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Start-Up: Episodes 15-16 Open Thread (Final)

Our finale episodes are here! While our wonderful characters deal with some final hurdles, what these episodes are really about is wrap-up, closure, and bringing each storyline full circle. And my, they do a fine job.

 
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP

There’s so much to unpack and sum up in Start-Up’s final week that I thought I’d take a different approach and go character by character to make sure everyone and his/her plot arc get the mention they deserve.

But for my own take on the ending, it strikes me that the plot points and final little plot arcs weren’t really all that important. For instance, I admittedly don’t care very much about the AI car and its success. Rather, what I care about is our characters, and where they land. So, in that respect, I’m happy that the drama was more about the characters in its final episodes. While I found some elements wrapped up really nicely (to the point of causing a few stray tears gobs of tears), some felt a little skated over. However, overall, I left this drama feeling as happy and satisfied as our leads during their hero walk in the final epilogue.

Seo Dal-mi
Though much of Dal-mi’s corporate success was off-screen, I’m willing to believe she’s as competent as the story tells us — we know for sure that she puts in the hard work, and is driven by passion and a real desire to do good. In a way, the outcome of the more tangential battles towards the end of this drama (Tarzan’s success, the identity of the ransomware hackers, and the decision whether or not to bid on the Smart City project) are not that important. What’s more important is Dal-mi growing up, and growing into her dreams for herself.

In addition to her entrepreneurial and do-good dreams, she also flourishes the most when she is in a partnership, and we see this every time she and Do-san are working together. The ending of the drama, then, with the two successfully leading this huge company together was the best possible ending for these two. They get to work and dream together, and they have each other’s backs.

Nam Do-san

This brings us next to Do-san, who had the farthest to come from his scrappy rooftop office days, to becoming a C-suite exec with confidence and conviction. It’s not until the very end of the drama that he finds his way there, and often he needs a little push to help him, but he makes it. Do-san’s arc wrapped up thanks to Ji-pyeong and two insightful, important moments.

First, after the hilarious drink-a-thon, Ji-pyeong offers a moment of honest clarity (like he always does when asked) and gives Do-san some real wisdom: “Get your self-confidence back. With your hands alone you were able to beat our memories.” What does this do for Do-san? It gives him that exact confidence he needs to approach Dal-mi again. He asks her the same question he asked her so many years/episodes ago — why she likes him — and finally gets the response he needs to seal the deal. Dal-mi’s response (“Because you’re you”) is the best and most authentic response he could ask for, and they seal the deal (for keeps this time) with a smooch.

Dal-mi’s love for Do-san, and his most Do-saniest self, literally gives him wings. From that swoony hint he wanted to propose, to the image of partnership and success we end on, I’d say this kid found his confidence and self-worth in the end.

The other moment that completes Do-san’s journey is also courtesy of Ji-pyeong, and that’s when they talk about Ji-pyeong and his company becoming Cheongmyeong’s first investor. This scene brings full circle the stance of both players: Do-san gets the recognition his talents deserve, and Ji-pyeong is man enough to change his mind.

Han Ji-pyeong
I struggled a bit with this love triangle throughout the drama, not only because of the strength of the childhood connection we started on, but because the story — interestingly — decided not to give Ji-pyeong even a fighting chance with Dal-mi. Their relationship was important, and they both grew from it, but Dal-mi never considered him a suitor. That means, in a way, that this unrequited love was a part of the story solely for Ji-pyeong and his growth.

The lonely and prickly investor we meet towards the beginning of the story is definitely a better man by the end of the drama. For Ji-pyeong’s storyline, becoming strong and better wasn’t about overcoming weakness (like we could argue of Do-san’s). Instead, Ji-pyeong had to become softer. And his love for Dal-mi, and later being able to let her go, was an important part of that growth.

Though Ji-pyeong tells himself that since he has the plant and the letters, and that’s enough for him (agh, my heart!), I think we learn at the very end of the drama that it’s not exactly true. Yes, the plant and letters represent cherished memories, and they make it possible for him to move on, but I think what we see of Ji-pyeong last is that he realizes he needs people. In the end, he stays close to our crew as their investor, and seems firmly fixed as a mentor. I can only hope he continued to stay close with Dal-mi’s family as well, since so much of Ji-pyeong’s heart was yearning for family.

That brings us to the other important person in Ji-pyeong’s life and growth: Halmoni. Halmoni has had a life-changing impact on Ji-pyeong, and he knows it more than anyone. That final scene between them where she comes to visit him and tells him not to be so used to being alone was a real tear-jerker moment. I may or may not have been crying as hard as Ji-pyeong here. This beautiful scene really brought their relationship fill circle.

It’s important that we see Ji-pyeong change, and one way this is illustrated is by his willingness to do something out of goodwill (instead of just for profit). And Start-Up, clever little show that it is, showed us this in the most fabulous way possible.

Ji-pyeong is looking for a cause to do good and follow Halmoni’s wishes, and who turns up but a passionate young CEO with a business to benefit young orphans? As Ji-pyeong walked into the meeting room I was verbally begging the show for a great cameo — but I did not expect it to be Yeo Jin-gu! What an awesome surprise, and a wonderful meta moment. Yeo Jin-gu, of course, voiced Yeong-shil throughout the drama, so to see Ji-pyeong moved by his business proposition (and his voice, lol) was golden. Sweet, moving, and hilarious. This might have been my favorite scene in the entire finale week.

Halmoni
We can’t wrap up Start-Up without Halmoni — she’s the one that grounded the entire drama, and was the person with the most loving and kind heart that changed everyone she came in contact with. Goals! She took on life’s challenges and heartbreaks with grace and faith, and was the true character everyone in the drama looked up to. Halmoni’s moment of recollection and gratitude when she imagines her family all reunited was one of the most affecting scenes in the drama for me. *tears*

Won Seo In-jae
I would have loved more In-jae in this drama, but I suppose I can’t complain too much — her growth in the final two episodes was quite nice. We see her confidence in Dal-mi grow, we see her confront her step-father once and for all, and above all, we see In-jae stepping back into her true identity when she takes back her father’s name.

This idea of the girls choosing a path when they were young (mother/money, father/love) was the crux of the whole drama, so I wish we had spent a little more time on the family element here. But, we do circle back to the sisters’ earlier moments, with the $10 bet, with the music box that finally finds its rightful owner, and with In-jae finally able to truly smile and be loved.

Lee Chul-san and Jung Sa-ha
The nerd/gorgeous model paradigm might be age-old, but I found these two to be adorable. Soooo adorable. Can they get their own drama?

Kim Yong-san
We saw most of Yong-san’s character growth last week, but his arc ended with him growing in greatness, like all three of the Samsan boys did. They worked hard, were rewarded, but always remained grounded. It’s interesting, too, that Start-Up has a lot to say about success and humility, and we see a beautiful example of that when the Samsan boys have a real moment of gratitude for how far they’ve come. The visit back to their old office, the reminiscing, and the kindness towards the newbies taking their place was so great. This was definitely another of my favorite moments from the finale.

And I just have to throw this out into the wind: I kinda liked that exchange between Yong-san and In-jae. They look good together. *hint hint*

Final thoughts
No drama is perfect, and some are rife with fan conflict, but in the end, I think it’s worth looking a step past that and at the message of the story. Having a strong moral is often what makes K-dramas stand out from other TV shows, generally speaking, and while some might call it cheesy, it’s something that I’ve grown to love about the genre.

Start-Up definitely had a lot of good lessons to share with us, and while I’m sure there’s a different message there for everyone, the ones that stood out the most to me were about perseverance, the importance of family and friendships — and, of course, a reminder to dream big.

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my rating: 7.5/10 (this is me being super picky)
-1 for plot devices, plots that lacks depth, and plots that could have had better closure
-1 for the love triangle that dragged more than necessary
-0.5 for some business stuff that are inaccurate/shouldn't be done or could be explored more and some stuff that are too good to be true

overall a great feel-good drama!
did i regret watching? no
would i rewatch? maybe
this drama is not one of those dramas that hold a special place in my heart, but there are a lot of great memorable moments!

oh also the cinematography and ost are A+++

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for me i gave a 6/10 only bcoz they destroyed part of the story by putting too much time into the love triangle,it should have ended at epi 10 then the last 6 would have focus on growth and success and the team (most character growth occurred off screen!!)...also the second female lead was reduced to a side character/cameo,she deserve better
i think it could have been better ..pinnocchio remains the best drama for youth achieving their dreams for me
grandma was an MVP through out
Every cast i believe did the best with what was given n suzy did well
cinematography was indeed amaizing

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Well.. for the final review, let’s start with the positives:

1. The OST, cinematography and color palette is beautiful, I agree.

2. Kudos to KSH & NJH.. these guys can act. I am impressed how NJH was like oozing different aura before and after the time jump.. pretty sure that’s his acting skill. Also he portrayed his character’s sadness very well in ep 10. As for KSH, enough said.. KSH was basically owning the entire show, acting-wise 😂

3. I like the SST founders’ character better after the time jump. Appreciate that they had more grit, poise, ability to set boundaries, to put their emotions aside and think straight, to analyze the situation (improvement was especially bigger for CS and YS who finally showed some hints of smartness). Really wish they showed this way earlier in the drama, because it’s the least I would expect them to be from the start to at least make the story believable.

4. Towards the ending, they tied up the story pretty nicely.

5. The episode titles, HJP, and other mentors. I learned a few new words and lessons about running a business from them.

And now the bad:

6. Seo sisters antagonizing each other up to ep12 for no real reason. Weird and tiring..

7. SST founders disappointing, unsuited for startup world up to ep 13. As I’ve said before.. they are too petty and frustrating (also too dumb, in case of YS and CS). Slight improvement after time jump, but a case of too little too late.

