Should The Male Lead Be Changed From Nam Joo Hyuk To Kim Seon Ho in “Start-Up”? Knetizens Wonder After Seeing The Results Of This Popularity Poll

Published Categorized as K-Dramas and K-Movies

“Start-Up” is currently one of the most-talked about kdramas online with fans obviously split into two teams, team Nam Do San (Nam Joo Hyuk) and team Han Ji Pyeong (Kim Seon Ho).

For the first time in a while, many fans are cheering for the second lead which is played by Kim Seon Ho over the first male lead.

One popularity poll showed just how many fans wanted for Han Ji Pyeong to win the girl. The poll results were 81% in favor of Han Ji Pyeong with over 46K votes, while Nam Do San fell behind with a shocking 18%.

While this poll isn’t the definite answer or indicator of which team fans are on, many have been discussing just how much Kim Seon Ho stole the spotlight in “Start-Up.”

One netizen posted the results of this poll to an online community and the comments of k-netizens are making buzz online. Many of the commenters wonder whether the screenwriter should switch the lead based on the results and based on how many people prefer the second lead to the first lead for the first time in a long time.

Comments include, ‘Nam Do San isn’t charming at all,’ ‘they should change the male lead’ and more.

While online comments from the international fandom are split, many agree that Han Ji Pyeong is super charming.

What do you guys think of this? Who do you think should win Dal Mi’s heart?

My Personal Thoughts

Kim Seon Ho has a peculiar habit… stealing the spotlight from the first male leads. This isn’t the first time this has happened and I’ve seen it happen before. As an actor, Kim Seon Ho is very charismatic and he has that inviting aura to him.

I am kinda split on this one. I like Han Ji Pyeong and Nam Do San, differently.

But I do find it weird that the screenwriter gave most of the good qualities to Han Ji Pyeong which made him naturally stand out more than Nam Do San.

I’ve spoken about this on twitter, but Nam Do San is very childish and insecure. His inferiority complex shows in the way he interacts with Han Ji Pyeong. I found that to be extremely annoying oftentimes because he’d treat Han Ji Pyeong with utter disrespect and disregard despite Han Ji Pyeong’s very calm approach.

I wished the screenwriter addressed this part better, and highlighted it not only as a happening but as an issue that needs to be concentrated on, not something to be brushed off. Women tend to gravitate towards charming mature men and it shows with how people are split on this one.

I also found the script to have become weird in the second half, it was very weird how Dal Mi had a change of heart even though she loved this man who wrote her letters all those years ago.

“Start-Up” script has many obvious flaws and inconsistencies which I plan on discussing in details next week, but it is mostly a fun watch. It is also made better by Kim Seon Ho who grew because of it and kept people coming back as well.

This is why I believe we still haven’t had a resolution to our love triangle even though the drama will wrap up next week. I think the screenwriter knows just how much people fell in love with Han Ji Pyeong.

I don’t see anything wrong with Nam Joo Hyuk’s performance, he’s merely doing his job. The issue is the way his character was written. I think he’s suited for the role but I wished his insecurities were better addressed.

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. I actually don’t like the way the second lead is written. He’s shallow. It doesn’t seem so because he has more history in the drama. But the first male lead is very sweet and thoughtful and serious. He’s much more introspective, self aware. The girl is kind of shallow too so maybe she matches the second male lead better.

  2. For me, NDS was much more interesting to watch because of how he changed after he returned from US. Everything – from the clothes to the look in his eyes, he lost all his innocence, he became dark, was wearing all black, was not smiling any more. I thought the character development was huge. He used to cry in almost every episodes before he went to US, and since he came back he did not cry even once (except the last episode when 3 samsans went to look at their old office for the very last time). I see the bashing of main leads on Insta and social media with such a strong bias toward the second lead and I am in shock and at a loss because I have no idea why. For me personally, what I will remember from Startup is: Hackaton and creation of penmanship algorithm, sister’s interaction throughout the whole series, creations of NoonGil, Do San tortured personality, his naiveness and his transformation, thrill of how he found the decryption key to save Dalml’ files in the last moment, success of self-driving car of ChoungMioung, Seo Dal Mi’ resilience, the moment when Do San was saying to In-Jae “apologize, you did steal it”, “isn’t it tiring, it must be” without even raising his voice but I had goosebumps, the struggle of Dalmi’s father to find investment, the moment when Dal Mi lies near her grandma after she bought her the dress, the moment when Do San is yelling “it’s killing me” (in Korean) when Dalmi went to find him. For me, the main lead has more depth, even his low voice had an impact. In my view, Nam Do San was more interesting to watch because of everything he has done and was striving for, and the journey he went through. So what can I say – the show is over and I already do not remember the second lead any more, I am sorry, and what I am looking for is to see NJH in Josée.

    1. I agree 100%. Nam Do San’s character was more interesting to me. It made me look forward to how he’s gonna evolve throughout the series. The way he was written defies the “Ideal” kdrama male lead qualities that would typically capture the general audience but it’s fine with me. In fact. I enjoyed it. The writer did a good job in getting the audience to make their personal choice between the 2 men’s equally endearing qualities.

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