Every episode of Start-Up makes me feel like I’m hanging out on a Sat/Sun afternoon with cool nice buddies of mine. There is a familiarity and warmth that I will sorely miss once this drama ends. Episode 8 today marks the midway point, Park Hye Ryun‘s dramas are the standard 16 episodes for the most part except for the excellent Pinocchio which was 20 episodes. The kiss came earlier than expected by the revelation of the letter writing lie has gone on far too far, either Grandma, Ji Pyeong, or Do San needed to just come clean and it doesn’t matter which one. All three started with the best of intentions but Dal Mi’s relationship with Do San is built on that wrong assumption and her mentor/mentee relationship with Ji Pyeong is much more than she knows from his perspective.
She learned the truth about Grandma’s eye sight today and handled it beautifully, tears and resilience, and we see her take down In Jae’s odious step dad with the same thoughtful planning. Ji Pyeong is the classic K-drama male lead and I LOVE him to bits, especially his prickly deflecting bits which scream orphaned boy trying to protect his heart. But so often we fall for the nice openly honest second male lead which is Do San here and he’s getting the girl and thus our collective complex emotions. When I step back though, I know which guy is the right guy for Dal Mi (not for me, because I would pick Ji Pyeong because I need my guys prickly) and that’s Do San. He’ll do anything for her and telling the truth about Grandma cements it for me, he will also make hard decisions in her best interest.