How and why South Korean TV series “Squid Game” hit the top Netflix and conquered the whole world

How and why the South Korean TV series

Shot from the series “Squid Game”

For several days now, they've only been talking about the new South Korean Netflix series “Squid Game”, which was released on September 17th. It is difficult to say whether its creators expected that it would arouse such interest among the public (and all over the world). However, he not only instantly hit the top of the streaming service, but also topped the rating. The moment became historical – the serial drama “Squid Game” became the first South Korean drama to reach the first line in the list of the most watched tapes of Netflix. This is doubly surprising also because, apart from South Korea, there was no advertisement for the series on the eve of its release.

In many ways, he owes his worldwide popularity to TikTokers who fell in love with the show. The series has become very popular on the network, has spawned a huge number of memes and challenges that are so popular among teenagers. By publishing a large number of videos about the series on the social network, Tiktokers brought it to the top. How the show captivated the audience and why it made the whole world talk about itself, let's try to understand our material.

About what

In the center of the plot of the series is a group of people who accept an invitation from a stranger to participate in a competition. A very large monetary reward is promised for the victory in it. They will have to go through six children's games, but the finale of each will inevitably end in tragedy, because these will be survival games. After their end, only one participant will remain alive, while the others are destined to die. A gambling addict stealing money from his own mother, a refugee from Pakistan, a young girl who fled North Korea in search of a better life, an old man suffering from dementia, a bankrupt financier wanted by the police for fraud, and many others will fight for victory. Each of them is haunted by the ghosts of the past, and the cruel reality and miserable life become a heavy burden for them. All of them are united not only by the difficult financial situation, but also by the desire to win at any cost.

The series consists of one season, which includes nine episodes of one hour each. There is no talk of extending it for a second season yet.

The show is filmed in the genre of a survival game (or game quest), and in South Korea and Japan, such TV shows are very popular.

Netflix describes the show like this:

Hundreds of players in dire need of money accept the strange invitation to participate in children's games. Inside, a tempting prize with deadly high stakes awaits them.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Park Hae Soo, Lee Jong Jae, and Jo Ho Young in Squid Game

You can, of course, bite into such a description – it sounds, admittedly, quite intriguing. However, it could very well suit many of the Hollywood thrillers, action and action films we've all seen before.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Probably, the majority of viewers just bought into the curious plot (the series certainly does not promise to be boring, why not brighten up the dull autumn evenings?), But it was just bait. In fact, everything turned out to be much deeper, more dramatic and more complicated than it might seem at first glance.

How and why the South Korean TV series

The gripping thriller periodically gives way to real drama, and then the bloody action comes to the fore again – and so on throughout the nine episodes. This keeps the viewer in suspense and makes them reflect.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Of course, the theme of human greed, greed and thirst for profit, which can turn many people into animals, stands apart here. But everything is hardly so simple: if some strive for wealth solely for their own good, others do it because of great need and for the sake of loved ones. The protagonist, deep in debt, is ready to do anything to pay for his mother's treatment and see his daughter, a young girl who escaped from North Korea risks her life for her younger brother who lives in a shelter, and a Pakistani refugee tries to feed his family.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Plot

The series begins with the story of Song Ki Hoon, a middle-aged man who is divorced and lives with his mother. From his ex-wife he has a daughter, whom he loves very much, but she lives with her mother and stepfather. As it turns out, they are going to move to the United States. Song Ki Hoon is mired in debt: he owes not only the bank, but also creditors who are not distinguished by good nature and intend to return every last won. The main character is alien to hard work – he prefers easy money and plays at the races. Song Ki Hoon is so pathetic that he cannot even really congratulate his daughter on her birthday: instead of the promised expensive present, he gives her a lighter in the form of a pistol, and he takes dinner not to a luxurious restaurant, as promised, but to a street eatery.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Lee Jong Jae on Squid Game

When a random stranger invites Song Ki Hoon to play a game resembling a hundred square meters for money, he agrees (according to the rules of the hundred square meters game, a player, holding a hundred square meters in his hands, had to hit another so that it turns over as a result of a blow, then he can take her yourself). Every now and then losing, he pays with his own face – his opponent every time weighed him a generous slap in the face. When Song Ki Hoon finally succeeds in winning, his joy is endless. The stranger not only gives him the promised reward of 100,000 won (approximately 6,000 rubles), but also leaves him a business card with an offer to participate in the game. Avid for easy money, the protagonist accepts his offer and soon finds himself, along with other 455 participants in an unknown isolated room on the island. Here each of them has his own number, they are dressed in the same uniform, and they have no connection with the outside world – their mobile phones were taken away when they were “checked in”.

How and why the South Korean TV series

The organizers invite them to play six children's games, for the completion of which a reward of almost $ 39 million is promised. The rules are simple – don't lose. Otherwise, they will die. But they do not find out in advance, but only during the first game. And for them it will be a real shock. Soon they will realize that all games will not be as harmless as they thought, and only one player will be able to reach the final.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Lee Jong Jae on Squid Game

How and why the South Korean TV series

Towards the end of the first episode, viewers will see other key characters: a North Korean refugee, a dying old man suffering from dementia, a Pakistani immigrant, a financier accused of major fraud. In the latter, Song Ki Hoon recognizes his old friend, whom the entire district is still proud of, because no one knows that he went bankrupt and at the same time bankrupted his clients.

