456 competitors, six children’s games, and $38 million in cash. This is what’s at stake throughout the nine episodes of the first season of Netflix’s hit original drama from South Korea, Squid Game.
Netflix released this spellbinding series worldwide on September 17. In less than two weeks, the show has captured so many viewers, it’s on its way to becoming the streaming giant’s most popular release ever.
The Story of ‘Squid Game’
It’s difficult for me to talk about the premise of Squid Game because I feel it would be wrong to spoil the mystery of this series. But none of the following will ruin the show for anyone who hasn’t tried it yet, as there are so many surprises and twists in store that you won’t be able to guess the ending, even though the plot seems simple enough.
Still, even explaining the fundamentals of the plot will reveal some major twists, so if you want to experience every gripping moment of this show in all its glory, I recommend diving into the series right now before you read this.
Squid Game follows a group of 456 people living in South Korea who are in such deep debt, they agree to participate in a tournament of children’s games. Each player has their own reason for needing the money, but not all of them are ready to do what it takes to win.
The player that is able to win all six games of the tournament is promised a lump sum of cash: 45.6 billion won, or about 38 million U.S. dollars.
What the players soon realize upon completing the first game, however, is that the $38 million in cash is linked to each and every player’s life. The prize money grows as players in the game are eliminated, and it’s not until only one player is left standing that they’ll be able to see all the cash they were promised.
The players also begin separating themselves into distinct groups almost as soon as the games begin. Ultimately, every man is for themselves in the tournament. However, having a group to look after you in between games is also important.
Just one little twist of many that you’ll experience during the show is that it’s completely acceptable for players to off each other in their free time when the games aren’t in play. What they do in their gigantic, shared dorm room at night is up to them, and if they want to kill another player in their sleep so that they can get a little bit closer to that prize money, well, that’s their prerogative.
Needless to say, this series is bloody and violent, but the gore fits right into the intensity of the show. At the same time, there are countless laugh-out-loud moments that speak to the skill of the writers, who were able to find an impressive balance between the darkest and lightest moments of the story.
As you watch each of these players risk it all for a chance at finding freedom from their debts and harrowing lives at home, you may even empathize with the most aggressive of them.
How far will these characters go to win it all?
The writer and director of Squid Game, Hwang Dong-hyuk, put everything he had into this masterpiece, and it paid off. The series is now on track to be the most popular Netflix show in history.
Series Likely to Be Netflix’s ‘Biggest Show Ever,’ Says Co-CEO
Anyone who has already binged every episode of Squid Game and loved it is probably not surprised that it’s doing incredible numbers. While the top shows on Netflix are always changing, this new series has taken the streaming site by storm. The show’s popularity has been unmatched in the almost two weeks that it’s been available.
Although Netflix typically keeps their numbers under tight wraps, their co-CEOS have publicly announced that the heart-wrenching and visually dazzling show might be their most popular release of all time.
The series also showcases the talent of its incredible cast, including Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-Hun, Park Hae-soo as Cho Sang-woo, Oh Yeong-su as Oh Il-nam, HoYeon Jung as Kang Sae-byeok, Heo Sung-tae as Jang Deok-su, Anupam Tripathi as Abdul Ali, and Kim Joo-ryoung as Han Mi-nyeo.
“There’s a show on Netflix right now that is the No. 1 in the world–like, everywhere in the world. It’s called Squid Game.” said Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO of Netflix, on Monday at the Vox Media Code Conference in Los Angeles. Variety reports that Sarandos revealed the show’s viewing data and unprecedented popularity in a visual presentation at the event.
“Squid Game will definitely be our biggest non-English language show in the world, for sure,” he continued. “We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity.”
At the conference, Sarandos said Netflix is going to start being more transparent about their viewing data. He even showed the audience Squid Game’s unbelievable rise through two slides that see the series overtaking some of the most popular shows of late, including Bridgerton, Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, Tiger King, Sweet Tooth, Sex/Life, and The Queen’s Gambit.
If you haven’t treated yourself to a viewing of Squid Game yet, it’s about time you gave it a shot. The numbers don’t lie, and there’s a good reason this show is rising to the top of Netflix’s ranks so quickly.