The Mail on Sunday - 2021-10-10


Whyistheresuch abuzzabout..?

Tv On Demand

Neil Armstrong

Three weeks ago, South Korean model Jung Ho-yeon (below) had 400,000 followers on Instagram. Then she made her acting debut in Squid Game, released on September 17. Now she has 16million followers and counting. Squid Game is on track to become Netflix’s most popular show ever, a title currently ntly held by the first series of the Regency romance Bridgerton. That’s extraordinary for a Korean series that arrived with little fanfare and whose success is based entirely on word of mouth. It’s a violent nine-part thriller in which 456 people are invited to a mysterious island to play a series of children’s games. What the competitors have in common is a desperate need for money. If they win the games, run by gun-toting masked guards, they win a life-changing cash prize. If they lose, they are ‘eliminated’ – executed. The show is reminiscent of The Hunger Games but viewers might detect elements of Lost and, going back even further, The Prisoner, with its themes of surveillance and control and its visually arresting settings. Squid Game is a critique of societal inequality but it’s also an exciting, involving drama, all the more thrilling for sneaking up on us.


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