Squid Game is the first show to top Netflix charts in every single country

Mild spoilers for Squid Game
Unlike a lot of people, I have not yet binged the entire season of Squid Game. I just finished episode three last night, having convinced a friend to watch it with me. He also loves horror and will watch just about anything, which is an admirable trait in a person. He was shocked by it though and found the violence gratuitous, which is understandable. It’s not for everyone, but I’m going to finish it. I’m invested in the characters although I know it’s not going to turn out well for most of them.

If you’re not familiar with this show, it’s a South Korean drama about a reality competition where the losers in each round are murdered. It’s run by a shady mysterious group which picked the competitors because they’re desperate and broke. They compete in children’s games, with the survivor/winner to earn the equivalent of $38 million. It’s a commentary on end stage capitalism and inequality and like other Korean shows I’ve seen it transcends genres. You also get the impression that anything could happen and it does. Squid Game was the number one show last week in every single country where Netflix streams, which is the first time this has ever happened.

Netflix Korea’s original series “Squid Game” set another milestone by ranking No. 1 in all 83 countries in which the streaming platform currently compiles its data from.

Out of all Netflix series, “Squid Game” is the first to top daily charts in all 83 countries.

According to streaming analytics company FlixPatrol, the series even beat the prior No. 1 Indian-comedy series “Kota Factory” in the daily chart, an unprecedented feat considering the fact that Indian viewers usually remain loyal to locally produced content.

On Friday, the series ranked No. 1 in 81 countries except for Denmark and Turkey, in which the series slipped to No. 2.

“The show is now expected to be seen by more than 82 million subscribers worldwide in its first 28 days [since its release],” Fortune magazine wrote on Sunday. “When compared to traditional television, that’s more than the number of 18-to-49-year olds estimated by Nielsen to have watched the 40 highest-rated broadcast and cable shows of the past year combined.”

The cast of the series is also scheduled to make an appearance on an upcoming episode of NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Wednesday.

[From Korean Joon Gang Daily]

I’m excited to see the cast on The Tonight Show and will definitely tape that! If you haven’t watched Squid Game yet I only recommend it if you like horror. Even then it can be hard to take. If you’ve watched Squid Game and are looking for more South Korean horror, I recommend Train to Busan (I just learned Train to Busan 2 is out!), The Wailing, Kingdom, Parasite of course, The Host, and Sweet Home. I haven’t watched K-dramas yet but I’ve heard great things about Vincenzo. Oh and Squid Game’s creator/director Hwang Dong-hyuk has a bunch of other shows I want to watch now, particularly Miss Granny, which is a comedy drama. I think I’ll need something light after finishing this.




Photos credit: Youngkyu Park/Netflix

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58 Responses to “Squid Game is the first show to top Netflix charts in every single country”

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  1. Dee says:

    I watched it with my husband. I don’t usually watch horror films, but this series has more character development and moral dilemmas. The set pieces and cinematography are also worth watching. That Red Light/Green Light doll prop is amazing.

    • LaraK says:

      It’s not a true horror show in my book, more in the suspense category. And the focus is on the drama elements rather than the gore. Like it doesn’t feel gratuitous.
      I do not watch horror as a general rule, but I made an exception and I found the show really compelling.

      • STRIPE says:

        Agree. I hate horror and loved this.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Good to know! I like Silence of the Lambs type “scary movies” where there is a little violence and gore, not things like The Purge or Saw where gore is the point.

      • TaraBest says:

        I don’t watch horror and wasn’t sure I’d be able to stand Squid Game. This is definitely more suspense and the character development has really got me hooked! There is a lot of violence, but I saw Pulp Fiction for the first time at like 13 years old and this doesn’t seem much more over the top than anything Tarantino does.

        I have 3 episodes left and the suspense is killing me!

    • Giddy says:

      I did the opposite and watched it by myself while my husband was watching Rome. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

  2. Leah says:

    It’s a good show and people should watch it with the subtitles instead of the dub. I hope they make a part 2 where it exposes the organization/front man.