8. Plot holes and cliches. I am particularly disappointed by this one. I’m not saying the show was bad (turned out to be just okay for me), but I really hoped for the producers to execute the show’s themes and ideas in a different way. I mean.. I thought that with the theme of startup business, they could’ve done something more epic and smarter by focusing a lot more about the struggle faced by the startup team. A story about the conflicts and the team dynamics, the clash of each personnel’s ideals, relationship breakdowns, and the route of healing and resolving their problems against the adversities to reach their success. I imagine that combined with the occasional kdrama romances and cheeky banters would be something new and very very interesting. Instead the show focused heavily in the worn out cliches of broken families, evil stepdad and prolonged love triangle. And, if I’m mirroring @ayalynn123’s opinion correctly, the show turned out to be just another makjang drama in disguise. Well.. of course this one is just my expectations, still it’s a shame for me.

Overall 7/10.
Not as good as the hype.. but not bad either.

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Samsan Tech/Cheongmyeong Company is the heart and soul of this show. They are such a feel-good underdog story. We lament their failures (hackathon, acqhire) and celebrate their successes (Demo Day, ransomware). I was so proud when Tarzan passed its permit test. They were so cute jumping in a circle. These kids have had incredible character growth. They took down the slimy reporter without Director Han or CEO Won's help. Look how self-sufficient their company has become. "Running" by Gaho is their theme song.

Woo-hoo, Cheongmyeong won the smart city bid!! Not only did we get a proposal, but we got a public relationship. Welcome cuties Tae-hyun and Kang-jin to the team. Tae-hyun is a billion won richer, but poor Kang-jin has to buy six(!) sports cars. Love baby RGB flannel trio's fighting spirit.

While I squeed at Yeo Jin-goo's cameo (Young-sil-ah!), I was hoping the start-up's CEO was female and would be Ji-pyeong's love interest. It would've been sweet for two orphans to find love with each other. I really wish Do-san's kongjaban was next to Dal-mi's money tree and letters in Ji-pyeong's car. Those two need to just make up already. Did he eat Mom's hangover soup before he left? What an unexpected family were Do-san's parents for Ji-pyeong.

Dal-mi and Do-san are perfect together and deserve nothing but happiness. His reunion with Halmeoni was emotional, and he was meeting Mom for the first time since The Lie at In-jae's networking party. I wish Dal-mi had found Do-san's note herself and had revealed why she likes his hands because his hand saved her from her sister that night. Despite Chul-san's interruption, their almost-kiss was swoon. I love how nerd Do-san can't help himself correcting Dal-mi's superstitions ("I don't think a tree can bring you wealth," "A rainbow is just light reflecting and refracting.") and misconceptions ("Your heart is on the left side," "The stars may look like tiny dust particles, but most of them are much larger than the moon.")

Half the beanies was watching Start-Up, and the other half was watching this newfangled show Sand Box because we were definitely watching two different dramas. I loved Start-Up.

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Want proof that the writer did well? "Half the Beanies were watching Start-up, and the other half was watching this newfangled show Sand Box". There was enough packed into this story for that to be a true statement.

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Right. Because the few people who post here are representative of how many people in South Korea and globally are watching a Kdrama. <eye roll€

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The new RGB trio aka Samsan Tech 2.0 was really adorable. The whole scene was funny but I can understand the sadness especially when the original trio were reminiscing their hardships and all that they've gone through. But the important takeaway from this is that they went through the hardships and journey together as a team and trusted each other the best they could. Now that they have succeeded together, one can only imagine how much stronger the bond they have built now, they were practically brothers when they started out pre-sandbox.

In a real life situation, you'll be very lucky to have such partners in life willing to go through thick and thin together.

That's one of the reason I cherish this drama, the ensemble cast works so well for me and I wasn't watching it for a specific pair to root for but rather the whole ensemble and I have no regrets enjoying this drama then and now.

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Finally, Start Up is over 😁 Being Team Jipyeong, I took it hard when he didn’t end up with Dalmi, but he took it like a man and he stayed true to his good boy character. How funny was the rejection scene on the rooftop? JP says he’s listening because DM has something to say... and then he proceeds to say what he wants to say. No need for thank yous and apologies. He was also helped by those letters so they’re even. He acknowledged DS one-upped him by finding her the moment he read those letters. 🥺😆 It was painful but you can see he’s trying to be okay, and he took it gracefully—even approaching Dosan first for the investment. Their handshake and hug was heartwarming. I hope they can really be brothers, more cuddling and shoving in door frames. 🤣

I really had a fun kdrama watching experience despite the team wars. I would like twice about doing it again, but man, it was amazing. Hahaha. Theories? Fangirling? Fighting? I went through it, and I’m really sorry if I’ve ran over some of the beanies here. 🥺✌️ I love this community and like @missvictrix said, there are certainly lessons learned along the way. And I cannot say enough how I loved Yeo Jin Goo’s cameo here, too! ❤️

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*I would like to think twice... damn, typo! 😅

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"Live life with no regrets, do not think twice!" -Dalmi aka Suzy whose girl band was replaced by a younger version named Twice. MIND BLOWN?

@shichybot: "Nah ......"

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I am mind blown at your knowledge of kpop girl groups, ahjussi! Hahaha!

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I'm a proud KSH aka Han Ji-pyeong fangirl too. He really shines in this show.

I like what missvictrix said, Start-Up is a good and heart-warming drama I'm sure I'll rewatch it again. It's about youth dreams after all. There are many lessons to be learned, while many cuties to appreciate. 😊

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I’m gonna miss those dimples the most, @mmmmm! 🥺

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Dimples is always love. I’m sure he is enjoying the love he received from fans around the globe. ❤️

Hope Dimples will be doing great in the many more projects to come. In the meantime, let mommy appreciate your visual and acting in your previous projects. 🤣

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Do what I'm doing rn, and watch his previous dramas, interviews, and clips! Lol, hopefully it'll last you until his next work!

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@missvictrix thank you for a fantastic finale recap. You summed up many of my thoughts so wonderfully.

Despite its niggles and small flaws (to me), Start Up was such a lovely KDrama. I literally beamed my way through episode 16, very happy with where each character ended up. Like you, one takeaway for me is that everyone needs a Halmoni in their lives.

Thanks to everyone involved in the drama's production for such an enjoyable experience and @missvictrix for recaps to match.

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Yes, beaming through ep 16 😁
What a pleasure to have a drama take it’s sweet time at the end and luxuriate, or maybe even wallow a bit, in the cheese. I loved the cheese 🧀 about this show, it felt like a warm blanket.

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One thing this drama managed successfully is the team chemistry which is the heart of every underdog story and on that note I think this drama delivered successfully.

In some ways I see similarities between this show and IC that aired earlier in the year but I feel the characters in this show had more screen time and development which I appreciated because it made me care about every minor character which I think is hard to do.

Of course this drama is without its flaws in terms of certain plot points that were dragged out unnecessarily which made some characters lose out on development with other characters for example Kang hana and suzy’s relationship which could have done with more sisterly bonding prior to the 3 year time jump. But overall I’m satisfied with this drama and it’s awesome OSTs!!

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Yes, this for me is a superior drama, when I care about every minor character. And I absolutely did, even JP's right hand man who had to keep giving up his t-shirt... Did he ever get over that?

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Haha probably not

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That actor worked with Mr. Han in Strongest Delivery Man! He said that it was nice to work with KSH after three years again!

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Oh yeah I realised that

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This drama started of so well but was bogged down by it's love triangle.

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Not focusing on the love triangle and instead allowing Han Ji Pyeong to stay an older brother figure and instead grow in his bromance with the SamSanTech trio and and relationship with grandma would’ve been so much better, but I appreciate that you saw it as him needing to be utterly broken down so that he would have even more character growth... but I still would’ve preferred him going through less pain (after you know, growing up an abandoned orphan, hadn’t he already suffered enough???)

My only gripe was his conversation with Dal Mi. Could the writer not spare us a MOMENT where she acknowledged he was her first love of 10 years, and comforted her with his responses? Nothing??? Not even two lines???? Would that have been so hard to give?

But anyways, I digress. Again, the strength in this drama was never the love triangle (though that definitely made fans obsessive, the comments have gotten... interesting to read through), but I loved all the families, blood and chosen. I’m planning on rewatching now without the burden of the love triangle just to appreciate all the moments of depth.

And kim Seon Ho, bravo on your breakout role. Well deserved. Loved you since strongest deliveryman, and can’t wait to see you fly even higher.

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While the lack of focus on the letters post-episode 10 originally bothered me like it did other people, eventually I reconciled that once Dalmi learned they started as a lie from her grandma, her “ideal Dosan” image shattered and she viewed all of them as fake, and they became something she just wanted to leave behind.

I rewatched Episodes 9-12 recently (apparently I like pain,) and it became clear in Dalmi's dialogue that once she learned the truth the entirety of the letters became obsolete because the origin was her grandma. And because Grandma was old and going blind (and because she's her grandma), Dalmi wasn’t going to spend time being angry at her.

I was thinking about the music box letter again, and I think that was what she meant by her being satisfied even if the music box never opened. "Letter Dosan" as a physical manifestation was always fictional, and Dalmi utilized that ideal as a self-defense mechanism. On some level she probably knew a real person could never be what she fantasized, so she was content with leaving it be. It was never really about who actually wrote them, but the fantasy she'd created in her mind.

