For those who haven’t heard, Apple TV+ is now releasing a TV adaptation of the book Pachinko. Pachinko was one of my favorite books of 2021, and I wasn’t sure whether the TV series would live up to the hype.
Apple definitely allotted a significant budget to producing Pachinko, as the show stars ultra-popular Korean actor Lee Min-ho as one of the main characters; there are also several other cast members that I recognize, although actress who plays the main character Sunja is a relative newcomer (she is a fantastic actress though).
The show follows the book pretty closely, with the main difference being that the book is chronological while the show keeps hopping back from the past to the present time. This makes it difficult to follow the show at the beginning, as they don’t really do much to introduce the characters/timeline; however, as you watch the show and get more familiar with the style, it all begins to make more sense. If you are confused at the end of the first episode, you are not alone in that feeling, but definitely keep watching as it gets much better.
I think the best way to approach watching Pachinko is to read the book right before watching the series, as this way you will remember the entire plot and be able to recognize all the characters. There was about a year gap between me reading the book and watching the series, so there are some parts I don’t remember too well; I will probably try and read the book again sometime in the future to remember exactly what happens.
Pachinko Recommendation Rating: 5
1: Something worth checking out if you have time
2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone
3: Something worth prioritizing if interested
4: Something worth making time to check out
5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for