Netflix offers ‘immersive access’ to Money Heist Korea gang

!hola - MJ Marfori - The Philippine Star
Netflix offers âimmersive accessâ to Money Heist Korea gang
Economic Area is the South Korean adaptation of the hit Spanish series La Casa de Papel
STAR / File

I’m sure since Money Heist Korea: Joint Economic Area dropped yesterday, many of you already binged the first six episodes and witnessed the fantastic ensemble chemistry of the Heist group.

As for yours truly, I just hopped off the plane fresh from Seoul, South Korea last night, where we had an immersive access and chat with the stars and creators of the show, starting with Yoo Ji Tae as the Professor and Park Hae Soo of Squid Game fame as the cold-hearted North Korean exile Berlin. Breakout star Keon Jong Seo is the unstable narrator, Tokyo.

Lee Won Jong plays the ex-convict father Moscow; new type of dirty, sexy oppa Kim Ji Hoon is Denver; modelesque life of the party is Jang Yoon Ju as Nairobi; and fresh from military service Lee Hyun Woo stars as hacker Rio. Completing the group is the tandem of Lee Kyu Ho as Oslo and Kim Ji Hun as Helsinki.

Meanwhile, cool as they are, Kim Yun Jin from Lost fame and Kim Sung Oh will play as the police force that will try to shake up the Professor’s master plan.

A giant robber statue wearing the traditional Hahoe mask sits along the iconic Han River.

Though this is an adaptation of the Spanish series La Casa de Papel, Yun Jin broke down the major differences of the original one from the Korean offering: “The differences in cultures, political differences, I think those extra layers add a lot of different twists from the original one.”

If the Spanish version wears the Dali mask, the Koreans sure know how to localize and target their own audience as they use the Hahoe traditional mask to cover their identities in the show. It is also set at a time when North and South Korea unite, and instead of a happy story, the series shows the realities of the after-effects of capitalism to most of the masses.

The Money Heist Korea media conference was a K-wave immersion in every sense of the term. Usually, what happens in the Korean showbiz setting is the media junket is too uptight with rehearsed questions and distant seats between talent and press. This mediacon, Pinoy pride Cat Avelino, the head of Netflix Southeast Asia PR, and the Korean team went above and beyond.

This columnist with Park Hae Soo (left) and Kim Ji Hoon, who play Berlin and Denver, respectively, in the series.

We actually had the opportunity to chat and interact, take videos, get close with all the stars and creators, and shoot our personal content to our hearts’ desires! I even got to teach Park Hae Soo the trending “Marites” term and what it meant. He said it so flawlessly and waved on my camera for the Filipino fans to enjoy!

The stars showed their gratitude by thanking us for flying in despite the pandemic that they also granted requests and dares from the press who came. And since this was the first time Netflix Korea welcomed foreign press again for a massive series, we felt grateful as well.

It did not end there because we got to experience the immersive activation zone with a giant robber statue in a sitting position along the iconic Han River. The groundbreaking itinerary and program set-up introduced in Korea to the foreign press in this case proved that relaxed and impromptu interaction with the South Korean superstars and talents is an amazing call for better content and understanding for its viewers, listeners and readers.

It also ditches the old, uptight format usually done in a Korean setting and brings a new level of kilig to the new level of fandom that Korean shows are bringing to the ever-growing fan base for Korean entertainment in the Philippines.

Money Heist Korea: Joint Economic Area is now showing on Netflix.


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