Korean Drama Start Up

This year Dramaworld has given us an abundance of gritty, nail-biting, heart fluttering, terrifying and dramatic shows, keeping us busy during the pandemic.

Start-Up is one such show that leaves you with a craving for more at the end of each episode. Written by Park Hye-Ryun (Dream High, Pinocchio) and directed by Oh Choong-Hwan (my love from the stars, Doctors) this show is a reminder of why we love K-dramas. Without wasting another minute on a stodgy intro, let me get right into the five reasons why you should watch Start-up:


#1 The Grandmother-Granddaughter Bond:

In the quintessential K-drama manner, we have a moderately poor female lead, who works multiple jobs to make ends meet living with her wholesome and compassionate grandmother. Their bond is undeniably delightful to watch and brings about a joyous element to the otherwise contemplative plotline. The love between grandparent and child is always awe-inspiring and Dal-mi and her helmoni (grandmother) reach into your hearts and squeeze them to mush.

#2 Motivation to work hard

With Itaewon class, we were motivated to work hard and achieve our dreams meticulously. Start-Up teaches us risk management. It is a realistic depiction of the start-up world which is challenging, to say the least. The show dives deep into the technicalities and know-hows of Artificial intelligence, business management and other paramount details of the tech world. In one scene we see Dal-Mi reach for a book that proclaims to be a guide to be a great CEO, that’s when Ji Pyeong (her mentor) tells her that you can either be a great person or a great CEO. Another remarkable instance in the show is the way Do-San knits when he is angry and channels his negative energy into doing something positive helping him come up with innovative ideas! I’m definitely adopting this method in my daily life!

#3 More than just a love story

What is unique about this drama is that it gives equal emphasis to business and pleasure. As much as we yearn for good chemistry in a K-drama, we appreciate a thoughtful plotline that delivers the whole picture. We learn that

1. Creating a business plan is not a piece of cake.
2. Not everyone is apt to be a CEO. albeit capable.
3. Even geniuses don’t have it all figured out.

#4 In it for the people

What makes a great story incredible is the characters and how they grow with each other. The cast of Start-Up does an immaculate job in bringing to life these substantial characters. Here I’m going to attempt a breakdown of some of these complex characters.

Bae Suzy and Seo Dal-Mi:
A sweet and strong-willed young woman with her head in a high-rise building and feet on the ground. She aims to be like Steve Jobs and works hard to lead a happy life along with her grandmother. Suzy is authentic and raw as Dal-Mi, making her world palpable.


Nam Joo Hyuk as Nam Do San:
The introverted genius with a sympathetic heart. He is a master of coding and problem solving but lacks the ambition of a potential CEO. Nam Joo Hyuk is no less than swoon-worthy as the naive and caring Do San. I have found myself squealing more than once looking at his shy smile.


Kim Sun Ho as Han Ji-Pyeong:
Kudos to Kim Sun Ho for being so persuasive as the second lead of this drama. Ji-Pyeong is the orphan who grows up to be the perfect bachelor. He is genuine with a no-nonsense philosophy. Known as the ‘dimple prince’ Kim Sun Ho has stolen many hearts as Han Ji Pyeong. Major second lead syndrome.  Are you Team Ji Pyeong or Team Do San?


Kang Han Na as Won- In Jae: 

In-Jae is portrayed as the antagonist of this show at first. But we find out she’s just a broken strong-willed woman who wants to go places just like her sister Dal-Mi. She chooses tactics over chemistry and is a great leader.


The three musketeers

‘Samsan tech’ gets its name from the three sans Do-san, Yong-san (Kim Do-wan) and Chul-san (Yoo Su-bin). The trio is a comic relief that makes you want to pick up your phone and call your best friends immediately.

#5 Compelling female characters

Female entrepreneurship has been on the rise in recent times. The aspiring CEOs Dal-Mi and In-Jae are a great source of inspiration, but Yoon Sun-Hak is refreshing as the head of Sandbox. She gives impeccable advice and strengthens the will of the young, even making the viewer want to expand their horizons. The lack of office hierarchical systems and harassment is a breath of fresh air in this 2020 Drama.



Have we convinced you yet?

If you are a dedicated viewer of the show, what are your reasons? Let us know your thoughts below.