a great moment, as nonverbal mic drops go. The sort of thing you would definitely imagine doing while knitting.

Do-san runs out and Dal-mi follows him, but strangely, rather than leave the building at top speed (which is what I would be doing), they head to the roof. It’s a breathtaking view of the city, and an even more breathtaking sunset. Ohhhh, I see what you’re doing, Show.

Do-san is horrified with himself for ruining Samsan Tech’s chances with Morning Star, but Dal-mi is completely overcome by how Do-san stood up for her while she was trying desperately to hold back. While he’s trying to explain, Dal-mi grabs him and kisses him instead. And gosh, it’s just perfect, all of it. Do-san being Do-san, he’s as bashful as can be afterwards… but then, after he collects himself, doesn’t have a problem grabbing her for more kisses.

Do-san’s act has some bad repercussions for the company, though. Director Won presses charges against Do-san at the same time that Dal-mi convinces herself to approach him as their last hope for funding (their app goes viral thanks to The Marketing Genius Cousin That Shall Not Be Named, and they don’t have the money to support all their users).

Do-san is kneeling, making his apology, when Dal-mi walks in. Will she kneel too? She’s already told her sister that she doesn’t care about her pride anymore, because so much more is at stake (I do love how this drama really calls out what real pride and inner strength truly are). Anyway, Dal-mi quickly turns the tables here. Thanks to Ji-pyeong and more winning advice, we learn that Dal-mi secretly recorded their prior meetings. This means she has proof that Director Won is a giant hypocrite — and he needs his reputation intact, so he agrees to settle with Do-san, and to fund Samsan Tech’s app. Score, team!

Samsan Tech has come a long way this week, and while they’ve found a pretty quick success with their app, there is still a lot for them to conquer before they become a secure company. Similarly, there’s a lot yet to unfold for our couple — though they share a lot of kisses and dreams and good-hearted intentions, there is also a lot of broken trust waiting for us down the road. I’m not exactly looking forward to Dal-mi finding out, but it looks like it’s happening soon. What will it look like? Ahh!

As ever, there were so many great side plots and little touches this week, like the great use of the fingertip excitement indicator, everything having to do with the cow dung, Director Yoon seeing something in Dal-mi and learning her identity, and the touching exchange between Dal-mi and her grandmother when she finds out about her failing eyesight. I love this show. That is all.

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Han Jinpyeong and Injae balance the naive optimism Samsan Tech has. Dishing out real talk vs. what you hope the world should be.

I now see why JP and DS are drawn to Dalmi (although I am with most the beanies here, she is the weakest link among the four 🙊). She's awesome this week and there's a glow that she extends to those around her.

I'm ready for the tears if that meant the penpal secret is out. My bucket is ready.

P.S. Can we turn to Injae next ep?

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I can't see either why DalMi is the center of everything apart from the fact that writer-nim has decided so. She keeps lying (well, who doesn't in this drama): to her sister, to her team (she never told them the difficulties they had with so many downloads, but as she's FL she's saved by the bell in the very last minute), and she is so mean to her sister, always assuming the worst on her (that she wants to beat her, that she's used her connections to win sponsors, that she would never help her)... I can see she has lots of potential, but as DoSan (imo), she's so poorly written...

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Agree. I was wondering in ep 3-4 why JP would like Dalmi even if she's his childhood friend and Grandma's granddaughter.

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I noticed that she keeps him on his toes. She does a rebuttal when she feels she's been wronged. She says it like it is, which is refreshing to him. The more time he's spent with her, the more he's gotten attracted to her.

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To answer your question why would JP like Dalmi .. he'd connected with her through those letters. Sure the first one/ones there's Halmoni.. but later on.. it was all him.

Once one write letters to someone and connected. It's not unlikely one fall for the person after knowing him/her.

To me, through letters is how one gets to know another better than messages or texting.

As someone who had been using snail mail with a male friend. Talking to him through each hand written letter and getting to know him as each shared each other's thoughts be them small and trivial.
And as someone who's known enough as well..
We'd form a bond..
Our letters weren't romantic we were good/great friends.

We started to like each other secretly. I had liked him but never told him. He later in the years, told me I was his first love.

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Dal-mi is the center because on the original story her counterpart character was what the whole plot revolved around.

As far as Injae she is the actual true new character not found in Rostand's play. So fitting her in is somewhat tougher thing to do- she and her story line are being made from scratch as it were. But what I caught here was that what the stepfather told Dal-mi about how she also should have chosen him he is also now making her reconsider what In-jae's choice may have meant to In-jae.

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After the German Shepard story I got to believe stepdad was everything but kind to InJae. I feel she grew alone trying to be the best daughter ever so she and her mother weren’t treated like their dog. Also, I believe InJae has kneeled too many times to her stepdad, something in the way he looked to InJae when he asked DoSan and DalMi to kneel tells me so.
That’s why she was so broken when she left that boarding meeting. She had done everything she was supposed to do to be treated well, and yet she was despised by everyone. That must have felt lonely. And then I get why she’s so hurt about mum being nice to DalMi, because Mum has only wanted to keep her position and money. I do feel foe InJae.

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I feel like In-jae gets the short end of the stick in this show out of the 4 main characters. I definitely see where she's coming from, but there hasn't been as much characterization beyond her work life. It would be nice if she got some vulnerabilities being shown later on. 8 more to go :( Let's hope this show goes on a big note!!

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She reminds of a Candy heroine :) In the sense she's hard working, poor, and a bit annoying at times :) However, in this show it subverts it a bit since she's not swept off her feet by Ji-pyeong, but instead by Do-san, who is in the same social class as her. That being said, I wonder when the time jump occurs what'll happen to her character then? Hopefully, she's a bad-ass CEO like Ta-mi or Scarlett from Search WWW!!

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Team Do-san. Ji-pyeong is being petty. If he likes Dal-mi, then confess. But he won't tell her the truth, and at the same time, won't let Do-san tell her the truth, then gets jealous of Do-san?

While Dal-mi and Do-san's relationship started off on a lie, the Do-san she knows now is the real Do-san. When she kissed him today, it was all because of what he did at the meeting.

Dal-mi may be Ji-pyeong's first love, but unlike Dal-mi, he didn't pine over her for fifteen years. When she introduced herself to In-jae at the Sandbox lecture, that was when Ji-pyeong remembered her name, but he had already forgotten what he wrote in his letters like his birthday wish.

Basically, as Dal-mi never met her penpal Nam Do-san, she was in love with her fantasy of him. Did Dal-mi even know a boy lived with her grandmother? She never visited Halmeoni and saw Ji-pyeong?

Omg, cousin hyung finally worth his one percent.

