Squid Game has quickly become the most buzzed-about show on TV right now. The Korean thriller debuted on Netflix last month to rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. As the show continues to gain popularity, Netflix’s VP of Content in Asia Pacific, Minyoung Kim, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the meaning behind the series attention-grabbing title.
“Squid Game, or ojingeo in Korean, is a real kids’ game here, but not all Koreans actually know it. My generation knows it, but my niece’s generation probably wouldn’t," she explained. "So, initially, we knew we wanted this show to travel but we were worried the title Squid Game wouldn’t resonate because not many people would get it."
The series was almost called Round Six instead, as Netflix originally wanted the title "to be more general and helpful for telling people what the show is about.” If it wasn't for Squid Game's writer and director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, Netflix may have moved forward with the less interesting title. Hwang pushed for Squid Game because he knew “it’s a unique show and this game is the essence.”
“The title, Squid Game, together with the eye-catching artwork, really capture interest within our service — especially for audiences who have never watched a Korean show before but are looking for fun things to watch,” the VP of Content continued. “I think we tend to underestimate the curiosity that a lot of our members and audience have. In trying to make it really easy to understand what the show is, we could have made a big mistake. I’m so glad director Hwang steered us back to Squid Game— it sparks curiosity and captures the story so well.”
For those who haven't streamed Squid Game yet, here's the official synopsis:
A mysterious invitation to join the game is sent to people at risk who are in dire need of money. 456 participants from all walks of life are locked into a secret location where they play games in order to win 45.6 billion won. Every game is a Korean traditional children's game such as Red Light, Green Light, but the consequence of losing is death. Who will be the winner, and what is the purpose behind this game?
The survival thriller is Netflix's biggest ever series at launch with 111 million global accounts reach in its first seventeen days. The streamer also announced Squid Game is the first series to surpass 100 million in its first 28 days.
Have you watched Squid Game yet?