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Netflix has announced that Korean series Squid Game is now its most-watched series launch ever, with over 111 million households tuning in.
The series launched on the streaming service on 17 September, with it reaching the milestone less than a month later.
The Netflix Original tells the story of 456 contestants on the brink of financial ruin who enter a deadly survival game with the hopes of winning 45.6 billion won prize money.
The series’ bleak concept and juxtaposition of childhood games and colourful sets have been the source of countless memes. The seemingly benevolent games contrast with the violent consequences of losing.
Its success speaks to the increasing popularity and success of non-English Netflix Originals on the streaming service. Korean series in particular have found a wide audience on the platform.
Squid Game has officially reached 111 million fans — making it our biggest series launch ever! pic.twitter.com/SW3FJ42Qsn
— Netflix (@netflix) October 12, 2021
Director Hwang Dong-hyuk wrote the first screenplay for Squid Game in 2009, but shelved the idea for some time to work on other projects instead.
“At the time, it seemed very unfamiliar and violent. There were people who thought it was a little too complex and not commercial. I wasn’t able to get enough investment and casting was not easy. I dabbled in it for about a year, but I had to put it to sleep then,” Hwang said in a Netflix feature interview.
However, he was eventually able to pitch the idea to Netflix and created the successful series.
“I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life,” he said.
Whether the series will involve a season two, or act as a limited series, remains to be seen.
Feature image: Netflix