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Ji-pyeong cared more about Dal-mi than is quickly apparent. He did save her letters for 15 years. He has somewhat of a cool (cold) exterior, but that is for show. He is much softer and sweeter and more caring than he wants anyone to believe.

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Including himself. A big part of JP's problem is that he won't even admit to himself that he needs friends, human connection, and love. Throwing out the houseplant was the perfect metaphor for this. After a stern talking-to (thank you Jiminy Cricket Security Guard) JP took the plant back and is making attempts to nurture it, the first sign that perhaps he is ready to love himself and others.

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It is understandable why he won't admit to himself these things though. He was an orphan who grew up without parents. From a psychological perspective, he is more likely to have these kinds of struggles expressing his emotions, especially love, and having human connection. He grew up in an orphanage and they left him out to fend for himself with very little money when he was old enough. That is bound to effect his perspective of the world and how to interact with others. What we experience in childhood does carry with us into adulthood, like our shadows. That's why psychologists and therapists will try to delve into memories of childhood. But, he is starting to learn. He took back the plant and started to nurture it and accepted Dalmi's food. That's a start. Even with nice clothes, fancy car, and nice house, deep down he's still that hungry kid standing in the rain with holes in his socks. He doesn't feel good worthy. He needs people like grandma and Dalmi who sees past his hard exterior and fights him back to accept kindness, love, and acceptance.

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Yes to this. I doubt JP thought much about the letters when he was writing them, but I think he's realizing now how much of himself he shared in them, like the birthday wish. He's been alone all of his life, shutting himself off from any close relationships. Because of those letters, however, someone actually knows him, and it touched him. He may not get the girl, but he's allowing himself to open up to love.

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Man I was team Do-san until Ep 8. Now I don't know whose team I'm on, altho leaning more towards Ji-pyeong for Dal-mi now. They've a diff. kind of spark, more of a hotter vibe of sparing heads/butting heads sorta like one upping each other. Compare that to her sweet/college bf vibes that she has with Do-san :)

Whatever happens, its bound to be messy. I can def. see tons fo heartbreak by the end of this show, not just with the coupling but also friendships too :(

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I honestly if you consider this perspective and I think the show is trying to show some consistency between the past and present.

When Ji-pyeong invested halmoni's money he assumed that the all the profit he has made belongs to him with no consideration of the fact that he has made this investment without halmoni's knowledge.

He assumes that because he has put in all the efforts, regardless where the money came from, the profit belongs to him and this is how he will stake the claim to Dal-mi. I'm not sure if this is considered as greed or there will be a moral conflict later on.

If you put the two parallels together, the initial investment being Do-san's identity and the profit/interest being Dal-mi's love, will Do-san make the same decision as halmoni in letting Ji-pyeong have what he assumed belonged to him?

With Do-san, it's genuine love, first love, albeit on a borrowed fabricated identity. Despite all that, Do-san has a moral compass, clear enough for him to attempt to reveal the truth to Dal-mi several times now but has held back due to the fear of hurting/disappointing Dal-mi or other people. Clearly it's eating him up inside and it's just a matter of time before he comes clean. It's interesting how the show also reveal Do-san's perspective and behavior as a complete opposite of Ji-pyeong. While Ji-pyeong could see no reason to claim his right over things that belongs to him and protect his territory ruthlessly, Do-san seems ready to give up to people (ending up being a pushover in most cases), until he met Dal-mi and she is someone he's finally ready to fight for and love, without hesitation and unconditionally.

I will always go back to the scene between Do-san and Ji-pyeong when asked if they are in love with Dal-mi - one was hesitant and concealed his emotion, and the other one without any hesitation choose to lay his card on the table for all to see.

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this is such an interesting parallel! he definitely felt entitled to the money he made off of grandma when he thought he'd lost it. but we see after 15 years, he feels indebted to her bc he knew it wasn't right to take all of that money and run away when it had been her initial investment that yielded him such great results. i think he's reaching a point in the current timeline where he feels like it should be him dalmi should be getting closer to. especially with his behavior in the most recent episodes, i'm almost getting a sense of entitlement, very reminiscent of when he thought that money belonged solely to him. but the truth of the matter is that it's the real dosan that dalmi has been getting to know and fallen for. just as it wasn't right to run away with all of the money in the past, it wouldn't be right to come out at this point and declare it's him she has been in love with all along. dosan is the one who has actually been there for her. dosan is the reason he's even coming to realize that he has feelings for dalmi. he wouldn't have stayed in touch with dalmi if not for dosan. i wonder if we're going to get another parallel here with him reflecting on all of this.

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Entitlement was the word I was looking for yesterday! Thank you :)

I feel that Ji-pyeong's upbringing may have shaped his character to be territorial and have a sense of entitlement to things he assumed belonged to him because maybe in his childhood, he had to fight others in order to get what he want for himself.

Whereas for Do-san, he may have had it easy being a maths prodigy but he also came from humble background with a working class, middle-income family.

I hope they will explain more about how he developed his character from childhood, how he became the way he is and why he has a timid, inferior personality despite having the talent that could have advanced his life forward.

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Hi-pyeong is an orphan right? That explains it pretty well why he’s territorial. The show is good in this respect: His behaviors are in line with his childhood.

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Episode 3's ending is all the foreshadowing we need. As soon as Ji-pyeong answered "no" and Do-san answered "yes," this is why Do-san is the male lead and will get the girl. While Ji-pyeong will keep denying his feelings and be left with nothing but regret.

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You're right -- sort of formulaic. I do wish to get a surprise every so often, where the second lead gets the female lead. Oh well, hope things work out for Ji Pyeong.

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And i think, by the end of the series they those personality traits will cross betweennthe two. Ji Pyeong will be the one who ready to let Dalmi go (give up) if that's mean dalmi happiness (the only thing he care about since day 1, except he just not realise it till recently). And dosan will keep on pursuing dalmi even when she have a change of heart to win her again.. So kdrama stayed a kdrama lead with lead.. 😅

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You are assuming that Ji Pyeong used grandmas money to invest. There is no conclusive evidence that he did.

When we meet Ji Pyeong he’s only 17 or 18, and just won first place in an investment competition, although the prize is Bitcoin. The real estate agent showing him an apartment asks how much he got from the orphanage, and he says $2 million, which is just enough to cover a deposit and little else. When the agent suggests that he try investing the money, since he’s already so good at it that he’s winning contests, Ji Pyeong bitterly asks how he’s supposed to do that when he’s not even 19 yet, and can’t open an account, and has no parents to co-sign for him to open one.

After grandma gives him her bank account to “handle,” he runs after her saying, why don’t you open a second account, but she runs away.

The next scene shows Ji Pyeong opening a brand new laptop - from a package marked “first prize laptop,” which means he won it as a prize, and didn’t spend his money to buy it. The next scene shows him in what looks like a library, using grandmother’s bank account info to open an investment account.