Obviously the sentiment and comfort in the letters were real, but I thought it was funnily appropriate that Jipyeong always has to get the last word in. I do agree though, I wish some things were handled differently and the love triangle hadn't been so draggy, but overall I still really liked the show.

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I like your perspectives on the music box and the letters. They wrap things up for me somewhat. I am still unclear about why little Dalmi didn't want to open the music box though.

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1000% I wish the writers would've done that instead. It just pained me seeing HJP be so lonely, eps. after the time jump, nada too?! Oof. Why couldn't they just made them a brother/sister like thing after 3 yrs?! A mistake on the writer's part imo.

As for the conversation, I wish they had touched upon the letters esp. from SDM's side. 15 yrs, she didn't see any other guy/broke up with them b/c of those letters. It's a big plot hole in this drama.

Ditto on KSH!! This is his breakthrough role as in gaining more recognition and awareness from it. Let's hope this leads to more offers and stronger scripts, so he can become a great award winning actor in both TV and Film!!

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Thank you so much for your review @missvictrix - brilliant idea to take us through character by character. And I totally agree with you about this being a great drama for the messages it gave us. For me, the standout message was the power of honesty: I loved it.

Huge appreciation to Chul-san and Sa-ha in these last two episodes – how much fun did they bring to everything? When Sa-ha slapped Do-san with the elastic and Chul-san flashed her a finger heart – just brilliant! Chul-san’s face when Sa-ha introduced him to her unnie as her boyfriend – right there, hope was given to every nerd across the world! They kept the levity going right to the end and made me care so much about the team. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see the head-shaving and the public announcement from them, as this would have been comedy gold, but I appreciated the photo montage so we knew it had happened.

So did Ji-pyeong get his happy ending? In the end, I was satisfied. He learnt that he was really loved by Halmoni – utterly accepted, valued and wanted. He finished the situation with Dal-mi really well and reached closure on that relationship. He finally found a way to “pay back” Halmoni’s kindness to him by investing in the new mentoring start-up – his decision to support that enterprise was as beautiful as it was under-stated. He ended up in the Samsan team as their major investor – he got to be part of that family too. (Although this felt a little shaky in terms of logic – especially the hug between JP and DS – they had a good stab at making sense of it and the finger handshake was amusing.) For me, it did feel like a pretty authentic ending for the character and I came away with a smile on my face. Huge kudos to KSH for making the character as good as he was – this was no small achievement.

I was highly satisfied with the DoDal outcome and appreciated that the writer led us to their happy ending with panache. For me, it was one of my favourite dramas this year, for characters I could root for, for a great blend of comedy and drama, and for the tour de force that was Halmoni: what a beautiful soul! If everyone had a Halmoni in their lives, wouldn’t we all be so much richer for it?

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I’m really going to miss this drama, it brought me comfort for the past 2 months, I looked forward to watching it each week..

What I particularly loved about this drama was the characters and their relationships/friendships, I loved our Samsan Tech trio and even more when Dalmi and Saha joined, I loved following their journey and I felt a bit teary-eyed too when our trio revisited their old workplace and saw how far they came ..

I particularly related with Dosan the most, the feeling of insecurity that he felt in almost all aspects of his life especially his work and feeling like he wasn’t smart enough, that he wasn’t anything special was something I felt, despite being told he was a genius he didn’t feel like it and those feelings are something I could relate to a lot, but I’m happy to see how much he’s changed in those 3 years and see his confidence grow

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Goodbye show!! Though I lost most of my interest in the series when the writer decided to unnecessarily drag the love triangle, I continued because of JP and Halmoni and they remain my fav characters of the show. I do have many complaints too about the way the writer handled many of the characters esp. In Jae, but you take what to get right...I loved how the money plant and letters ended up with JP because I do believe they belong to him only. The scenes between JP and Halmoni was so heart touching and I loved how even in the presence of her family she remembered JP and made him realize how he should help others. Finally, on the leads, I never cared about them that much as a couple mostly because they never had that much impact and I find the arcs of JP and In Jae much better than them. Overall the ending was mature but the K drama lover in me is not satisfied. I really expected the possibility of a family for JP but yeah that's too much to ask for I guess. And kudos to KSH for making JP a special character !!!!

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i have various thoughts on the drama, but i what i want to say the most is i am so thankful for this drama for introducing me to kim seonho. he has gained a big following due to the show, and he absolutely deserves it. looking forward to his future projects, and i’m excited to dive into his old stuff and 2d1n!

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It's funny to me to hear this drama called his breakout role. I thought that was Strongest Deliveryman. I watched Subway Ghost for him. The story was disappointing but he did his best. A lead role in a B drama. Hopefully he'll only be getting A dramas now.

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Yes, Beanies first went nuts over him in Strongest Deliveryman.

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Maybe because Start-up is from PHR and also has Suzy and NJH (who have millions of followers on IG), so he got into the radar of a different set of audience... an audience that were more passionate and fangirls more(?) hahaha :) He did acknowledge this in 2D1N when they mentioned how his IG followers increased so rapidly in a few weeks.

I think a similar thing happened to JHI in WYWS, also a second lead, also from PHR and starring Suzy and LJS. JHI was getting noticed prior but I feel it "exploded" after WYWS.

I haven't restarted Strongest Deliveryman (don't really like the leads) ... but I love Catch the Ghost, and rewatching it.. maybe I am in the minority? and because I like the genre. :)

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I agree with your assessments so much, @missvictrix. Despite the ups and downs of this series, I actually loved where everyone ended up in the finale. Of course, Cheongmyeong Company becoming a unicorn and moving into a huge-ass building within a year is not very realistic, but I don’t really expect that much realism in my K-Dramas, lol. I really liked the last episode (16), much more than I was expecting. I thought all the relationships came full-circle in a way that wrapped up nicely, even if I wish some of the resolution came a bit earlier.

I think it’s very fitting that Jipyeong’s happiness is helping others grow, which is where I thought he’d end up from the beginning. Though it took a long time to get there, I’m glad we finally did. And I don’t think it’s necessary to pair him up with anyone arbitrarily, given that his storyline was not really about finding romantic love, but rather friends and family. I’m sure he and Yeo Jin Goo (loved that cameo) also become very good friends and mentor lots of orphans together. And that awkward hug between him and Dosan; I really missed their bromance, if only we got more.

I loved the scene where Injae finally came home and joined the family. I cried when Grandma saw the dad and their kid versions in the living room, that part was so good. I’m glad Injae finally finds her peace and becomes a big shareholder of Cheongmyeong, lol. Also the scene where the Samsan trio go back to their old office to wish the new kids on the block well, I was reminded of my own friends and how much we’ve gone through together. The church scene was also very cute, it was nice to finally have an episode of mostly fluff after so much angst, lol.

The series fumbled in the middle for a bit, but I was impressed at how well-crafted the last episode is. And that epilogue with all the lovely photographs, then the power walk with the four leads. The last shot mirroring the first teaser is pure visual excellence. All in all, I’m happy I could join Dalmi, Dosan, Jipyeong, Injae, and everyone else on this journey! Now what do I do with my weekends...

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I also wanted to touch upon Dalmi’s reason for liking/loving Dosan. While the reason itself could be seen as cliché: “I don’t need a reason. Because it’s you; you’re the reason,” in context of the story, I thought it was actually the most poignant thing she could’ve said to Dosan in that moment. While I’m sure it would’ve been nice to hear a list of everything Dosan has ever done to make her like him, altogether those encompass *him*. So, “you’re you" is the simplest answer.

For the longest time, Dosan thought his parents only loved/supported him because he was a genius and won the Math Olympiad as a child. And then along came Dalmi, whom he thought only loved him because of his hands (superficially, though we know her love for his hands are symbolic). Dosan is a person who essentially went through his entire life feeling like an imposter, then actually became an imposter, and then accepted himself for who he was while admitting to himself that he was not enough.

Dosan felt like he’d never been loved for himself, that other people’s love for him was conditional on his genius and intellect. It’s why he hated being called a genius; aside from feeling like he didn’t deserve the title, it was as if that was the only reason people liked him. And eventually he’d accepted that it was the same with Dalmi, that he himself wasn’t enough for her. (cont.)

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Fact is, no matter how much we like to say that “you have to love yourself before other people can love you,” it’s not quite true. Self-love and being loved by other people are intrinsically intertwined. It’s almost impossible to separate the two. If no one loves you, it’s very easy to think that there is nothing to love. Do they not love you because of a lack of self-love or because of some fatal flaw that can never be changed? It can be a vicious cycle.

This is of course an extreme example, and Dosan is not at that level, but it’s not unrealistic to see people grow their own confidence out of their love for someone else. You can force yourself to think that you don’t need other people to love you to be a happy person, but humans are born social creatures. In many ways we crave validation from the people in our lives because that’s just how we are. Everyone needs a compliment and positivity from the people around them now and again.

At the very least, Dosan doesn’t have rock-bottom self-esteem, and the 3 years away helped build his confidence in matters unrelated to love. And even in his case, he was (mostly) fine going separate ways with pre-Episode 14 Dalmi, until she trekked to him. That was the final nail in the coffin for him trying to move on, and at the end they both admit they’re better together than apart.

So Dalmi’s confession that she likes him *for* him, simply and plainly, is the most impactful and moving admission Dosan could hear, and it’s what he needed to hear. Here is a person who admits she loves him as he is, flaws and all. For Dosan, this is proof that he as a person is worthy of being loved, by the woman he loves. That’s why he says, “Thank you” in response. Dosan didn’t need a list of everything she liked about him, he just needed to hear that she liked *him*.

