Apple TV+’s original series “Pachinko” was crowned as the best foreign language series at the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards held in Los Angeles, Monday.
Filmed in Korean, Japanese and English, the period drama follows the life of a Korean family moving to Japan in the 20th century.
The drama won the award over eight other competitors in the category. Also in the running was Korean legal drama “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” starring Park Eun-bin.
“It’s a great honor for me to come to where I am now with ‘Pachinko,’ which is a very valuable and meaningful project for me. I want to thank and congratulate all producers, directors, staff and actors (who worked with me), as well as send deep gratitude to fans who loved ‘Pachinko’ … I also want to give all thanks and honors to Sun-ja-like people around the world,” Kim Min-ha, who played a teenage Sun-ja, said in a statement via her agency, Saram Entertainment.
This is the fourth consecutive year in which Korea-related content has been recognized at the prestigious award ceremony in which North America’s largest critics group evaluates the year’s work of art.
In 2020, director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” won the best foreign language film while “Minari” by Korean American director Isaac Chung took home the award in 2021. At the last year’s Critics Choice Awards, the Netflix sensation "Squid Game" won the best non-English language TV series and its lead actor Lee Jung-jae won the best actor award in a drama series.
“Pachinko” is based on Korean American author Lee Min-jin’s bestselling novel of the same title. The series presents the universal story of immigrants through the Korean female character, Sun-ja, played by Youn Yuh-jung and rookie actor Kim Min-ha, born into a poor family in Busan.
The drama, starring both acclaimed and new actors from Korea including Lee Min-ho who played Koh Han-su and Korean American actor Jin Ha, garnered global attention soon after its release in May last year.
“Pachinko” gained rave reviews around the world for dealing with cultural identity and intergenerational memory.
The series tells the story of four generations of a Korean family who are forced to migrate to Japan during the Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.
Meanwhile, Apple TV+ confirmed last year the return of “Pachinko” with a second season. The eight-part new season will also be produced in three different languages -- English, Japanese and Korean.
During the 28th annual Critics Choice Awards held in Los Angeles on Sunday night, "Better Call Saul" won best drama series while "Abbott Elementary" won best comedy series and "Everything Everywhere All At Once" won best picture award.
"Saul" star Bob Odenkirk won best actor in a drama series, while his co-star Giancarlo Esposito won the award for best supporting actor.
Zendaya picked up the prize for best actress in a drama series "Euphoria" and Jennifer Coolidge won best supporting actress in a drama series for "The White Lotus."
Daniel Radcliffe was named best actor in a TV movie for "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story," winner in best limited series or TV movie category.
Paul Walter Hauser won best supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie for "Black Bird," and Niecy Nash-Betts won best supporting actress in a limited series or TV movie trophy for "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story."