Pachinko, the TV adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s best-selling 2017 novel, is streaming now on. Fans of the book were moved by the tale of family, survival and persevering women. When Apple first announced its exclusive original series, one overarching question arose: Would Min Jin Lee’s beloved novel be adapted in a way that captures the spirit and humanity of its characters while honoring the source material? The short answer is, yes. It’s elegant, it’s sad and it’s darn good.
Told in Korean, Japanese and English, Pachinko flows like a river thanks to outstanding cast performances that ground this family’s multigenerational journey. Helmed by showrunner Soo Hugh and directed by Kogonada and Justin Chon, the sweeping story pulls from all three parts of the novel. Though the first season is hard to watch at times, it’s a must-see. Youn Yuh-jung, Minha Kim, Steve Sang-Hyun Noh, Jin Ha andstar Lee Min-ho breathe life into their characters with sincerity and nuance.
Pachinko features Youn, who won thefor her role in Minari, as Sunja, the humble family matriarch whose destiny is foretold before her birth. In 1915, a shaman’s words to Sunja’s mother set the stage: “A child is coming. She will thrive. And through her a family will endure.”
As a young girl, Sunja has a twinkle in her eye and is nurtured by her devoted parents. But this early part of the story illustrates one example of its symbolic title. In real life, Pachinko is a pinball machine-like game that’s often rigged against its players, making it difficult to win. Yet people keep gambling on it, hoping that fate smiles in their favor. In Lee’s tale, Pachinko represents how nothing in life is assured. Loss makes it necessary for Sunja to work in the family business in Japanese-occupied Korea, and from there, her unpredictable path begins to unfold.
It’s a period in time that was roiled in conflict. Between 1910 and 1945, Japan colonized Korea, taking land and suppressing Korean culture through laws and martial rule. It became illegal to speak the Korean language in schools or to teach from unsanctioned texts. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans encountered bigotry, forced labor and harsh punishments for not following the new rules set by the Japanese.
This historical aspect is weaved into Pachinko through language flips and shadowy cinematography that sets the tone. As Sunja’s narrative follows her as a small child, young adult and mature woman, the backdrop bounces from bright and airy to subdued. More importantly, the series demonstrates how decades of colonization and mistreatment may have impacted one’s identity and loyalties to their own culture, family or self. What to say, how to say it and what to do affect one’s freedom. Through these eight episodes, love, war, hope and fear play a role in the characters’ lives, and it’s often Sunja and the other women in the story who inspire — and prevail.
Through masterfully executed time jumps that move backward and forward, we’re taken into 1915, the 1920s and 1989. Minha Kim becomes Sunja in her early twenties when she meets and falls in love with the much older Hansu (Lee Min-Ho). Dressed in his signature white linen suit, he steals her heart — without telling her he’s married with children. After Sunja gets pregnant, he wants to financially provide for her as his mistress. However, rather than live under shameful circumstances, she accepts an unexpected marriage offer from a kind stranger.
These scenes play out nearly verbatim as they do in the book. You’ll be invested in Sunja’s relationship with Hansu, her life with the pastor Isak (Steve Sang-Hyun Noh) in Japan, and her two sons, Noa and Mozasu. The overwhelming sadness — and sense of responsibility — that she feels throughout this stage of her life is palpable. And that twinkle in her eye doesn’t have quite the same luster. She goes through a lot.
This pain permeates the entire series and touches every character in the show, but there are lessons to glean for everyone, even the viewer. How do compassion, resilience and dignity show up? How much do immigrants give up? Sunja, who never learns to read or write, leaves her life in Korea behind for a future in Japan.
Season 1 introduces her adult son Mozasu as a successful Pachinko parlor owner who carries his own resentments. And Mozasu’s son Solomon is torn between preserving his integrity and keeping his job at a hotshot Wall Street firm. Though it’s an undercurrent running in the background, you’ll understand how their fates are connected to all the struggles that Sunja weathered in life. She walked so they could run. It’s relatable, fascinating to watch and will give you pause about the mothers and grandmothers in your own life who did the same.