    Also need to see the movie that’s like it, “As the gods will”. Has a big, but deadly beckoning kitty in it.

    • Becks1 says:

      I have heard this from a few people who speak Korean – that the dubbing is a little off and you get more of the nuance with the subtitles (as in, the dubbing leaves out some details or something?) IDK, I haven’t watched it, I was actually going to but did not realize it was horror lol, so now i’m glad I know so I can skip it, I don’t do horror.

      • Soni says:

        Dubbing is ALWAYS off. I don’t know why they even do dubs anymore, but apparently in some countries (I’ve heard South American countries, and like..Germany?) people actually prefer dubbing.

        Poeple are weird.

      • Leah says:

        It’s not exactly horror. It’s more of a survival game movie with dramatic elements thrown in. Yes, there will be blood, rivers of it but it’s a deadly survival game so it’s to be expected. They have to play children’s games but if they fail, they are eliminated. It falls somewhere between “the hunger games” and “battle royale”. Human frailty, greed and motive is what drives the story. The characters are well developed, so much so episodes 6 and 8 makes you want to reach for the kleenex.

      • Ange says:

        They do dubs for people with dyslexia, people with vision impairments, people with learning difficulties who can’t read that quickly or hell, people who just don’t want to read while trying to watch the action. If it weren’t for dubbing large groups of people wouldn’t have access to the show.

  3. Bookie says:

    I watched five episodes yesterday and did not sleep well. AND I even fast-forwarded through some of the more tense scenes. But I can’t stop watching it!

  4. Natters says:

    I wasn’t keen on watching it but my mother highly recommended it. My husband and I started watching at 8pm and let’s just say we didn’t go to bed till almost dawn. And yes, view it with the subtitles, a much better watch.

  5. CJW says:

    I binged it when it first came out, and have gotten everyone I know to watch it. It is a facinating show.

  6. Apple Cart says:

    Between Midnight Mass and Squid Game my October Horror month is off to an awesome start!

  7. Mac says:

    I hope this finally shows Hollywood that shows and movies with a BIPOC cast have universal appeal.

  8. DeltaJuliet says:

    I’ve watched the first episode with my son (who has since watched the whole show). It was obviously violent and yet I was expecting worse after reading some reviews.

  9. ME says:

    Seems like the type of show I’d enjoy watching but I don’t have Netflix. I don’t know how people keep up with all the shows on all the streaming platforms. It’s just too much. I don’t have unlimited internet so don’t do any streaming anyways. Oh well…maybe one day these shows will make it to good old fashion TV and I can watch all the good shows I’ve missed.

  10. Sofia says:

    I was going to watch this but I think it’s got too much horror in it for me to consider it. I don’t mind gore but I cannot watch a single horror film/show in any capacity.

    • Chaine says:

      I’m not going to watch it either, sounds too stressful!

    • Aang says:

      I love kdrama, and kpop, and the variety shows the Idol groups put on. But I’m not sure about this show. It seems too violent for my tastes.

  11. GrnieWnie says:

    damn, South Korean cinema is taking over. Good for them. I’m so over the saturation of global entertainment with American aesthetics and values and narratives. May some other perspectives finally emerge in the anglophone world.

  12. Snuffles says:

    I wanted to get into it but I noped out once the first body dropped. I’ll stick with my fluffy romantic comedy KDramas.

    • Celebitchy says:

      Ooh which ones do you recommend? I want to get into these!

      • AmelieOriginal says:

        Crash Landing On You!!! I will never shut up about that show. It was my first one and it is SO good. Plus the actors are now dating in real life and that’s why you realize their chemistry was so good on the show (they supposedly started dating after the show had wrapped).

      • Aang says:

        Itaewon Class is my favorite kdrama.

      • Snuffles says:

        My ultimate one is “My Love From Another Star”. Anything with Lee Minho in it too.

