Based on the 2017 book of the same name written by Lee Min Jin, Apple TV‘s Korean drama Pachinko is already debuting to amazing reviews.
Starring the legendary Youn Yuh Jung, Kim Min Ha, and Lee Min Ho, the drama has earned the title of “the finest drama of the year” by NME. The British magazine detailed why it was such a gem.
With the Korean drama airing in less than twenty-four hours, NME got to watch it ahead of time and laid out why it was so groundbreaking.
Despite the drama taking place in three different timelines of the main character Sun Ja‘s life, the magazine praised it for how well it “slips back and forth through timelines without getting muddled or convoluted.” It also talks about an important point of Korean history.
Pachinko begins in 1910, when Korea was occupied by Japan, focusing on the “lives of the Zainichi population, or Korean people who emigrated to Japan during the occupation.”
Following the family’s multiple generations into the 1980s, moving between New York and Tokyo as well, the drama receives praise for handling such a sensitive topic with amazing storytelling and acting.
Pachinko is a masterclass in constructing a drama around a sensitive time in recent history. A time that—its cast members have shared in interviews—isn’t widely discussed in Korea, let alone the world at large.
— Rhian Daly (NME)
The heartfelt acting of the entire cast, especially Oscar winner Youn Yuh Jung, made the “luck, survival, and sacrifice” of the characters feel real. So much so that NME called it one of the best dramas that “haunts you for days, weeks, and months afterwards.”
With Pachinko being released on March 25, viewers won’t have to wait long to see the drama that’s already earned praise as the best of the year.