Start Up: Why Kim Seon Ho's Han Ji Pyeong & not Nam Joo Hyuk's Nam Do San should've been the flag bearer

Start-Up Ep 9 premiered on Saturday night and it shed light on the uneven balance between the character development between Kim Seon Ho's Han Ji Pyeong and Nam Joo Hyuk's Nam Do San.
Start Up Ep 10: Why Kim Seon Ho's Han Ji Pyeong & not Nam Joo Hyuk's Nam Do San should've been the flag bearer
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The past four weeks, Start-Up has torn everyone apart between Nam Do San (Nam Joo Hyuk) and Han Ji Pyeong (Kim Seon Ho). The lead and the safely tagged second lead have been head-over-heels for the leading lady Seo Dal Mi (Suzy). With every passing episode, the writers have been presenting an incident featuring both the men, oscillating my stand between Ji Pyeong and Do San. On one hand, Ji Pyeong swept me off my feet with his "good boy" image with those moving letters years ago and now, smoothing Dal Mi's sail at Sandbox.  

On the other, the naive yet intelligent Do San puts others before himself generates a warm vibe in your chest. From building an app for the visually challenged to making sure Dal Mi and her Halmeoni (grandmother) share all moments of joy, he has proved to be a good boyfriend. However, with the events unfolding in Start-Up Ep 9, it suddenly felt that the writers have drawn an unbalanced triangle between Do San, Dal Mi and Ji Pyeong. 

Let's take a quick walk down to the first episode. Han Ji Pyeong walked cross past Halmeoni's corn dog shop in soaked clothes, with his plank featuring his achievement covering his head and nowhere to go. The orphan found a home with Halmeoni, a place of shelter, food and some attention that might not necessarily be love but enough to be deemed as care. As he grew older and pushed Halmeoni away, due to a misunderstanding, and spent his 20s alone. When we meet the older Han Ji Pyeong, we watch him attempting to interact with virtual assistant AI technology in a lavish yet empty house, depicting his life if I could say. 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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When he crosses paths with Halmeoni again, under the pretext of a favour to return, he finds himself seeking an invisible sense of approval from Halmeoni that he could be a part of her small world. From going above and beyond to assure Do San is present at the networking event to accompany Dal Mi to setting his feelings aside for Dal Mi and procuring the letter with the intention to give it to Do San, he makes sure that he is there for the duo. 

However, the writers aren't giving enough wood to bite on with regard to Do San. Apart from his self-conscious weighing him down for cheating at the Math Olympiad to dropping out of college and failing his father, the writers aren't offering enough structure to this character. He found purpose after Dal Mi's grandmother encounter the vision problem. Dal Mi walked into his life owing to Ji Pyeong's lies. 

Given the writing invested in the second lead, Start-Up could have been lead by Han Ji Pyeong instead of Nam Do San. If I have to root for Dal Mi and Do San for the endgame, I will need more. Until then, I think I will set camp at station Han Ji Pyeong. 

Do you think the writers have justified enough that Do San and Dal Mi are meant to be? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

ALSO READ: Start Up Ep 9: Suzy breaks down upon finding the truth while Nam Joo Hyuk & Kim Seon Ho cuddle; Rating spike

Anonymous 1 month ago

I am leaving ep 10

Anonymous 2 months ago

I am team good boy, that is Mr.Han. The story began with him, he deserved the good ending. Dosan could have been paired with In-jae. Han did 1000 times more things for Dalmi. He sacrificed so much, his character was wayyy better. The stupid makers did not make them happen even in the 3 year leap. stupid fvcks.

Anonymous 4 months ago

This do san is so frustratiiinnnggggg!!!! He is hogging everything from hjp.

Anonymous 4 months ago

I cant believe NJH or Suzy would have accepted their roles if they had seen the whole script. After about EP 6 they were hitting IG hard begging for people to support them to the end. I think they knew how bad it was going to be. So many reviews I have read have said that viewers will not support NJH or Suzy for the next couple projects because its hard to forget what loathsome characters they played. I myself was looking forward to Han Ji Mins new work Josee but having her play opposite the douchbag Dosan will wreck it for me so I will pass. I hate to not support Ji Min but Dosan was really disgusting. The writer should be brought to apologize for this waste of film at the Busan Film Festival.

Anonymous 4 months ago

It looks like I will not the ending, there was so much of scenes with Dosan and I think it wasn't fair there is more chemistry between Dal-mi and han Ki Pyeong. The writers of this series is very predictable.

Anonymous 4 months ago

I am with Team Han Ji Pyeong... Dosan acting is worse, boring... everytime Dosan shows up i hope the scene end quickly... hoping for more Han Ji Pyeong scene...