Is it the most inspired storytelling ever? No, but I think in a narrative that revolves around youth and identity, it’s a fitting answer to the question, perhaps more so than it would be in other dramas.

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Well said. You tied it up nicely. You calmed my unsatisfied heart about Dal Mi's declaration of love to Do San. I initially thought it was a little flat. Thank you! I can sleep now. Lol.

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Well said about Dosan. He is such a relatable lead here. My favourite most relatable kdrama character for me this year.

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This is spot on. She valued and loved him for himself. The perfect answer and utterly consistent with the whole show which was about being valued for oneself.

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Halfway through the drama, I commented that one thing it was lacking was In-jae coming back to Halmoni. It took a long time, but I'm glad we finally got there. I would have liked to see a few more episodes of In-jae warming up to other people. She was the opposite of an orphan but she was as emotionally isolated as Ji-pyeong.

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And it finally ends... ;(
"Having a strong moral is often what makes K-dramas stand out from other TV shows... "
- Agree 100% and Start-up is no different, especially it's from PHR. Aside from a few Holiday Netflix stuff, I've only been watching kdramas to keep me sane during this pandemic.

The finale's happy stuff are all great, the gang gaining success, DS's proposal hint, DS finally accepting HJPs investment, the company's success, and of course, that walk at the end with HJP.

But my favorite scenes are those that had me going (like @missvictrix) , "agh! my heart!" :
- "It's ok. This is enough." - HJP
- Halmoni, when In Jae came back, remembering when her son was still alive and the family is complete.
- And of course.. Halmoni realizing DS and DM are together and thinking how HJP is feeling prompting her to visit HJP. HJP trying to keep it together and eventually breaking down.. because how can you not when someone knows how you are currently feeling even if she's almost blind!
KSH, you really made us cry with you! Best scene for me.

..... some afterthoughts:
I have started rewatching, caught some scenes I fast-forwarded in early eps ( not because HJP was not there.. that came later hahaha) it was when the boys were showing their algo to potential investors.. i was going "Nooooooo!"and fastforwarded hahaha Apparently, HJP saved the boys!
And so I felt that from the start, HJP (although harsh) was their (Samsan boys' and DM's) mentor. So, I am happy he stayed with them as an investor because regardless of your talents and hardwork, experience is a big plus.

And again... I think if it were a different actor, there wouldn't have been much divide. KSH just, unfortunately, stood out a bit too much and gave his role an unexpected turn.

Am I the only one that felt the writer and PD may have been aware of the division and through the finale, is telling everyone that in Start-up, all is good so let's all make up. hahaha

That DS and JP hug felt more like a NJH and KSH hug. :)

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The writer did such a poor job that Ji Pyeong, based on multiple polls, articles, and mentions on social media, appears to be the most unequivocally, overwhelmingly preferred second lead in a Kdrama in recent history, by huge margins. Nobody seems to understand why Dalmi preferred Do San!

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6/10
-1: grossly inaccurate business part, like seriously grossly unrealistic stuff/tech stuff
-1: not focusing on In Jae and choosing to focus on Yong San's bland, trite, overdone revenge/great awakening plot and every other unnecessary tom, dick and Harry that got screen time over her
-1: Not fleshing out Dal Mi beyond a few business meetings/presentations and literally letting others save her in every situation (weakest written character of the show with the most fluff given as dialogue)
-1: The dragged out love triangle that got highlighted over potential bromance that could be there/mentorship
-0.5: overall pace, plot points, originality, conflicts
Bonus +0.5: Ji Pyeong, In Jae and Hal Moni's acting, dialogues/effort as a whole

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Agreed. I only watched it for Nam Joo Hyuk though and it had it cute bits.

But, I mean the gross inaccurate business stuff - sometimes (...sometimes) I'm just happy they just let it be. This show would be depressing if they kept the realistic bits of working in a startup lol I used to have a weekly routine of going home and just breaking down lmao it sucks the blood out of you

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I wanted the stakes and process to be more realistic. I don't expect total realism but the stakes should be higher than some weird one dimensional greedy businessman and his son doing cartoon villain stuff with a twin that look like they are trying very hard to be High School musical's Sharpay and Ryan...add to that an actual lawyer forgetting to read the contract before signing the dotted lines. Also, Dal Mi should be rich AF from the money she should earn from the acquisition to an extent. These things really stuck out to me.

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Hahahahahahhahahah Sharpay and Ryan.

Screaming.

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The writer of Start Up is very idealistic, Misaeng this is not. Sometimes people like that, and others found it too saccharine. I do think that some issues regarding privacy should've brought up but alas. Also Alex disappeared lol. It was more of Do-san/Dal-mi's love story/growth tbh. If they went a more Miseang/Reply 88 route, this show would've been a masterpiece imo!

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It's over... no more Han Ji-Pyeong on my screen the week-end :(

For this episode, I was kinda disapointing by the bide for their car. What is it, why they're not ready for it, how they will change that and become the winner (it wasn't really a surprise :p), etc. It was their winning moment as a start-up and we didn't really know what was happening. The truth about the ransomware fell flat, they should guess it before and be angrier about it? I mean they were employees for this compagny...

For the character, they all had their nice conclusion, so it was a happy ending :)

My favourite scenes were definitely YJG's cameo and Halmony-Ji-Pyeong one! The first one was pretty funny, even if it reminded us what Ji-Pyeong didn't get when he was young. The second one was so touching, all the Halmoni-Ji-Pyeong sceres were beautiful.

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For the drama itself, I was disapointed by the female characters.

Dal-Mi : I never felt like she was a good and competent CEO, even at the end, Suzy couldn't convince me in this role. She was good as granddaughter, girlfriend, etc. but not in the role of a CEO. They skipped the parts when she could shine.

In-Jae : They made her less important than the 2 San when she was the second female lead. The way they splitted her with the rest her family but made more scenes with her bad step-father, she didn't have any scenes with friends, it was only about work.

I think this drama missed the opportunity to make a great sisterhood story. The fact that Suzy talked more about Stefanie Lee than Kang Ha-Na in the interview tells a lot.

Do-San : I really liked his childhood background explaining his lack of confidence. But the love story starting on a lie made me feel unconfortable and I couldn't root for him or this couple. I don't like this kind of start for a couple (it's why I didn't watch The Secret Life of My Secretary or I didn't like Kim Sun Ho's character in Two Cops abusing of his power :p) I found him a little bit depressing. Fortunately, the scenes with the 3 San were pretty funny.

Ji-Pyeong : this character had the best story for me. Nam Da-Reum was great in the child version and Kim Sun Ho did great as an adult. I don't think he should have ended with Dal-Mi and the love triangle was dragged a little bit too long.

The letters : it was disapointing at the end. I think Halmoni could write them without Dal-Mi discovering the truth. The fact it was Ji-Pyeong didn't bring anything to the story because Dal-Mi never was curious about it after the truth got out. Halmoni's lie lasted for too long.

Start-Up : it was very interesting. I really likes the world they built for this drama : Sandbox, the challenges, the hard reality and the explications.

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I was so unhappy that the drama did not decide to explore the sisterhood or even the female characters individually. I love the drama for what it did well but I was bummed what it left out too

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I definitely agree with the letters comment. Like the whole point of her falling for NDS was because of the letters and then when she found who really wrote the letters she didn't even care to investigate or dig into it. It was a big let down

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Honestly I agree this drama confused me I can’t say I liked it because I felt that the actors / actresses weren’t really used to their full potential like you said Suzy could have really shined if they explored Dal-mi’s capability as a ceo ... and with Do San I think they really made the character to awkward and tense ( I honestly applaud NJH for staying in character cause honestly after watching WFKBJ I just can’t see him being so tense and awkward 😂💔) and if you are going to push the narrative of Do San and Dal- Mi staying together at least ensure that the viewers actually understand why but even at the end it was more of a “ but she still could have chosen Ji - pyeong” and I think it’s important to have that contentment

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"It's over... no more Han Ji-Pyeong on my screen the week-end :("

Ditto :(
I'll just watch 2D1N and rewatch Catch the Ghost, and of course Start-up :)

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The female character in Catch the Ghost was pretty frustrating. The poor guy suffered so much because of her :p

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He did! hahaha

But he really did well in both dramatic and comedy scenes in that drama.

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But was it to a point where it was overbearing? Was the actress good at acting her scenes out? I know MGY is famous and all, but for her comeback, was it solid? I'm thinking of watching CTG, but wondering if the pacing dragged or it was a fun story to watch!

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The acting was good. MGY did really well. It was more like the 2 female characters were written. Sometimes, it was really frustrating, but there is a lot of humor and warm scenes too.

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MGY played 2 characters in the drama ... and she's a great actress, watched her in "Autumn in My Heart" (which according to KSH, he was a fan of), My Little Bride (with Kim Rae Won) and Painter in the Wind.

Maybe it will take a few eps to get used to MGYs character since the role is a bit different from her past roles where she's usually serious... (Come to think of it, her role here is most similar to her character in My Little Bride...)
But the story is great.. and acted well by both KSH and MGY.

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I’m enjoying every minute of KSH and his friends in Waikiki 2. Trust me, he lights up every scene he is in. This is a crime.

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Yeah, the couple in Waikiki 2 was cute :)

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I need to check that show out too. I need to watch Catch the Ghost as well. Oh, what a joy to discover an actor, and look through their work!