It is just as rational - and even more so, considering what we know of Ji Pyeong’s character- that he deposited his $2 million in grandmothers bank account, snd used that money - which was his money - to invest. As we saw from his first prize laptop, he had been continually entering other contests and winning prizes. He is living in grandmother’s store and she’s feeding him, so there’s nothing else he’s had to spend that $2 million on. That is almost certainly his “startup” money, and he’s brilliant at picking the best investments. So by the end of a year, he could easily have increased his initial $2million to $70 million, without ever touching one penny of grandma’s money, even though she implicitly gave him her bank account to “handle.”

There’s never any evidence to suggest Ji Pyeong would take someone else’s money, even temporarily, although arguably grandma gave him consent to manage her finances.

Unlike Do San, who cheated to win a math competition (and cheated further by giving away the medal to the real winner, this getting unearned praise for being a “sweet boy,” while still claiming his unearned first place), and who as an adult forged his fathers signature to remove any proprietary rights his parents had in exchange for their monetary investment in Samsan Tech, Ji- Pyeong has consistently presented as an honest, ethical person, despite experiencing extreme poverty, and no parents to financially support him, like cheater Do San.

Ji Pyeong is really superior in every possible way to Do San. But I know for a fact, from reading all the pro Do San comments on social media and Vblogs, that Do San looks hot and has awesome biceps. So despite not knowing what a metaphor is, and consistently taking her metaphorical meanderings literally, and being a self-professed “terrible writer,” and having to eavesdrop and have...

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others (cough:JiPyeong::cough) explain what Dalmi thinks and feels, Do San wins and gets the girl.

But in RL, he real winner is Kim Seon-Ho, whose Ji Pyeong is by far the favored suitor and best character, and whose popularity has soared based on this role in this drama. So yay for good actors playing good boys!!

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Just curious - from where comes the information, that Do San cheated in the mathematic competition?
I somehow don't recall seeing such information.

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Beginning of episode 9.

Previously we’d been led to believe that Do San gave the older, second place winner his gold medal because he was a sweet boy who felt bad that the boy’s mother was berating him. But in this episode we see that he can’t solve one of the problems, but inadvertently sees the correct solution and corrects his paper, solving the problem with the info he sees.

So he gives his gold medal to the real winner because he feels guilty. But he doesn’t correct the error, so still gets public recognition as the winner, which he is not, and also gets credit for being a nice empathetic boy, instead of a cheater.

It was an interesting reveal. But it ties into all the other things Do San got that he neither earned nor deserved, including credit for being Dalmi’s childhood pen pal.

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First of all, that is a sort of a spoiler, because it's related to next episode (not the one in the recap) & it should be against the guidelines to speak about next episodes on previous episode recap.
But as your comment wasn't edited, I guess it's not that accurate.
What you are saying right now sounds rather like an interpretation, speculation based on your judgement (albeit so extremely different from mine, that I feel we are watching two separate dramas).
I do not see you say, that it was exactly revealed in this manner in the series, which makes this idea of cheating in the math competition just a fruit of your own imagination and speculation.
As for the mentioned scene about problem solving, I can only comment on it once I have seen it.

But, of course, keep in mind, that we are talking about a fictional character in a fictional story. And there is simply no way, that the writer would purposefully write the main lead as a manipulative and bad person, this just does not happen in drama-verse.

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One thing that really annoys me about Korean dramas is that whole kneeling thing. I don't think it exists in any other country.

Most of the suggestions for what to work on by the team were pretty lame. Seriously, a duck counting program?

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Kneeling exists in all East Asian countries: kowtow, dogeza.

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Yes but not near to the extent it does in Korean dramas.

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chulsan's idea was a little juvenile, but it's actually a nod to how image recognition and AI tech has been used by conservation organizations such as WWF to catalog and keep track of endangered tigers in south asia. the same tech has been used to study migration patterns of dolphins, and their movement across several points over the years. it's really, really cool stuff.

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Why do you do this to me Show, why? Why do you spend about as much time and focus on Ji-Pyeong as you do on the male lead, if you are only setting him (and me) up for heartbreak? Why are both guys kinda great in their own ways and why is this triangle so equal? This is the first drama where I have second lead syndrome and it's not even that I want Ji Pyeong to end up with Dal-Mi, I just want him to be happy. I also felt bad for Do San when he cried over the scrunchie. The only reason I don't hate that there's a love triangle is because they guys are hilarious when they try to one up each other and their interactions are gold. Also can they please do more with In Jae? I don't think she's evil at all, Dal Mi is just as mean to her. I think In Jae has potential and she could have a loveline with one of the guys but she is barely a player so far and it's a waste of the actress.

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Well JP and Injae's arc (and Dosan) are very rich. You can mine so many sub-plots from both. The most straightforward one is Dalmi's.

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Yeah, true. I just hope we get to know more about In Jae soon, so far we haven't really seen her much outside of her relationship with Dal Mi and her stepdad.

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The way this love triangle is headed, and the feels it is generating, I think we may be headed for another Trash/Chilbongie level all-out Beanie battle!

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I know @skelly! Hahaha! @ltung23 suggested something like the brahmsie ship @letseatcookies had for Start Up, but the idea was quickly shut down when I said it might be like moderating ship wars. LOL.

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Did Do You Like Brahms? have ships? But no one rooted for Jung-kyung and Dong-yoon.

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I said brahmsie ship @panshel, not shipS. Singular. Obviously there was only one in DYLB unlike in Start Up ☺️

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LOL. I am a pacifist.. can't we build them a ship each instead and they sail on their own? Oh except JP's because his ship will have a lot of us on board.

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Hahaha! I am so glad to be on board JP’s ship! 😍

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Oh that one is for certain. Although I would settle for a happy ending for JP even if it means he doesn't get the girl.

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hahahaha one safe flowing ship that is still staying afloat due to SBS' consistent uploads.

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This won't be Trash/Chilbongie because Dramabeans is 95% Ji-pyeong, 4% Do-san, 1% no one. If anything, this is School 2015's Tae-gwang/Yi-an, which ironically also starred Nam Joo-hyuk.

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Heh in School 2015 I was totally for Tae Gwang. Even though it was understandable, it was also unsatisfying to me.

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i think nam joo hyuk has considerably more support this time around than in school 2015, which makes sense bc his acting has improved by leaps and bounds since then. dosan is also a very well-written character, and more central to the story than his character in school 2015.

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I was one of the few Team Yi-an's in School 2015. I heart Nam Joo-hyuk.

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@panshel i love nam joo hyuk too! and he's killing it as dosan. someone called him a gentle giant, which feels like the perfect descriptor for nam dosan. i just know next episode is going to be a sob fest.

