What is Netflix’s “Squid Game, Really About?

What’s it about?

“Squid Game” is one of the most popular shows being watched around the world, in fact, it’s ranked number 1 in Netflix’s top ten most watched shows within its platform. According to CNBC, this viral Korean drama topped 111 million viewers ever since the show’s debut on September 17, 2021. “Squid Game” even knocked out “Bridgerton” another viral Netflix show which gained around 82 million views within the first 28 days of its initial release.  Furthermore, Netflix paid around 21.4 million dollars to produce “Squid Game”, and is now worth around 900 million dollars in impact value.

Now what exactly is “Squid Game ” about? The closest analogue to “Squid Game” is the best-seller trilogy “The Hunger Games” —another story in which impoverished players compete until one player is left who then receives a large sum of money. The plot centers around a man named, Seong Gi-hun who reeks of debt and is often found berated and looted by loan sharks, demanding for money. He stumbles upon a businessman who is willing to pay back his debt. However there is a catch, Gi-hun has to play 6 children’s death games in order to acquire the sum. Eventually, Gi-hun is able to advance through these children’s games -competing as one of  456 players to win 45,600,000,000 ($38,460,271.20 USD).

Rise to Popularity

This Korean thriller has been streamed by over 111 million users in the first 28 days, making it Netflix’s biggest series launch to date. Because of its worldwide popularity, this K-drama marks the latest breakthrough to the Western market for Korea. However, what many may not realize, is that its global popularity has had real-life ripple effects on the actors/actresses careers. Take for example HoYeon Jung’s career—a South Korean model for over a decade. After playing Sae-byeok as a North Korean contestant, her fame skyrocketed; from just a mere 400,00 followers on instagram, after her debut performance on “Squid Game”  she is now sitting at 20.5 million followers as of October 2021. While HoYeon quite clearly will not be able to return for season two (SPOILER!) It’s exciting to see where her career will take off from here. Furthermore, the two male leads, Lee Jung-jae, and Park Hae-soo only started their instagram accounts recently, they have both amassed 1.7 million and 960,000 followers respectively. 


While “Squid Game ” is a worldwide phenomenon, and is a show that is loved by many, this doesn’t take away from how violence this show is portrayed as. An English unitary authority, the Central Bedfordshire Council sent out an email to parents about their students “aggressive” behavior following reports of kids ‘playing’ Squid Games. They also stated “We strongly advise that children should not watch Squid Games. The show is quite graphic with a lot of violent content. Primary schools across Asia, the U.S., Australia, and Europe, have all issued warnings to parents pleading to not let their children watch it. In our own area, Syosset High School also issued a statement to parents warning them about “Squid Game.” 

Season Two?

Netflix has not made any formal announcements in regards to season two of “Squid Game,” however it’s pretty obvious to viewers that there will be one in the near future. The series skyrocketed to the streamer’s top watched list, and fans are desperate for more. Furthermore, the show’s creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, first suggested that there would be no season two, but after an interview with The Sunday Times, it seems as though that decision may be reversed. Also, fans couldn’t help but notice the cliffhanger at the end of the last episode—which made watchers desperate and crave even more. 

Conversion of Won to Dollars: https://wgntv.com/news/netflix-hit-squid-game-has-viewers-asking-how-much-is-45-6-billion-won/#:~:text=Since%201%20Korean%20won%20is,45%2C600%2C000%2C000%20won%20is%20%2438%2C460%2C271.20%20USD.

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