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Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ is sensational: 5 reasons why it’s so popular!

Setting aside the craze of K-drama rom-coms to spotlight a Korean suspense-thriller show that has been landing headlines, and become the muse of countless memes across different social media platforms around the world. On TikTok alone,  hashtag #SquidGame has been viewed more than 22.8 billion times.

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Squid Game is a psychological horror that often draw similarities to survival franchises such as Hunger Games and Battle Royale. The South Korean drama, released on 17 Sep 2021, has crossed the global charts of popularity within two weeks. It’s quickly became the most-watched Netflix show in 90 different countries — a first for any Korean drama!

Expected to grow even bigger, the global streaming platform is anticipating the series to rise to the top of the global charts and become Netflix’s most popular program ever. If that’s not enough to peak your interest and have you jump in on the hype of, we give you five reasons why you should…

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1. A simple but compelling storyline
Named after a ’70s Korean childhood game, Squid Game, the show, written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, centers protagonist Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), an indolent father with a gambling problem, who finds himself betting against a suited man in a subway station after losing his winnings while running from loan sharks. He is recruited to participate in a game to win an extremely large sum of money. 

Accepting the offer, he finds himself waking up in a room with 456 other contestants, all of whom come from different backgrounds and social class, but are gathered for the same reason — to play a series of games that will earn them a chance at winning ₩45.6 billion. But as soon as the first game begins, players quickly realise that the stakes are even higher than they were led on to believe; not only are they fighting to win the grand prize, but they are fighting to stay alive.  

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2. It’s binge-worthy
Not everyone has the time of day to commit to long-running shows, but with only nine episodes, the show is worthy of a quick binge before the week ends. The show is comprised of characters and plot twists that offer a mix of  drama, comedy suspense, action and heart-felt moments all in nine hour-long episodes.

With a plot that takes the simple concept of playing childhood games, then pitting 456 desperate participants against each other for a chance at win a large sum of cash, the story unfolds into an elaborate reflection of human nature and modern capitalist society that elicit realistic emotions and struggles that has proven to be universally relatable.

The show serves up a well-rounded balance of hope, horror and entertainment that have will have you hooked and tapping “next episode” as soon as the credits roll.  

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3. The characters grow on you
What makes this dark thriller both uniquely dramatic and entertaining is the characters. Like any good show, the character development in the show add depth to the storyline that will have viewers’ perceptions of the players turning 180-degree as participants gradually shed layers of their personas — revealing their true nature.

To say the least, in the absence of heart-racing and action-packed scenes, the supporting characters such as emotionally-distant North-Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok (Jung Ho-Yeon), the intelligent and model leader Cho Sang-Woo (Park Hae-Soo), and the wise elderly Oh Il-Nam (Oh Young-Soo) convincingly portray realistic emotions that will have audiences rooting for the underdog and sympathising with the villains. 

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4. Cleverly layered details
Film buffs will surely keep their eyes peeled for details that symbolise a deeper meaning that foreshadow future outcomes or even mirror real life situations in metaphors, from the soundtrack to hidden meanings within objects, the many hints, musical cues and visual details make up an eerily calm and fun-loving setting that recall the innocence of childhood that drastically transitions as players are shocked back into reality in the harrowing fight for survival that unravels in horrific consequences with each failed attempt at completing the game.

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Take for example the striking set designs of the Red Light, Green Light grounds of the first game, with the chilling and now iconic mechanical girl as the focal point — a character designed off of actual Korean children’s textbooks; or the vibrant Penrose stairs that serve as the interlude between resting area and playing zones which polarise the darker undertones of the games; nothing is as it seems and forever are these nostalgic symbolisms of childhood tainted as players continue to push through each stage of the competition.

Art director Chae Kyoung-sun said, “We created the places and displays trying to make the viewers think about the hidden intentions of Squid Game.” 

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5. A second season in the making
Holding back on the spoilers, this binge-worthy Netflix show rounds up to a jaw-dropping plot twist with plenty of holes and a cliffhanger of an ending that sill leave audiences wanting more. With a second season already in the works, there are still plenty of unanswered questions, and theories as to how the show will move forward.

But until then, the intense first season of this mega successful Korean drama series is definitely a hot and redefining Netflix series of the Korean thriller genre that will have you gritting your teeth through every episode.

2021-10-05T18:28:42+00:00 October 05, 2021|Entertainment|