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I've loved Nam Joo-hyuk since Akdong Musician's 200% and Give Love M/V's. Gentle giant describes Do-san perfectly. We're reaching the mid-drama angst next week.

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One of the best shipping wars happened in A Poem A Day. The Beanies wall went crazy 😂😂😂

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Oh look at you remembering a ship war fondly while I am going to be traumatized 😭

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I'm hoping that they'll pull an APAD and this time I'll be on the correct ship. Otherwise, I've learned my lesson and am barely attached (like a very sick barnacle) to my ship.

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I jumped ship on the last minute but I was fine with whoever she chooses. ☺️

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Still traumatized.

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Ji Pyeong is winning the popularity contest for sure. I’ve never seen a second lead with so many pulling for him.

Do San actually does nothing for me. He’s had virtually zero character growth, and every time I start to think he’s OK, he does yet another thing that makes me dislike him.

So although the prettiest boy gets the girl, I am 100% Team Ji Pyeong!

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Was it intentional for that kiss to be kind of lacklustre? Cause on paper there was nothing wrong with it, it wasn't a dead fish kiss, the actors definitely went through the motions, it was beautifully shot and yet it read as if there was no spark. I wonder if it was because there was no build up or if it was an intentional choice on part of the director because Dal Mi still doesn't know about the lie.

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I think it was just out of the blue (who'd go to the roof of the building whose owner you just have an altercation with?!) meant to maintain the "who does she love?" plot. Notice that after the kiss, it was revealed that she'd choose the past Dosan than the present one. We know it's gonna be DoDal. 😒

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It felt totally flat to me, which is a pity because actors were fantastic and it was filmed beautifully.
Such a waste of a good kiss...

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Uhuh...

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Me watching them on the roof: these drama people have really easy access to any building’s roof! I prolly won’t even find the staircase that leads to it..

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It was totally lackluster and out of the blue. It would've meant something if the kiss came after she found out the whole truth and still chooses Dosan. I think it was a bit of both no build up and possibly also intentional choice. Plus, the kiss seems totally wrong since it's also deception.

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That kiss scene was flat, there was nothing done that warranted the kissing at all, no build up. It kinda felt forced and like the writer is trying to force a relationship on the audience, unless they think stating at each other is all it takes to be in a relationship.

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Hmm...a huge twist if it occurs, but what if she gets a kiss scene with Ji-pyeong, and it's everything everyone here wanted it to be? Cue the fireworks and the added effects? Now that's something to contemplate about lol. Haha, a girl can dream right?

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Do San had no right to tell Dal Mi the truth. Specifically, it wasn’t his place to reveal someone else’s personal medical condition. It was Halmoni’s secret and should have been shared by her when she felt comfortable. He didn’t even have the courtesy to inform her before telling Dal Mi and did it out of selfishness, yet again overstepping limits and making moves for his benefit. He wanted Dal Mi to see him as her confidante and was actually pretty emotionally manipulative, which at this point is expected from his character. Case in point, Ji Pyeong was going to tell Dal Mi the truth at the SandBox event, but Do San stopped him, opting for a time when HE felt comfortable and could be the one to do it. As though he would be in their lives if it weren’t for Halmoni and Ji Pyeong using his name to write the letters. People make it seem as though Do San is being made to lie against his will, but he is actively benefitting from the situation.

He has no right to dictate anything and seems like such an opportunist. Lying about his feelings for Dal Mi at first so he could get closer to her and making Ji Pyeong pay for the arrangement just adds insult to injury. Do San selfishly wants to be the one to tell Dal Mi the truth because then he looks like the good guy. Posing as someone who cared enough to be honest, but he’s just manipulative since the truth would have come out earlier had it been priority over her romantic view of him. It’s ridiculous seeing him try to insert himself into their lives. He does not belong there and seems like a total imposter to me.

On this note, I couldn’t help noticing how the following week’s promo shows Dal Mi asking why Do San lied, and he says it was to keep her from crying, yet he is the one BALLING. Proving that the lie was to his benefit. He wanted more time to work on Dal Mi and establish himself permanently in her life. He keeps asking what she likes most about him and I roll my eyes every time. Nam Joo-Hyuk is a handsome man but Do San doesn’t do it for me as a character.

In contrast you have Ji Pyeong saving the team yet again with his tip about making sure to record the meeting, quietly working behind the scenes and being so selfless; while Do San is there yapping for everyone to give him credit and attention. He wants to take credit for EVERYTHING, even for things that he has no part in.

Lastly, the fact that he downplays the significance of the letters to Dal Mi is further proof that he does not understand her or what she considers valuable. He doesn’t know her, period. They may be on the same wavelength business-wise and make a formidable marketing team, but that is it. He likes her because she believes in him, is attractive and pays him attention, but Do San doesn’t seem to know how to be the kind of person she needs. He thinks pandering to her will help win him favor, but in the end, Ji Pyeong’s straight-forward attitude and selflessness, (anyone else clock how quickly he drove down to get...

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....(anyone else clock how quickly he drove down to get her!? *SWOON*), will always be winners for me.

P.S. How eerily similar are Ji Pyeong and Dal Mi’s mannerisms!? They both seem inclined to sniff things they definitely shouldn’t. I was cracking up laughing at how they each felt the need to smell the shoe! So weird, but totally cute. It called back to last week when Ji Pyeong sniffed the waste bag that Dal Mi gave him and initially, I couldn’t help thinking how nobody does that, only to find that Dal Mi and he have another thing in common! Glad to know that he isn’t alone <3

Many thanks for the recap! Han Ji Pyeong, hwaiting!!!

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im totally agree with you thats why i cant stand watching this drama. idk if i should happy or fluttered (tvn really make that kissing scene as something fluttering but sorry cant relate) watching the kissing scene when their relationship based on a lie?

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Well said. Yes, it's not in Dosan's place to tell Dalmi about Halmoni’s condition. His sense of entitlement and selfishness disturbs me so much. And also when he was at Jipyeong's office with Dalmi and told her to leave first and then tell Jipyeong that he's going to tell Dalmi, Dosan acted like he's entitled to tell Dalmi the truth. It's not in his place. If anyone should do it, it should be Halmoni. His motivation to tell Dalmi is not because he sincerely wants her to know the truth, it's more like he's confident her feelings for him is stronger than the feelings Dalmi has for the person who wrote the letters (Ji Pyeong). I keep seeing his actions as selfish. His hostility towards Ji Pyeong is annoying.

And he's also a coward and completely reckless. He acted bold in front of Dalmi by smashing Injae's stepfather's name plate. And what did he do when the stepfather wanted to take legal action against him? He came secretly to get on his knees and beg for forgiveness. Instead of begging like Dosan, Dalmi decided to outsmart Injae’s stepdad. She finally got the upper hand on despicable Stepdad and this shows another development in Dalmi's character. Jipyeong important advice to record the meeting and she was able to use that to get the funding she needed and save Dosan from getting sued. Dosan doesn't deserve Dalmi in any way.