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Yes. The year 2020 has become somewhat a little bit better for me. KSH instills hope in many people’s hearts, and now we can just wait for more of him and his work we’re to discover. What a happy thought to approach Christmas and New Year. 🥰

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@mmmmm Hey! Aww, that's rather sweet. IA. His character really touched people's hearts, esp. his portrayal of HJP. I heard of his name last yr, but in passing. Never looked more into it. It's always fun/exciting to see an actor's rise to fame and seeing it happen in real time. I do hope that his agency and himself make solid choices for his career and not for the popularity. He's too talented to be pigeonholed.

I think he's attached to Link next? That'll be a fun role for him if he chooses it, I believe he'll be showcasing all emotions so that'll be a treat to see! Hope he'll be able to work with more bigger names/stars in the coming future. I would also like to see him work in film as well. Ah, strike when the lighting's hot right! Go KSH, go!

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Yes, @soulsearch12 let’s hope Baby will be in good shows and in those and be surrounded by those that can help him grow as an actor sustainably. He’s too beautiful and sensitive - one real artist. We’ll be cheering for you KSH along the way. Hope his career path is a safe one.

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@mmmmm I think his sensitive soul is both a blessing and a hindrance in his career. His empathy is what makes him a great actor, but I also acknowledge that coupled with fame/attention, I wonder how he'll deal with that going forward. Eagerly waiting his next work, as are most of us Beanies :) Fighting, KSH!!

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Personally, I would like to see him in a play. He's acted during 10 years in theater and his next project will be a play too.

I love watching play. This year, the ones I planned to see have been canceled for now :(

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It was a solid drama overall. I can’t imagine watching it again in the future, but I also don’t regret the time spent with it. I’d have preferred more of the sister (as I thought the family drama parts were my favourite, and I’m a fan of the actress as well). I will say I enjoyed it more at the beginning. But after a couple REALLY bad kdrama endings lately (DDSSLLS shoots to mind immediately) this so/so one was alright with me.

All the performances were good (save for maybe the step father, who really needed a mustache to twirl) but it was plagued by tropes and cliches. Every good thing seems counterbalanced by something so/so.

Another bean added to the list. 6.5/10 in my opinion.

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Thank you for the recap, @missvictrix! Yes, the show was wrapped very neatly. Resolving the issue between Do-san and Ji-pyeong, In-jae going back home, and, I would have loved more interaction between the hint of Yong-san and In-jae coupling. Aah, now my weekends are free.

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Thanks for the recap, missvictrix! The halmoni- Ji pyeong relationship and the Samsan Tech bromance are my favourite relationships from this drama. This drama definitely had its flaws but the writer sprinkles a lot of what of makes kdramas, kdramas that we overlook most of them. She just knows how to touch our hearts. I think it's mostly because of the interesting cast of characters.

Also, one moment of silence for Dong Chan (Ji pyeong's secretary?) Who worked efficiently without any acknowledgement at all. So happy that he finally got a little "Good Job!" From our Ji Pyeong.

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Dong Chan knew very well that JiPyeong had affection for him and was closer to him than any of the other people he works with. Sometimes when I saw them interact it seemed almost like a prince and his Eunuch in that there was trust and respect between the two but Dong Chan was there to serve and support JiPyeong as a main part of his duty. The people JiPyeong worked with cared for him and put up with his abruptness, but also smiled at knowing it was just the gruff exterior and the inside of him held a soft and honest heart.

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Dong-Chan send Director Yoon when Ji-Pyeong heard about the suicide because he knew how HJP would feel. He understood that HJP can't express his feelings or says the opposite :p I like their interactions. I was surprised by the fact HJP was sharing a open space with his coworkers and didn't have his own office.

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Did CEO Yoon have her own office? I figured Sand Box were all open offices since both CEO Seo and CEO Won shared spaces with Samsan Tech/Cheongmyeong Company and Injae Company.

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I don't know. I think her office was all Sandbox. She was always wandering in the corridors and open spaces.

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I think HJP always had a good heart inside that gruff exterior. But had he not met Halmoni or Dal-mi again after 15 yrs, I think he would've gone down a bad path. And become a person who would berate/lash out at others. I'm glad that he was able to open up his heart again, and let people in.

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As much as I love Do San and have been a Do San Dal Mi shipper, my bleeding heart needed at least one photo in the photo montage of all of them together with Ji Pyeong, playing Go-Stop. We all just wanted Ji Pyeong to find happiness, didn't we? I can believe that's true anyway, yeah?

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I thought Jipyeong and Dalmi's relationship would shift to an oppa- donseang one by the end of the time skip, but it didn't 😥

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They better stop calling each other "Han sangmoo-nim" and "Seo Dal-mi-ssi."

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yess, a lil bit sad because no photos with Jipyeong when the samsan group depends A LOT from him from the start, he's their best mentor after all, and no photos dalmi jipyeong halmoni *I wish*

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I was literally hoping that there would be at least one photo of him with some of the group’s members, but to my disappointment there was none.

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I guess I wasn't the only one looking for HJP in those photos...

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I know you mean playing Go-Stop with Halmeoni, Dal-mi, and Mom (and In-jae) like in Episode 13, but playing Go-Stop with Dal-mi and the Samsan boys (and Sa-ha) would've been endearing too like in Episode 4. They all had fun playing on Ji-pyeong's birthday.

Or Ji-pyeong should've been in the Cheongmyeong Hotdog photo with Halmeoni, Dal-mi, Mom, and In-jae (and cactus Dal-mi).

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Yes, absolutely anything would do. Just wanted to know that he still had the family that he had so painfully gotten, and that he wasn't just around in official capacity. I really liked that very last scene with the four of them walking together, going to the Shareholder meeting, and I breathed a sigh of relief that at least he's still around and didn't just up and leave. But still, it would've been nice to see him be a part of their regular lives as well.

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I think the drama gods heard me complaining about the site lack of engineers in k-dramaland (right here in one of the theme of the month essays, once upon a time). I loved start up as a drama, but I loved more was seeing someone who ticks like me getting the center stage. While I kind of miss the flannel checked shirts, I realized that even the fashion evolution was accurate when I looked in my wardrobe. After seeing the 3 Sans I'm the old office scene, I actually finally texted my college best friend turned office best friend for the first time after the pandemic forced us to work remotely.

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I apologise for all the typos. Looks like my autocorrect was having a party. *Dire lack, *what I loved more, *in the old office.

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I'm relieved it had a decent ending. I didn't get everything I wanted and not everything was tied up in a bow, but there was a nice send off for everyone. Loved all the characters and friendships in this show, that all of them had flaws, made mistakes but were also able to acknowledge those shortcomings. It's what made them feel human. It's the little details and solid side characters who also showed growth, for example Young San going around apologizing to everyone, that made the show richer. While I found Sa Ha and Chul San's romance more appealing than the main leads, I'm glad in a way Do San was a different kind of male lead. Those kinds of insecurities, vulnerability and amount of crying he displayed are usually reserved for female characters so it was good to see those traits on the male lead for once and that in the end he still thrived. I'm sad it came at the expense of Ji Pyeong, who was always my favourite. I wish the love triangle got resolved sooner because one side always ends up in pain and they wasted the potential of a DS - JP bromance for it. But Ji Pyeong got what he really needed which wasn't the girl but a newfound family and friends to play Go Stop with (and how great was that Yeo Jin Goo cameo) It might be the end for us, but it feels like only a chapter in these characters lives and it's easy to picture what might come next for them. It wasn't a perfect show and there are plenty of things I could nitpick at but I wont because when it was good it was good. All's well that ends well.

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If I had a quibble with these last episodes, it would be the final moments. I think this drama had too many scenes of Dal-mi striding toward the camera or away from the camera with determination. I didn't get much out of the glory walk, and I frankly didn't feel In-jae was one of the last people I wanted to see. I would have preferred a warmer ending that included the other Sans and Sa-ha. That was a small disappointment from these episodes that otherwise delivered so many heartwarming scenes.

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So Jipyeong started alone and ended alone. But at least he was becoming a sandbox for other orphans, yay? I wish I feel more for the ending, I am just relieved that it's finally over, which was not good feeljng for a story ending. The writing went down the hill from the middle, there were still plot holes not being adressed. And honestly the whole drama felt like a CEO wannabe's wet dream. It was the worst PHR drama I've watched so far, it missed something compared to her other dramas. I felt like this was supposed to be a more grown up version of Dream High, but Dream High was better despite being older. I still had a lot of conflicted feeling about Dalmi and Dosan as lead characters, also with how their characters were written. But well, it's over at least and I will move on from this instead of dwelling on what could have been.

Adios, drama.

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HAHAHAHA! I choked on my tea at that "whole drama" analogy. So on point tho, ngl. I'm coughing and wheezing now. ^^ Thanks for the laugh.

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Hahaha, I laughed at the "whole drama" analogy too. Keyword being "wannabe" hehe, rhymes with Dalmi and Suzy.

And show says don't be a venture capitalist 'cause you're only good at protecting people from the outside, being filthy rich with no one to share it with (except orphans of course) and having smaller hands than engineers.

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I can't believe it ended. It keeps reminding of the time I spent in anticipation for this drama and now, here we are at the end of it in December. 2020 is almost over and I've watched a plethora of K-Dramas that I loved, dropped and endured. This sort of fell in between loved and endured.

My Points:

1. Ji Pyeong and his condescension throughout. The ability to tell between a salad fork and a pastry fork, the ability to understand wine aroma, and expensive outfits isn't the difference between a "loser" and a "man". They should've given him a story sans the entanglement with the lead pair. His story had all of it - tragedy, wealth, a sad grandmother, loneliness and for some - dimples. An independent storyline with his transformations journey of an orphan to being what he ended up being. There could've been a story where he learnt from Dal Mi and Do San and vice versa. I just didn't fall for his tragedy or could not at any point empathize to his character. There was a lot to be explored - potential was there but sadly, floundered for me.

