“Pachinko” is an Apple TV+ drama that recently concluded its run for the first season, the series has been renewed for a second season recently.
The drama is based on Min Jin Lee’s best-selling novel of the same title and tells the story of four generations of a Korean immigrant family, its about how the family’s history unfolds across continents (Korea, Japan, and the United States).
Note: this is a subjective review
I am really late to the party, I’ve been very sick lately and couldn’t get better until very recently. Despite being late, I still think a review of “Pachinko” is in order.
“Pachinko” is hands down one of my favorite series of 2022. The year has been lackluster thus far and this series definitely stands out with its beautiful story, stunning cinematography, and impeccable performances.
To be clear, I did not personally read the novel on which the series was based on. But from what I’ve seen in this drama, I am very happy the novel was adapted and I am happy it was given the budget it deserves as well.
The story is so heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time, I cried so many times. The way it integrates the past and present is amazing. I can tell the people who worked on this drama wanted to be faithful to the source material and sensitive of the issues they cover over the span of four generations. It must have required a lot of hard work, I am so proud of them and I think they did wonderful.
In terms of the story, I have a note I want to say but you should also keep in mind that the series makers have stated they made “Pachinko” with four seasons in mind so something I say right now might be considered obsolete a year or so from now. So keep this in mind.
In my initial review of “Pachinko,” I said I liked how they switched between the past and the present. However, as the series progressed, I found myself not liking this approach so much because as things became more interesting in certain timelines, it felt as if each timeline needed its own episode/s to shine without being constantly interrupted.
I understand the reason why its done and I don’t think they’ll stop doing that, but it was getting a little distracting and not as gripping as time went by, thats because I found myself gravitating more towards some timelines over others.
The series is planned with four seasons in mind which means this drama will likely run for the next couple of years if we assume Apple TV+ renews it each time. I see this becoming a reality because the drama has found massive success domestically and especially overseas. The series has nearly 100% on rotten tomatoes. If you guys follow my reviews, you know how I feel about seasons, so I can’t say I am the most excited about this but at the same time, if the following seasons remain on the same level as this one, I’d say most of my fears will cease to exist.
The casting directors have done an amazing job with the drama, some of the roles must have not been easy to cast because they needed people who could speak two to three languages and with specific accents.
Kim Min Ha is definitely the star of the show, I didn’t personally know her prior to this role but she has a promising future ahead of her. She carries the drama with ease and its hard to believe she’s a rookie actress.
Lee Min Ho gives what I can only describe as his best acting performance to date. I knew he had it in him. His character is so interesting and you can clearly tell he’s put a lot of effort to transform into Han Su. While this might be a slight spoiler, I think its important to say to Lee Min Ho fans. If you expect to see him a lot in the series, you’ll be disappointed, while he is a focal character in the story, I felt he was more of a supporting character in this season rather than one of the main characters, I don’t know how much this will change in the future but I’ve seen people express their disappointment over this. This is my favorite Lee Min Ho drama in recent memory too. I think it will be very difficult for him to top this off. I want to see him play more roles like this, roles where he isn’t the prince in shining armor, I want him to play an even worse character in an upcoming project. I think it will be very interesting to see how he takes on such a character.
I am cautiously optimistic “Pachinko” season two, I can’t wait to see where the story goes but I hope they don’t take a long break in-between seasons. The drama was a huge success and so well-received so I hope they return with season two faster than whats the norm among OTT services.
So these are my thoughts on “Pachinko”, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.