Adapted from the novel by Min Jin Lee, creator Soo Hugh’s Apple TV+ series “Pachinko” is an emotional, expressive retracing though history that honors how Koreans were effected by Japanese colonization of Korea in the 20th century
It is a tribute to the stories that would not make it to the history books, including that of the women who tried to keep households alive.
Told across eight episodes, many of them an hour long and boasting major care from production,
it is an impressive, grandiose work, with one major caveat—it’s one of those adaptations that makes you want to read the book because certain pieces to the plotting seem to be missing.
The story concerns four generations, revolving around Sunja. She is the story’s tearful, sometimes hopeful eyes,
and its resilient soul. When she is a child in the 1910s, portrayed by Yu-na Jeon, she is precocious and independent; she notices the fears of the adults, and does not stop from trying to calm them.
But she starts to witness how the Japanese occupation of Korea affects people around her. It makes people like her father tremble in front of Japanese police. And that otherization of Koreans has also put women like her mother Yangjin (Inji Jeong), and the girl orphans at her mother's boarding house, into even lower life status.