The Battle of the Teams
“Start-Up” introduced us to two compelling male leads, Nam Do San (Nam Joo Hyuk) and Han Ji Pyeong (Kim Seon Ho). Their compelling rivalry for the affections of the charming Dal Mi (Bae Suzy) kept fans on the edge of their seats. Even after the series concluded, the online community remained fervently divided, making it one of the most hotly debated topics in K-drama history.
Team Nam Do San
Dal Mi and Nam Do San shared a bond built on mutual admiration and support. Their connection was solid, and they believed in each other’s potential. Do San was Dal Mi’s pillar of strength, inspiring her to reach for her dreams.
Despite his privileged background, Do San faced his own challenges and underwent significant character development. This transformation from a person with little ambition to someone with a clear dream resonated with viewers. His unwavering belief in Dal Mi solidified his place as the chosen one for her. The journey they embarked on together, from Samsan Tech’s beginnings to a shared venture, became a testament to their trust and reliance.
Team Han Ji Pyeong
Han Ji Pyeong, initially misunderstood, had a unique connection with Dal Mi’s grandmother, which revealed his softer side. His concern for Dal Mi’s happiness, closely linked with her grandmother’s well-being, made her his top priority.
Ji Pyeong refrained from pushing his emotions on Dal Mi, wishing only to confess his feelings. Despite Do San’s presence in her life, Ji Pyeong remained her first love—the one who had brightened her darkest days. Their connection was so profound that Dal Mi fell in love with him without even knowing his face.
Their relationship was marked by authenticity and genuine struggles. Ji Pyeong’s actions were driven by his desire to protect Dal Mi, transforming a lie into reality out of concern for her well-being. His straightforward nature, often mistaken for rudeness, resonated with her as a presentation of facts.
Ji Pyeong consistently supported Dal Mi in various aspects of her life without expecting anything in return. He refrained from exploiting their shared history and provided her with space to navigate her emotions, even during Do San’s absence.
Upon Do San’s return, Ji Pyeong’s selflessness shone brightly as he encouraged him to pursue Dal Mi. He recognized that Do San’s presence could bring her true happiness. This selfless gesture highlighted the depth of Ji Pyeong’s love and the power of letting go.
Despite the love and admiration for Team Han Ji Pyeong, the series took a different path in Dal Mi’s romantic journey. However, the deep and genuine connection between Ji Pyeong and Dal Mi left an indelible mark on the hearts of viewers.
“Start-Up” will forever be remembered not only for its compelling storyline but also for the love triangle that captivated audiences and sparked passionate debates.