Pop Culture

‘Money Heist: Korea’ is a new series coming soon from Netflix. Here are some things to know about it

Netflix has released a documentary titled “Money Heist: From Tokyo to Berlin” featuring the actors and crew discussing what it took to make the series a success, as well as their thoughts on how the show went after being on Netflix for five seasons.

But “Money Heist” has continued for years, with the just released “Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area.”

“Money Heist: Korea” is a popular Korean television series similar to its original international format. Its distinctive plot has been maintained in the latest installment, which takes place in Spain and feels much different from the original story.

People who loved watching the original “Money Heist” know that Professor Steve and his recruits use international city names to hide their identities from one another during their criminal exploits. The characters in “Money Heist: Korea” definitely use the same monikers.

The Professor (Yoo Ji-tae), the narrator, links up with the series in the aftermath of a crime. He’s joined by Tokyo (Jun Jong-seo), Berlin (Park Hae-soo), Moscow (Lee Won-jong), Denver (Kim Ji-hun), Rio (Lee Hyun-woo), Nairobi (Jang Yoon-ju) and Alps (Lee Kyu-ho).

First episode has its fair share of similarities: the thieves take over the Mint while high school students are touring the building. The hostages are forced to dress as their captors to throw off police.

The characters in “Squid Game” also maintain some physical and personality parallels with their “Casa de Papel” counterparts. Tokyo rocks a blunt bob like none other. (Okay, maybe one other.) Moscow, husky and bearded, is often seen trying to calm his hotheaded, handsome son, Denver. Rio is a sweet goofball.

Nairobi does whatever she wants. And Berlin — who will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with “Squid Game” — is quite capable of taking care of himself.

Kim Yunjin is a detective who takes on the role of Seon Woojin, the police negotiator who tries to figure out what the Professor and his team want.

On top of the audacious crime she hopes to solve, Woojin (like Raquel Murillo before her) also faces sexism on the job, at which she is decidedly better than all of the men around her.

“Money Heist: Korea” is called “Joint Economic Area” because the series takes place in a near-future that finds North Korea and South Korea on the cusp of reunification.

The Mint is located in the JEA, giving both Koreas jurisdiction over the crime scene. And because the Professor taps criminals from both sides of the border — Tokyo is among the North Koreans handpicked for the heist.

In “La Casa de Papel,” Tokyo is on the lam from a bank robbery. She later descends into a life of crime after being taken advantage of and forced to defend herself, as we learn about her journey during her escape in this novel.

When the Professor asks his task force to choose nicknames, everyone thinks of “Tokyo” as a good option. When Rio asks why she chose “Tokyo of all names,” she replies, “Because we are going to do something bad.” They seem to be referencing the Japanese occupation of Korea.

Korean TV shows and films explore economic inequality. This aligns with the theme of inequality in this version.

In recent years, South Korea has become a global exporter of culture. They are especially known for movies, television and music. As America catches up with this super-popular trend, Netflix is leading the way by investing heavily in Korean dramas.

You can watch “Money Heist: Korea” with English subtitles or in English like the original.

Many viewers will find that the characters in “Casa de Papel” wear many of their fake Salvador Dalí masks. The thieves in this movie do not, instead they wear traditional Hahoe masks.

“Money Heist” has remained one of Netflix’s most popular titles. The K-dramas, and other non-English titles, have also seen good success on streaming services and are expected to stay up there even next week.

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