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Apple TV+’s ‘Pachinko’ is a universal message of hope


The critically acclaimed Apple TV+ series Pachinko wraps up this week. Based on the best-selling book, it tells the story of four generations of a Korean family who moves to Japan and lives through war, peace, and 80 years of joy and struggle.

Showrunner Soo Hugh tells ABC Audio that despite the theme, it’s a global show.

“I want the biggest audience for this show because I think it’s a story that’s worth telling,” she explains. “And hopefully one day, I truly hope that we can get rid of those terms, that we can get rid of terms like domestic, international, that we will just have one global marketplace, stories that speak to everyone and connect us together.”

“These are just basic human emotions that we’re investigating,” Hugh adds. “You know, a mother’s hopes and dreams, loss, homesickness. No one people own those feelings.”

The project was personal for Hugh, who shares, “You grow up with stories of how hard the war was, how hard the post war years are. But…I think no child wants to hear how difficult things are for his or her family, right? And it’s only through age and through experience that you understand just how hard it is to live. And I think that kind of empathy as you age just makes you understand these stories better.”

Hugh notes the series — set in South Korea, Japan, and the United States — wasn’t easy to make because of the “scope…ambitions, multiple countries, long shoots, long post process [and] very complicated structure, ” but it was definitely worth the struggle.

“And also, I talk about tears of being genuinely moved so many times by the actor’s performances, by the music, by so many things,” she continues.

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