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Recommended: Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area on Netflix

The popular series is just as entertaining in a Korean remake with a few new twists.
  • Lee Hyun, Park Hae-soo, and Jun Jong-seo in Money Heist Korea: JEA. (Photo: Jung Jaegu/Netflix)
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    Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area | Netflix
    Twelve-Episode Limited Series (Crime Drama) | TV-MA

    What's Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area About?

    This is pretty much a dead-on remake of Netflix's global hit Money Heist (aka La casa de papel), set in a counterfactually reunified Korea. As with the original series, the story follows a criminal mastermind called The Professor who assembles a group of shady types to steal a fortune from a mint.

    Who's involved?

    • Yoo Ji-tae is the Professor, whose storyline has been altered a bit to accommodate the imagined reunification of North and South Korea.
    • A number of familiar Korean actors are in the cast, led by Yunjim Kim, who played Sun on Lost. She plays Seon, the police negotiator who enters the scene after the robbers have broken into the mint and taken hostages.
    • Squid Game star Park Hae-soo is Berlin, the Professor's second-in-command.
    • Parasite star Park Myung-hoon plays the director of the mint who is eventually taken hostage.
    • The Professor's recruits all have the same code names as in the original Money Heist. They include Jeon Jong-Seo as Tokyo, Kim Ji-hoon as Denver, Yoon-ju Jang as Nairobi, Hyun-Woo Lee as Rio, and Ji-Hoon Kim as Helsinki.
    • Director Kim Hong-sun and writer Ryu Yong-jae developed the unified-Korea storyline as a way to draw interest from both Korean and global audiences.

    Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?

    The relatively low profile for Money Heist: Korea, and the fact that Netflix asked us to hold this review until the show debuts in Korea suggests that the series is largely intended for that specific audience. Indeed, if you've already watched the original Spanish series on Netflix, then there's little new about this version. If anything, the reunification fantasy only underscores the original series' anti-capitalist bias, in which the heist gang appears to act as avenging Robin Hoods.

    That said, Korean TV enthusiasts, fans of the actors who made Parasite and Squid Game, and anyone who was thinking of watching the original Money Heist a second time will want to check this out. The storyline of North and South Korea reunifying as a "Joint Economic Area" is intriguing, and there are all kinds of little variations to point out (the masks, for instance, are not Salvador Dali-inspired). Director Kim and writer Ryu say that their version of the iconic characters reflect Korean idiosyncracies, but these may be too subtle for non-Korean viewers to detect.

    Pairs well with

    • Leverage (Amazon Freevee). TNT's high-gloss caper series — featuring a group of cons who avenge people being exploited by the wealthy - was such reliable comfort food that Amazon's Freevee brought it back.
    • Peaky Blinders(Netflix). This epic family drama set in post–World War I England offers a similar mix of crime and humor, flavored with political intrigue.
    • Perpetual Grace LTD (Epix). Ben Kingsley and Terry O'Quinn were terrific in this one-season series about a drifter and a kidnapping scheme involving a pastor and his wife.

  • Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area
    The first six episodes premiere June 24. The release date for the remaining six episodes has not yet been announced.
    Created by: Álex Pina.
    Starring: Yunjin Kim, Park Hae-soo, Yoo Ji-tae, Park Myung-hoon, Lee Hyun-woo, and Jun Jeong-seo.
    Directed by: Kim Hong-sun.
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    TOPICS: Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area, Netflix, Álex Pina, Jun Jeong-seo, Kim Hong-sun, Lee Hyun-woo, Park Hae-soo, Park Myung-hoon, Yoo Ji-tae, Yunjin Kim