2. I wish the nerd, lovable Do San had existed throughout without adding any melodrama to the equation. They salvaged his character at the end but wasn't enough for me.

3. More of Startup? Because? The title?

4. After watching IOTNBO and seeing how their characters had their individual stories plaited together for an overall growth, really showed how three characters can bring the entire show so much depth AND without having the center of it being a romance.

5. Fuck romantic triangles and stop pushing this as the main plot device of stories. You did stir attention but it pulled down what could've been an A+ drama.

6. Dal Mi was just there later on. She started off so cute. I ended up liking Seo In Jae more, she felt like a person I could rely on - business wise.

What I liked:

1. Chul-San, Yong-San and Sa-ha.

2. Nerd bits of Do San which felt more real and relatable. He was an innocent character which I felt was sacrificed (to an extent) for "love".

3. The good moments of Ji Pyeong, Dal Mi, Do San together.

4. It was a cute show overall.

At the end of the day, we could've done without a love triangle and added more of character growth.

We waited so many episodes for a romance in Weightlifting Fairy, it doesn't need to be rushed or need to take over the entire show.

My favorite shows this year are IOTNBO (I lived through the stories all the characters, empathized to them all and ended up falling in love with all of them, even the side characters) and School Nurse Files. I'm going to conclude that Nam Joo Hyuk in School Nurse Files is one of my favorite male leads (or most favorite after Jung Joon Hyung).

Rating: 7/10.

P.S Reiterating - fuck romantic triangles.

Let's hope to new amazing kdramas in 2021! <3

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Also, I wouldn't mind having all of them purely as friends working in a company together, growing, without any romance.

I don't hate romance guys, I've just been single for too long. It irks me sometimes.

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I miss the cute Dal Mi we saw earlier in the series. The last I remember was her drunk in the bus with Dosan blabbering outside the window. I too love NJH in School Nurse Files. Such a different and refreshing male lead. One of his best for me.

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Oh yes. Dal Mi that we saw earlier was the cutest.

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Who remembers Kim Hae-sook as the scheming villainess in Pinocchio? Who will forget her in this very opposite role: the hardworking, humble, loving, forgiving, compassionate Halmoni. Her warmth provided the foundation for the young generation to grow, and direction for how to grow.

I also think Do-san's parents deserve a shoutout. This drama was so full of good characters, they tend to be overlooked. The scene where they sent Do-san on the bike trip, the scene where Mom calculated the percentages while Dal-mi waited at the gate, the scenes with JP, and the Samsan tech sign over the mantel were all little gold nuggets.

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I remember her in Pinocchio but she is recently the awesome Rosa (same name, I think) in Hospital Playlist :)

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Yeah I agree too. The importance of family, biological or not, was one of the important themes of this drama :)

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Who remembers Kim Hae-sook as Lee Bo-young's mom in I Hear Your Voice? 😭

When the newbies told Yong-san a man came and took the Samsan Tech sign, I knew right away it was Do-san's dad. 😭

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Not me. I'm not surprised it was her, but I didn't remember.

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I will always remember her as Lee Bo Young's mom. That drama is in my all time fav list.

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ICHYV is her magnum opus!! Speaking of, why has PHR worked with Suzy multiple times, but not LBY??! Who gave her, the highest rated/critically acclaimed work?! I hope LBY gets a Main Lead in PHR's next work, instead of bit cameos.

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The only highest rated/critically acclaimed work of Park Hye-ryun's was I Can Hear Your Voice. Park Hye-ryun works with Suzy because she writes youth trendy dramas.

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@panshel IA. ICHYV is her best work by miles!! Bummer that she only worked with LBY once in that show. Not all writers can write gold after gold. ICHYV is her magnum opus till this day.

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Dosan's mom is awesome! I think both mommies and grandma in this show deserve a special shout out.

I just realised that Dalmi takes after her Grandma, after re-watching the whole drama from the start. There's a scene in episode 2(?) where Grandma was discussing with Jipyeong about looking for Dosan, Jipyeong confidently telling her than Dalmi will never find him but it turns out that she did.

How did Grandma react to that? By bumping her head on the table out of frustration.

Let's rewind a little bit. After Dalmi told Injae that she's bringing Dosan to the networking party and realised in horror later that she's got no clue as to how she was going to find Dosan, what did she do? Bumped her head against the pole at the bus stop out of frustration.

It's these little details that I find entertaining and enjoyable with this drama :)

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Wait, so the whole bluffing without a real plan and sorting it out afterwards, ran in the family including Grandma. Awww, my heart.

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I want to talk about how Start-Up really motivates me to keep pursuing my dream. I'm not watching Start-Up for realism but I ended up find this drama really relatable for me in the business aspect even I'm not even though I don't work in the start-up field. 

COVID-19 makes me back home life together with my parents who did a catering business that was pretty stressful. It's really frustrating how the world seems doesn't want us to succeed. I really want us to stop doing this business but this is the only way for us to keep living. 

Watching Start-Up makes me realize how beautiful perseverance is, how harsh the world is that sometimes you ashamed of yourself. I totally agree with my @Missvictrix saying "Having a strong moral is often what makes K-dramas stand out from other TV shows," 

I love Start-Up, sometimes it makes me sad how the triangle of love overshadowing the actual message of this story. I do love the triangle part but really, what makes me love Start-Up the most how this drama reminds me to keep dreaming. 

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I cried a lot watching JiPyeong and Halmoni scene. Now, I understand why I root for him because like Halmoni I understand and feel his loneliness 😭😭😭😭😭😭

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I am not team DoDal or JiDal by any means but I felt like episode 16 was a long epilogue which would have been fine IF most of the central plot points have been addressed instead of feeling rushed. For example:

1. The Seo family moments, I would think that the resolution went before ep 16 since you know, they technically have 3 years to TALK, I would have wanted more In Jae scenes because honestly, Kang Han Na is underused. She is delightful every time she is on.
2. The who will she choose trope. I hate that this was milked to the last second. And Dal-mi being emotionally unintelligent pursuing JP in his when SHE made a choice to ditch him, it's kinda disrespectful. And what does the writer want to achieve in that door opening scene? Like SRSLY?
3. I can assume JP found happiness but I would've wanted to see that in my eyes

I still did like it but I honestly skipped a lot of things during the past 2 eps.

P.S. Halmeoni and Goodboy remains to be the best scenes for me. They have more chemistry than anyone else tbh.

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In kdrama, many times those time jumps are not logical at all, especially when it comes to interaction between people. It's like time froze and people who may be flirting with each other at the beginning of the time jump are still flirting with no progress made. I prefer those kdramas where the time jumps show some progress. This particular instance, well, there just wasn't going to be much progress made because DalMi just plain wasn't that into JiPyeong and JiPyeong seems to be a bit backward in interaction with women. So I didn't expect much change in their relationship over the 3 years. But I do with kdramas show more change and development between people (rather than just clothing styles and haircuts) over time.

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Yeah, not so bummed about JP and DM post time-skip. It wouldn't be a drama if the 2nd lead would move BEFORE the plot thickens. I feel like the sisterhood dynamic could have been explored more... if they have been working closely for 3 years, they would HAVE talked about family at some point, right? I just wished the moment in ep 16 with IJ came an episode or 2 early :)

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I'm so glad I watched this! This drama was refreshing and heartwarming, with such great characters, everyone of them. Sad for it to end :')

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The reason why Ji Pyeong didn’t really pursue Dal Mi: he’s gay for Yeong Shil. AND HE MET HIS CRUSH!!

okay but jokes aside, I LOVED the moment they met. Ji Pyeong literally had heart eyes. That’s the love line we’ve been waiting for.

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i would watch this spin-off

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HJP was clearly flirting hard, I loved it haha! Kim Seon-ho could've chemistry with anybody or anything!! Give this guy a romance show PLS!!

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Thank you for the recap!
My heart aches for HJP, he’s so lonely. It hits me hard every time I see him alone in his huge condo....

I’m glad that HJP is willing to move on because from the beginning, I have never understood his feelings for SDM. Like he said, he read those letters but never looked for her or reached out to her in all those years - he’s not the NDS in the letters. He has never been emotionally attached to her. The past HJP has never loved SDM and I don’t believe the present one does either. I feel like his feelings for her are mostly created by his instinctual thoughts that because of the past, he should be the one who should be by her side, that they should be the two who are meant for each other, not her and NDS. Maybe that’s why he always hesitated? And that’s why he never really fought to have her? He even said that he is recovering faster than he thought and I like to think it’s because he’s never really been that into her as he believed.
Just my 2 cents:)
Regardless, I’m happy that he’s able to let go and I believe he will find the true happiness he truly deserves!

Yeo Jin Gu’s cameo was a nice surprise! Love HJP’s reaction when he heard his voice.

