Netflix’s deadly Korean-drama takes the world by storm


Photo courtesy of Netflix.

“Squid Game” has spread its popularity throughout the world. According to the Guardian, the show has topped Netflix charts in more than 80 countries! The hype for the show is real!

By Elijah Savett, Observations Editor

Imagine being in tremendous debt. Being unemployed and trying to make some money by  gambling on horse races. But then, a mysterious invitation is sent to hundreds of these desperate people, giving them a chance to compete for a fortune by playing children’s games. Be the last one standing, win the 45.6 billion South Korean won (their currency) prize. Mess up once, and elimination ensues. Would you play the Squid Game?

“Squid Game” is the show that is taking the world by storm. The violent, dark Korean drama debuted on Netflix on Sept. 17, 2021 and has not looked back since. The success was so rampant that Netflix recently tweeted that it is easily the most-viewed original Netflix show ever with 111 million account views after its release a month and a half earlier

What makes the show appealing to students at WCHS is that it is very unique in its theme and intensity. It brings back the survival of the fittest game show idea that has not been brought to  American audiences since “The Hunger Games” series.

Another thing that is very interesting about the show is that the original audio is in Korean. There is an option for viewers to listen to English edited audio but it is strange because the lips do not line up. It has also been noted that what they say in English is not exactly what they are saying in Korean. The show has set a new precedent that allows non-English speaking shows to make the top charts.  Hollywood has always believed that American audiences do not prefer and try to stay away from subtitled movies and TV shows, but “Squid Game” negated that entire narrative.

This show has also allowed for some of the actors and actresses to gain popularity worldwide. Since the show, the four main members of the cast, HoYeon Jung (Sae-byeok), Lee Jung-jae (Gi-hun), Park Hae Soo (Sang-woo), and Wi-Ha-joon (Jun-ho) have made appearances on the “Tonight Show” and many other talk shows where they describe the acting process, the surging success and how it has impacted their lives.

At a time when most shows coming out share far too many similarities with each other,Squid Game” is a breath of fresh air. American audiences have not had a true survival of the fittest story in quite a while.

Not only has the show made hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, but the show has also started new trends on TikTok and other social media platforms. Playing “Red Light, Green Light” is one of the six children’s games from the show that has caught on, but the biggest trend is Dalgona which is ​​a Korean children’s candy made with melted sugar and baking soda. People all over TikTok and Instagram are now making their best replication of Dalgona from the show.

While trends like these have taken over social media, there is also large demand for some of the costumes and accessories from the show. Many websites have been selling outfits from the show like the pink security guard suit and the green contestant suit. It goes to show how much of an impact this show has on audiences. 

Overall, there is a reason for the hype. It is like nothing we, as an American audience,  has ever seen before. It is filled with plot twists, character flaws and unhappy endings. But all of it comes together and makes a thrilling, addictive, enticing drama. Best part of it all, is that this is only season one! Pack your bags and buckle your seatbelts for season two and hopefully beyond!