Reasons Why We Love Start-Up’s Han Ji-pyeong (and Kim Seon-ho)

Start-Up is the latest South Korean drama that’s got us glued to our screens and, because it’s still ongoing, biting our nails for the next episodes. Aside from compelling themes of youth, aspirations, and entrepreneurship—the love triangle has sucked a lot of people in with no escape like it’s the Bermuda Triangle.

It’s no secret that Han Ji-pyeong (Kim Seon-ho) is only the second lead man—but since there are still a few more episodes left, we still like to fantasize about a major plot twist where maybe, just maybe, he would have his happy ever after with Seo Dal-mi (Suzy) in Nam Do-san’s (Nam Joo-hyuk) stead. Because Ji-pyeong really is the best boy.

Not convinced? Below, we’ve listed the top reasons why we love Start-Up’s Han Ji-pyeong. See these for yourself as you watch Start-Up while grilling K-BBQ from Wagyupsal in the comforts of your home. 



He’s a good boy with a tough shell and a tender heart

via tvN Drama on Instagram

If you’re rooting for Ji-pyeong, then you’re on Team Good Boy. He’s the perfect representation of a good boy, molded perfectly by poverty and misfortunes in his younger years. He’s sharp and unrelenting when it comes to his work. But despite the tough facade, viewers get glimpses of his inner tenderness in the show.  

Start-Up director Oh Choong-hwan remarked that Ji-pyeong is similar to actor Kim Seon-ho in this way. In real life, Seon-ho comes off as tough but is a real softie on the inside. Protect this good boy at all costs!



He makes your heart flutter with love letters

via tvN Drama on Instagram

The love letters between young Dal-mi and “Nam Do-san” are a major plot element in Start-Up, which gives the drama an old-fashioned romantic flavor. It’s a beautiful contrast to the characters’ tech-driven playing field. 

Who still pens love letters these days? Although it happened 15 years in the past, it still makes you love Ji-pyeong for having that taste. It was originally Dal-mi’s grandmother’s idea, but Ji-pyeong quickly poured his heart into it of his own will.



He’s a knight in shining armor

via Suzy Bae (@skuukzky) on Instagram

A lot of times, Ji-pyeong has been the light in Dal Mi’s darkness even when he himself stays in the shadows, like a hero not revealing his true identity. We all know he’s the real guy behind the love letters that helped young Dal-mi deal with various crises in her life and family. Not to mention, during those times, Ji-pyeong himself was also dealing with his own problems. 



He’s the guy you’d proudly introduce to your family

via Salt Entertainment on Instagram

Ji-pyeong is now very accomplished, and he has a beautiful story to impress your parents. He beat all the odds and got to where he is now through hard work. He’s not only a dream guy for the ladies, but he’s also an excellent role model for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Not only that, but he’s also well-mannered and humble. And he does very gentlemanly things such as opening the car door for you. All parents love a gentleman.



And he’s the guy your mother—and grandmother—approves of

On top of all, Ji-pyeong has a special bond with Dal-mi’s grandmother. They have a fun and comfortable relationship, and they care for each other like real family. It’s one thing for you to love a guy, but it’s another for your family to love him too! 


If for some lovely twist of fate, Dal-mi chooses Ji-pyeong in the end, we’re sure the two of them would easily get grandma’s blessing.


Lastly, his smile is simply irresistible

via Salt Entertainment on Instagram

Many fans of Kim Seon-ho call him Mr. Dimples or Prince Dimple because of his trademark smile that’s always accompanied by two cute dints on the cheeks. So, you also see that in Ji-pyeong, which makes the character even more adorable. 

Whatever happens in the end, we can always take comfort in Ji-pyeong’s dimpled smile!



Check out more of the latest K-dramas you may have missed! Or mark your calendars with these upcoming shows in December!


Make your binge-watching more fun with a K-BBQ party and delightful desserts such as brownies, lava cakes, Basque-burnt cheesecake, and more that you can have delivered to your home!


Words by Rei Leano
Featured image via tvN & Salt Entertainment