There are no qualms about it. Squid game is the biggest show to come out of streaming giant ‘Netflix’. This intense Korean show is probably the hottest topic on social media right now. The hashtag “#SquidGame” on TikTok has been viewed more than 22.8 billion times which suggests how word of mouth has led it to becoming the most watched and anticipated series right now.

Released Sept. 17, the nine-episode thriller also comes with an inspiring story on how it actually happened. Director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, has recently stated that his series isn’t something that spurred onto our digital screens just like that. He had to face his own set of challenges when trying to fund the show-having written it in 2008. What’s interesting is that it took more than 10 years for the show to have gotten an approval. In a statement, Hwang Dong-hyuk  said “After about 12 years, the world has changed into a place where such peculiar, violent survival stories are actually welcomed.”

And that might be the very reason as to why we have so many thrillers and nerve-wrecking shows coming out every so often. With the kind of fast-paced lives we are living, it is becoming rather difficult for us to find entertainment portals which will keep us entertained. This is why Squid Game- a violent and often grotesque competition series is successful in all its elements. You are not rushed into the action; the series slowly builds up as you are introduced to the leading characters.

The director wants to play up the human factor, giving viewers a complete view on the earnestness of certain characters as to what made them put their lives in jeopardy. The games against which these contestants are competing one another are based on a series of children’s games. That little detail in itself keeps you hooked, as actual South Korean games, played in adolescence, are taken up against a very nerve-wrecking setting. From the very first episode, you begin to relate and form a connection with some of the characters. And this makes it extremely daunting to witness the plight of the players as they try to make it through.

Many viewers have actually binge-watched the whole series through a single night, owing to how the suspense and nail-biting execution of every episode makes it hard to just call it a night on a single episode. The achievement of Squid game is such that many are already looking forward to a season 2, without a confirmation of the same coming from the makers, has been made public yet.

Korean entertainment has been escalating significantly as with the music sector booming with the likes of music bands like K-pop gaining international fame, it was only natural that its arts, film and TV production will start holding onto the reins of global appeal too.

By Mehr Jan

Author is an Associate Editor for a leading weekly Sunday Magazine as well as a freelancer for a range of online publications. She pens with passion and feels there isn’t anything better than expressions through words. She aims to highlight all the good amidst the chaos surrounding us. She is currently residing in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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