Latest K-drama Topping The Charts On Netflix Malaysia

If you haven’t noticed, the new K-drama, Start has consistently been in Netflix’s “Top 10 Malaysia Today”.

2nd on the 10 best list today

It’s even been number 1 for a few times now so I had to check out what the hype was about this new K drama.

Some big names that you probably recognize star in this drama are Bae Suzy (my favorite) and Nam Joo-hyuk, the two main actors of the show.

Nam Joo-hyuk and Bae Suzy, the series leaders / Image credits: Kdrama Kisses

So far there are only 6 episodes when it premieres on October 17th. The season finale will take place on December 6 for a total of 16 episodes.

I’ll try not to post too many spoilers as I review the six episodes I’ve watched so far.

The Startup and Techpreneur ecosystem in Seoul

You would probably guess from the name that the plot of this K drama would be something related to the life of the startup.

The show begins with two sisters who must choose between their soon-to-be divorced parents.

Their parents disagreed with each other because their father wanted to start his own business, while their mother wanted a stable life and did not believe in her husband’s business.

Bae Suzy who plays Seo Dal-mi, chooses his father while Kang Han-na who plays Seo In-jae, chooses his mother.

Over time, their choices have led to very different lives from one another.

Their paths have diverged

Their father successfully pitched his business idea, which was a food delivery app like Grab, and got investors, but died in an accident.

So Dal-mi ended up living with his grandmother who sells corn dogs for a living, pushing her into all kinds of part-time jobs to feed herself.

Their mother, meanwhile, married this tycoon who radically changed their lives in terms of social status.

In-jae could no longer relate to Dal-mi, so she severed ties with her younger sister and moved to the United States to continue her education.

They meet later in their 20s at Sandbox, a place where techpreneurs can run their startups with a mentor, office, and staff for 6 months.

Sandbox is like a fictional South Korean Silicon Valley, and Malaysian viewers compare it to MaGIC.

A Sandbox conference / Image credits: Azfar Roses

The sisters are therefore fighting for the 5 places in Sandbox and the story starts from there.

What I liked about the show

Learning terms relevant to the life of the start-up

If you are a newbie to the world of startups and tech entrepreneurs, this is a good place to start and have some fun while you learn.

Throughout the show, they would provide definitions for words like venture capital (VC), accelerators, key man, angel investor, fundraising cycle, and more.

These definitions would also relate to the scene that is going on right now, making it easier to deal with what these terms mean and what they do.

However, not all definitions will be translated in English subtitles.

That being said, I had to check if everything they had was correct or not.

A Silicon Valley insider explained in his review that the series portrays specific facts about how startups and software development work, at least at a high level.

However, there are times when he chooses artistic licensing over precision, such as portraying Amazon as a venture capital firm or oversimplifying the application process to get into an accelerator.

Some tips on running a start-up

Throughout the show, you will be able to learn insights and tips from VCs and mentors.

The scene I’ve found the most interesting so far is in Episode 6, where the founding members of a tech startup discuss how the shares will be shared with their mentor.

2 companies ended up fighting physically to the point that one of them quit because of it.

When they thought the shares should be split evenly among the 5 founding members, the mentor dismissed the idea and explained why no one would invest in their business.

This is because investors would lose their shares if a company were to separate.

Once the funding cycle has started, investors will start buying stocks.

It won’t be long before an investor owns 35% of the shares of the company.

In the worst-case scenario, one of your members may decide to betray you and side with the investor to take control of the business or sell it.

Therefore, you will need to give the key man the majority of the action at the start to protect your business.

However, some startups understood the importance of this, while others did not, which was a decisive situation for them to access Sandbox.

It’s not exactly something you’d see when it comes to the world of IRL startups, but here the characters are vying for shares in their company.

Great complexity and character development

In general, I like shows that don’t reduce their characters’ personalities to ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and Start did not disappoint.

While there are characters who have chosen selfish and disappointing paths, the series strives to show their side and get audiences to understand their choices.

Plus, even with just six episodes, they already show organic and formidable character development in many characters.

Arrogant characters get more humble, insecure characters get more confident, and the list goes on.

What I didn’t like about the show

Stereotypical K-drama shots

As promising as the plot and concept is, you can expect a stereotypical K-drama trope in Start.

Some of these shots include:

  • Rich (and rude) guy, poor girl
  • Wrist catches
  • Second shunt syndrome
  • A mean girl
  • Romantic slow motion scenes
  • Principal girl oblivious to her crushes
One of the many slow motion scenes between leads / Image credits: Azfar Roses

The good thing at least is that the rude guy isn’t mean to the main girl or bullies her, until now.

I admit that even though these overused shots made me cringe a little, the plot and concept made up for it.

– // –

As we are still at the start of the season, the K drama is already very popular with Malaysian viewers.

For those already in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, this K-drama is unlikely to teach you anything new, but for those who aren’t, it’s an easy and fun introduction to the world of startups. .

If you’ve made up all 6 episodes so far, what do you think will happen next?

What do you think Dal-mi will do when she finds out the secret everyone has been hiding from her for 15 years?

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

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Jothi Venkat

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