Start-Up (2020) B+

The SHORT Pill:

When two sisters, who were separated in their youth, are reunited at the opposite side of a competition. Sibling rivalry rears its ugly head as the race to the finish line gets blurred between family hurts, childhood loves, and the hurdles on the way towards their dreams.

The Pharma 5 Watch Guide!

Best Time To Watch:

In the morning. Underdog dramas always leave you feeling inspired and ready to get your life in order so your day might become productive if you start it by watching one episode… or not, given how addicting it gets.

Prescribed For:

Someone looking for a bright and fresh cinematically styled drama that doesn’t have complex storylines and isn’t too taxing on the emotions. Also, people who are just starting their career journeys may find this inspiring since it shows a glimpse of the professional world through the eyes of young adults.

Love And Romance:

The love triangle is so intense that it feels like there was no official male lead established and the two guys are fiercely competing for that spot! #TeamGoodBoy or #TeamDoSan? you just gotta choose wisely on which side to bet as it will affect how you’ll feel about who the real endgame is!

Cast Chemistry:

It’s pleasant to see the SamSanTech Boys along with the Dal-Mi and Sa-Ha working as a team. Their dynamics make you want to be part of the squad too. Also, thanks to this drama for introducing the most charming, Kim Seon Ho to us!

Addiction Level:

3.5 Pills: You wouldn’t want to watch the intense rivalry between the male leads without popcorn in hand so take your time.


Original Network:


Places To Watch:


Episode Count:



It’s refreshing to encounter a very impressive build-up for a love triangle. They put extra effort to fairly level the two male leads by giving some spotlight to the second male lead, making sure that they are at the same starting line. If you didn’t know better, you’ll mistake Han Ji Pyeong as the male protagonist as the early episodes revolves around him. Start-Up is an easy watch that pulls you in almost instantly. The characters are realistically flawed and we were able to witness their own heart-warming stories and personal growth. It taught us that our dreams are always within reach and makes you feel hopeful in this world full of uncertainty. Colorful and fast paced. Very mellow, yet exciting.
Hard Pill to Swallow
The writers kind of toyed with our emotions between the two male leads. It got to a point where you didn’t know who you were supposed to root for. The series started with the point of view of one person, as the leading thought, and then shuffled it back & forth in latter episodes. At one point in the drama (somewhere around episode 13), I confusingly thought the series had ended. Big kudos to Han Ji Pyeong’s character as he was partly the reason why lots of viewers stayed until the end.



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Exam Results:


Though we love how we delved equally to both the male leads’ stories, it feels lacking to the part of the girl who they’re competing for. With expectation for the female lead, Dal-Mi’s backstory was outshadowed by the two. Although it had a happier ending than I expected, it felt a bit rushed.

Side Effects:

Starting this drama means that you’re risking yourself to an extreme second male lead syndrome. The only way to get better is to check Kim Seon Ho’s other shows!

Recommended Follow-up:

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