‘Start-Up’ is coming to an end and with just three episodes left, we wonder what the show wants to express. The one thing that it has got exactly right is how complex the lives that the youth today lives as they run behind success, power and money. Some settle for less while some are born to be under the spotlight and with Ji-pyeong (Kim Seon-ho), Dal-mi (Bae Suzy) and Do-san (Nam Joo-hyuk), we get to take a peek into the lives of ambitious young individuals who experience complex emotions in the name of love.
Ji-pyeong especially has stolen our hearts with his conviction when it comes to his love for Dal-mi and when it comes to his opinions about new business ideas. Every time he had told Samsan Tech that they will not make it big, he was being sincere. He did not mean to offend Do-san, Chul-san, and Yong-san but instead, had given them a reality check. While their knowledge in their field was unparalleled, they were not street smart and they did not have a CEO at that point in time who could drive their company towards profit and popularity within the tech industry.
It is with Dal-mi’s help that Do-san manages to gain more popularity and within the Sandbox program, the two of them inspire each other to attain success. Of course, it is also their carelessness that leads to their separation, and Do-san after a heartbreaking confrontation with Dal-mi is asked to go to 2STO, so he leaves her behind to go to Silicon Valley where he makes a name for himself. He doesn’t give up on Noongil however and ensures that the ideas that Dal-mi had asked for to be incorporated are done too.
At this point, there are two wonderful men who are vying for Dal-mi’s attention. This kind of love triangle is not new in Korean dramas, however, what is; is the importance that the second male lead has got so far in the show. In fact, when it comes to comparing Ji-pyeong and Do-san, the former came across as more charming and attractive than the latter who seemed extremely confused more often than not.
Then, in Episode 13 of ‘Start-Up’, we saw how Ji-pyeong, despite trying his best for three years in the absence of Do-san was unable to get any closer to Dal-mi. It is strange that she treats him like a friend but he doesn’t come to her mind when she struggles with problems. She is still not over Do-san and while that is completely fine, it now seems like she is stringing Ji-pyeong along. In fact, when her company is attacked by ransom malware and she is trying to get in touch with anyone who can help, she doesn’t think of Ji-pyeong. When she finally sees his name while scrolling through a bunch of names in her contact list, we see how she remembers him requesting her to reach out to him when she is dealing with a problem. She hesitates even then and when Do-san calls her she forgets all about Ji-pyeong.
Her shock is understandable, and the fact that she was not in her senses considering her entire company could have been buried overnight is not something that we are making light of. However, when Do-san had managed to neutralize the ransom malware, we had expected Dal-mi to calm down enough to at least inform Ji-pyeong. When she didn’t, our heart sank and what was worse was the fact that she did not even think twice about telling Ji-pyeong about the attack when he had later come other office with worry to check on her. She didn’t remember that she could be hurting him, there was no consideration for his feelings and even if she had contacted Ji-pyeong before, that would be Dal-mi settling for him than like him genuinely. So we feel that he definitely deserves someone who would love him 100% and not think of as the next best option.
Coming to Do-san, we believe that Dal-mi and Do-san do not belong together purely because both of them have begun to hide too many things and a relationship where there is no honesty is not worth anything at all.
‘Start-Up’ will air on tvN on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 pm KST, and can be streamed on Netflix in the US.