Youn shines as the elder Sunja and anchors the story. As Sunja reflects on her life, you can’t help but wonder if she still has any of that sparkle in her eye. She’s endured so much heartbreak and sacrifice that it feels like you can only count her moments of joy on one hand. But they are there, and you’d be hard-pressed not to root for her and see her as a hero.
Even if you’ve never read the book, Pachinko is a story you need to experience. The first three episodes stream on Apple TV Plus on March 25, and the remaining five installments of the series will drop weekly on Fridays.
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Overwatch 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow: Start Time and What to Expect
Overwatch 2 starts its second beta on Tuesday, June 28, for PC and console players. The beta begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and runs through Monday, July 18. Sign-ups are still open for a chance to participate, and you can still get guaranteed access if you’re willing to spend some cash.
The next beta will be our first look at Junker Queen, a new tank hero who first appeared in posters on the Junkertown map that was released in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we’re finally getting the chance. The new beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance.
Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard’s class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be. The injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that’s plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.
How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta
Anyone can sign up for Overwatch 2’s second beta, but it’s not technically an open beta. The game will add people gradually as it ramps up server capacity, and the first big wave of beta access will happen on July 5, according to the beta FAQ page. Even if you were in the previous beta, you’ll need to sign up again.
Here’s how to sign up:
1. Go to the Overwatch 2 beta site.
2. In the top right corner, log in to your Blizzard Account.
3. At the bottom of the Overwatch 2 beta page, choose your platform (and region for PlayStation players).
4. Then hit Request Beta Access.
If you want guaranteed beta access on June 28, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40). In addition to beta access on day one, you’ll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.
How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?
Blizzard hasn’t released details on downloading the second beta, but it should follow the same process as the first beta. Here’s how that worked:
1. Log in to your Battle.net account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.
2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.
3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.
4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.
Junker Queen abilities
The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we’ve all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here’s what we know about Junker Queen’s abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:
New Hybrid Map: Paraiso
The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio’s home, including the DJ’s Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload.
For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the.
Icebergify: How To Create an Iceberg of Your Most Listened to Spotify Artists
Been on social media today? Seen those bizarre musical Icebergs floating around in your feed? You’re not alone. Screenshots like this have been doing the rounds today, particularly on Twitter.
It’s all created via the magic of a website called Icebergify.
Using the data from your Spotify listening habits, Icebergify creates an Iceberg of your most listened to artists ranked by popularity. At the tip of the iceberg? Your favourite “mainstream” artists. Your Taylor Swifts, your Beyonces, your Drakes, etc. The further down you go, the more obscure it becomes. It looks a little like this…
If you want to see your own iceberg, you can head to the website directly. Be warned: it does require your Spotify log-in.
The Icebergify website was developed by Akshay Raj, a freshman studying Computer & Data Science at Rice University. He says he has no plans to monetize the site or use the data collected — which is limited to your username, Spotify account ID and the top 50 tracks and artists listened to over the past few years.
How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Icebergify takes your most listened to artists and sorts them according to popularity rankings. Streams, shares, saves, likes, and followers are all taken into account. This is why Beyonce might be at the top of your iceberg, but lesser known artists are at the bottom, beneath the ocean. Also worth noting: It seems like Icebergify is being flooded due to its surprising popularity. Head back later if it doesn’t immediately work.
Apple’s First Mixed-Reality Headset May Sport New M2 Processor
Apple’s first mixed-reality headset could come with the company’s flagship M2 processor, just one of the “deluge” of new products the company is expected to unveil in the next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Sunday.
The M2, unveiled in June, features redesigned central processing units and a significant memory increase, which would provide a significant boost to the much-rumored headset over the previous M1 chip.
The much-rumored headset incorporating both virtual and augmented reality environments is expected to provide a boon to the gaming industry. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier week that the headset —— would be the most complicated product Apple has designed yet.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about his excitement about AR. Earlier this week, he explained that the tech industry is still in the “very early innings” of this technology’s possibilities.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer,” Cook told China Daily.
Other products Gurman expects to debut in the next 12 months include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod, and an upgraded Apple TV.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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