Tag: start-up korean drama

Unnie Recap: Best Kdrama Heroines of 2020

Can I start by saying that who would’ve thought we’d make it this far?😅 To say that 2020 is the toughest year in our lives is an understatement, but we’re finally here, a new year that hopefully is filled with better and brighter experiences for all of us. I’m so glad that despite this pandemic, kdramas continued to roll out keeping us entertained (and sane!) for the most part of last year. From an avid fan, thank you to all the hardworking actors/actresses and staff for making it possible.

Top 5 Heroines of 2020

1. Cha Yu-ri (Hi, Bye, Mama!)

Happily married with a baby on the way, Cha Yu-ri had a full life ahead of her. An accident takes her away from her family and friends but she lived on as a ghost for 5 years observing and staying by her daughter’s, Seo Woo, side. In a twist of fate, she suddenly becomes human again and has the chance to stay on Earth if she finds her place with her family. Easy enough right? Nope! Her husband, Gang-hwa, has remarried and Seo Woo of course doesn’t remember her at all. The plot may sound like a heavy tearjerker but the show has some comedic and lighter moments that balances the somber mood the story entails. Yu-ri doesn’t take for granted her second chance and spends her days bonding with Seo Woo and tending to the unhealed wounds of the loved ones she left behind with her untimely death.

A tale about forgiveness, moving on, and finding happiness once again, Hi, Bye, Mama! will teach us a lot about living our everyday to the fullest. Sharing with you the Hi, Bye, Mama! life lessons our lovely mama has imparted to me in her journey back to the realm of humans!

2. Woo Do Hee (Dinner Mate)

Who doesn’t love the B-rated comedy producer of 2N Box? Smart, fierce, and confident, Woo Do Hee was such a 21st century female lead that we can relate to and admire. Proving that third time’s the charm, she fell in love with her dinner mate turned boyfriend (Hae Kyung) at an unexpected but welcome moment in her life. She’s confident and can handle problems on her own, but she doesn’t always have it together and succumbs to the occasional breakdown due to life’s challenges. We lose our way sometimes but it’s important, like Do Hee, to get back up and deal with our personal problems head on. For a show that centers around having dinner together, I find that there are other kdramas that feature food more prominently as a theme. I did however, enjoy Dinnermate‘s own interpretation of how eating together can bring comfort to people.

Dinnermate kdrama was a fun one to watch to and I have to credit it to her and the leading man’s chemistry. It was a joy to fawn over Do Hee and Hae Kyung’s blossoming relationship as they started out as merely strangers turned dinner mates. There’s a special bonus in one of the episodes too where the actress briefly reprises her role as Seo Dan in Crash Landing on You, hehe!

3. Seo Dal Mi (Start-Up)

Considered to be one of the most popular kdramas in 2020, Start-up’s Seo Dal Mi takes a seat in my top heroines list as the self-taught and hardworking CEO of Cheongmyeong Company. Her journey towards success was riddled with challenges and setbacks, but she pushed through with the hopes of following in her dad’s footsteps and achieving her own goals. Even if she sometimes puts herself in a pickle by faking her confidence, she doesn’t give up and still find ways to rally back. This was a refreshing kdrama that focused on the beginnings of start-up businesses trying to catch a break in an arena of fierce competition and evolving technologies. A lot of technical terms were used in the show but were explained the best they can, the notable feature of a Google-like place called “Sandbox” serves to inspire us that anyone can fulfill their life dreams (with hard work of course) because chances to prove ourselves do exist.

