Netflix’s South Korean series Squid Game has become a global phenomenon only within a month of its release. Interestingly, the show is on its way to becoming the most watched Netflix show, so it is only natural for its cast to receive global fame. Written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, the series stars an ensemble cast of Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Jung Ho-yeon, O Yeong-su, Anupam Tripathi, Gong Yoo Wi Ha-joon among others.

What is the show about?

The dystopian series is a representation of economic contrast among people in South Korea. 456 debt-ridden people are approached by a mysterious salesman who offers them an opportunity to earn enough to pay their debts by participating in a game that would help them win 45.6 billion South Korean Won. The participants are taken to a secluded island by masked men. In the series of 6 games, those who lose are eliminated. What’s shocking is that elimination here means death. 

On the other hand, a police officer from Seoul ends up at the game venue in search of his missing brother who had a link to this game.

Why is it gaining so much popularity?

Squid Game dabbles in real-life issues like economic crisis, class divide, capitalism, and finally thinking of one’s survival above anything or anyone. The kill or die situation in the game brings out the unthinkable in the characters. 

It also shows the reality of the elite privileged class of the society who has no remorse controlling the lives of other people and taking pleasure in their loss or death. “You bet on horses. It’s the same here, but we bet on people,” says a line in the show. 

Writer Hwang Dong Hyuk’s struggles

What most of you don’t know is that the series was rejected by producers and actors for almost a decade. The writer Hwang Dong-Hyuk had first conceived the series back in 2008 but it was only picked up in 2019. Meanwhile, he relentlessly pitched the series to producers and actors, only to fail. He told Allkpop that people told him that the project was weird and unrealistic.