Everything You Need To Know About The TV Show “Pachinko”

Everything You Need To Know About The TV Show “Pachinko”

Pachinko is an upcoming American drama limited series created by creator Soo Hugh, co-creator of the American horror drama anthology television series The Terror. It is directed and produced by Kogonada, director of Colombus and After Yang, and Justin Chon, anchor and director of Blue Bayou, with Kogonada and Chon directing four episodes each. Pachinko is based on the New York bestselling historical-fiction epic novel of the same name by Min Jin Lee. In 2017, the novel received critical acclaim, gaining millions of readers. In a review by The Guardian, they described the novel and wrote, “Vivid and immersive, Pachinko is a rich tribute to a people that history seems intent on erasing.” Pachinko is a moving tale that should definitely be on your watch list. The TV adaptation of the book is scheduled to air on Apple TV+ on March 25, 2022, and here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming series.

The plot

Pachinko follows the story of a Korean immigrant family told over four generations. It centers on the family’s journey as they leave their homeland and try their best to survive in Japan. The storyline switches from one timeline to another starting in 1910 during the time of Japanese colonialization and culminating in 1989. The title of the series and book is based on the form of low-stakes gambling popular in Japan, Pachinko, from which it draws its major themes. Hollywood Reporter described the major themes of the series saying, “Pachinko is a harrowing portrait of suffering balanced against an elating tale of familial resilience and female strength.” It centers on the life of Sunja, the heroine of the story. Her story is told across three timelines as a young girl growing up in Korea during the Japanese rule, a young woman in the 1920s, and as an elderly woman in the 1980s. As a Korean woman living in Japan at that time, Sunja’s story is filled with struggles as she walks the path towards triumph. The series is filled with heart-wrenching performances with storytelling that reaches beyond cultural boundaries. In an interview with Vanity Fair, showrunner Hugh shared that one of the inspirations for the adaptation is the film The Godfather. “The spotlight that I’m interested in is the question of survival, but at what cost?” she shared. She further elaborated by saying, “When you are someone who grows up with no safety net, your choices and the ramifications of those choices are so different than those who do have that safety net. It tests all of our characters’ moral fortitude—yes, you can live, but how far are you willing to go?”

It features three languages

English is not the dominant language used in Pachinko. Most of the dialogues are in Korean and Japanese. In an interview with Harper Bazaar, creator Soo Hugh shared, “I don’t understand how else you could tell the story of colonization because language is part of that,” He added, “I just don’t think you can possibly do this story without doing the three languages.” In relation to this, Vanity Fair shared in their article about Pachinko’s possible breakthrough saying, “When the eight-episode first season debuts in March, Pachinko could break through one of the remaining barriers in the American TV space as a show told mostly in a foreign language and starring an almost all Asian cast (of the 637 cast members, 95% are Asian).”

The cast

Youn Yuh-jung 

Pachinko presents an ensemble cast featuring both veteran actors and newcomers. Academy award winner Youn Yuh-jung stars as present-day Sunja, the main protagonist. Aside from her recent Academy awards, her accolades also include a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and a nomination for a Critics’ Choice Movie Award. The veteran actress has starred in many South Korean television series and films, and if you have watched her Oscar-winning performance in Minari, for which she won Best Supporter Actress, you definitely don’t want to miss her performance in the upcoming series.

Kim Min-ha and Jeon Yu-na 

The other actors who will play the lead role Sunja are Kim Min-ha, with the series being her debut performance, playing the teen version of Sunja while 10-year-old Jeon Yu-na plays Sunja as a child.

Lee Min-ho 

One of Korea’s top leading actors and the most followed South Korean actor on social media, Lee Min-ho plays the role of Koh Hansu, a Korean merchant and fish broker living in Japan who isn’t what he appears to be. Lee has appeared in several Korean dramas and films playing lead roles and is best known for his roles in Boys Over Flowers, The Heirs, The Legend of the Blue Sea, and The King: Eternal Monarch.

Other cast members

Jin Ha plays Solomon Baek, Sunja’s grandson who works for a giant international firm. Jin is best known for his appearance in the drama Devs, the anthology series Modern Love, and the Broadway musical Hamilton as Aaron Burr. The cast also includes Steve Sang-Hyun Noh (Sense8) as Isak, Anna Sawai (Fast and Furious 9) as Naomi, Jimmi Simpson (Westworld) as Tom Andrews, Junwoo Han (Sense8) as Yoseb, and Eun Chae Jung (Nobody’s Daughter) as Young Kyunghee. In a review by Rolling Stone, they praised the show’s aesthetics and musical score saying “Pachinko is technically impressive on all levels — it’s visually stunning, with a knockout score by Nico Muhly. The show is also gorgeous to look at in each era it covers, with the lush greens of Sunja’s pastoral childhood just as vivid as the cool blues of Solomon’s modern world.” In the same article, they commended Pachinko’s storytelling and wrote, “Pachinko makes clear that where our people come from, and what they’ve been through, is always a part of who we are in the present. And it delivers that message with precision force throughout. Don’t miss it.” IndieWire also wrote a review saying, “That idea of having a clear glimpse at some portions of the past and only being able to grasp at others seems fundamental to the idea of a shared family history. It makes “Pachinko” a lovingly crafted paradox, one worth giving yourself over to.”

Start a Discussion

Main Heading Goes Here
Sub Heading Goes Here
No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.