All heroes have one thing in common: each of them has a difficult fate and all are in a difficult financial situation. What's more interesting, it is extremely difficult to call any of them a positive character – each will not be revealed to the viewer from the best side. Nevertheless, empathy will accompany the viewers throughout the entire series, and he will surely make someone feel deeply more than once.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Oh Yeon Soo and Lee Jong Jae in Squid Game

Perhaps to some, the series will seem too cruel and bloody, but there is hardly more death and blood in it than in other popular shows. It is worth remembering at least “Game of Thrones” or “The Walking Dead”. Here the horror is rather psychological, which, however, does not make it any easier.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Analogies

The Squid Game has been compared to the Oscar-winning film Parasite directed by Bong Joon Ho. Both of them raise the issue of huge social inequality in South Korea. So the show is also a readable criticism of the government.

Another film to be drawn with analogies is the Japanese film Battle Royale, in which schoolchildren fight each other in a brutal game orchestrated by a totalitarian government.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Well, in the end, it is impossible not to draw a parallel with the “Hunger Games”, where survival games are broadcast live.

But what distinguishes the series “The Squid Game” from the above works is the fact that in it the players volunteered to take part in the game. In addition, they can always stop the bloodshed by voting to end the competition. But when their only alternative is to return to a life of suffering, they voluntarily give up their choice.

How and why the South Korean TV series

How and why the South Korean TV series

Cast and creators

The series was directed and written by Hwang Dong Hyuk. He said that the series was originally conceived as a film, and he started working on it back in 2008. He does not hide the fact that he was inspired by Japanese comics and anime to create the show.

13 years ago, like his characters, he himself experienced financial difficulties. He often wondered how he would feel playing such games.

I wanted to create a sense of the connection between the nostalgic games we played as children and the feeling of endless competition that today's adults experience. It is ironic that our most beautiful and innocent memories are turning into the most terrifying reality,

He explained.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Jung Ho Young and Lee Yoo Mi in Squid Game

How and why the South Korean TV series

According to the director of the series, Hwang Dong-hyuk, two important elements helped to make the “Squid Game” successful abroad – simplicity and easily recognizable characters.

I wanted to write a story that would become an allegory or parable about a modern capitalist society based on extreme competition. But I wanted it to have characters that we all met in real life. The games depicted are extremely simple and easy to understand. This allows viewers to focus on the characters rather than being distracted by trying to interpret the rules.

– he noted in an interview with Variety.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Much of the series' success lies in its dramatic and engaging aesthetic. Director Hwang Dong Hyuk portrays the surreal, colorful world of deadly games as the backdrop in a video game – with overly exaggerated shapes and sizes of sets.

How and why the South Korean TV series

How and why the South Korean TV series

As for the cast, most viewers do not know the leading roles, but their popularity has skyrocketed in recent days. The main role was played by Lee Jong Jae. He came to cinema from the fashion industry – Lee began his career as a model. He has starred in many South Korean TV series and films, including The New World, The Murders, and The Lake House, which inspired the Hollywood film Lake House, starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Lee Jong Jae on Squid Game

Equally notable was Cho Ho Young, who played a North Korean defector. This is her first film role, but she is well known in her homeland: 27-year-old Cho Ho Young is a very famous South Korean model. She has participated in the “Top Model in Korean” show and in fashion shows for Chanel, Louis Vuitton and other world-famous brands. On account of her – a large number of shootings in gloss, advertising campaigns for famous brands, and now also great popularity on Instagram. In just a few days, more than 10 million people subscribed to her blog. She now has 13 million subscribers.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Jo Ho Young in Squid Game

How and why the South Korean TV series

How and why the South Korean TV series

How and why the South Korean TV series

Other main actors include Park Hae Soo, Oh Yeon Soo, Indian actor Anupam Tripati and others.

How and why the South Korean TV series

Oh Yeon Soo on Squid Game

How and why the South Korean TV series

Network reactions and memes

The series, without exaggeration, caused a lot of commotion on the network, especially on social networks Twitter and TikTok. In the latter, the hashtag #squidgame (Squid Game is the name of the series in English. – Editor's note) has already gained more than 13 billion views! Users actively publish videos where they cut out cookies of various shapes, like in one of the games in the series.

https://twitter.com/chihiroae71/status/1442524020918788096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“When people ask me how my finances are.”

https://twitter.com/chihiroae71/status/1442524020918788096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“This is what I would look like if I were in the place of the masked man who was watching all this.”

https://twitter.com/stewwbbiidd/status/1440053102766280704?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“Someone: Let's play the Green Light Red Light game. Me who just watched The Squid Game.”

https://twitter.com/TypicalMsian/status/1442803269223342089?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“In South Korea. In my country.”

https://twitter.com/BanyuSadewa/status/1442873798231953417?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“The squid game (2021)”.

https://twitter.com/jihyosbesty/status/1439524801379377152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“After watching the finale of the Squid Game.”

https://twitter.com/ninayyy18/status/1439558208058638346?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“They:” Hey bro, who made you cry like that? “Me: Episode 6 of Squid Games.

https://twitter.com/kimblenn123/status/1441073213698568195?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“That old man in Squid Game when the game's red came on.”

https://twitter.com/purplemintx/status/1441168301724291082?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“I started watching Squid Game. I'm after watching the series.”

https://twitter.com/dujonna_/status/1442777630135160837?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“The villain in the show. The villain in reality.”

https://twitter.com/_cielowww/status/1440267777114206210?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw [/ embed]

“I can no longer look at these things as I used to.”

How and why the South Korean TV series

How and why the South Korean TV series

How and why the South Korean TV series

@ darya_ackerman2.0

## fyp シ ## foryoupage ## fake ## fakesituation ## fakeblood ## squidgame ## play

original sound – darya_ackerman2.0.

Rate article
Add a comment