Squid Game: The Challenge, the currently trending reality show inspired by the phenomenal South Korean survival drama series of the same name, has topped the weekly rating on Netflix. The competition series topped the English TV list for the November 20-26 viewing window with 20.1 million views in the first five days since its premiere, according to Variety.
This further helped the original Korean series to re-enter the non-English list. The first season of Squid Game currently rests at the 6th position with 1.6 million views.
In Squid Game, written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, 456 players play a series of Korean’s children games with a deadly twist. The last surviving contestant is promised the reward of 45.6 billion won as cash prize.
The reality show pits 456 real-life contestants in diverse games and challenges based on the original show (minus the lethal danger). The players compete for a $4.56 million cash prize, the highest ever in television history. The 10-episode competitive series dropped on Netflix on November 22.
“Though the reality version of Squid Game isn’t a matter of life or death, there’s still a lot on the line. Through a series of games, each player will be pushed to their limits and forced to ask themselves just how far they’ll go to win, with opportunistic alliances, cutthroat strategies and timely betrayals to follow,” reads the synopsis.
Post its premiere, controversy erupted as the contestants of the show threatened legal action against Netflix and its producers. Two unnamed players claimed that they had been injured during the filming of the game show, resulting in hypothermia and nerve damage because of shooting in cold conditions in the UK.
The show was shot in Cardington Studios, a former Royal Air Force base in Bedford. Netflix had confirmed that three of 456 players required medical attention.
Notably, the original Korean series became Netflix’s biggest-ever TV show in 2021. It starred Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon, HoYeon Jung, O Yeong-su, Lee Byung-hun, Wi Ha-jun, Heo Sung-tae, Kim Joo-ryoung Gong Yoo, and Indian actor Anupam Tripathi. The show has been renewed for a second season, with Jung-jae, Byung-hun, Ha-jun, and Yoo set to return.
ALSO READ: ‘Squid Game’ adds 8 new cast members to season 2
At the 2022 Emmy Awards, the show made history by becoming the first non-English-language series to be nominated for best drama at the Emmys. Lee Jung-Jae made history by becoming the first Asian actor to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and the first ever to win the award for a non-English speaking role. Lee Yoo-mi became the first Korean female actor to win the award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.