The secrets of the success of “The Squid Game”

Squid Game Netflix Serie

In the South Korean series “The Squid Game” the characters literally fight for their lives. Money or morals. That is the question that moves the protagonists and the spectators.

At the latest since “Parasites” won an Oscar in 2019, it is known that the South Korean film industry has a lot to offer. Now it is a South Korean Netflix series that is causing everyone to talk around the world: “The Squid Game”, Directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk.

Thousands of people have followed the episodes of this drama around a game, in which marginalized people or in financial difficulties participate in the hope of winning a prize equivalent to about 75 million euros. To achieve this, they must pass several stages and win six progressively brutal childhood games, in which the losers also lose their lives. 456 people initially compete in this deadly tournament.

The strengths of South Korean cinema

The series is part of the tradition of world hits such as “The Lord of the Flies” (1954), from the pen of the Nobel Prize Winner for Literature William Golding, “Battle Royale” (1999), by the Japanese writer Kōshun Takami, or “Los Hunger games ”, by the American author Suzanne Collins (2008), in which they also struggle to survive.

But “The Squid Game” is also oriented by television series of the 1990s, in which audiences saw real people face ridiculous or even dangerous-looking tasks to win a game.

In the second half of the first episode, “The Squid Game” begins to unfold the strengths of South Korean cinema: the taste for stylization, the absurd and the fantastic, the proximity to video games and the courage to look into the abysses of being. human. Do not tremble before the scenes of violence, nor before the ridiculous, nor before the miseries of the figures themselves. And it fuels the suspense.

Squid Game Serie

The freedom to choose

“The Squid Game” keeps the viewer tied. The drive to see the next chapter is what guarantees the success of platforms like Netflix.

But this game has an interesting rule, which differentiates it from predecessors like “The Hunger Games”: if the majority of the participants so decide, the game ends immediately. Of course, in that case, no one wins the prize.

Thus, both the characters and the spectators are confronted with the question of how far they are willing to go for money; and to what extent capitalist society subjects people to imperatives that drive them to violence. The participants in the “Squid Game” are not shipwrecked on a desert island, nor are they victims of a dictatorship, they could end the game at any time.

Too much internet traffic

So successful is this series that it could even unseat “Bridgerton”, the series that takes place in the British court at the beginning of the 19th century and has broken audience records.

But this success has sparked a curious controversy. Internet provider SK Broadband demands Netflix bear part of the costs generated by the increase in network traffic in South Korea. He argues that this increase is attributable to the series so that Netflix should finance the additional expenses of maintaining the network.

Surely this contest does not interest the viewers much. Rather, they hope that Netflix will offer them a second season of “The Squid Game” soon.