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This new Netflix show from Korea is on track to be the streamer’s biggest hit ever

Published Sep 27th, 2021 11:21PM EDT
squid game
Image: Netflix

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Here’s the thing about the new hit Netflix series from Korea called Squid Game. Sure, it’s got an idiosyncratic title that doesn’t necessarily tell global viewers what the show is about — though it is different enough to catch your eye. The visuals are also stunning. And the storyline is so different, that people are increasingly taking to social media to rave that this series is like nothing they’ve ever seen before. Add this and more all up, and the result is solid streaming gold. Specifically, Squid Game is on track to be the biggest thing that Netflix has ever released.

That’s according to none other than Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. He spoke at the Code Conference on Monday and told attendees that Squid Game is actually on track to displace Bridgerton as Netflix’s biggest global hit (“If the early viewership numbers hold”).

Squid Game — biggest Netflix show ever?

The streamer hasn’t yet confirmed official viewership numbers for Squid Game — which is a 9-episode series about cash-strapped players who complete in a set of children’s games. Netflix, by the way, only released it on September 17.

Netflix has, however, confirmed some numbers behind Bridgerton’s success. In terms of the number of Netflix accounts that accessed a particular title within the first 28 days of its release on the streamer (and watched at least two minutes of it), Bridgerton comes out on top there, with 82 million accounts. At the Code Conference, however, Netflix also released some new engagement data it’s never made public before. That would be the total time spent viewing a particular piece of content within that same 28-day window post-release. And, again, Bridgerton is the winner, with 625 million viewing hours.

Those numbers should give some idea of just how much Squid Game is utterly crushing it right now on Netflix. Because those are the numbers it’s apparently poised to beat.

Show details

According to the official Netflix description, Squid Game revolves around a mysterious invitation to join a contest that’s sent to people in dire need of money. To 456 participants, to be exact, from all walks of life. And they’re competing for 45.6 billion won. As you can imagine, though, there’s a huge catch. “Every game is a Korean traditional children’s game such as Red Light, Green Light, but the consequence of losing is death.” How’s that for a high-stakes, stylish, life-or-death premise?

Needless to say, as Sarandos’ comments show, Squid Game has been very well-received.

The series currently has a perfect critics score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. And a very strong 88% audience score on the same review aggregation website. All of which is to say, this is definitely another must-watch Netflix series from South Korea, which is already responsible for some of the best and buzziest content on the service. Other examples of which include can’t-miss series like Vincenzo and Crash Landing on You.

squid game netflix seriesImage source: Netflix
Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.