“Squid Game” set to become Netflix’s most watched show of all time

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Squid Game’s signature Pink Soldiers stand between lines of Squid Game participants

Connor Gargiulo, Co-Editor-in-Chief

There are some shows that hit Netflix and seem to take the world by storm. These shows dominate conversation and the media for what sometimes seem to be no particular reason; at least according to those who haven’t given into peer pressure and watched. “Stranger Things”, “Bridgerton”, and 2020’s much-beloved “Tiger King” all became subjects of this phenomenon, but a new show has shot up the rankings and is set to become Netflix’s most-watched series of all time —“Squid Game”. 

 

The show follows Seong Gi-Hun, a middle-aged man living in South Korea who is struggling to pay off his debts. When he is presented with a strange but enticing opportunity to earn money, Gi-Hun is thrown into a series of six intense games that will determine his future and the futures of 455 other debt-ridden people.

 

The series was first released on Netflix on September 17, and consists of nine episodes, each almost an hour long. Since its release, “Squid Game” has become the top trending show on Netflix in over 90 different countries, making itself the fastest growing series on Netflix, surpassing “Bridgerton”, which was released in December of 2020. A lot of the show’s appeal comes from viewer’s attachment to the cast of complex characters, which range from endearing, to admirable, to downright detestable. While Gi-Hun is clearly the show’s protagonist, side characters Ali Abdul, Kang Sae-byeok, and Ji-yeong, played by Anupam Tripathi, Jung Ho-yeon, and Lee Yoo-mi respectively, have stolen the hearts of viewers. 

 

Another draw to the series, specifically for Korean viewers, are the six games in which the contestants participate, all of which serve as a throwback to the games that they played as children, this time coupled with a sinister twist. “Squid Game” features some globally popular games such as “Red Light, Green Light” and “Tug of War”, or others that are popular only in Korea, like the titular “Squid Game”. Some of the games in which the players are forced to participate, though, are completely unknown to both the characters and the viewers, adding yet another ominous element to what was already a truly dark show.

 

Despite only being filmed in 2020, “Squid Game” was a project almost 13 years in the making. Writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk, a Seoul native, has said in a number of interviews that he came up with the concept for the show and began writing the script in 2008. Prior to “Squid Game”, Hwang produced a number of short and feature films, including “Miracle Mile” (2004), “My Father” (2007), and “The Crucible (Silenced)” (2011), the last of which became a huge hit when it was released in Korean theaters. While a second season of the show is being campaigned for by anxious viewers who were unsatisfied with the conclusion, many have assumed that a continuation of the story may not be in order due to the concept having been created so long ago.

 

Fair warning for any interested viewers, “Squid Game” features some sexual content and a considerable amount of blood and gore, including graphic death scenes. For anyone who may be sensitive to that content, you may want to reconsider watching.