In a time where streaming services are at an all time peak, Netflix and Hulu seem to take the majority of the customers, but lurking in the background was always Sony Pictures Entertainment owned Crackle, which focuses mainly of the web side of the service.
With original shows like Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee which are fun to watch, due to their short-but-sweet length, Crackle has also focused its creative powers on creating original action-dramas. Case in point, Ben Ketai, writer, director and creator of Chosen, one of Crackle's main shows, spanning three seasons in 2013 and 2014, with a fourth rumored to premiere sometime this Winter.
Ketai was the one who proved that Crackle can do what Netflix does: Produce quality content, exclusive to it's own service, with the only downside being it's inability to release new content every month, like its competitor.
Regardless, Crackle is making an effort and heads are slowly turning towards it, mainly because its content is free of charge, with no-strings-attached; making it a viable option to capture the attention of new customers.
Start Up Brings Crypto-Currency To The TV
Most people under 30 grasp the concept of BitCoin, be it in a general sense or with a deeper knowledge, but the older audience might have a hard time understanding the concept of digital money, something based entirely on ones and zeros, rather than physical cash in-hand. That's why within the first two episodes, we're given a crash course of GenCoin, the new currency. We even hear a character ask "Is it like PayPal?" and a subsequent explanation on what it is and how it works.
So fear not, if you're not familiar with the concept, it'll all be broken down. I personally had certain notions, but zero real knowledge on how digital currencies actually operate, so I ended up learning something and am now inspired to read more. But that's just my uncontrollable curiosity for everything tech these days.
Three People From Different Worlds Entwine
Start Up also joins people together, in this case, Ronald (Edi Gathegi), a gangster from a Haitian-American gang trying to make his way in a struggling community; Nick (Adam Brody), a banker with illegal money to hide and Izzy (Otmara Marrero), the mastermind of the revolution called GenCoin.
Their lives had little to no chance to entwine at any point, but they end up meeting due to the circumstances of life and possibly, destiny. While at first their chemistry seems a little off, they eventually become a powerful trio, that will stop at nothing to get their business going.
Joining them is FBI agent Phil Rask (Martin Freeman), a corrupt fed that's after the money Nick is hiding who ends up meddling in their company and trying to stop GenCoin from becoming the new currency of the free world.
Money, Money, Money
Money is the main problem and solution in Start Up. It's even used as a motivation. It comes to show how powerful money really is and what it means in today's world. As our characters fight through every episode to make sure their version of the American dream comes true, all three main characters are dealing with their own problems. These eventually turn into collective issues, like finding an investor willing to put in some finance into the project that most likely will change the world.
In the meantime, Rask makes it personal, as he claims it's his money being used to start off this company and he wants it back, fast.
Drama Makes The World Go Around...
What makes Start Up stand out is that throughout it's 10 episodes, is that it hardly ever loses it's focus from the main objective. So much so that sometimes, it becomes a nuisance. Don't take me the wrong way, this show has a definite, clear, path and doesn't get sidetracked easily, but it's so focused, that everything else on the side seems irrelevant, mainly what happens in each of the character's lives individually.
While this is a good binge worthy show, it's plot takes a while to set in, only to be picked up further down the line. Ketai does an amazing job keeping all the threads closely bound together and presenting plausible obstacles when they're most needed in the plot. Freeman and Gathegi should also be applauses for their award worthy performances.