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Wow, the last 2 episodes fulfilled most of my hopes and wishes for this drama. I laughed, cried, and laughed again.
It was so nice seeing the two sister became family again. It was so nice seeing the evil twins were finally caught and given their share of punishments together with the rich manipulative dad and son.
It was so nice seeing Dalmi in a different light, so confident and innovative!
It was so nice seeing DoSan finally acting so mature and giving off that leading man vibe! And Ji Pyeong, I will miss him terribly. As much as we all want him to end up with Dalmi, I think it is really not meant to be. Dalmi and Dosan, those two are Lovers. But Dalmi with Ji Pyeong, I think its more of a friendship love. The letters help them support and lean on each other during hardships and eventually, feelings will develop. Maybe Dalmi as a child, has mistaken her feelings as true love when it might only be brotherly love.
Ji Pyeong's scene with halmoni made me cry. They have this incredible bond that seldom exists in our lifetime. Such a relief that he doesn't have to leave and can even retain his relationship with halmoni. He's really such a Good boy. Maybe the writer didn't want to show us who will end up with Ji Pyeong, it will be up to our imagination and since he's such a great catch he can easily end up with any lucky girl. I was hoping Injae but I guess there's no more time to build it up in the last episodes.
My reason for watching this drama is Nam Joo Hyuk, he's impressive as always. But I think I found a new leading man in Kim Seon-Ho. He deserves more main roles in the future. He shines in every scene.
I really really love the last scene where the 4 main characters walking together, it perfectly captures the importance of each actor, no one was left out. It was a fitting and memorable goodbye.
A satisfying and sweet ending indeed! And I plan to watch it all over again!

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aiyo what a hot mess this turned out to be lol. Glad I dropped it halfway through. Dal-mi and Do-san are what weighs down this drama for me. It's unfortunate when the leads are the least interesting characters on the show. Why are the supporting characters around them so much more interesting? Especially In-jae. I NEEDED SO MUCH MORE of her than what we got, damn you writer. You and your cursed meh love triangle. Why can't you see the gems buried in your own drama??? The sisters, the messy Seo family, Goodboy-halmoni, the youth, the dreams..we got a sprinkle of these here and there but the rest of the time it was 'Are Dal-mi and Do-san going to get together/get back together?!' when it was everything OTHER than that that I wanted to see more of. (Except for the revenge plot, nobody needs that, maybe save that for your next drama, writer-nim) Ah well, at least I dropped it early enough to not ruin the warm fuzzy feels the early episodes gave me. Back to the Ost and my imagined alternate version of the drama that I am writing in my head..

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I too would have liked to see more of Injae. Given where the writer started from I understand why we did not- and simply wish that the show could have been given a few more episodes to flesh out the story lines that you mention.

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It was a great drama for me! It made me laugh and cry many times at the same episode. I feel like many people disliked the drama because the couple they were rooting for didn't end up together, but I feel like this drama was so much more than that. I already miss the friendship, Dalmi trying to become sucessful, the relationship btw Good boy and Halmoni... it was def one of my favorite shows in 2020.

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Start Up maybe not my favourite drama this year, but thanks to Start Up, I know Kim Seon Ho can act well not just KSH as a member 1N2D, he's one of my fav male character after Enrique Geum and Jang Geu Rae.

I think Start Up better stop at ep 12 after they win a competition and the love triangle should stop at ep 10 because we know Dalmi didin't choose Jipyeong. Unfortunately writernim gave a time skip and made him didn't move on from Dalmi and the stories after ep 12 not really interesting beside we can see Samsan Trio glow up from the flanel checkered shirt to suit and turtle neck.
If the writernim want to fill 16 ep she should focus more on In Jae Dalmi relationship, Jipyeong Dosan bromance, and ofc Start Up development, but at least in ep 16 everybody (should) get a happy ending right?

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This has been a great drama, one of the best of the year.

This story was or seemed to be the writer’s answer to a simple What If?: Start with Rostand’s CYRANO DE BERGERAC and ask- what happens if Christian is not killed and Roxanne actually gets to know him? Answer: because Cyrano cannot bring himself to step forward (remember that in the play he has 15 years to do this without a rival) Christian and Roxane end up together. One of the things that makes that play so great is how it demonstrates the impact of our insecurities. But the writer did a lot more than this with all the new elements that were thrown into the mix.

First- the two major new characters of Halmeoni and In-jae, both of who are related to Dal-mi but Halmeoni is also related in an important way to Ji-pyeong and that relationship has been one of the most important to this story. In-jae is important as a relationship with Dal-mi has that needs to be healed. One of the differences in this story compared to other dramas is that it is not Dal-mi who does most of the work on this but actually In-jae- who must struggle with her own pride and defensive shell. We finally see the Ice Princess melt in the last episodes. She is the one who initially pushes her sister to participate in the Smart City project- showing that she has fully stepped into her place as the Unni. And Missvictrix is right in noting that the story of the sisters was a seperate story in and of itself. I and, I think, the writer, would probably not agree that it was the crux of the entire drama but it was definitely an important story in this drama (if it had been the crux of the drama we would have seen more of In-jae than we did). I too would have liked to see more of In-jae.

Second, was the addition of the Sam-san boys who contribute significantly to the story. Adding dedicated friends to Do-san created a wonderful band of brothers whose friendship was a highlight of this drama.

I too loved the secondary romance of Lee Chul-san and Jung Sa-ha in great part because this writer understood how such a pairing could make total sense. Sa-ha does not need or want a domineering alpha male type. She wants someone who is very intelligent but also worships the ground she walks on. It might come as a surprise to him but Chul-san is actually the man of her dreams and, of course, she is the same to him. They will be very happy with each other.

I particularly loved the way that our Three Musketeers handled the ransomware attack- and how Sa-ha and Yong-san proceeded to find the culpits- while Dal-mi chipped in an important observation regarding the meeting between the Twins and the Evil Step-brother. The way that Dal-mi then went on to handle the reporter was a powerful demonstration of just how much she has grown as a CEO. Evil Stepdad’s plan was not just thwarted but actually became a boomerang against him.

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But here is where I actually have a serious objection to something which the writer did: The treatment of the crime of extortion in the form of a ransomware attack. The writer has obviously done a decent job of researching the technical side of this story but when it comes to what would happen when the prosecutors actually have the evidence- which we are told the do, for once. The writer has the Twins respond to this when accosted by Dal-mi be sneeringly say “It was just an attempt- there will just be a fine”. In an otherwise well written show this piece of utter nonsense stood out like a sore thumb (note: This is way toned down. As an Old Sailor my first words for this could not be submitted for publication). I may not be a South Korean lawyer but I do know that the rule there is the same as the rule here: An attempted crime is treated as essentially the same as a “completed” crime. The extortion demanded was roughly USD $250,000. This was a very serious felony. Add to that the fact that it is hard to catch ransomware criminals which means that prosecutors have to bring the hammer down hard on those occasions when they do catch one- this is as much a political necessity as a law enforcement need. Which in turn means that this is one time when even Evil Stepdad will not be able to use his connections to thwart justice. In short, Evil Stepbrother and the Twins are headed to prison and will spend at least a year or more there. Not only that but Morning Group has been disqualified from the Smart City project- not only this one but any future Smart City project. This could cost Evil Step-dad has position at that company.

As far as I am concerned this lapse by the author was the only true flaw in this show.

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You are not alone. I expected a scene of them being cuffed by the police. They probably extorted millions from companies. It explains how the twins were dressed lux! They were professional hackers.

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1) love your thoughts per usual @oldawyer! but i have a question regarding startup/cyrano. did you like how jipyeong didn't take that one final swing at dalmi? 'cause of dosan's big hulk hands at a drunken slumber party? i admit i didn't like that writing too much.

'cause i think it would've been better if we had something more similar to cyrano in that jipyeong reads a "farewell letter" (his final swing of the bat) dalmi realizes that she loves him, but then jipyeong dies ... figuratively of course, like he has to go to the U.S. or something for business haha. ok ok fine, maybe the slumber party and dad's crazy mixed wines was a better choice.

2) hahaha as a fellow lawyer myself, i love how the ONLY flaw of the show to you was a legal one hahaha. i guess i was too busy with the non-lawyers debating dodal vs. jidal to notice! it is REALLY bad in hindsight and even unnecessary from a story standpoint! makes no sense! @shichybot

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I thought that the writer did an excellent job of taking the 3 main characters and many of the elements from CYRANO DE BERGERAC but using them to tell a new story- not just re-tell the old one. If anything maybe the author stuck too close to the old story which is why we did not get enough of the sister - sister story (which is not part of Rostand's play). Do I think that we should have had a sort of 'death' for JP? No- and I am glad that the writer made that choice. Instead this time the writer has Cyrano grow into a better man as shown by the fact that he does NOT push forward with what would certainly have been an unwanted advance. Deciding to take 'No' for an answer is hard but also right- and it is evidence that Ji-pyeong has truly become a fine man.

If anything I would have liked to see the writer follow the advice of another commenter and have the CEO of the orphan mentor program that Ji-pyeong chooses to support be a woman (say a cameo by Park Eun-bin) who shares his orphan background and then a final part of the montage at the end might include their wedding picture.

In any case Ji-pyeong growing out of his isolation is actually a happy ending for him, certainly happier than the one Cyrano got.

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Oh, Park Eun Bin! <3 That would be a mash up of my 2 memorable dramas of 2020.

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you're right. seeing JP growing out of his love, letters and isolation is better than cyrano, who was stuck until the bitter end. even if the "how" leaned slightly on the comedic side, at least JP knew somehow he had no chance to christian dosan.

haha i was actually hoping for a park eunbin cameo to randomly peck JP on the cheek cause that'd be a throwback to dream high when she did the same for 2nd ML "loser of the girl" tacyeon. instead we got an injae touch of the shoulder☺

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Haha! But you did debate with me about the legal repercussions about the DS-JP fight and about the 2STO employment contract! You were still lawyering. ^^ I think you also got overwhelmed when you saw the jinjae interaction.

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hehe sorry about that😅 i guess i really think highly of the power of 2sto/alex's lawyers vs. SH VC lawyers in an imaginary (but fun) legal kdrama world. "WHAT?"

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This drama fell short for me, even though there were many things I loved. The greatest of these was Halmoni an Ji Pyeong - that last scene with them was everything.

