“Pachinko” is an exclusive Apple TV+ series based on the New York Times bestseller by author Min Jin Lee.
While K-dramas aren’t a genre I gravitate towards, and neither are epics, I was enthralled with “Pachinko” within just a few minutes of Episode 1. Even the crazy opening credit montage of Sunja and the rest of the family dancing in the pachinko parlor interspersed with footage of Japanese citizens from different decades was enough to draw me in.
With stunning visuals and meticulous writing, this is a beautiful story about love and perseverance, choice and chance, sacrifice and survival.
“Pachinko” on Apple TV+ is based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name. The epic chronicles the hopes and dreams of 4 generations of a Korean immigrant family as they leave their homeland in an indomitable quest to survive and thrive.
The story begins with a forbidden romance that leads to a sweeping saga taking place in Korea, Japan, and America across 4 generations of a family focused on a matriarch named Sunja. Sunja grows up the daughter of an innkeeper in South Korea near Busan under Japanese rule. She later immigrates to Japan, and we meet her grandson Solomon.
What's in a name? About the name Pachinko
While the name is from the novel, the metaphor is still striking and in some ways even more recognizable in visual form–the family’s fortunes are tied to chance. Every choice a character makes affects future generations, and there are always forces in play that they can’t see (just like in real life).
Mozasu (Sunja’s son, Solomon’s father) owns a Pachinko parlor; their family fortune is tied to Pachinko.
Pachinko is a popular Japanese game. Since gambling is technically illegal in Japan, this game is played with small balls that look like pinball balls and the object of the game is to bounce balls off pins and get the balls in cups that you then redeem for tickets or tokens (not cash) prizes. However, like most gambling-types games, pachinko is rigged in ways that the players can’t see.
About “Pachinko” on Apple TV+
Based on the New York Times bestseller, this sweeping saga chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations as they leave their homeland in an indomitable quest to survive and thrive.
Epic in scope and intimate in tone, the story begins with a forbidden love and crescendos into a saga that journeys between Korea, Japan, and America to tell an unforgettable story of war and peace, love and loss, and triumph and reckoning. Filled with universal themes of family, love, triumph, fate, and resilience, the series chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations as they leave their homeland in an indomitable quest to survive and thrive. Starting in South Korea in the early 1900s, the story is told through the eyes of a remarkable matriarch, Sunja, who triumphs against all odds. It juxtaposes her story with that of her grandson, Solomon, in the 1980s.
Director: Kogonada, Justin Chon
Writer: Soo Hugh
Producer: Mark Swift
Executive Producers: Soo Hugh, Kogonada, Justin Chon, Michael Ellenberg, Lindsey Springer, Theresa Kang-Lowe
Cast: Yuh-Jung Youn, Lee Minho, Jin Ha, Minha Kim,
“Pachinko” is now available on Apple TV+.
Thank with Google
I’m excited to be one of Google’s paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program. Thank with Google is an experimental feature that allows you to purchase a virtual sticker and directly show your appreciation for your favorite content on my website. As a loyal supporter, you can now feel more connected and engaged because you have the ability to express yourself and share what my work means to you.
There are a variety of stickers to select from, and every time you send a paid sticker, you can add a personal message, which I enjoy receiving. For me, these virtual stickers translate into direct revenue to support the work that goes into the content that you are enjoying on my blog.
You can find the Thank with Google feature on my site as a button floating at the bottom of my blog posts.
If you try it out, let me know what you think! As always, thanks for your support in bringing you cool content!