Squid Game has set 2021 viewership records, with the hit Netflix show streaming for over 3 billion minutes across its second week alone, joining Nielsen’s “3 Billion Club.” The widely praised South Korean survival drama series took audiences and social media by storm following its release on September 17th, 2021. Created, written, and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, the series is Netflix’s most-watched series to date.
Telling the story of 465 players competing for a large monetary prize through a series of children’s games with lethal twists, Squid Game enthralled audiences through its characters and explorations of capitalism, and class struggles Dong-Hyuk encountered in life. Audiences have discussed the show’s themes, referenced it through memes, and celebrity fans such as NBA star LeBron James and WandaVision star Kat Dennings have shared their thoughts on the series. Becoming a widespread and ever-present presence in the public conscious, it is no surprise that Squid Game has continued to break records.
As reported by The Wrap, in its second full week alone from September 27th to October 3rd, Nielsen TV Ratings recorded that Squid Game accumulated was streamed for 3.260 billion minutes. This not only surpasses the show’s 1.9 billion minutes streamed during its debut week, with the hit becoming the first and currently only show this year that topped 3 billion streams in one week. By surpassing that number, Squid Game joins Nielsen’s “3 Billion Club,” which is currently composed of other Netflix titles such as The Crown, Ozark, You, Tiger King, and The Umbrella Academy.
Squid Game‘s success reportedly shocked Netflix executives, with the show’s 142 million household viewership being called “mind boggling“ by higher-ups at the company during the company’s third-quarter earnings report. However, Squid Game‘s widespread recognition has also become the subject of multiple controversies, from critiques of the series’ English language dub, to schools in Belgium and the UK reporting that children had been starting fights and recreating the show’s twisted incarnations of children’s games in the playground. It is expected that Squid Game‘s prominence will grow across the Halloween season, with the show set to dominate costumes across the holidays.
With much controversy and commentary, it is clear that Netflix’s surprise hit has and will continue to take over popular culture for a long-time going forward. Squid Game is a global breakout hit, with creator Dong-hyuk finally succeeding after his struggles when spending nearly a decade to find a production company to produce the story. Despite this, some fans have found an issue with Netflix not paying the creator a bonus in the wake of the show’s success, though Dong-hyuk himself feels that he has enough and is just as surprised at the show’s success. With many hoping for a second season and having such a cultural impact in a short time, Squid Game may potentially be one of the most influential shows in recent years.
Source: The Wrap