Anonymous 4 months ago

if dalmi chose dosan in the end, she need to receive the Best Stupid award along with Dosan. best stupid couple

Anonymous 4 months ago

team han ji pyeong

Anonymous 4 months ago

it all started because of han ji pyeon..he deserves a happy ending...the writters made us love him and now nam do san has all the sweet moments with dal mi...i would have liked dosan and dalmi but writers aren't offering enough structure to dosan`s character....han ji pyeong has a better personality and if he would have been visible in more scenes dal might have fallen for him...i can not believe that nothing has changed since 3 years but now han and dalmi can not be together because she loves dosan.....whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Anonymous 4 months ago

Agree!! The author wrote a really good character for Ji Pyeong. She should have given him more scenes too.

Anonymous 5 months ago

I think Mr. Han proved to be trustworthy, kind, true to himself and other and selfless to the core. He deserves a happy ending!

Anonymous 5 months ago

In the first letter to Dalmi, HJP mentioned using pen name, Nam DoSan, which is not his real name.

Anonymous 5 months ago

OMG I didn't pay attention to this! I have to watch the first ep again!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Yes. I kinda hate Jipyeong. 1st, he deliberately gave to Dosan Dalmi's scrunchie to make him jealous. Dosan cried that time. I don't know why they hate Dosan. Dosan wanted to tell Dalmi the truth early on but he couldn't because the day he was supposed to he learned that Dalmi's grandma is going blind. He didn't want to add to Dalmi's sadness. He then developed noongil and brought grandma to the beach. It was Dosan who was hurt the most with the lie thinking that it was not him who Dalmi loves but he was still always there for Dalmi. Dosan also went to save Dalmi at the party on his own accord even though jipyeong already told them that he will not invest in their company and even degraded Samsan tech with harsh words. Don't blame Dosan that jipyeong has no balls to act out his feelings for Dalmi. Why are you all hating on Dosan now for being the best partner to Dalmi. What has Jipyeong really done for Samsan tech? He keeps telling them they are not going anywhere. It was Samsan tech's decision to join Sandbox. It was them who thought of all the ideas and programmed everything. Jipyeong doesn't even want to be their mentor but they still chose him. When they developed noongil, all Jipyeong did was tell them that their app won't make it as it is not profitable. It was Dalmi and Dosan who went through all the trouble looking for investors. Dosan even ended up defending Dalmi and knelt down to Dalmi's step dad. And yes, the only time jipyeong could have mentored them about the

Anonymous 5 months ago

Let's admit it, Dosan is over-dramatic!!! It's alright to cry but the way he acts overall is immature.

Anonymous 5 months ago

You said that Han Ji Pyeong only do is downgrade Samsan Tech. When he was just being honest and doing his job. Yes, he hurt them by his words but Dalmi herself said that they need him to give them a reality check and not just hope for a future full of hope and dream. If Han Ji Pyeong hadn't mentored them they will already be doing reckless decision like signing with the 2STO that led for their team being disbanded. And HAN JI PYEONG was the one who wanted to stop them but they stop him and didn't believe all because they always got hurt by his words. He might be doing this because of Dalmi but Do san too. Atleast Han Ji Pyeong can separate personal feeling and work by telling them the truth of how stupid they are, while Do san all did was cry and make excuses.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung.lots of love❤️❤️❤️

Anonymous 5 months ago

In math: A and B like C. Character A is better than B (not just sincerity also wealth) C think B is A who write the letter. C like the letter write by A by using B name. B want to be with C, by keeping the lie continue (selfish and childish) C and B share many moments together although C know B is not the one who write the letter. (they like each other) A helps B and C to make their dream come true. is it okay for C chose B? It' s okay.. they like each other.. but it' s ok for me to say bullshit too .. it' s ok not wealthy enough, but not enough sincerity to get the girl... unacceptable story

Anonymous 5 months ago

Good Boy, Han Ji Pyeong, should get the girl.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han Jipung,,

Anonymous 5 months ago

I will choose Good boy... Team Han Jipung☺️

Anonymous 5 months ago

Now & then Team Han jipung

Anonymous 5 months ago

I am with Team Han jipung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han jipung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Mr.Han smart guy for dalmi Team Han Jipyeong

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han!!! Always

Anonymous 5 months ago

I am rooting Team Han jipung

Anonymous 5 months ago

I will go crazy if Han doesn't get Dalmi. Team Han Jipyeong

Anonymous 5 months ago

Yay team Han!!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Yay team Han!!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Dosan is coward.. Team Han JiPyung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Hanjipung will win

Anonymous 5 months ago

Jipung encourages Dalmi. Team Hanjipung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Mr.Han always comforts dalmi.. Team Han all the way

Anonymous 5 months ago

Han is always there for Dalmi in her sad times.. Team Han JiPyung..