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The criticism I have on Dosan is his entitlement of Dalmi. He forgets they are strangers. That's why we need the secret to be revealed!

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Exactly! They are strangers, but I'm surprised every week by the way he is so physical with her. I mean, we all know how in kdramas there's so little contact or skinship, and yet I think that it was almost on every episode that DoSan has hold DalMi's hand or touched her. It's weird. He knows they are not close, and yet he keeps doing it.
That's what I don't like about DoSan as a ML. I feel he is using DalMi. He didn't chose her as a CEO because he believed in her, but because he wanted to be with her, the same way he says "yes" to everything DalMi says as to have her happy and on her side. I just don't like that, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

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Are they already BF-GF? I can't remember if they started dating or not.

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Not yet, although they've kissed and last time I checked drama laws that would made them bound to marry and live together in all their future lives.

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@eazal That's about right. LOL

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Do-San is a 2 sided coin.
He is a programmer
He is a guy who manipulates Dal-mi every chance he gets for his own lust

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oh LOL!!!

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i can't even take this seriously 🤣🤣🤣

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Dosan and Dalmi were strangers (unbeknownst to Dalmi unfortunately). However, they have spent a lot of time together since their initial meeting - A LOT - and they had many deep conversations about themselves. Dalmi got to know about the real Dosan and she has noticed some differences between fake Dosan from the letters and real Dosan...and she admitted that she likes those differences.

Maybe their relationship is moving a bit too fast...but it would be less of an issue if it weren't for the lie.

In contrast, Dalmi knows barely anything about Jipyung. They haven't spent that much time together. So far, she knows him as Dosan's good friend (a lie) and as the team's mentor...maybe that will change in future episodes though.

(P.S. This is part of the reason why I have a hard time buying that Jipyung has feelings for Dalmi...maybe he is attracted to her, but...love? Jealousy? Why now?)

Although Jipyung has included parts of himself in the letters, it doesn't change the fact that the Dosan in the letters does not exist . He was invented by Grandma and Jipyung.
Also, the Dosan who has lived in Dalmi's mind for the past 15 years is a complete fantasy. Even if there had been no lie and she had really once corresponded with the real Dosan over 15 years ago, she would still be in love with an imaginary person. She needs to learn to let go of that fantasy/ideal.

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I guess first love means a lot in SK drama lore. Interestingly, Suzy is South Korea's first love. I sort of see her as South Korea's girl next door, but maybe they don't have that title there.

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Personally I have a hard time believing that Ji-pyeong was in love with Dal-mi as he left her without as much as saying good bye.

I like the fact that you mentioned about the Do-san in the letters was not him alone, it was a combination of the perspectives/input from him and Halmoni so it's not representative of the real Ji-pyeong either. Which cancels out the assumption that Dal-mi was in love with Ji-pyeong (as Dosan) in the letters because it wasn't truly him to begin with.

Granted that he left abruptly due to the circumstances and humiliation from wrongly suspecting Halmoni of stealing all his money (which he profited off from her without her knowledge, kind of a scummy move, really, to be so angry and spiteful but it's good that he realised the error of his ways and tried to make amends).

It's hard for me to buy into the idea that Dal-mi was the great love of his life because all these years he never tried to stay in touch or even look for her.

I feel that the turning point for him came when he realised that Do-san was actually in love with Dal-mi and his territorial nature automatically kicked in as he could see that Dal-mi may have also starting to fall for the actual Do-san rather than "his" Do-san. So the jealousy was because Do-san was in his territory and he felt more entitled to Dal-mi because Dal-mi was in love with the alternate Do-san that Ji-pyeong created (together with Halmoni).

He had also alluded a few times of how he thought Do-san was much more inferior to him, not good enough in so many ways and I really dislike how he looked down on Do-san and his friends. He made it clear that he would've never given Do-san and Samsan Tech any chance to be in the Sandbox even when Do-san asked for his advice on how to improve or how they could do things better instead of taking his bribe money. Must've been disappointing for Do-san to think that he had respected Ji-pyeong as a guide for start-up companies like Samsan Tech but he's quite the opposite and wouldn't even consider reading their proposal and give advice to them. If Do-san was a greedy person, he would've asked for more money but instead he made a decision which he thought was for the good of the company and his friends. Despite all the negativity from Ji-pyeong, still Do-san attempted to get into Sandbox on his own.

People seem to forget that Ji-pyeong was expecting Samsan Tech to fail the selection round to get into Sandbox. He never believed in them and would never wanted to do so despite the possibility of Samsan Tech having the potential and needed the right guidance.

I'm surprised that this mean personality trait that Ji-pyeong seems to have, is not noticed by other people who instead choose to uphold him as some sort of a god/angel status. He's no angel for Do-san or Samsan Tech, the only reason he's helping is for Dal-mi.

Notice that for the most part he's only looking out for Dal-mi and giving professional/leadership tips only...

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"He's no angel for Do-san or Samsan Tech, the only reason he's helping is for Dal-mi.

Notice that for the most part he's only looking out for Dal-mi and giving professional/leadership tips only..."

You finally get it. And so did Dosan come to understand that. So what to do? If you cant get JP to get you in sandbox what do you do?
THATS RIGHT! Step into the role of the guy she loves! Get her in the company and then JP will have no choice but take you on as well!
You finally get now why everything you said prior to the quote is baloney.

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Spot on !!! The Dosan of 15 years ago in the letters is NOT JP as many seem to perceive, Dosan of the letters was a character pieced together from newspaper articles and information from TV shows and whatever source is at hand when JP is writing the letters and more importantly Halmoni's input. She asked JP to write the letters on her behalf so DM does not recognise her handwriting. As DM pointed out, she liked Dosan of the letters because they are on the same wavelength and understood her completely which is expectedly largely from Halmoni's input as she truly knows when DM needs comforting and how to comfort DM. JP only wrote the letters piecing together info from various sources and not from his own thoughts and more from Halmoni"s input who is the true "Dosan" of the letters. DM's first love is not JP but the Dosan of the letters created by JP and Halmoni ... your objective comments and clear thinking input is greatly appreciated despite as you say your JP bias when wading through a sea of ridiculous misinterpretations of Dosan and JP's characters vis a vis "Dosan" of the letters ...

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@majongsofine I may not have explained this clearly enough, he was not manipulating Da-mi in order to get Ji-pyeong to help them. I don't think that was in his thought process.

Samsan Tech approached by both Dal-mi and In-jae, however, Ji-pyeong was not in the picture and I don't think he was expecting Ji-pyeong to step in. The assumption that he eventually chose to join Dal-mi was not to manipulate Ji-pyeong to help them.

