|Created by||Soo Hugh|
by Min Jin Lee
|Music by||Nico Muhly|
|Opening theme||"Let's Live for Today" by The Grass Roots (English ver.) and Leenalchi (Korean ver.)|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||47–63 minutes|
|Original network||Apple TV+|
|Original release||March 25, 2022 –|
Pachinko is an American drama television series created by Soo Hugh based on the 2017 novel by Min Jin Lee. The series is directed by Kogonada and Justin Chon and stars Youn Yuh-jung, Lee Min-ho, Kim Min-ha, and Jin Ha. It premiered on Apple TV+ on March 25, 2022. In April 2022, the series was renewed for a second season.
It received critical acclaim, particularly for its cinematography, writing, and the performances of the cast, most notably that of Kim Min-ha, Youn Yuh-jung, and Lee Min-ho.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date ||Prod.|
|1||"Chapter One"||Kogonada||Soo Hugh||March 25, 2022||A0005301001|
|The narrative begins in 1915 Yeongdo, a small island of the second largest city Busan, in Japanese-occupied Korea with Yangjin, evidently in some anguish, visiting a female shaman's house, where Yangjin recounts that she is married to a kind man with a cleft-lip with whom she has born three sons, none of whom have lived beyond one year, and asks the shaman to "lift the curse" of her childbearing. The narrative jumps to 1989 in New York City, where it follows a young, sharply-dressed Korean-American business man, who we later learn is originally from Japan and is named Solomon, as he attends a performance-review meeting with two of his managers, who inform him that, despite his stellar performance, he has not been selected by executives for a promotion to Vice President, news that prompts Solomon to boldly propose in the meeting that he be sent to Japan in order to close a stalled business deal worth millions of dollars, since he is confident he can cajole a Korean woman who is holding up the deal, in order to secure for himself the promotion and pay raise he covets. Back in 1920s Korea, Yangjin and her husband give birth to Sunja, a daughter, who as a young girl is popular, bright and capable. Sunja's parents—unnamed in the first episode—house male lodgers, at least one of which is a drunken fisherman who, because of anti-Japanese sentiments, is a controversial figure. In 1989, Solomon travels to Japan, where, prior to his business projects, he visits his father's home, where he catches up, seemingly after a long time away, with his grandmother—the elderly Sunja—his father, and a woman who we are meant to infer is his stepmother. In the 1920s, Sunja's father falls ill and dies. Nine years after his death, she is depicted as a regular merchant in a more developed fish market, still popular, bright, and capable, where she locks impassioned eyes with Hansu, a young impeccably-dressed businessman, who evidently has only then become the market's broker.|
|2||"Chapter Two"||Kogonada||Soo Hugh & Matthew J. McCue||March 25, 2022||A0005301002|
|In 1930s Yeongdo, tensions between Japanese emigrants and Korean natives evidently remain intense, as Sunja's mother, Yangjin, exhorts the teenage girl not to walk unaccompanied, fearing rumors spread among Korean women about targeted assaults upon them by Japanese men. Sunja, bright and capable, dismisses the exhortation, though is accosted shortly afterward on a solitary walk near the market by a group of young Japanese men, who are within moments of raping her before the dapper and commanding market broker apprehends the men and compels their apology to Sunja. In 1989 Tokyo, Solomon attends a wedding reception of the daughter of a prominent Japanese financier with two colleagues from his multinational corporation based in New York City, Shiffley. Solomon begins to immerse himself in the business culture of the Tokyo offices beneath and beside Tom Andrews and Naomi. Contemporaneously, the elderly Sunja nurses her sister-in-law, Kyunghee, as she reminisces about her past. In the 1930s, Sunja and Hansu become closer, as they share details about their dreams, history, and opinions about the world. Eventually, they make love in the woods at the peak of their romance. In 1989 Japan, Solomon's father, the owner of a pachinko arcade, secures a massive loan to expand his operations, while he and his partner take steps to discover the whereabouts of Hana. Solomon's bid to the Korean woman in pursuit of his business deal is refused, and Hana, who we infer is his childhood friend and/or stepsister, erstwhile missing inexplicably, calls him at work and evidently knows more than is imaginable about his personal and professional life.|
|3||"Chapter Three"||Kogonada||Hansol Jung and Soo Hugh||March 25, 2022||A0005301003|
|4||"Chapter Four"||Justin Chon||E. J. Koh and Soo Hugh||April 1, 2022||A0005301004|
|5||"Chapter Five"||Justin Chon||Franklin Jin Rho and Soo Hugh||April 8, 2022||A0005301005|
|6||"Chapter Six"||Justin Chon||Lauren Yee and Soo Hugh||April 15, 2022||A0005301006|
|7||"Chapter Seven"||Kogonada||Ethan Kuperberg and Soo Hugh||April 22, 2022||A0005301007|
|In 1923, a young Hansu lives in Yokohama with his single father Jong-yul, who works as a bookkeeper at an underground boxing ring owned by Ryoichi, a yakuza. Hansu earns money tutoring the dim-witted son of the wealthy Holmes family of American industrialists, whose matriarch suggests sending Hansu to Yale alongside their son. Jong-yul is discovered embezzling money from the yakuza, and is about to be executed by Ryoichi's men when the city is suddenly struck by the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which kills Jong-yul and his would-be executioners. In the aftermath of the earthquake, Hansu finds the bodies of the Holmes family, from whom he takes the pocketwatch he later gifts to Sunja, and encounters Ryoichi, who helps to hide Hansu from a group of vigilantes attacking Koreans. When he finally encounters his family, Ryoichi vows that they will take in Hansu, who still has his "father's debt to pay."|
|8||"Chapter Eight"||Justin Chon||Mfoniso Udofia and Soo Hugh||April 29, 2022||A0005301008|
In August 2018, Apple Inc. obtained the rights to the series, which was given a series order in April 2019. The reports also included that Soo Hugh would act as showrunner, writer, and executive producer for the series. The production company, Media Res, would also produce alongside Hugh. In October 2020, Lee Min-ho, Jin Ha, Anna Sawai, Minha Kim, Soji Arai, and Kaho Minami were announced to star, with South Korean filmmaker Kogonada and Justin Chon set to executive producer and direct four episodes each. Soo Hugh said it took six to seven months of worldwide search to cast the main actors and that she had asked all her actors to audition for their roles. Filming was set to commence on October 26, 2020, in South Korea, Japan, and North America. Lee Min-ho said he had finished filming in Busan, South Korea, in December 2020 and that he was preparing to film in Canada. Filming in Vancouver was scheduled to take place between February 6 and April 9, 2021.