The most talked about aspect of the show was the love triangle of Dal Mi, Nam Do San, and Mr. Han Ji Pyeong (#teamgoodboy) that divided fans on who to root for. Please do read my Start-Up kdrama introduction post on the show to know a bit more about the backstory. I read feedback that a lot of viewers didn’t like how the plot progressed in the latter half of the show and that a lot of people were rooting for Mr. Han (like me), but I honestly liked the korean drama until the end. Aside from her romantic choices, I really liked how they portrayed Dal Mi as a start-up newbie who read books, asked for a professional’s help, and really made the effort to learn the business that she was going into to become a legit boss💃🏻

4. Gu Ra Ra (Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol)

She is naive and innocent as they come, but Gu Ra Ra’s honest and happy-go-lucky personality wins over the hearts of strangers around her. I love how she isn’t afraid to apologize for a misunderstanding and sings you praises when she’s happy because you can feel the sincerity in her words. Even in tumultuous times, she still has a smile on her face and spreads a good energy around her that people naturally want to help her out. Despite the show starting with a tragedy prompting Ra Ra to start anew and move to Eunpo City, the good-natured people Ra Ra met there and finding true love with a cutesy love story made Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol kdrama an easygoing and fun show. The true tragedy this show had was its ending which I published a separate entry about because it peeved me that much, haha!

I know I criticized the show for this very thing that in reality, it’s too good to be true to helped out by a handsome guy (haha) regarding all your troubles but hey, this is a kdrama. Ra Ra has a pure heart and I can only hope to be as good as her in both the good and bad times of life🎶 I urge you to still try watching Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol kdrama though and get caught up with Ra Ra’s infectious melody of good vibes and no-worry way of life tunes.

5. Lim Ju Kyung (True Beauty)

This was tough for me to choose just because the last heroine, just like the previous year, starred in a kdrama that had only been airing a couple of weeks since it premiered in December. Simultaneous good shows premiered last month alone and I honestly liked each and every protagonist’s personality. This got me thinking to permanently reserve this last spot for December korean drama leading women to be fair because their shows only have a few weeks of exposure before the year ends.

Ultimately, I chose to go with Lim Ju Kyung from True Beauty kdrama as she sets out to find her self-confidence beyond the confines of her brush and mascara. It’s a classic tale of ugly ducking turns into a swan but in this case, the duck is only wearing a swan costume to disguise the fact that she’s still a duck, haha! High school student Ju Kyung was bullied in her previous school for being “ugly” and she turns to make-up for help. When she transfers to a new school, she ends up having to hide her real identity more as she gains the attention of new friends and 2 leading men vying for her affection. I honestly think the show downplays the mental health effects bullying can have on a person, but it still has a lot of episodes left to showcase how one can heal and move forward from such a traumatic experience.

True Beauty kdrama is a coming-of-age story where Ju Kyung will learn that her real beauty lies within and she shouldn’t be ashamed or have to cover up how she truly looks to anyone. I have no qualms of her using make-up to boost her confidence, but I hope she breaks free of the stigma that she needs to be dolled up to be accepted by her peers. My second lead syndrome heart is beating strong here too as I hope she ends up with Seo Jun, hihi!


I’d like to think that all kdramas exist in a multiverse not so far away, where every character from each show is living their lives, well and happy, beyond the final episode. As always, I’m excited for the new shows that’ll premiere this year and will look forward to meeting more characters that’ll leave a mark in my heart💕

Unnie Recap: Start-Up kdrama’s Love Triangle Woes (Team Do San or Team Ji Pyeong?)

When was the last time you felt a serious crush on the 2nd lead and wished that he/she ended up with the hero/heroine? Once in awhile, kdramas like that sprout up out of nowhere and it hits you hard because you wish a different outcome for the show. If you’ve been tuning into Start-Up korean drama, I know some part of you has been pining for 2nd lead, Han Ji Pyeong, to get the girl of his childhood, Seo Dal Mi😊

Kdramas don’t have a good track record of true love triangles though, meaning that there’s no real conflict for the protagonist when it comes to choosing who between the 2 men/women they want to be with. The actors/actresses’ roles and TV posters alone will tell you who the main couple is and who is the odd man/woman out. I wish that this show will break the mold but I’m not too hopeful about it, haha!😜 Read about my Start-Up kdrama recommendation post if you haven’t started watching yet.

