“Start-Up” Episode 1 Review And Recap- A Heartfelt Promising Premiere

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

It’s finally here!

The new tvN/Netflix series has taken a while to air but it’s finally here and it’s the cutest thing you’ll see today. “Start-Up” starring Nam Joo Hyuk and Suzy has been under the spotlight for quite some time and it’s finally aired its first episode to overwhelmingly positive response from fans.

Today, I am here to talk about “Start-Up” episode 1 and discuss whether it lives up to expectations or not.

Related: “Start-Up” Episode 2 Review And Recap- A Shockingly Childish Premise But Still Fun

The pacing is just right

Despite the fact that it can feel disjointed at times, “Start-Up” still did a pretty decent job at introducing the characters. Rather than using outdated scenes to show off each character status, they took us back in time and did it in an interesting way. It’s one of the more interesting premieres of a 2020 drama.

As you’d expect from a drama about youth and hardships, the first episode touches a lot on each of our main characters (except for Nam Joo Hyuk’s) motivations and upbringing. I liked that they didn’t squeeze in Nam Joo Hyuk’s character there as well in the first episode because it would’ve come out messy and would’ve been too much. Leaving it like that will entice viewers to come back for the second episode.

There wasn’t a dull moment in “Start-Up” episode 1; it’s so packed with information and in an interesting engaging way. Also, I have to add, the cinematography is top notch.

Too soon to judge the plot

It’s been only one episode of “Start-Up,” I can’t say I have the highest expectations since I know the writer tends to fall back on a lot of stereotypes and clichés along the way, but for the most part screenwriter Park Hye Ryun makes enjoyable dramas.

I did sense that Kim Jun Ho’s character was getting set up to die and I was waiting for that moment to happen as I was watching. I wouldn’t say I was shocked but kinda sad because I really wanted to see more of him. He definitely owned “Start-Up” episode 1.

Aside from that, such types of plots are easy to engage with, it reminds me of the feeling that “Itaewon Class” created earlier in 2020. People love such types of stories, if it remains interesting; I think it can do tremendously well. It took over a timeslot that has been doing well in ratings and considering the star power of the main cast, I wouldn’t be surprised if it became a huge hit.

Kim Jun Ho’s performance

The dedication this actor has…. I have so much respect for him. Kim Jun Ho is a new actor to the scene, he started in 2018 which might come as a surprise to the majority of people reading this, but if you watch many kdramas you’ll wonder why you haven’t stumbled upon him sooner, it’s because he only recently begun.

Kim Jun Ho has had a very busy 2020 and seems to have an eye for picking interesting projects. I loved loved his performance in this drama, he perfectly embodied his character and made the most out of it. He wasn’t on screen a lot but he’s definitely the highlight of today’s episode.

It’s so sad that his character had to end that way, while not uncommon to happen, it’s still pretty dramatic but I understand why the screenwriter went in that direction.

He also looks ridiculously good looking in mustache.

I am trying not to get my hopes up high in case it disappoints down the line, but thus far, “Start-Up” episode 1 has been lots of fun. I can’t wait for “Start-Up” episode 2 tomorrow. I have some sort of expectations about how the plot will play out and I sincerely hope the screenwriter surprises me. Nam Joo Hyuk’s choices in scripts have improved dramatically over the past couple of years so I trust him on this one.

So what did you guys think of “Start-Up” episode 1? do you like it so far?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. the founder of Jazminemedia, in this site, I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas, and if you have any requests for a kdrama review, please let me know in the comment section of any article.


  1. I absolutely agree with this article. Today’s episode was owned by Kim Jun Ho and I really loved the starting. Like it’s said in the article, I could also get that Kim Jun Ho is going to die and I could relate it with Itaewon class. I’m happy with the fact that Mam Joo hyuk’s story wasn’t involved it coul have been too much complicated. I think this drama is promising and will keep up in the race of all hit dramas of October.

  2. It was so amazing! I was expecting less, and you exactly described my reaction to the episode. I watched the second episode today too, and it completely amazed me.

    I really like the progression of the story. The cinematography was very representative, and the OST’s topped the scenes off perfectly. Red Velvet – Having the most inspiring song of 2020, and Jung Seung Hwan – Having such a heart wrenching voice that represents emotion in the best way. I think there was also the girl from Bol4 (from what I heard because nothing is really released yet) who sings an OST as well. The scenes are really strong on emotion. They bring out empathy like never before from you – even if you have never been in such a situation.

    I thought Suzy and Nam Joo Hyuk wouldn’t make the best pair, but the characters suit them so well, and they complement each other.

    I think I cried in both episodes. The first one was too sad, and the second one was so beautiful!

    This show is really interesting, and I assure you it won’t be boring or annoying. The story and plot may seem simple, but it’s really something unique that the director had brought to life. I really do not regret watching this, and will continue to watch it. It is definitely on my top 10 list for kdramas!

    – YY

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.