'Squid Game' ranks second in global Netflix chart

'Squid Game' ranks second in global Netflix chart

Netflix’s Korean original series “Squid Game” ranked second of the streaming site’s worldwide top 10 lists, Tuesday, according to FlixPatrol. Courtesy of Netflix

By Lee Gyu-lee

Netflix’s Korean original series “Squid Game” was second on Netflix’s global top 10 charts, Tuesday, a record for a Korean drama.

According to streaming analytics platform FlixPatrol, the thriller series took the spot on the daily top 10 list, which accumulates the overall streaming performance of shows on Netflix worldwide. The British teen comedy series “Sex Education” took first place.

“Squid Game,” which began streaming Sept. 17, also became the first Korean drama in the U.S’s daily top 10 list. The previous record on the global chart and the U.S chart was the apocalyptic action series “Sweet Home,” which took third spot on both charts late last year.

Created and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, whose previous work includes the period drama film “The Fortress” and the comedy “Miss Granny,” the series revolves around high stakes rounds in deadly versions of children’s games.

Broke and gambling addicted Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) gets invited to play the games along with 455 other cash-strapped people for a tempting prize of 45.6 billion won ($39.4 million). For each round of a different children’s game, the participants fight to the death to make it to the next round and the eventual winner.

'Squid Game' ranks second in global Netflix chart

A scene from Netflix’s Korean original series “Squid Game” / Courtesy of Netflix

The director revealed that he had the script for more than 10 years before getting the green-light to make it into a series.

“I’ve always liked to go to comic book stores and after reading tons of survival-genre comics, I came up with the idea to make such genre in Korean style. So I finished the script in 2009 but at the time, people found (that type of story) to be peculiar and violent… It was hard to get an investor or cast actors for it. So I put it away in a drawer after trying for about a year,” Hwang said during an online press conference for the series last week.

“But when I took it out after about a decade, I realized that we are living in a time where those games are actually happening around us and have become relevant to our world. So when I showed the piece around, people told me that it was very interesting and realistic, which made me think now was the perfect time for this series.”

The title “Squid Game” is that of a sometimes aggressive winner-takes-all Korean children’s game, which involves a field with geometric shapes on the ground that resemble a squid. The director noted that he chose the game as the series’ title because it speaks for the current times.

“The game was the most physical and intense game I played as a child and I thought it metaphorically symbolizes the modern society that we live in,” he said.

Adding that people nowadays live in a highly competitive world, as the players in the series, the director expressed that he hopes it would lead viewers to ask questions about current society.

“I hope this piece help viewers to ask themselves questions like what were the characters competing for, why are we fighting through and living our lives in such a fierce intense way, and where did it all start,” Hwang said.

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