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Squid Game : Korean Survival Drama Could Dethrone Bridgerton as Netflix's Biggest Show Ever

·3 min read

New Korean drama Squid Game has shot to popularity, threatening Bridgerton's title as Netflix's biggest show ever.

The gory thriller currently ranks as the No. 1 show worldwide on the streaming service, according to Variety. The series was released on Sept. 17 and, just two days later, entered the top 10 shows globally. The next day, it was at No. 2 before taking the No. 1 spot on Sept. 21.

In South Korea, Squid Game was No. 1 by its second day of availability, per Variety.

"We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity," Ted Sarandos, Netflix's co-CEO and chief content officer, told the outlet.

In January, Netflix announced that Bridgerton had become its "biggest show ever" after the Shonda Rhimes period drama was released on Christmas day.

Squid Game
Squid Game

YOUNGKYU PARK/Netflix

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At the time, the service said Bridgerton was watched by a record 82 million households globally since it began streaming. The show made the top 10 in every country except Japan and hit number one in 83 countries including the United States.

Squid Game is about a group of people, all in debt, who play children's games to win 45.6 billion won — the equivalent of nearly $38.5 million. The only catch is that if they lose, they will be killed.

"Hundreds of cash-strapped players accept a strange invitation to compete in children's games. Inside, a tempting prize awaits — with deadly high stakes," the Netflix description reads.

Squid Game
Squid Game

YOUNGKYU PARK/Netflix

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The show's writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk previously opened up to Variety about the difficult process of writing the show, and whether or not he will make a second season given the first one's success.

"I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life. But I wanted it to use the kind of characters we've all met in real life," he said. "As a survival game, it is entertainment and human drama. The games portrayed are extremely simple and easy to understand. That allows viewers to focus on the characters, rather than being distracted by trying to interpret the rules."

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Squid Game
Squid Game

YOUNGKYU PARK/Netflix Squid Game

He noted that writing Squid Game "was harder than normal" for him because it is a TV series rather than a film.

"It took me six months to write and rewrite the first two episodes," Hwang said. "Then I consulted verbally with friends, and picked up clues for improvements through my own pitching and from their responses."

"I don't have well-developed plans for Squid Game 2," he added. "It is quite tiring just thinking about it. But if I were to do it, I would certainly not do it alone. I'd consider using a writers' room and would want multiple experienced directors."

Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix.

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