October 20, 2021

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Squid Game Potentially Becomes Netflix’s Most Popular Series, Here’s Why

Squid Game with its fame is probably the biggest show on Netflix, says its CEO. Everyone has been talking about the series since its release two weeks ago.

This Korean series is on its way to beat Bridgerton which was previously crowned the greatest series of all time on the streaming platform Netflix.

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Reported by the New York Daily News , Friday (1/10/2021), because so many people have watched, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos thinks that Netflix will end up with Squid Game as the most popular series ever.

“We didn’t expect it, in terms of its popularity globally,” Sarandos said at the Vox Media Code Conference.

Sarandos declined to provide specific metrics about views, typical for Netflix. However, said that Squid Game is expected to overtake Bridgerton which premiered last year.

Bridgerton is known to have been watched by 82 million accounts for at least two minutes. It’s not clear how many watched it until the end.

So, why can this Korean series by Hwang Dong-hyuk be so popular?

Nostalgia

In Squid Game , a group of 456 people who register for the game are people who are in debt and desperate. Be lured into a bloodthirsty survival game , and have a chance to take home 45.6 billion Korean won (Rp549 billion) if you win 6 series of games.

With a little twist , those who lose will die.

The game is simple. Games played by Korean children, a bit nostalgic for the game participants. Viewers may be attracted by the irony that desperate adults risk their lives to win the children’s game.

“The gameplay is simple and easy so that viewers can focus more on each character rather than the complicated rules of the game,” said Hwang Dong-hyuk, director of Squid Game, as quoted by the BBC .

Another interesting game is the third challenge featuring Dalgona, the one that Koreans remember the most as a child.

This challenge requires players to carefully cut out shapes from a piece of candy molded in various shapes using a needle. If you unluckyly get a complicated pattern and the candy cracks, you lose and die.

One Korean user wrote on Twitter, “Squid Game makes me want to eat Dalgona again. It’s been over 20 years… Is it still there? I don’t think I can find it anymore.

Feeling Connected with Character

Experts also attribute the show’s success to its character which involves a lot of marginalized members of society. Although everything is related to money issues, the participants of this game come from all walks of life.

The main character, for example, is an unemployed man, a gambler and struggling to get respect from his son. In the game he also met his childhood friend who was known to be successful after graduating from a prestigious school in Korea. There is also a North Korean defector with a tragic past, as well as an illegal laborer from Pakistan who is not paid by his employer.

A professor of global cultural content at Sangmyung University, Kim Pyeong-gang said, “People, especially the younger generation who regularly suffer from alienation and hatred in real life, seem to sympathize with the character.”

Like its East Asian neighbours, the highly competitive nature of society in South Korea has left many disappointed. Despite the hard work, it is not possible for everyone to get the best university places or good jobs.

The gameplay in Squid Game , however lethal, presents an alternate world that is supposed to be based on fair play. Everyone gets the same chance of winning.

Red Light, Iconic Green Light

One of the most famous scene from Squid Game with giant robot girl as icon. This doll is called the new ‘horror doll’. Not a few who compare it with Annabel or Chucky who was previously known as a ‘horror doll’.

East Asia shows how the series is similar to the Japanese film As The Gods Will (2014). This film has a similar storyline and some say that Squid Game commits plagiarism.

In As The Gods Will also featured the game Red Light, Green Light. Similar to the one in Squid Game , the robot also detects movement and kills the losing player.

Similarities are made only because of the genre of the two films.