“Squid Game” is more than just a runaway hit for Netflix — it’s also the internet’s favorite show.
Released Sept. 17, the nine-episode Korean thriller is poised to become Netflix’s biggest “non-English-language show in the world,” said Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos.
“It’s only been out for nine days, and it’s a very good chance it’s going to be our biggest show ever,” Sarandos said last month.
Think Hunger Games, but for adults.
The dark and gory thriller, focused on a man willing to do anything to support his daughter and save his dying mother, is the No. 1 Netflix show in 90 countries, and it is on course to overtake “Bridgerton” as Netflix’s most-streamed series of all time in the U.S. and around the world.
Flix Patrol, a website that tracks streaming statistics for the top platforms in the world, reported that “Squid Game” is the No. 1 show in dozens of countries, including the U.S., the United Kingdom and South Korea.
Julia Alexander, a senior strategy analyst at Parrot Analytics, said it’s clear that “Squid Game” has been a massive success, adding that she would use one word to describe how big a win it has been for Netflix.
“‘Unprecedented,'” Alexander said. “I’m assuming that the executives knew because of the talent they used, because of the region they released it in, that this was going to be a hit in South Korea. I would put good money that the executives had no idea this was going to be a global hit.”
The show follows Seong Gi-Hun, played by Lee Jung-jae, as he and hundreds of other desperate and deeply indebted contestants compete in a violent and often grotesque competition for about $38 million.
Only one person can win the prize, and those who lose the series of children’s games pay with their lives.
On social media, users can’t stop talking about “Squid Game,” especially some of its children’s games, which have lent themselves to some unforgettable memes.
On TikTok, “#SquidGame” has been viewed more than 22.8 billion times.
The characters represent the best and worst of human beings, and how they compete in the deadly games — at the whim of an unidentified entity — is far more illuminating than how they accumulated their debts.
“You don’t trust people here because you can,” Gi-hun tells a young woman named Sae-byeok (model HoYeon Jung, in a standout acting debut), a North Korean defector whose family was tragically separated. ″You do it because you have to.”