Korean dramas have been taking the world by storm for quite some time now and the latest addition to this madness is the Squid game. Set on a dystopian basis where debtors are forced to play a killer game for children to earn a huge amount of money, the series has won attention for its stark brutal nature that resonates globally. The series takes the characters through physical and psychological twists and turns with its highly graphical adaptation giving viewers an edge-of-the-seat thriller experience.
With 111 million viewers already, Squid is definitely Netflix’s biggest launch, but this isn’t the platform’s first successful hit. There are many other web programs that have fueled the Korean wave globally, and the squid game is just a pawn in the country’s ambition to inform the world of its artistic side.
After the Korean wave of its financial crisis in 1997
Before BTS ARMY formed, before Parasite won an Oscar, the popularity of Hallyu aka the Korean entertainment industry swept the world in the late 1920s when the Asian financial crisis made Korea land huge debts from the IMF which was used to reclaim its depleted foreign currency waves. This was when President Kim Dae-jung renovated the Ministry of Culture and the money was used to spread Korean talent throughout so that the entertainment industry could boost its once-reluctant industry.
Even other ministries such as food, tourism and foreign affairs have invested in the entertainment industry. Today, the Korean government spends $500 million annually to promote its art and culture. Gradually with the korean pop culture, attention shifted to its food and lifestyle which created more opportunities for tourism. Hallyu is now a worldwide rage. Hence, K-dramas became a hit in Asia, Latin America, and the United States even in the days of subscribing to Viki and DramaFever.
popular korean drama
“Korean Drama” created a niche for her and the perfect romantic storytelling. Even with its predictable story line, characterization, and engaging conversations, he has cornered his fans for watching every show. The great acting of the actors, the visual appeal, the delicious costume choices for the characters, and the use of the food squad are some of the reasons people find K-Dramas sop attractive.
Moreover, the plots are not limited to the main characters, but spread to the supporting characters such as friends and neighbors in the electric current, resulting in interesting subplots. Even for thrillers, they are tight, suspenseful and limited, i.e. they end with 16-20 episodes without keeping the audience in suspense pulling them in for 10 seasons.
Moreover, the shows deal with diverse topics and initiate engagement and important conversations. For example, Train to Busan saw Yoon Eun-Hye and Gong Yoo deal with topics such as reversing gender roles in a sensitive way. In the Oscar-winning “parasite” class structure, elitism and poverty are treated in a way no other director has ventured with metaphors and allegories.
Films like Pinocchio, I Can Hear Your Voice in 2013 and 2014 deal with the anxiety of retaliation and offer realistic insights into the legal process and prosecution by the media for TRP. In the year 202, the “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay” campaign dealt with parenting and mental health challenges. All of the shows talked about relevant issues that covered millennials.
In an effort to spread their culture, some shows also drew on Korean history, myths. We got introduced to Korean orcs named Dokkabe in Gong Yoo’s Guardian: The Lonely God, to explore the fantasy genre. Supernatural fantasy dramas like Hotel Del Luna and The Tale of The Nine-Tailed Fox were addictive and unique.
So if you can’t get enough of Squid, join Hallyu mad-wagon binging on other Korean titles available on Netflix that have invested 700 million in the Korean entertainment industry for five years without any regrets. The big blows are yet to come.