Ji-pyeong muscled his way in and for his own self-serving motive. The manipulator is still Ji-pyeong, I'm sorry, I don't buy the theory that Do-san is this evil scheming manipulator.

Also he is not stepping into the role of the guy Dal-mi supposedly loves, he finally got to be himself when he was found out and didn't hide the fact that he had a struggling company from Dal-mi from that point.

Also on the mentorship, it's not like they are not spoilt for choice when it comes to the selection of mentors, in fact, it could have been any other mentors.

Don't you think that Do-san would have tried to persuade Dal-mi from selecting Ji-pyeong as a mentor if he is so threatened the possibility of Ji-pyeong appealing to Dal-mi's interest? Both Do-san and Dal-mi were considering things from a broader perspective of what would be the greater good.

He went into the Sandbox selection process not knowing that Dal-mi would be there too. He had a lot of things stacked against him and Samsan Tech in trying out for Sandbox and I think the trio is aware that if things don't work out for them in the selection process, they would need to find another way to grow the company.

He was publicly outed as a struggling entrepreneur and not being the ideal fake CEO image that was cooked up by Ji-pyeong.

And yet they (Dal-mi and Do-san) chose each other and that's a unique turn of events in my perspective.

Right from the networking party, Do-san was trying to be himself in borrowed clothes and clumsy haircut. Ji-pyeong took the upperhand to try to maintain the illusion when he had no right to do so.

Ji-pyeong was stealing Do-san's identity, turned it into a fake one and forced the real Do-san to maintain this fake image and for what reason?

At every step of the way if Do-san wanted to be himself, Ji-pyeong was quick to prevent that from happening. Why? Because Ji-pyeong is a selfish smug who thinks too highly of himself and only want to protect his "intellectual property" which is the fake Do-san image.

Do-san wanted to go home after the networking party by bus? Ji-pyeong forced Do-san to take his expensive car.

Do-san wanted to be himself and reply to Dal-mi's text in his own dorky way? Ji-pyeong forced Do-san to reply in his own words and also forced Do-san to show the texts to him before replying to Dal-mi.

On and on it just shows how Ji-pyeong is manipulative and superficial.

Yet, it's good to see that Do-san has his own perspective and bold enough to make his own choices and is now...

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I agree with a few of your points.. but please..
JP as a mentor was DM’s choice and DS would never say a thing. DS is such a yes man to his missus.

And JP is not as bad as you perceived him to be.. He was definitely NOT helping Samsan just because DM had joined them. He was the one who gave Samsan the entry to sandbox and JP even gave them a guarantee that in case if Samsan failed to gain an entry to sandbox, he would invest in them personally. He always stated the truths as an advice, including that DS was unfit to be a CEO and that helped DS to be more open to the idea for the company to be led by someone else.. to say the least.

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I might have agreed to your perspective @kipikip had Jipyeong not bragged openly that he was expecting Samsan Tech to fail. Just accept that he had no faith at all in Samsan Tech.

The whole montage in of Jipyeong dissing and belittling Samsan Tech is a clear summary of his prejudice and holier than thou attitude. Good thing that the show is consistent in showing this side of Jipyeong.

Samsan Tech is not perfect but Jipyeong need to get off his high horse and start to accept the responsibility for his poor behavior.

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@sailorgirl you mentioned next week's promo and I wanted to add to that. In the promo, it shows Do San crying to Ji Pyeong that Ji Pyeong is taking everything from him and that without Dal Mi he has nothing. IMO it is Do San that wants to take the people Ji Pyeong loves away from him. Without grandma and Dal Mi, Ji Pyeong has no family and as far as friends go, his friends all appear to be simply business associates. So it is Do San that is taking everything from Ji Pyeong.

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This is true! Nice catch :)

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Do-san may think this way because he is still young and unsure, but the rest of us should be able to shake our heads sadly and hope he realizes soon that more love doesn't 'take people away' it instead compounds it by adding another person to the family.

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Dosans attitude about appealing to JP not to take Dalmi away shows again how his character is modeled on his father.
He is generally nice but has tantrums when he gets mad just as we saw in the CEO scene.
But his conversation with JP shows how he values woman too. Did he really think that he would negotiate with JP for Dal-mi? Why dont the women catch this?
Dosan is a primate, in emotion, nature, character, romance, especially romance. If he were any more a primate in that he would drag her by the hair into the cave.

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Dosan is a manipulative wolf in sheep's clothing. He was so hostile to Jipyeong before and now he's crying to Jipyeong to get what he wants. It is possible that Jipyeong will just back away from Dalmi with Dosan doing this. Dalmi may not even get the whole truth. The other part of the preview is Jipyeong standing in the rain crying while Grandma is there holding an umbrella. Deep down he's still that hungry kid standing in the rain and Dosan is the one taking away everything.

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Do San said with his whole chest that Dal Mi is his everything sound greedy to me, and there is Ji Pyeong who said "lets change" it's mean he is ready to lost eeeeeverything just for Dal Mi.

Ji Pyeong is my man!

Someone catching a good stuff at ep 8! And this is very interesting!

https://twitter.com/kdramaspell/status/1325601652632547328?s=21

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That comment was basically JP saying let's exchange Dal Mi for his stuff to Do San. Basically JP wanted her. So I don't see how you got That!

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Ji Pyeong, left them for 15 years. That's all.

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Grandma told him not to come back unless he was suffering.

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He could check up on her without returning. He has the means to do that. I think the fact that he never looked back for 15 years is great plot hole that I am sure will never be addressed. I see so many on here talking about how Dal Mi and her grandmother are the only people he had and Do San keeps trying to take them away. But Ji-Pyeong gave them up. He left. And stayed gone for 15 years. He clearly came back when nothing was wrong. So Grandmother's words weren't what kept him away. I wish more time was spent exploring these issues in his past rather than tying him in an unconvincing love triangle.

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We don't know that he did or didn't check in on her over the years. He did, after all, know where to find her even though she had moved around in that time. Personally, it has been 4 or 5 episodes since I wanted JiPyeong to be the one that won DalMi's heart. I don't want that at all anymore. But I do not want to see JiPyeong demonized and criticized without merit. I want him to remain to be the Good Boy that grandma sees in him. The next episodes as of Nov. 27 (13-14) should make huge changes in the drama. Lets wait and see what happens there.

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@zzthorn Sorry but watch Ep 1 again. JP saw Dal Mi, thought he recognised her name. Saw her at the bus stop. Got curious, followed her and that's how he found Grandma. He was surprised to find her. Following Dal Mi is how he came to know where Grandma was.

