Min Jin Lee’s 2017 epic historical fiction novel Pachinko was always destined for onscreen greatness, and thankfully, the 2022 Apple TV+ adaptation did not disappoint! A Korean family’s tale of hardship after immigrating to Japan, Pachinko takes place in three separate storylines that are ripe for a multi-season arc. After a well-received first run, this streaming adaptation is already up for a second season.
Premise of ‘Pachinko’
One family is shown in three generations after Sunja immigrates to Japan following an out-of-wedlock pregnancy as a teenager. Through her and her progeny’s eyes, we see the discrimination and degradation Korean immigrants faced in the early 20th century through to the present.
Soo Hugh is credited as the creator of the series, producing and co-writing every episode. Her major credit was as the developer of ABC’s The Whispers, but Pachinko is by far her most involved product. The notable crew members are directors Kogonada and Justin Chon, who are some of the best and brightest working today.
Praise of ‘Pachinko’
The novel Pachinko was praised particularly for its intimacy with the characters, as the reader would get attached in each successive iteration of the story. Even with intercutting between timelines, this TV adaptation expertly holds that same quality, weaving the memories of the past seamlessly into the present action. Since this story is told across numerous decades with dozens of characters (and three actors for the main character), that is a truly impressive feat.
The finale premiered on April 29th, 2022. Watch all of Season 1 now!