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Netflix’s Korean Money Heist remake is a clear global hit

Published Jul 6th, 2022 12:01AM EDT
money heist korea netflix
Image: Jung Jaegu/Netflix

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For the second week in a row, the Korean-language Money Heist remake that debuted on Netflix on June 24 has been one of the service’s top series worldwide. In fact, Money Heist: Korea is the #1 non-English language series on Netflix once again this week.

That’s according to the Netflix Top 10 lists that the streamer publishes every Tuesday, and which track the top-performing content on the service around the globe. For the 7-day period that ended on July 3? Money Heist: Korea beat out all other comers on the non-English TV show ranking, notching 49 million hours viewed this week. And that’s an increase over the show’s debut appearance on the chart last week, when it garnered 33.7 million hours viewed.

Money Heist: Korea on Netflix

If you’ve checked the show out by now — or if you watched the Spanish-language original — you already know the plot. The short version, for those unaware: Money Heist: Korea tells the story of an imagined future Korean reunification, one which also calls for a new unified currency. As a kind of testbed city, to showcase both countries what’s possible, a “Joint Economy Area” has been set up between them. There, capitalism is in its full flower, and that area is also home to the mint that will print the new currency.

That’s also where X marks the spot for the show’s band of hackers — led, as in the original, by a brilliant “Professor” — who don’t plan to “steal” money from anyone as opposed to simply printing their loot.

As Netflix shares, in its tease for Money Heist: Korea:

“4 trillion won in unified currency.

A heist without limits in a country without borders.

One crime can change the world.

Witness the crime of the century unfold.”

“Only the rich got richer”

The dynamic that the show sets up is imaginary, but there’s also a social commentary embedded inside the larger narrative. It includes North Koreans doing menial jobs in the unified country, for example, and the already-well-off only continuing to get more so post-reunification. This was all supposed to usher in a bright new dawn for the peninsula, the character of “Tokyo” explains at one point. Instead? “Only the rich got richer.”

Thus, the Professor — and the plan he hatched.

money heist korea
A production still from Netflix’s “Money Heist: Korea.” Image source: Jung Jaegu/Netflix

Many of the elements that made the original such a global hit for Netflix are present once again in Money Heist: Korea. From the stylish red jumpsuits and white face masks, to the usage of cities in place of character names — and the aforementioned professor in his high-tech lair, pulling all the strings.

The show currently has an 85 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes. It doesn’t have the same lustiness of the original — but with just 6 episodes, each with a runtime of a little more than an hour, this action-packed series is nevertheless a fun, breezy binge for fans of Korean drama.

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.