Start-Up (the Netflix show)

Just finished this lil shit called ‘Start-Up’ with my wife:

Reviews from someone who’s both #TeamJiPyeong & a (so-called) programming nerd:

HEAVY SPOILER ALERT. PLEASE STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE ENTIRE SERIES +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

1. The series actually shows computer programmers behind sensible screens for their corresponding contexts. For example the guys can be seen coding python when dealing with AI stuff and terminal shell command-line when handling IT security cases. This is especially contrasted by the fact that many other movies (even blockbusters) only show mumbo jumbo garbage green texts on a black background whenever anything IT-related is involved. +1

2. The show (mostly) reflects the harsh reality behind the Start-Up world (both its hypes and non-hypes). If you are (or used to be) a startup founder (esp. tech-startup), you definitely resonate with the series on an extra level. +1

Disclaimers before I continue with the other points: I’m not a die-hard fan of K-Drama or anything. I can barely recall if I’ve seen these actors and actresses in any other series before watching this show. I don’t care how well-matched the female-lead and male-leads are (or should be) in real life.

3. I respect originality & am always against credit stealing. This is something that downright steered me towards #TeamJiPyeong in the very beginning (and that view persisted until the very last episode).

4. I highly value “giving silent support”. There’s probably a bit of “masochism” here (you know what I mean). That’s why I emotionally hoped Ji-pyeong would be well rewarded (with Dal-mi) in the end.

5. Ji-pyeong had such a difficult childhood (even more difficult than Dal-mi’s), he understandably deserves a “worthy compensation” that is a real family with the girl he “has feelings for” and the grandma he sees as his own parent – all under the same roof.

6. As much as I (and the majority of viewers) wanted Ji-Pyeong to be triumphant, the scriptwriter didn’t give him that opportunity. This is obviously reflected during the course of the show where he had several chances to win Dal-mi’s heart but missed most of them (thanks to his being too used to “living alone”?). Not to say he didn’t try at all (he did attempt to “give a full swing”), but he simply didn’t try as hard as Do-san did, and “hard work pays off” so our Ji-pyeong was “called out” – gradually & eventually.

7. Although I’m not “TeamDoSan”, I have to give credits to his painstaking efforts. This is well-aligned with the “Start-Up spirit” where we simply have to try our best, traversing “uncharted territories” & climbing up the “fake it till we make it” ladder. In the last episode, Ji-pyeong admitted that “he didn’t look for Dal-mi even after 15 years, but Do-san did it on the 1st possible day“. This statement alone is the scriptwriter’s way of sealing away any complaint from #TeamJiPyeong (my own included). Yes, I was unhappy about the ending, I also had to but (hands-down) respect the same ending.

Bonus – my nerdy review:

8. To me, Ji-pyeong is like the “A” in “RGBA”. He is always that “translucent” layer in the background: from the moment he looks on from afar as Dal-mi & Do-san meet each other for the 1st time at the networking party, during the entire course of his mentoring Dal-mi’s startup, to the moment he realizes Dal-mi’s startup has become strong enough to stand on its own feet (aka “fully graduated from his mentorship”). Ji-pyeong’s “opacity”, or should we say: his level of influence on Dal-mi’s life, went from nearly 100% to almost 0% over the course of 19 years. And as much as we love this second-lead male character, we cannot disagree with the ending at all. Kudos to the scriptwriter.

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