The season of All-In that aired on SBS in 2003 consisted of 24 episodes and lasted from January to April of that year. The series’ last episode had a peak audience rating of 47.7 percent, making it the 42nd highest-rated episode of any Korean drama ever aired.
A Synopsis of the Plot
The plot of All-In was inspired by the life of Jimmy Cha, the most famous real money poker player in Seoul. The story follows the pair Kim In-ha and Min Su-Yeon and their love journey. In-Ha was orphaned as a youngster and raised by his uncle Kim Chi-soo, a compulsive gambler who now nurtures him as his own and brings him everywhere he goes. The two people spend most of their time going from one gambling facility to the next to make a living. In-Ha eventually adopts many of the traits instilled in him by his uncle, and he realizes that his hands are more agile than most people’s eyes.
In-Ha observed Su-Yeon stealing from a food cart one day as they were going home from one of their gambling trips. This occurred following a near-miss on one of their gaming trips. In-Ha falls head over heels in love with the tiny child the moment he sees her. Years later, loan sharks in the neighborhood will be held liable for the death of the child’s father. To exact his vengeance and regain Su-favor, Yeon’s In-Ha sets fire to their castle, killing their leader.
In-Ha is sentenced to seven years in prison for his illegal activity. After completing his bid, he found himself working at the same casino as Su-Yeon, and the two reignited the old flames of their romantic connection. However, things do not go as planned, and In-Ha is forced to enter the United States illegally, where he becomes involved in criminal activity. Despite this, fate does not abandon the pair and pulls them back together.
However, there are further obstacles in the way of real love. As a consequence of a peculiar chain of circumstances, the couple gradually grows apart. In-Ha decides to utilize his poker abilities to attempt to win back Su-Yeon, and he is prepared to risk everything to return to Korea and be in Su-arms Yeon’s arms once again. Poker is the vehicle via which In-Ha seeks to achieve this aim.
Lee Byung-hun plays the lead in All-In. He was best recognized in 2003 for his work with Chan-wook Park in the film Joint Security Area, which was one of Park’s most successful films to date. Following the success of All-In, Byung-hun starred in a series of films that went on to become some of Korea’s all-time box office leaders, including Master, Masquerade, The Good, the Bad, and the Weird, and Inside Men.
In the drama, Song Hye-Kyo plays Su-Yeon. She was at the pinnacle of her career at the time, reveling in the success of the dramatic series Autumn in My Heart. Other notable actors in this production include Ji Sung, Park Sol-mi, Heo Joon-ho, and Jeong-won Choi.
Even though it employs various K-drama cliches such as amnesia and forbidden love, All-In is a fantastic program that you should not miss. The narrative is fantastic, and the performances of Lee Byung-hun and Song Hye-Kyo are strong. Furthermore, the show’s score is intriguing to listen to.
The major performers have great chemistry together, and the narrative is full of surprising twists and turns. There may be too many for the preferences of the majority of viewers. It feels uneven at times since it merges multiple genres and lays story beats on top of one another. The authors construct an environment that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats at the expense of reality, which some viewers may find offensive.
The primary narrative is constantly evolving, and there are several changes in the setting as well as a few difficult subplots. The two persons who are romantically linked keep getting back together, only to drift apart, resulting in a love triangle. The whole thing is quite dynamic, but it has the feel of a soap opera. A show with that many fully formed characters couldn’t be finished in 24 episodes; it required additional time.
Having said that, All-In stands out since it contains action from the United States and offers a unique insight into the world of casino gambling. Be advised that, while it may appear to be a romantic show and fall into the subgenre known as “all about the lady,” the show focuses heavily on the criminal court system. However, Lee Byung-goal hun’s objective in All-In is not to eliminate any persons who are terrible by nature.
There are no angelic beings, and this includes In-Ha. The fact that everyone in this location is a different shade of gray adds a unique flavor to the environment. The play is about love and how you have to walk a fine line between doing good and doing evil to get what your heart genuinely desires.