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I agree that I want a continued exploration of his relationship as Grandma's Good boy. I find that storyline to be the most emotionally compelling one. But I have been reading the posts, and I do not find that many are demonizing Ji-Pyeong, instead the demonizing seems to be towards Do San. In fact this response is under a comment where Do San is referred to as greedy, manipulative and a "wolf in sheep clothing". I am simply pointing out a plot hole in the relationship between Grandma and Ji-Pyeong that I would like to be addressed in the story. I think it could add depth. Because the story does let us know that he didnt check up on them. That's why he didnt know grandma had lost her store, every revelation of what happened to her after he left is shocking to him. It wouldnt be if he had checked up on them. The writer has made that clear.

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You must be talking about another episode, @amruta1009 because in ep 1, Ji-Pyeong comes up to grandma when she is alone, struggling to get the canopy of her truck open. That is the first time he greets her after being gone those years. I do remember another time when he sees DalMi go to grandma, but I felt his surprise was the connection that DalMi was grandma's granddaughter and not that he was seeing grandma for the first time.

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So you are saying that the scene that actually was 'shown' before actually happened after? Oh ok.

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Dosan is dirt.
On the one hand he claims he wanted to tell her the truth. If he had done that he would act all caring and chivalrous, but as the promo showed....he most likely DIDNT tell her the truth so what does he do?
He changes his storyline like any good scheming politician.
OH, Dalmi I wanted to tell you but I didnt want to see you cry! What a turd.
If dosan really wanted to confess he would have said,
"I orgionally wanted to do a good deed for you at sandbox, because I read the letters you wrote to JP, but after I found out you still had such strong romantic feelings for JP, I decided at the last minute at the car to try and get you for myself since I could masquerade as JP. Plus it forced JP to help me with my company and getting into sandbox.

Now thats an honest confession of the actions of Dosan. Irrefutable.

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I have zero sympathy for DoSan at this point. He knew it was a big fat lie that was bound to blow up, yet he kept pushing it for his own personal interests.

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First, I surprisly love all the technic parts of a start-up (even if I'm not sure to understand all the details). I like when a drama keeps developing its theme during all the episodes and not only the 2 first.

I don't think Ji-Pyeong thought she will compare the writting. I found him pretty professional with Dal-Mi. He always calls her by her title. He answered her 461 questions, even if he was a little bit late with Morning Group, he still gave her the advice to record the conversation, he gave her the list of potentiel investors, etc. He kept a professionnal distance. I think he's hesitating for different reasons, first he doesn't know how to trust and love. Secondly, he's feeling uneasy because of the lie.

If Dal-Mi was enjoyable to watch in the final confrontation, she was pretty disapointed before. First, with her sister, she always sees the worse in her and she lost her self-control and took a bad decision. During the conversation with the step-father, she lost her voice, when she has to be strong and Do-San's reaction was so stupid. He could just take her hand and leave the room.

I'm kinda angry against Halmoni. Because she thinks Dal-Mi is weak, she lies and not a little bit. By doing this, she's hurting Do-San and Ji-Pyeong and finally Dal-Mi. The mother is venal but at least she's honnest.

Moon Se-Yoon's cameo was funny.

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Moon Se Yoon’s cameo was LOVE!!!!!!! The subtle shoutout to him searching for “2 days and 1 night” for HJP, SOOO good. And in the BTS you can see just how tickled KSH was to have his 2d1n costar there. Loved seeing him so happy, especially since I’m expecting we are heading into tears land in the next couple episodes.

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Their interactions in the last episode of 2D1N were so funny!

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I did not appreciate Do-San shattering the nameplate. Thought it was unnecessarily aggressive and wasn't befitting of his nature. Just because he couldn't knit at that time to soothe his anger doesn't mean you should throw a GLASS object he just made the situation so much worse. I was also pissed when Halmoni and Ji-Pyeong pretended to be strangers as if the lies aren't already bad enough sigh.

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Is it intentional that the JP has a more lead-worthy storyline, why make him the usual tsundere character that we are so used to hate then love, though in his case it is love at first sight? I will be sorely disappointed if JP doesn't get DM.

Anyway, I am just so happy that I can watch Seon Ho by Sunday being himself in 일박이일. CAN DINDIN OR RAVI DO A CAMEO TOO???

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Must be intentional, cause the writing is pretty strong in this drama, and notice how even in the first episode there's a lot of focus on his character as a child while Do San doesn't show up till the end? But alas Ji Pyeong is just the second lead.

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I love where this show is going. I don't mind the developing love triangle because the journey is as much fun as the arrival. The bonus is that we get to have wonderful second leads as well as first leads. I'm so over the spiteful second FL trope. I love the shifting relationship between the sisters, and halmoni is a beautiful soul. Most of all I love the nerdy inventiveness of team Samsan.

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Exactly this: the journey is as much fun as the arrival. I love how each character is interesting in their own right and everyone is trying to navigate new situations for themselves (whether that be starting from the bottom without help, dealing with the idea of a family who loves them, having a business that looks like it might succeed and so on) which necessarily leads to mistakes as well as triumphs.

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And I think everyone wants to be valued for themselves - for their own qualities.

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This show is uber engaging and fun to watch! Seriously, I had no expectations about this show. Liked Suzy, but wasn't jazzed about NJH. But now, sign me up for all the actors in Start Up. If it goes the rate's it's going, I can see this show being talked about or remembered for a long time. It's been a while since I seen a love triangle that actually has depth and stakes in the show, and all 2 male suitors are written extremely well/compatible with our FL.

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i actually cannot think of any kdrama love triangle where both guys are as compelling as dosan and jipyeong are except for reply 1988. care to share who you have on your mind?

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Hmm, this is my perspective but I thought the love triangle that was both given attention were I Need Romance 2 and I Do, I Do. As in both guys in those had their strengths/weaknesses that were both different in how the FL felt with them. I felt like in both those shows, both ML's were given equal opportunities to make their move on the FL, and the 2nd ML weren't annoying at all, but rather sweet, charming, and got along with the ML as well. Both guys in those shows handled their break up well. I also heard that Reply 94 also had a very compelling love triangle as well. Also Jealously Incarnate as well, the 2nd ML was classy and ended up putting his friendship over the same love for the FL.

The reason why love triangles imo fail in K-dramas is typically most rom-com dramas are 16 episodes. Not enough to give equal or so screen-time/development for the 2nd ML, that it's obvious who the FL is going to end up with.

In Start Up, we don't know b/c both guys are compelling and make our FL swoon in different ways. Both are solid choices, but are given scenes/characterizations that make us understand their choices, thus creating 2 diff. groups who those who like ML, & those who like the 2nd ML.

