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Is ‘Squid Game’ the most successful K-drama on Netflix?

Released only on September 17th, Squid Game has proven to be the highest-rated Korean drama on Netflix. The new action/suspense series broke the record for Korean dramas as scored on Netflix in just three days of its release.

With a deadly story and some of South Korea’s hottest actors, it’s clear that Squid Game was made to break records. See how the Korean drama is dominating its genre and even other non-Korean Netflix hits.

Squid Game breaks Netflix record

The show received an overall score of 562, beating out Sweet Home, who had previously peaked at 428 points during its run. It even managed to beat Money Heist, a longstanding Netflix favorite. Squid Game is currently the highest scored K-Drama on Netflix.

On Netflix’s list of today’s top ten series in the U.S., Squid Game is ranked no. 2. The only series in front of the K-drama is Netflix’s popular show Sex Education. Yet, Squid Game is still beating out top releases such as Clickbait and Lucifer.

Squid Game follows bloody competitions

The South Korean survival drama series is written & directed by Hwang Dong Hyuk. The nine-episode series, starring Lee Jung Jae, Park Hae Soo, and Wi Ha Joon, tells the story of a group of people who risk their lives in a mysterious survival game with a ₩45.6 billion prize ($38 million U.S. dollars). 

These people have failed in life for various reasons, but suddenly they receive a mysterious invitation to participate in a survival game to win a fortune. The game takes place at an unknown location, and the participants are locked up until there is a final winner. 

The story also incorporates popular children’s games from the 1970s and 1980s of Korea, such as squid game, the literal translation of its Korean name, which is a type of tag where offense and defense use a squid-shaped board drawn in the dirt.

Fan-favorite actors in Squid Game

Squid Game stars famous actors including Park Hae Soo and Lee Jung Jae, known for their impressive abilities, as well as cameos by iconic Korean actors such as Gong Yoo and Lee Byung Hun.

Lee Jung Jae was recently in the crime thriller Deliver Us from Evil (2020), which follows an assassin who goes to Thailand in order to solve a kidnapping case linked to him. Yet, he soon finds himself being chased by a man whose sibling he killed.

If you’re missing Gong Yoo ever since his tragic finale in the worldwide hit Train to Busan, then give Squid Game a watch and keep an eye out for the actor’s cameo.

Critical response to the new series

In Decider’s “Stream it or Skip it” segment, Squid Game earned a “Stream it” and was described as a series that “takes a fresh idea and spins it into a thrilling drama; we hope it continues to build the tension we saw in the last 20 minutes throughout the season.”

Decider added, “You can tell the difference between a Netflix-commissioned K-drama like Squid Game and ones that the streamer licenses from other networks and studios. The season is only 9 episodes, dropped all at once.”

They continued, “The story is tighter, not meandering into asides and going on for feature-length runtimes. Another show like that was Sweet Home, and Squid Game has that same feel; a tight narrative and a story that has the potential to be tense and exciting.”

Meanwhile, South China Morning Post called Squid Game “gory, and wickedly entertaining”. SCMP also agreed that the latest series differs vastly from the usual K-drama recipe. They wrote, “Hit filmmaker Hwang Dong-hyuk (Silenced, Miss Granny) crafts a show that aggressively breaks away from K-drama conventions, even more so than previous Netflix hits Kingdom and Sweet Home.”

Have you watched Squid Game yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below! 

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  • Best series I have ever seen! I don’t think there will ever be anything that can beat Squid Game!!!

    September 24, 2021

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