It was just a matter of time, and numbers. The South Korean series Squid Game, launched less than a month ago and has become a worldwide phenomenon, has been viewed by 111 million subscribed households. A record. “It is a great pride to see this Korean production become our best series launch of all time”, welcomes this Wednesday
Netflix via his Twitter account by revealing this data. You are not one of those millions of curious people? Here’s what you need to know to participate in a discussion on the subject without having seen a single episode or to make you want to take a look. Be careful, the following lines contain spoilers but do not reveal the outcome of the plot or its most striking twists.
- What does it say?
The hero, Seong Ji-Hun, a forty-something, lives sparingly with his sick mother in Seoul. Divorced and the father of a young girl, he has serious money problems. One evening, on the metro platform, a mysterious businessman offers him to play ddakji, a game of turning a cardboard square using another cardboard square. With each unsuccessful attempt, Seong Ji-Hun receives a slap in the face. If successful, he wins cash. The man ends up giving him his card and suggests that he call him if he’s willing to play other games for cash. Of which act. The forty-something does not take long to find himself in a huge dormitory alongside 455 other men and women, all with money problems. In the lot are a North Korean teenager, a Pakistani immigrant, a former childhood friend of Seong Ji-Hun, a bandit and a seriously ill old man to whom the scenario will particularly focus.
Dressed in green tracksuits and watched by men masked in red overalls, these hundreds of people will successively play six children’s games: hide and seek, tug of war, marbles… Particularity of the concept: the losers are executed on the -field. Each corpse increases the pot that the ultimate survivors can hope to win. 45.6 billion won, or 33 million euros, are up for grabs. At the same time, a police officer, who discovered in his missing brother a card similar to that of the businessman, undertakes an investigation …
- If you want to give the impression of having seen all nine episodes …
You can say, “The first two episodes aren’t the most captivating, but it’s worth hanging on. In Squid Game, the violence is very graphic – we understand the prohibition to those under 16. However, the series is not limited to a free-to-play slaughter game: the plot is a metaphor for social inequalities, class violence, and shows a reflection, distorted by the horrific prism, of South Korean society. ‘today. Of course, the concept of
survival game is not new. We think a lot, for example, of the American saga Hunger Games or seminal Battle royale, a Japanese manga, adapted for cinema in 2000, in which high school students are forced to kill each other until only one remains alive. There is also a littleAmerican Nightmare in the later episodes, when wealthy westerners, called VIPs, feast on the spectacle. What makes the specificity of Squid Game, it is the contrast between bright and pastel colors, childish decorations and games with lethal consequences. This reinforces the cruelty of the whole. “
The series therefore had the best start on Netflix since the creation of the platform. Note, however, that by “watching Squid Game “, The American firm implies” who watched at least two minutes of the first episode “. The figures announced are not subject to verification by a third party, unlike audience measurements for traditional television. Still, as it is, Squid Game broke the record so far held by a series of a completely different kind, Bridgerton, recounting the sentimental intrigues of good British society at the start of the 19th century. It had been viewed by 82 million accounts during the four weeks following its posting at the end of 2020. Squid Game topped the charts on Netflix in more than 80 countries. Shortly after it went live, memes began to flourish on the internet, proof of its induction into popular culture.
– d0 ツ t (@Expect_ative) October 5, 2021
The frenzy Squid Game has even reached China where Netflix is banned. Chinese people devour the episodes via illegal streaming. So South Korea’s Ambassador to China Jang Ha-sung called on Chinese authorities to intervene.
- The growing influence of South Korean culture
Squid Game is further proof of South Korea’s growing influence on the global cultural scene, following the K-pop sensation BTS and Parasite, Palme d’Or at Cannes and the first non-English-speaking film to win the Oscar for best film. In February, Netflix announced an investment plan of 432 million euros for this year alone in series and films produced in South Korea and
a video game inspired by Squid Game would be under development.
The white shoes worn by the characters are torn off as for them on the Internet while the outfits of the heroes and the masked guards are already announced as
the big trend for Halloween This year. Irony of the phenomenon Squid Game : while the series is a critique of ultracapitalism, it has become, as written Telerama, “The click champion of the most powerful multinational streaming company”. Another effect of the series: taste buds all over the world now want to taste
with dalgonas, a sugar cookie long associated with the extreme post-war poverty which lies at the heart of a fictional ordeal. A tasteful appetite?