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han Jipung is best..

Anonymous 5 months ago

Mr.Han good boy all the way Team Han Jipung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Jipung makes Dalmi smile & easy her stress TEAM HAN JIPYUNG!!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung for sure.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Support Team Han JiPyung..

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung..

Anonymous 5 months ago

Jipung is a true hero Team Han JiPyung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung ❤️❤️

Anonymous 5 months ago

Win for sure .. Team Han!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Good boy all way Team Han JiPyung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han ji pyung..

Anonymous 5 months ago

Always Team Han JiPyung..

Anonymous 5 months ago

I ship Dalmi & Jipung Team Han JiPyung.. Fighting

Anonymous 5 months ago

team Han JiPyung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Firstlove feelings doesn't change even when old Team Han Jipung

Anonymous 5 months ago

If JiPyung was not there. I wouldn't watch drama itself. Team Han JiPyung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Dalmi must choose JiPyung Team Han JiPyung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung ..

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung.. Fighting ✊❤️

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung must win for sure

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung..Till the end and always

Anonymous 5 months ago

JiPyung is cool & kind... Team Han JiPyung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung all the way.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Go Go Team Han JiPyung..

Anonymous 5 months ago

When Han JiPyung is sad I am also sad.. Team Han JiPyung

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han JiPyung forever..

Anonymous 5 months ago

just can't imagine how the writter will develop do san character in 4 episodes.. just ridiculous.. or the writter will make ji pyeong a murder.. already too late for that.. the most possible ending, nobody gets the girl

Anonymous 5 months ago

this will be another step back for korean dramas if nam do san and dalmi end up together

Anonymous 5 months ago

i just did not feel anything during the emotional scene(s) of dal-mi and do-san. i rather cried more for jp & also the grandmother

Anonymous 5 months ago

I can extremely relate to this!!I did the same.. I watch dalmi and dosan's scene thoroughly but my emotions didn't come out unlike on halmeoni and ji-pyeong's scene,omg I cried alot on their scene

Anonymous 5 months ago

I can't express how much i can relate to this comment. I did the same ( cried over grandma and Ji pyeong

Anonymous 5 months ago

Let me give my think for someone who said why Hjp became hero and why he never came. The last scenes when he went to Seoul dalmi grandma said don't come back if you already happy but come back when you need ... And that became like that... So that's why Yong sil said you will meet someone in your past your quiet life became different. Even that Hjp never forget dalmi grandma. He just never thought that will meet again. And in others scene he said feel regret meet again cause he can't say that he like dalmi infront of dalmi grandma. So for nam do san team i don't get it why you like him ? His character with his friend Yong san very childish. Immature for 30 th yo. Genius but stupid. And in this drakor i don't like nam j Hyuk, his handsome face cause plastic surgery even kim s being said he not handsome like njh. Yes , i don't like too much ksh when play Waikiki 2 or 100 days prince. Nothing feeling there cause his character not like Hjp . And i don't understand why so many people choose nds. His character so bad and childish, he also hit Hjp and fighting stupid man! His heart? Also same like Hjp heart. Hjp make 1 mistakes when dalmi grandma asked didn't tell the truth cause he just meet again so still confused. And for the 1st he really want to make dalmi and her grandma happy without thinking about his feeling. But anyway this only my opinion. All actor have good acting until i hate nam do san with 2 his friends cause 3 of them stupid, childish even genius

Anonymous 5 months ago

Ji-pyeong all the way

Anonymous 5 months ago

I want ji-pyeong to be with Dalmi

Anonymous 5 months ago

Mr.Han supports & there for Dalmi when having hard time Team Han jipyeon ❤️

Anonymous 5 months ago

Han Ji pyeong is my favorite. The writers really don't get what the watchers want if they don't have Han Ji pyeong with Dal Mi.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Dalmi waited for 15 years to meet her first love who wrote her those letetrs that made her life better through her hard times. She finally meets him (Han Ji Pyeong) and he turns out to be a handsome, rich, good guy who has been helping her since she encountered him again. It does not make sense that she will just throw away the 15 years for Nam Do san whom she just met (through Han Ji Pyeong too). For me that's unbelievable. Fighting for Team Han Ji Pyeong until the last episode !

