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“The Professor” of “Money Heist: Korea” vs the original version: who’s better?

Remakes of famous works will obviously lead to comparisons, and “The Professor” in the Korean adaptation of Spanish series “Money Heist” is being brought to the table. 

As “Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area”, the Korean version of Spanish series “Money Heist” recently dropped its first cour, certain topics comparing the original and the remake have been popping up. Today, let’s analyze “The Professor” of these two series, and see if Álvaro Morte from “Money Heist” or Yoo Ji Tae from “Money Heist: Korea” did better. 

“The Professor” – a heist mastermind

The reason why “Money Heist” is so gripping can be credited to the insanely unexpected details, genius plannings, and extensive plot twists within the series – and the man behind all of them is none other than “The Professor”, who is always at least 5 steps ahead. 

However, actor Álvaro Morte, who played the original professor, looks like a gentle, educated, and kind guy, not at all conniving or street smart. Even when he endorses his plans to the heist, “The Professor” of Álvaro Morte is caring and understanding like a teacher towards his students. 

This makes it all the more interesting when he turns out to be a genius at communication and negotiation and extremely knowledgeable of the human’s mind. Even when face to face with law enforcers, the original professor remains completely unfazed, even subtle egging his rival on. 

All of the aforementioned elements are largely unchanged in the Korean adaptation of “Money Heist”, with only one slight difference: “The Professor” played by Yoo Ji Tae is more spine-chilling with his cold eyes and half-smirk. 

Impressive moments of Yoo Ji Tae’s professor include the time he realized the police’s plan and successfully led his team into the money-printing factor, and when he risked it all to eliminate the traces left behind in a car. As Korea’s “The Professor”, Yoo Ji Tae managed to make a deep impression.

An sympathetic “The Professor” 

In both versions, “The Professor” has got a lot of talents, but they aren’t the only definitive trait of this character. In fact, he’s the perfect mix of hot and cold, who can be as tough as nails, while at the same time extremely sympathetic.

The first “humane” moment of “The Professor” lies in his budding feelings with the female inspector – a completely star-crossed romance. Moreover, his later relationship with Lisbon also receives rave reaction from “Money Heist”s fan, and the moment where “The Professor” though his beloved has left him left the audience extremely raw.  

Other than Lisbon, “The Professor” also grows close to the rest of the crew. He’s a mentor figure to Tokyo, a friend to Nairobi, and a brother to Berlin. It’s no exaggeration to say that “The Professor” is the heart that lets the blood between the team flow, that connects everyone together. 

Unfortunately, this side of “The Professor” has so far not been shown in the Korean remake. Yoo Ji Tae’s professor is written to be cunning and cold, instead of still retaining feelings. Even in the emotional moments where he pours his heart to the inspector, Yoo Ji Tae looks more like he’s the superior man. 

Therefore, with the first 6 episodes, “The Professor” in “Money Heist: Korea” is falling behind in his humanity side. While Yoo Ji Tae is an extremely spectacular actor, his character falls a bit flatter compared to the original version. 

Hopefully, the 2nd cour of “Money Heist: Korea” will be able to redeem this. 

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