To put it bluntly, Squid Game has taken the world by storm. Netflix's new Korean drama, which follows a group of civilians invited to risk their lives in a mysterious survival game, currently ranks as the number one show on the streamer – and it’s on track to become its most successful ever.
Bridgerton currently ranks as Netflix’s most-watched show, though Hwang Dong-hyuk’s Hunger Games-esque thriller series, which premiered on September 17, is outpacing Shonda Rhimes’ Regency-era drama for number of viewers in the first 28 days of release.
As reported by Variety (opens in new tab), Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer, said “we did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity,” adding that Squid Game has a “very [good] chance of becoming the biggest Netflix show ever.”
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In an appearance at Vox Media’s Code Conference, Sarandos shared the “most comprehensive look so far” at the streamer’s top 10 TV shows and movies, which included slides ranking titles by both overall time spent viewing and the number of households watching. Both sets of figures relate to the first 28 days of a title’s release. You can see these slides below.
Bridgerton still sits atop both rankings, with 82 million households reached and 625 million hours spent viewing, though Squid Game is on track to ascend both metrics as it continues to grow in popularity.
The show’s writer and director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, has found success in Korea with feature films including The Fortress, Miss Granny and Silenced, but Squid Game marks the creator’s first foray into television.
Like Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite before it, the show plays on the concept of class division as a catalyst for violence, satirizing reality television by having 456 contestants duke it out in a series of child-friendly games with deadly twists. It stars soon-to-be A-listers Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo and Wi Ha-joon, and has been described as “hideously inventive” and “wickedly entertaining” by critics.
Evidently, Squid Game already ranks among the best Netflix shows, and Hwang is all-but certain to be courted by the Netflix hierarchy to ensure the show’s renewal for future seasons.
All nine episodes of the show’s first season are available to stream now.
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