Anonymous 5 months ago

All viewer, lets blame grandma. If it wasn't for her, this thing wouldn't have been so complicated.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Han Jipyeong and Dalmi forever.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han Jipyeong!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Han Jipyeong and Dal mi are made for each other ❤❤.. Jipyeong must end with dal mi ..Otherwise drama will be disgusting

Anonymous 5 months ago

Just like how JP only did a favor for Grandma, NDS met Dal-mi in the premise of a favor for JP. Both did not expect to fall crazy in love with her. Although there might be a small imbalance between the two male leads due to Do-san's lack of character build (which is going to unfold in upcoming episodes anyway), I believe the story is good whichever one our girl ends up with.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Nam Dosan!!! He is the reason for which Dalmi has started to grow. It is true that JP helped her for 1 year when she was 12/13 years old, but what was the result?? She still end up living without fighting for her dreams. While with Dosan she find the spark that ignites her passion. For me JP is just like an older brother, the fake Dosan (which is not precisely JP) is her first love and NamDoSan is a dreamer (like her father) that embodies her first love (although he is not the one that wrote those letters, some time they started to relate like in the letters) .

Anonymous 5 months ago

For me, it feels like the opposite. HJP was the one that comforted her all those years, and gave her the passion and hope to live strongly. It wasn’t really NDS that sparked the passion in her to dream bigger. She decided to get into Sandbox because she wanted to be like NDS, who was pretending to be a well-off CEO. It begs the question, if NDS had appeared to Dalmi as he was, would she have been inspired to do the same? Plus, she was already struggling to get promoted at her coffee shop job, which was obviously a major factor.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Do san is just a replacement of ji pyeong. And it's just silly that how dosan likes her just being with her one day, how he can be the main lead???.ji pyeong knows about her from 15 years and he was being supportive to her when she is going through toughest times.. how can he not be the main lead. I stopped watching it bcoz i know it's not going to end the way I want.. it will definitely be a flop , it would have succeeded if Dal mi ends with jipyeong... lots of love to Kim seon ho...

Anonymous 5 months ago

It will totally flop if she ends with do san, which is gonna happen. I stopped watching it. Han ji pyeong is the best. It would have been a huge success if she ends up with ji pyeong. Lots of love to Kim seon ho. Really disappointed to see jipyeong hurt. This drama really disappointed me alot... I had huge expectations.

Anonymous 5 months ago

A In the first episode the cherry blossom lands on Do San and the song plays you are my future, future so somehow the writers are going to swing a big win for Do San. However, they might kill Han JP under the guise of revenge which will be gut wrenching and could be too far fetched for K drama. On the second hand, this story is deeply tied to giving giving back and respect Han JP listens to Haleimoni and if she asks him to back off - he will in respect to his elders - and than Do San will have his happy ending. I just feel Han JP and Dal Mi are just a match made in heaven and I will be over the moon if the unlikely became likely. Sometimes the 2nd lead should win regardless of ratings especially in Corona times where everything is possible. This show is killing me. Team HJP Always!!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

me still nam do san. han ji pyeong was an inspiration for dalmi. he was nowhere to be seen or heard after then. thanks to those letters it accompanied dalmi thru 15 years. we always have our first love, we never forget them. but we move on. and live our lives with the love of our life.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Nam Do San.

Anonymous 5 months ago

I am with team Han! I just feel Do San is not mature enough in character. He is also seen crying a bit too much in some scenes. Dal mi is way too smart and matured for him. Han JP's character is very attractive to me...strong, smart and kind. So i am all for JP, guys!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han! I still believe that they should have a happy ending. ❤️❤️❤️

Anonymous 5 months ago

Dal mi should end up with ji pyeong.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Team Han!!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

The author was able to put us in the shoes of Dal Mi who had fallen in love with Han as Nam Do San of the past; making some of us relate how attached she is with the past Do San (seeing a lot of people sre team Han). Who knows that in the next episodes they will be able to justify the present Do San's lack of character context.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Han ji peyong and Dal mi are supposed to be together I want to see their Chemistry because they are opposite to each other.I prefer writers shouldn't end dal mi with Nam joo

Anonymous 5 months ago

I agree with the writer of this article. From the start, the character of JP captures the heart. Both the younger actor and Kim Seon Ho have portrayed this character in such a way that takes the breath away. The storyline was intriguing and touching and makes you long for the day when Dalmi finds out who wrote her all those letters. When I found out that JP's character is the second male lead, I truly was disappointed. The way Dosan's character has been developed so far just did not evoke the same invested emotions... instead his character feels like a barrier to a truer deeper love story. Usually, when the leads of a drama kiss for the first time, you feel a fluttering and excitement as well as a sense of satisfaction. However, when Dalmi and Dosan shared their first kiss, my brain was screaming "nooooo..." and my heart was sinking for JP. I kind of understand maybe why the writers are pushing for the story to go the way it is, but honestly after watching episode 10 I'm torn as to whether to continue to watch. I may just for JP's sake as I am still invested and interested in his storyline alone. The scenes between Dosan and Dalmi just do not excite the way it should between two leads and I find myself browsing for articles about Kim Seon Ho during those scenes. O well, I feel like fate is already written but I wonder if maybe the writers would pen a second ending so that viewers can both get the ending they want. Best Time, a 2013 C Drama penned 3 endings because like-wi