The show's opening theme song is "Let's Live for Today" by The Grass Roots. Hugh said she originally thought about selecting "Out of Time" by The Rolling Stones but they were unable to secure the rights to that song. The title sequence was shot several times with different songs until "Let's Live for Today" was added during post-production.
On April 29, 2022, Apple renewed the series for a second season. Filming is scheduled to take place in Toronto from January 9 to March 27, 2023, and in Japan from March 27 to June 16, 2023. Leanne Welham will direct four episodes of the second season.
The series consisting of 8 episodes, produced in three languages, Korean, Japanese, and English premiered on March 25, 2022, on Apple TV+ with 3 episodes. One episode was released every Friday until April 29, 2022.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the series is "Certified Fresh" and holds an approval rating of 98% based on 57 critic reviews, with an average rating of 9.20/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Intricate yet intimate, Pachinko is a sweeping epic that captures the arc of history as well as the enduring bonds of family." On Metacritic, it has a score of 87 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
The standalone "Episode 7" starring Lee Min-ho and directed by Kogonada is listed as one of the best TV episodes of 2022 by The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Collider.
|AAFCA TV Awards||Best International Production||Pachinko||Won|||
|American Film Institute Awards||Top 10 Programs of the Year||Won|||
|Artios Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Pilot and First Season Drama Series||Mary Vernieu, Michelle Wade Byrd, Ko Iwagami, Corinne Clark, Jennifer Page||Nominated|||
|Asia Contents Awards||Rising Star Award||Kim Min-ha||Won|||
|Busan International Film Festival||Beyond Cinema Award||Won|||
|C21 International Drama Awards||Best Non-English Language Drama Series||Pachinko||Won|||
|Clio Music Awards||Silver Winner||Pachinko "Epic"||Won|||
|Bronze Winner||Pachinko "Home"||Won|||
|Dorian TV Awards||Best Non-English Language TV Show||Pachinko||Nominated|||
|Edinburgh TV Awards||Best International Drama||Pachinko||Won|||
|Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Main Title Design||Angus Wall, Nadia Tzuo, Florian Hoffmeister, Ante Cheng, Nathaniel Park, Lucy Kim||Nominated|||
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best Foreign Spot for a TV/Streaming Series||Pachinko "Home"||Nominated|||
|Best Music for a TV/Streaming Series||Pachinko "Home"||Nominated|
|Gotham Independent Film Awards||Breakthrough Series – Long Form||Pachinko||Won|||
|Outstanding Performance in a New Series||Kim Min-ha||Nominated|
|Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards||Best Streaming Series, Drama||Pachinko||Nominated|||
|Best International Series||Nominated|
|Best Writing in a Streaming Series, Drama||Soo Hugh (for "Chapter One")||Nominated|
|Humanitas Prize||Drama Teleplay||Won|||
|LMGI Awards||Outstanding Locations in a Period Television Series||Pachinko||Nominated|||
|Rose d'Or Awards||Drama||Nominated|||
|Satellite Awards||Best Miniseries & Limited Series||Nominated|||
|Television Critics Association Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Drama||Nominated|||
|Outstanding New Program||Nominated|
|Art Directors Guild Awards||Excellence in Production Design for a One-Hour Period Single-Camera Series||Mara LePere-Schloop (for "Chapter One")||Won|||
|British Academy Television Awards||Best International Programme||Soo Hugh, Michael Ellenberg, Lindsey Springer, Theresa Kang, Richard Middleton, Kogonada||Nominated|||
|British Society of Cinematographers Awards||Best Cinematography in Television Drama||Florian Hoffmeister (for "Chapter Three")||Nominated|||
|Critics' Choice Awards||Best Foreign Language Series||Pachinko||Won|||
|Independent Spirit Awards||Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series||Soji Arai, Jin Ha, In-ji Jeong, Min-ha Kim, Kaho Minami, Lee Min-ho, Noh Sang-hyun, Anna Sawai, Jimmi Simpson and Yuh-jung Youn||Won|||
|Peabody Awards||Best Entertainment||Pachinko||Won|||