By Leah Mize
Squid Game has racked up over 111 million views on Netflix since it’s release on Sept. 17, according to an NBC article.
The success of Squid Game has led Netflix to implement changes to how they report their viewership statistics, according to TheDigitalFix.com.
They will now be using the amount of time spent watching a program rather than the number of accounts accessing the programs. This means the “two minute rule” is no longer boosting stats for Netflix programs, as the streaming service used to count two minutes viewed of any program as a complete view.
Squid Game has been the number one show in other countries as well, making the show an international success.
The premise features contestants from all socio-economic backgrounds that have one thing in common: they need money and have received an invitation to compete for a “tempting prize” as long as they are willing to do anything to get it.
Over the course of nine episodes, they compete in various children’s games in order to maximize their chances of winning the prize, about thirty-eight million dollars, to help solve their financial woes. The price of losing? Their life.
“A thing that interests me is how they use regular kids’ games and make them scary life taking challenges to the character,” said Jasmine Liaw, junior film major. “I have played some of them growing up as an Asian person and adoring South Korea. Now, I can’t play or see them without thinking about Squid Game.”
The idea came from writer Hwang Dong-hyuk, who wrote and directed all the episodes, based on his experiences living in South Korea with socio-economic class and personal financial struggles.
Dong-hyuk completed the project in 2009 but couldn’t find a production company willing to give it a chance until Netflix agreed to include it as part of their plan to expand their foreign programming options.
“It portrays the normal person really well and it’s a good portrayal of survival skills and survivor’s guilt, which I think is interesting,” said Katrina Weiss, junior biology major. “It’s an interesting concept and I don’t think a lot of American TV shows broach this topic a lot so it’s a new plot for audiences to enjoy.”
Squid Game’s fearless addressal of economic insecurity isn’t the first time South Korean media has made it big in North American media.
Parasite, released in 2019, won the Oscar for Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards for its portrayal of socio-economic classes.
“It’s so hard for people to move upwards and be successful without money and money can make people ugly and despicable,” said Liaw. “The show is just a version of life showing how living without support is hard and society can be unfair and disappointing sometimes.”