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I don't get the beanies' hate storm directed at Do-san on Ji-pyeong's behalf. They are both caught up in something that they are finding difficult to get out of. Do-san wanted to debug the team, but he was stopped. Do-san's predicament was ramped up with halmoni's diagnosis. Ji-pyeong is only now beginning to admit his feelings to himself, and he is surprised by his jealousy. These guys are both gorgeous - they v much care for Dal-mi, but at the same time are caught in a situation where they hesitate to tell her the truth. Clearly the bubble is going to burst soon. The truth will out! BTW I love the role that knitting is playing.

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I think it's inevitable that people will choose sides when you have a love triangle that works this well. And the only reason why it works is because the show makes it seems like both guys have an actual chance, but problem is we all already know Do San will get the girl so that will inevitably bring him some hate in a show with a strong Second lead syndrome. Personally I think both guys are written as decent characters, neither is perfect.

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Dosan has a lot of growing up to do. His trust on Dalmi (a stranger if I may just point out) is unrealistic maybe to compensate for their lack of history/real connection. We know it's gonna be DoDal all the way but it's gonna be a teary road.

I just hope Writer-nim handles his growth reastically.

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Yes, I am a little puzzled by all the Do-san hate as well. He's not a perfect character, but then none of them are which is quite refreshing and should be a subject for rejoicing. He's faulted for being naive/not-hero-material/not rich enough/not honest enough/not old enough when the real reason is that he's just not JP, who was introduced first with a backstory guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings and want him to win.
I want all the characters to end up happy and satisfied, but I worry the most about JP - not because he's got 2L branded across his forehead but because he still hasn't learned to love and trust - not even himself. From what I have seen so far, I can completely understand his attraction to the warm, sunny nature that is Dal-Mi but I am not convinced she is right for him, either. She knows instinctively what love is and how to love herself and others, and of course responds to someone on that same wavelength. In terms of age and outlook and personality I think Do-san and Dalmi have a lot in common. JP has a sharp and sarcastic side - he doesn't suffer fools gladly - that could quickly silence her or dim her cheerfulness, where a stronger and probably older character would have the right comeback to keep him respectful. Also, I want someone with enough life experience to understand how his background shaped him and have an array of tools, including massive amounts of passion and patience, to be able to help him overcome his past and be philosophical enough to let it slide when he can't.

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*How his background shaped him* is important at this stage. She is going to realise more and more how she is attuned to JP, for sure. Hence the forthcoming drama. Who knows how it will pan out, and isn't that great to keep us watching? I love good boy, but I love our code boy too.

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I'm also enjoying the subtilties and reading between the lines happening in this drama. The writer, director, and actors are all doing a great job getting viewers invested in the characters as well.

Dosan has a lot of growing up to do and a better moral compass. There are many subtle ways that shows Dosan doesn't understand Dalmi and they see things differently. It may not be obvious but Dalmi and Jipyeong actually are indeed more attuned.

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He's faulted for being naive/not-hero-material/not rich enough/not honest enough/not old enough when the real reason is that he's just not JP, who was introduced first with a backstory guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings and want him to win.

Couldnt have said it better!

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The time for Do-san to regret his lie was the first time at the car when he deliberately chose to impersonate JP to get her to like him and force JP to help him get into sand box.
Everyone who thinks Dosan in an OK guy doesnt get the entire lynchpin of the show premise.

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Actually, I think I disagree with this. When DS went to the networking event, he wasn't deliberately impersonating JP but acting out of compassion (which we've seen in flashbacks is a massive part of who he is - losing so that others win). I don't think he is capable of thinking that deeply about potential outcomes - he acts more on instinct. When he decided to not take DM home straightaway but stop for ramyun and ice-cream, this didn't seem to be a deliberate attempt to foil JP, but a instinctive move to spend more time with a girl he was beginning to be fascinated by. He's within his rights to do this.

If DS being a not okay guy but a manipulator is the lynchpin of the show, then I am genuinely confused. Why then show us so much of his big heart for others (helping with the ransomeware situation all night, apologising to his dad for slamming the door, going to the networking event without gain). Plus why would the whole show need to hinge on his manipulation? (Genuine question.) I'm firmly Team Ji-pyeong, but I'm not sure about this perspective.

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I think possibly the confusion lies in understanding the point of decision. It wasnt stoping for ramyun and ice-cream that was ever considered a problem as far as his scheming. It was however where he became aware of Dalmi's lingering feelings for JP. So again no harm done there.
He was doing what he was supposed to right up until he was about to get in the car and drive away when he had the idea......the inspiration to get everything he ever wanted.
By posing as JP he not only could get a girlfriend but the continuing interaction and linkage would force JP to give him what he couldnt get by negotiation previously.
Everyone has to remember that JP wanted to help dalmi and didnt have anything to do with dosan except for that one 20 minute meeting to save face with her sister.
Jp could have helped dalmi achieve her dreams without dosan.
As to showing his big heart, those are just elements to make it a horse race. There were undoubtedly people doing nice things for each other all over town but the writer never put them in.
Thats how the whole show is affected by dosan forcing his way into dalmis life.

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But Dal-mi doesn't have lingering feelings for Ji-pyeong let's be honest here. Do-san was not even impersonating Ji-pyeong when he attended the networking party but acting out of compassion for Dal-mi.

At the networking party he came as a "quiet and good-looking guy" and that's as much scheming or manipulation that he could come up with.

Ji-pyeong on the other hand was the master manipulator in moulding Do-san's character to be similar to his level, stopping Do-san from going home by bus and instead told him to drive the car.

Do-san did not ask Ji-pyeong to gave this identity to him. Ji-pyeong manufactured the scenario because he thought this would for some reason, it would be more impressive to Dal-mi hence protecting the identity of Do-san that he created for Dal-mi starting from the letters. He viewed this alternate Do-san being more closer to his character and thus Ji-pyeong is technically protecting his intellectual property. Which was why he agreed to put up the whole facade of a wealthy and successful Do-san.

The lie was fabricated by Ji-pyeong from the beginning and now everyone has to pay for the repercussions when it is unravelling.

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Thanks @maisara272 - that's the way I understood it, and you explained it really clearly!

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@jorobertson I didn't know Dosan gets this much hate. But the comments were... wow 😖

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And look at all the upvotes the Do-san hate comments get...

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yeah, and look at how those upvotes align with comments supporting jipyeong lol this is all so transparent.

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Beanies are enabling the haters.

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I am both deeply sadden and confused by all these comments. I feel like I am not watching the same drama as everyone else. They make Dosan out to be this evil manipulator and liar who is greedy, possessive and opportunistic...which isn't at all the Dosan I have gotten to know in these 8 episodes. He is not perfect but he doesn't deserve this amount of hate AT ALL!

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Second that

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don't forget he is also lustful!!!!!!
LOL

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and not all dorks are created equal!!! only the unrealistically perfect ones deserve rights!!

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What a caveman turd!!!!

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Oh stop it. 🤣🤣🤣

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