I did not find Do-San and Dal-Mi interesting at all. No chemistry there at all. And that is mostly because of Dal-Mi. I never rooted for her once. I loved Do-San's story and wished he had a better love interest. Was it the acting, the writing? Not sure.

Overall though ,Halmoni for the win.

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I began watching this drama because the idea of a 'start-up' brought mixed feelings to me (pain, overworking, non-recognition, winning, mentoring). So I went into this drama hoping it could change the way start-up affects my mentality - and boy it did. I appreciate the whole cast - I usually watch Suzy's dramas because they have sort mixed fun/heavy plot. Joohyuk is always an eyecandy and he has improved a lot since I first saw him. Kang Hana is always a pleasure to see onscreen although I wish she can get more attention for her roles. Seonho was obviously the newbie in my eyes, but his Han Jipyeong made the drama Start-up stand out for me.
I've given up on a lot of things but Jipyeong's reality spoke a lot to me more than the ambitious and talented leads. So while this drama talks about chasing big dreams - my take-aways were more being humble, warm, and considerate of other people.

I've never been so affected by a drama before, but it may have stemmed out from the unexpected charm of the second lead. I have mixed feelings about his ending but I suppose its better than disappearing into the sunset like in Bali. But ehh. Still, thanks for the theories, beanies! It made watching this drama (rooting for the second lead) bearable :)

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Thank you for telling us this, it makes me like the show even more 🙂

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Kang Ha-na will be the female lead in the upcoming Fantasy/Romance drama FRIGHTENING COHABITATION. I am looking forward to seeing her in that show.

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Hyeri is actually going to be the female lead in that one. Kang Han-na is, once again, second lead.

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I checked and you are right. But it does seem like she will actually have a bigger role in that drama, even if it defined as a second lead.

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I'm hoping she gets more screen time and her character gets more development. Unless it's for a love triangle, though, I'm not getting my hopes up. I feel like only those in the triangle gets more screen time these days. Or a second couple maybe.

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Second couple can be great- Sung Hoon and Shin hye-sun were 'second couple' in FIVE CHILDREN- and those are the roles that truly launched their careers.

In any case Kang Han-na is getting a lot of work, so she will undoubtedly land a lead role soon. I am looking forward to it.

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I'm going to miss Dimples, Halmoni and the camaraderie of the Start Up gang.

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I have already missed Dimples. 🥺

I checked his IG all the time. (It has 3.3 m followers now) *whisper*

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Thank you for the recaps, @missvictrix, although I’m glad I somehow missed the ones in the middle when I guess the wars were going on 😮 Good luck for me, I didn’t feel compelled to jump in re my love for NJH, how great his DoSan is and what a good actor he has become.

I loved the show and it’s just what I wanted after the train wreck ending of Dodo. My favorite parts were the small touches, like after three years in CA the SamSan boys are out on a yacht talking about tannins and steak tartare. Such funny and convincing details.

I’m sure I will watch again ❤️

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Kang Hanna's Instagram post inspired me. She posted a photo of Seo sisters' father with his gifts - the music boxes. I can't help but cry. Their tenacity and drive, perhaps they got it from their father, grandmother and mother.

I would like to comment on Dalmi's character and story specifically. Early on in the series, there was scene of young Dalmi and her father, bouncing off ideas together about his business proposal. Was it her mother who said that Dalmi has that idealistic drive like her father? The father believed in his vision, no matter how it sounds like a bluff to others, and Dalmi never doubted his father's abilities and dreams. She had that energy, and lost it for a bit, when her father passed away so suddenly. She worked hard for her grandmother, but her energy wasn't fully tapped as she was mismatched with the wrong company and the wrong people, until fate brought her to meet Injae, subsequently Do San, Jipyeong and the rest. While I never deny how Jipyeong, Injae and Sandbox, have an influence to the success of SamSan and later Cheong Myeong, because really, they are truly mentors who are safety nets, I am still on the side of Dalmi and Dosan's partnership until today, as they are sparks that ignite a fire in one another in making their dreams a reality, or at least attempt to do so. They had trust, support, and belief in each other. This same energy I see in Dalmi, her father, and Halmoni. She became alive whenever this spark was ignited, and that I see when she works with Injae (although there are times when Injae was more careful), and Dosan, and the rest of the SamSan gang. A soul tribe. A little shrewdness and precaution can be valuable, and that is where Jipyeong and Injae come in.

Perhaps in another universe, Jipyeong and Dalmi pairing may have worked as well as it follows Park Hye Ran's formula of childhood first love is forever love trope. Something tells me that the director and writer love Seon Ho. Perhaps Park Hye Ran may be inspired to write another drama with Seon Ho. He does have charisma and presence.

Does anyone notice when Dalmi stopped using her hair tie that was made from her father's handkerchief? That hair tie symbolism, of her father, blew my mind away when I found out from a YouTuber. And I wonder if her father was finally at peace to where she needs to be when she doesn't depend on her 'father' anymore. I am making myself cry.

I believe it's true, to borrow from Lady Gaga, that it takes one person to believe in you to help you grow. It took one publisher to propell JK Rowling. I would prefer to be in a relationship that is healthier and more nurturing.

While I believe some parts of the last 4 episodes left me feeling a little unsatisfied, mostly they were good, and I squealed when Jin Goo appeared and when pictures of our Dodal married were in the shot later. My DoDal heart was celebrating. I can't move on from them yet. Are there any more Dramas with nerdy awkward first...

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.. leads? I have a soft spot for the handsome adorkable ones. Also, can we get Suzy in an awkward nerdy role as well? Where she spews physics terms perhaps? With Nam Joo Hyuk?

Yong San was sweet. I have a second crush on this actor. And i am glad that we get to see him and Chul San arguing over that anagram in the last episodes. And yes! I too saw that electric chemistry between him and Injae in that last episode. Dang. It would be nice if there was an early scene or two with just the two of them. Him handing her coffee perhaps?

Seonho and Hanna? That is another electric chemistry! They are funny and lovely in variety and I hope they get paired off in another drama.

Lovely to see how Halmoni, and Dosan's father inspire ideas for social change by our systems. Lovely how personal relationships inspire people in their professional goals.

On the subject of social justice, I'm glad i am picking up While You Were Sleeping again, as I left it midway many years ago when it first aired.

Such a lovely drama on ethics and law, the human struggles carefully sewn into the stories.

I always recommend I Hear Your Voice, and the short music drama, with Jisoo and So hyun.

Adieu Start Up, it was lovely meeting you during this weird 2020. You remain among my favourites in 2020. You were the one who brought my cold soulless heart back to life this year.

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Thank you for such an honest and sweet perspective. I like Yongsan too and on a separate note, I'm hoping for a spin-off or second season with Injae as the lead, hopefully as a successor to Director Yoon. I like her character and despite the limited time on screen, Injae seems to me as one of the characters who reflected growth, maturity and poise especially in the scene where she took a step back to allow Dalmi to handle the situation with the reporter.

I appreciate that as a leader she showed grace and confidence in her management team to deal with a negative situation on their own and at the same time, managing other people's perception to also be on the same page with her. I'm certainly looking forward to Kang Hanna's next drama :)

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Thank you! Kang Hanna was excellent here. There must be a reason why she was highly respected as the CEO earlier in the drama. I will always remember her breaking down crying going out of the boardroom from her stepfather's slimy move. I too would want to seek her counsel if I was Dalmi! Aww gonna miss Injae too.

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I agree 101%.

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My overall enthusiasm for this show dropped considerably over the last few episodes, particularly after Ep 14. So much so that I didn't watch Ep 16 yet, because it was clear cut how it was going to end.

I don't know if its how they treated the 2nd leads, particularly HJP. I don't know if my love for HJP and the way his character got given in the time jump made me feel a bit dejected. I think adding in a love triangle around Ep 8 was annoying looking back. I wish that after Ep 10's confession scene, that they ended up becoming friends after HJP and SDM dated for a bit. And then he ended up dating WIJ in the end.

The emphasis on the love triangle in the end sorta dampened this show for me. I did enjoy watching this show, but I just felt like the writing got weaker by Ep 13-and beyond. Halmoni's and HJP's relationship was the true love story for me. It was such a sweet and utterly beautiful relationship that was the show's strongest anchor for me.

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To be able to discover HSH, watching his HJP and his scenes with halmoni (especially their last scene together) are one of the best things hat happened to me this year. I can’t thank them enough. The last scene is achingly beautiful. The scene is the best one for me in the whole show. Never fails to make me cry.

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Aww, ikr? His scenes with Halmoni were beautiful. I think working with a veteran was great for him. I hope he gets to work with more veteran talents in the future. I can tell both actors had decades worth of experience under their belt. Yes, KSH was a theatre actor for 11 yrs! It would be nice if he were recognized with an award or nomination for his performance, but that might be hard :/

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You are by far in the majority! Ji-Pyeong is apparently the most popular second ML ever, with every single poll taken showing him as the overwhelming favorite, coming in with totals between 70 and 80%! Practically no one wanted Dalmi to end up with loser Do San, or understood how she could prefer him to Ji Pyeong, including me. So what if he’s pretty. He was one of the most boring and unlikable MLs I’ve ever come across in Kdrama history.

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And I just have to throw this out into the wind: I kinda liked that exchange between Yong-san and In-jae. They look good together. *hint hint* >> well, whatdaya know? Yong-san and In-jae are in a new drama together, and yes they have a love-line.

https://www.soompi.com/article/1442467wpp/kang-han-na-kim-do-wan-and-bae-in-hyuk-confirmed-to-join-jang-ki-yong-and-hyeris-new-drama

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