The most recent Korean-produced international hit on Netflix is “Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area.” The top spot on the streaming giant’s Global Non-English top ten ranking for the past week belongs to the Korean adaptation of “La Casa de Papel” (also known as “Money Heist”).
Since the series premiered on Friday, June 24, it had just three days to secure a spot in the list for the week of June 20–26. It was listened to for 33.7 million hours during that time. Additionally, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand ranked the series as their top television programme.
It joins other Korean shows on Netflix that have achieved success on a worldwide scale. According to the firm, shows including “All Of Us Are Dead,” “Juvenile Justice,” and “Business Proposal” all hit the top spot among audiences worldwide in the first half of 2022. Last year, Netflix and “Squid Game” assisted in raising the profile of Korean programming among international audiences.
The original “Casa de Papel,” a great global hit in and of itself, told the story of a crew of thieves from various backgrounds who steal into the Spanish banknote producing plant with the help of a mysterious colleague who works off-site.
The Korean version was created to give the proceedings a touch of Korean cool and aesthetic appeal. Eight thieves are followed as they pull off a spectacular theft at a mint, which is this time found in the area that has recently become united between North and South Korea.
The author Ryu Yong-jae commented, “As a big fan of the original Spanish series, I felt intrigued to tell this vibrant story in a Korean context.”
According to Netflix, it collaborated closely with the filmmakers to ensure that the remake would feel authentic to Korea while also incorporating subtleties into the visual storytelling, the character narratives, and the social commentary that were also present in the original, such as traditional Korean face masks.
According to Keo Lee, director of content for Netflix Korea, “We were very lucky when we received this pitch from Ryu and the producing team, which felt like the right framework for a remake that would be respectful to the original while bringing something new that fans in Korea and globally would appreciate.”
On the website Rotten Tomatoes, which rates works of popular culture, “Money Heist: Korea” received a respectable rating. There, it received an 83 percent rating from reviewers, making it eligible to be called a “certified fresh” red tomato. When less than 60% of users give a movie or TV programme a star rating of 3.5 or higher, according to Rotten Tomatoes, the movie or TV show has a tipped over popcorn bucket and a lower 49 percent score with viewers.
Audience feedback frequently highlights how closely the remake follows the original.
“Being remade means that a great original already exists. No matter how good a remake is, it can only be compared to the original, and it is easy to get bad reviews. Those who have already seen the Spanish version know the story. So it might be less fun. The main plot is based on a Spanish original. But it’s good because the details are Korean,” said Korean user, Changsik J.
“The end result is a series that’s perhaps best suited for either ‘Money Heist’ superfans or those entirely new to the franchise. Still, ‘Money Heist: Korea’ proves to be a compelling watch based on its updated geopolitical context,” said Vanity Fair in a pro review.
“We tried to take in the strong elements that the original work had and thought it would be interesting to add our own story to it. So, I think it’s natural that we are getting such varied reviews,” series director Kim Hong-sun told the Korea Times newspaper this week.