The Filipino adaptation of South Korea’s award-winning television drama series, Start Up, started off with a bang. Starring Bea Alonzo, Alden Richards, Jeric Gonzales, and Yasmien Kurdi, Start Up PH premiered on GMA Network on Monday evening.
The drama opened with a colorful animation lain with an upbeat tune featuring iconic items from the drama like the sisters’ music box, the bird house which served as the mailbox for young Dani and young Tristan’s letters, Lola Joy’s, played by veteran actress Gina Alajar, food truck, and a mobile phone and a laptop used by Jeric’s character, Dave Navarro, for the mobile app and programming.
Though an adaptation, Start Up PH made notable differences from the original series that #TeamGoodBoy is celebrating.
The first scene, much like in the original series, kicked off with a drone shot introducing Sandbox PH, the place serving as an incubator for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators’ ideas and projects. Along the way, the first look of the main cast was presented; Alden as Tristan Hernandez looking up from the bridge, Bea as Danica “Dani” Sison sitting on the bench, and Jeric as Davidson “Dave” Navarro among the excited crowd watching the drone show.
To further introduce Tristan, bits of his past were teased with a flashback. Despite being a successful team leader with great investment skills, his early life was not a flowery road. Tristan is an orphan who lived with his abusive aunt at a young age until he ran away from their house with his prize laptop, a scene original to the adaptation. But because of his turn to independence, he came across Lola Joy, Dani, and her older sister Ina.
For those who were not aware, the first appearance of Tristan’s female artificial intelligence device “Maria” may have hinted at a well-known voice talent. Inka Magnaye, the voice artist behind the sassy AI that tipped Tristan’s reunion with Dani. This role marks Inka’s first in a series that she was very much excited to show everyone.
From makulit to sweet and tender, we were also presented with lola-apo moments between Lola Joy and Dani. Lola Joy is a well-loved character in the original series as Dani’s guardian. She provided for her granddaughter by selling merienda favorites, turon and banana cue. Her unconditional support and love for her aspiring and proactive granddaughter surely melt our hearts.
Yasmien was also praised for how she executed the estranged, cold, and composed older sister Karina “Ina” Diaz. During her first meeting with Dani, her politely smiling face shifted to a shock upon recognizing her sister among the crowd was a chef’s kiss.
It was at that moment when Tristan also recognized who Dani was. Prior to that moment was the kilig first encounter outside the Sandbox PH building wherein Dani tripped, thanks to her old heels, and Mr. Good Boy Tristan was there just in time to catch her.
The premiere episode of Start Up PH looked promising. Although not much was shown about Dave Navarro in the first episode, just like in the original series, it leaves the viewers with more to look out for in the succeeding episodes.
It was an episode packed with lots of feels. There was the kilig, the tension, the heartwarming moments, the comforting and motivating parts.
The beautiful scenery and amazing cinematography also deserve commendation. It was pleasing to the eyes, enough to invoke a spark in our chests to dream once again.
Start Up PH is a K-drama with a Filipino twist, a feel-good and inspiring teleserye that will keep the viewers wanting and curious about what is there to come.