Anonymous 5 months ago

absolutely and totaly agree with you. Two endings. I couldnt bare Do San and Dalmi ending up together. Dont know whether to watch or not.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Dalmi and Dosan tandem stands on very shaky ground. The writer can't stitch the drama fabric nicely.

Anonymous 5 months ago

There is chemistry and excitement and spark with JP. The actor's portrayal of this character is amazing and seriously steals the show as well as many hearts. Can say he is the reason I'd want to watch on and see how his story unfolds. Had no idea he was the second lead but after realizing he is truly disappointing... and although I can see maybe why Dosan is the male lead... the way his character is introduced and portrayed really does not excite the heart... agree with those who say there is no real spark. Usually the first kiss between the leads causes a chill and feeling of satisfaction because one has been waiting snd longing for it... Dosan and Dalmi's kiss did the opposite for me. My brain was like "nooooo..." all the whole aching for JP... and now after ep 10 I'm struggling with whether to continue watching... for JP I may.. but only for his story now is the reason I'd continue... the story between Dalmi and Dosan as it stands right now is irritating for me to watch and I may just fast forward those scenes just to watch JP scenes... hope he gets more screen time. but oh well... fate seems determined... they should at least write a "what if " drama where JP is the lead and see which gets received better.., some dramas I've watched has two endings for the viewers to choose like the c drama Best Time.

Anonymous 5 months ago

i support Han and Dal mi... i noticed spark between them since the first episode.After knowing that he was the second lead i stopped watching the series after ep3 until now,when i saw many people shipping them.I watched episode 9 and 10 today only hoping that dal mi will end up with Han ji pyeong.Will be very dissapointed if that doesnt happen

Anonymous 5 months ago

There is a reason why nam joo hyuk is the lead actor. Don't make it so complicated... Team Nam Dosan!!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

For me Do San and Dal Mi are meant to be in the end of the story...

Anonymous 5 months ago

yeah..

Anonymous 5 months ago

We all have to consider that even though Mr. Han wrote the letters, the Nam Do San of the past is the combination of Mr. Han's intellect together with Dalmi' grandmother's love. If there was any strong feelings from Mr. Han in the past, it is all about the care and love that he has for Dal Mi's grandmom. He didn't really care about Dalmi until he started to fall for her after they both met the real Do San. One proof that he didn't really care before was he didn't really remember all the things that he wrote to Dal Mi like his birthday wish . Do San on the other hand has his flaws and might not be that appealing but he was always sincere, honest with his feelings. He is also the one who's always ready to run towards Dal Mi in spite of his limitations and lack of confidence. The DoSan of the present might not live up to the past Do Sans standard, but the past Do San is not Mr. HAN also. The Past Dosan is the perfect man created by the combind imagination of Han, Dal Mi and her grandmother. The reality of true love is that no one is perfect, love is your ability to still see and cherish whats good in a person amidst the imperfections. Who will be perfect for Dal Mi? Obviously the one who's always running towards her and Nam Do San's name is written alll over it.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Whilst the past Dosan was made up by Grandma and HJP, there were still elements of the letter that were truly genuine. For instance, the birthday wish itself might have been forgettable, but the feelings behind that wish, of wanting to spend time with family and friends was sincere. I also agree that the situation that HJP is in, makes it impossible for him to “run” towards Dalmi. He is being the most considerate and sincere he can, without pressuring Dalmi to feel the same way. That is true and selfless love. He’d rather see Dalmi happy with someone else, than be hurt with him. Also, I don’t think that the present NDS is genuine. Dalmi’s introduction to the character was built on a lie. The argument here is that NDS’s feelings are still genuine... but for that argument, so are HJP’s.

Anonymous 5 months ago

youve got a point but cmon, jp cant get as close to dalmi like dosan even though he would love to because dalmi didnt know the truth at the start and only had her eyes laid on dosan only. as he was her 'first love ' . so he could only do things for her secretly and care and love for her secretly . didnt really have a choice. dosan also sometimes push jp away from dalmi.. jp's actions to express his love to dalmi is always an action done behind her back .its just sad

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