Which Squid Game challenge would you have been worst at?
While we heard rumblings of how popular Squid Game was on Netflix, nothing prepared us for the actual numbers. CNN is reporting that the show has been viewed by 111 million accounts since debuting on Netflix on Sept. 17, 2021. That's a staggering amount of eyeballs on one show.
Considering that's over 50% of Netflix's 209 million totally subscribers, it truly is a global phenomenon.
Minyoung Kim, Netflix's vice president of content for Asia Pacific (excluding India), told CNN, "When we first started investing in Korean series and films in 2015, we knew we wanted to make world-class stories for the core K-content fans across Asia and the world. Today, Squid Game has broken through beyond our wildest dreams."
So what made a show like this catch on and become a household name? What made it cross-cultural, so language barriers felt irrelevant across the world?
The show’s writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk told Variety, “I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life. But I wanted it to use the kind of characters we’ve all met in real life. As a survival game, it is entertainment and human drama. The games portrayed are extremely simple and easy to understand. That allows viewers to focus on the characters, rather than being distracted by trying to interpret the rules.”
Those of you in awe of Hwang's work should note he's been working on other series and ideas for a while. He devoted his spare time to Squid Game, which took him over a decade to get to the screen. It survived rejection and turmoil, finally getting to the screen.
Hwang said, “Writing [Squid Game] was harder than normal for me as it was a series, not a film. It took me six months to write and rewrite the first two episodes. Then I consulted verbally with friends, and picked up clues for improvements through my own pitching and from their responses.”
Even after all of this Hwang stays humble, especially as people call for a second season of the series.
“I don’t have well-developed plans for Squid Game 2," he told Variety. "It is quite tiring just thinking about it. But if I were to do it, I would certainly not do it alone. I’d consider using a writers’ room and would want multiple experienced directors.”
Would you love to be in that room? Let us know in the comments.