The Squid Game series went viral in just a few days to the point of becoming Netflix’s most watched show. La Dépêche du Midi dissects the reasons for such a success.
Squid Game made a hit. The 9-episode series is now the most-watched show in the history of the Netflix streaming platform with 111 million views in just 17 days. Until now, it was the series Bridgerton which held the record with 82 million views in one month.
Today, few people have not heard of this global phenomenon which has flooded networks, playgrounds and even the streets of Laguiole!
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“He who loses receives a blow”: when the violent Netflix series “Squid Game” invites itself into the playgrounds
Successful scenario, South Korean soft power, use of codes from social networks … there are many reasons for such success. La Dépêche du Midi explains why.
A game of massacre and a metaphor
Squid Game is a South Korean series created by Hwang Dong-kyoek. It tells the story of Seong Ji-hun, Cho Sang-woo, Kang Sae-byeok or Ali Abdul who risk their lives in a mysterious game to try to win 45.6 million won (around 33 million euros). . 456 people, all of whom have financial difficulties in life, are invited to take part in this “Squid Game”, which for example subjects players to traditional children’s games with deadly twists. Losers are, in effect, executed on the spot. The series is not limited to a free-to-play killing game: the plot is a metaphor for social inequalities, class violence and gives a reflection of today’s South Korean society.
A plot that takes the viewer on board
If this series has been so successful so quickly, it is first of all that it uses codes that hook viewers: “Squid Game mixes reality TV and competition by bringing a touch of horror and violence, believes Philémon Bouderlique, program manager of the Série Mania festival in Lille, contacted by The Dispatch. It is a cocktail that necessarily takes. We have seen it with achievements of the same type like Hunger Game and Battle Royal. “
“The production is very neat and the subject is really universal, adds Fériel Ben Aïssa, production manager in cinema and audiovisual. It speaks of money, daily galleys, debts … People easily identify with the characters . And once on board, with each decision the characters make, we wonder if we would have done the same thing “
A viral phenomenon
If the series works for the quality of its production, it also owes its success to social networks: “It has become viral. People have made ‘memes’ of them (viral and humorous image repeated in a loop on social networks), talk about it every day. The most reluctant feel obliged to look so as not to miss out, “Fériel Ben Aïssa analyzes. These networks, the producers of the series were able to take advantage: “This series has found its audience because it responds to what we find in 2021 on the Internet: black humor, memes, simple graphic codes, a eye-catching visual “, develops the program manager of Série Mania.
The latest in South Korean culture
South Korean “soft power” is also a key element in the success of Squid Game. In recent years, the culture of this Asian country has established itself widely in Western countries, in particular thanks to K-pop, a musical style mixing pop music, rock and dance, acclaimed by millions of teenagers around the world, especially in France. The BlackPink group is thus the artist with the most loyal followers on Youtube in the world, with more than 68 million subscribers.
In addition to music, Korean films and series conquer a large number internationally like the film Parasite, Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.
The symbol of the power of Netflix
But one of the biggest reasons is Netflix’s global reach. With more than 200 million accounts worldwide, the platform has established its productions in the four corners of the world.
If sociologically, a viewer will not be sensitive in the same way to a series if he is American or Chinese, Netflix has succeeded in promoting international series from Germany, Israel or Turkey which manage to convince viewers. came from many countries. With Squid Game, South Korea, despite distant cultural codes, has thus succeeded in reaching millions of Europeans, Americans and Africans, conquered by its universal themes: class struggle, competition and equal opportunities.
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[VIDEO] “Squid Game”: Why the South Korean Series Has Become a Global Phenomenon