Those who have only watched Start-Up will likely be shocked to hear that screenwriter Park Hye Ryung‘s previous dramas had serial killers, wrongful deaths, future dreams, and so much higher stakes. This was her sweetest drama to date, pared down in problems so she could focus on the small but vitally important things: family and dreams. Episode 16 brought this drama to a close with a lovely vignette and a walk towards the future that summed up the journey: Do San and Dal Mi get their happy ending together but with the support of In Jae and Ji Pyeong, who got their own closures and walked forward towards their own goals but stronger because they now have stronger family support. Nam Joo Hyuk was perfect as brilliantly dorky and insecure Do San, Suzy did her best with the least dynamic of the four characters in Dal Mi, everyone and their grandmas loved Kim Sun Ho‘s Ji Pyeong, and Kang Hana finally got her screen time in the last episode to show us how complex and interesting In Jae is.
For newbies this drama was a highly simplified glossy take on the start up, VC, tech world but still smartly written enough that it provided plenty of entertainment and thoughtful takes on how the world is constantly being improved, challenged, and transformed by with because of people with ideas to do something not yet been done before or do something better. This drama was a total package for me, it delivered all the smiles, tears, and enjoyment I ask for in a drama. I’m sad about the shipping wars not because I inherently have a problem with it, I’ve second lead shipped plenty of times, but here there was never a love triangle and it felt like viewers attached their own love for the second male lead to why he should get the girl when the two are totally different issues. Other than that I’ll remember this fondly and it’s such a nice capper to an otherwise really dumpster fire of a year.