Quickstart Summary

What’s at play is the classic love triangle with a case of identity mix-up. The lead female character, Seo Dal Mi, had a childhood pen pal name Nam Do San who comforted her at a time in her life when she needed a friend. Unbeknownst to her knowledge, this pen pal was set-up by her grandmother who asked a kid whom she took in (because he was an orphan) to write and reply to the letters. They used the name Nam Do San because they saw his name in the newspaper as a genius kid who won a prestigious math competition.

Fast forward to their adult years, the orphan kid, Han Ji Pyeong (#teamgoodboy), has grown successful and is known to be a harsh yet fair venture capitalist. He meets Dal Mi’s grandmother again and the latter asks him to find the real Nam Do San as Dal Mi is intent on meeting him now. Turns out that the real Nam Do San is a struggling developer (but has no girlfriend & is handsome, haha!) who Ji Pyeong is able to contact and convinces to meet Dal Mi. After a series of events, both men find themselves falling for Dal Mi with the latter having no idea that Ji Pyeong is her real pen pal and thinks that Do San is her childhood & now turned adult love.

Compatibility Rates

The last time I came down with second lead syndrome was for Baek Kyung in Extraordinary You, hee. I didn’t expect that I would feel this way, I think it’s because the way the story was crafted where Ji Pyeong was the original childhood penpal of Dal Mi. I just feel like she deserves to get to know the actual guy who wrote her the letters because it gave her a great deal of comfort as a kid and carried on to the present. Even if it stemmed from a fake identity, Ji Pyeong’s replies were honest to what he felt at the time. Having no family & friends himself, I know that the letters brought him a lot of comfort too🤗

When it comes to the sincerity of both men’s feelings, there’s no doubt that they have Dal Mi’s best interests in mind, they just express it in a different manner. While Do San is supportive and nurturing towards her, Ji Pyeong isn’t afraid to be blunt as he guides her on a realistic perspective in starting a business. I don’t think Dal Mi would have treated Do San the way she does if she knew their secret. Granted, she’d also feel awkward around Ji Pyeong knowing that he wrote the letters as a request from her grandmother because she had no friends before. But at least this way, perhaps both men will be on equal footing when it comes to courting Dal Mi’s heart.

Episodes 7 and 8 give us a tiny, data of hope that maybe Dal Mi can still learn to like Ji Pyeong. As her grandmother asked her who between the 2 versions of Do San (The one from the letters or the real, adult Nam Do San) she prefers, she answered that she’d choose the childhood one. She does get excited about the adult Do San version even if she is still getting used to him. Having spent more time together, Dal Mi and Do San have a deeper connection currently and I know that even if she discovers the truth, the relationship that they’ve built won’t just go away. Also, Do San is not in denial of his feelings for her unlike Ji Pyeong.

Dal Mi’s current state of feelings for Ji Pyeong are platonic because she sees him as her mentor and friend. Would she look at him differently if she finds out the truth? I’m sure she’d feel confused & betrayed ar first and this is where Ji Pyeong ought to step up and show her that what he wrote weren’t lies. He has to show her that he is an option and I hope that he admits his true feelings for her in the coming Start-Up kdrama episodes!

An Uncertain but Promising Future

For now, I’m leaning towards #teamJiPyeong #teamgoodboy even if I also like Nam Do San a lot too. Would Dal Mi pay more attention to Ji Pyeong if she knew early on that he was the Do San behind the letters? I’d say it’s still 50/50 honestly. Tha fallout from knowing the truth won’t be pretty but if it gets Dal Mi to look at Ji Pyeong differently, in a good way after she forgives the guys & her grandma of course, a love triangle dilemma is finally established! I only wish for Dal Mi to at least struggle a little bit on her feelings and consider Ji Pyeong romantically too. I’d be okay with her ending up with Do San, but I’d like to see the other guy in this case, win the leading female’s affections❤️