      • K2Squared says:

        I’ve watched Kdramas before, but was not really obsessed until a few weeks ago when I found Lee Min-Ho :-=)

      • Dana says:

        K-dramas have been my happy place since the being of the pandemic. There are a lot of K-drama tropes so themes get repeated a lot, spot the product placement is definitely a thing, and the shows are very chaste compared to television from other countries. The currently airing Hometown Cha Cha Cha is wonderful. Romantic, funny, sweet, heartwarming. A couple of my other favorites are Crash Landing On You (epic romance, lots of humor tears, and suspense), The King: Eternal Monarch (don’t think about it too hard, the plot falls apart but it’s so entertaining), and I just finished Hotel Del Luna (vengeance, forgiveness, and romance).

      • Anik says:

        Hometown Cha Cha Cha is currently showing and it is pure fluff with amazing cast. I am also bias to Kim Seon Ho.

      • R says:

        @Celebitchy really depends on what you like. For rom-coms I would recommend What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? . For slice of life, I would recommend All the Reply Series, Because This Is My First Life and On The Run. I’ve heard great things about Be Melodramatic if you want some stories about female friendships. When the Camilla Blooms examines single motherhood with murder mystery on the side and Cha Cha Hometown about class divide . I would rec The Smile Has Left Your Eyes and Chicago Typewriter if you want some angst and Flower of Evil if you want some suspense. Also pretty much Gong Yoo (evil salesman in Squid Game) is in, is solid. Good luck!

      • Mei says:

        If you want a really good rom-com, Oh My Venus is amazingg. About a famous/anonymous (a la Banksy) personal trainer who decides to help a lady he happens to run into. Best one we’ve seen in ages.

        Couldn’t finish Vincenzo, it got a bit boring for us. Also liked The Uncanny Counter. It’s part comedy, part light superhero-ish and part drama. I cried a few times, but it was a mix of happy/sad crying!

  13. AmelieOriginal says:

    YES FINALLY I can talk about my love of Korean dramas here! I fell into K-dramas in the early days of quarantine and was very spoiled that my first one was Crash Landing On You (which I’ve watched at least a second time since and plan to probably rewatch it every year as long as it’s on Netflix). Hyun Bin is my Korean crush lol (also he and Son Ye-Jin are together in real life so I can ship them on the show and in real life too). I’ve discovered that a lot of K-dramas are not as good as Crash Landing, there’s been a few that I had to stop watching because they were so tedious and stupid and I couldn’t put up with all the K-drama tropes. And some the ones were heavily recommended on social media were not my cup of tea. But when they are good, they are REALLY good. I haven’t seen Squid Game yet because it looks like a weird mixture of Saw (which I refuse to watch) and the Hunger Games and not sure I want to watch something so dark, but a quick look at the cast shows me I saw one of the actors in Something in the Rain.

    I recently started the K2 (an action/thriller one it looks like) so I think I’m going to stick with that before I get into another Korean show. My mom loves to call K-dramas “Hallmark in Korean” and a lot of the romantic comedy ones are like that but there’s a huge variety in terms of genres!

  14. MellyMel says:

    Loved this show and hope we get a second season. I like horror and it’s not horror at all but definitely suspenseful and violent. Also the cast is amazing and I’m glad they’re getting global recognition. Personally I think S. Korea just makes really good quality and original tv and movies.

    • Mei says:

      Agree, it doesn’t feel like horror to me at all. The point of the show isn’t in any way to ‘scare’.

  15. Michael says:

    I never intended to watch this show but my friends kept badgering me to watch so I finally did. Almost gave up after the first 20 minutes because I thought the lead was a vile person but I did watch the rest and was amazed by the character development and the tension. Quite the victory and showing once again how much talent there is in the Korean entertainment world

  16. Amy Bee says:

    I’m just here to say Korean dramas are the best. I haven’t watched Squid Game yet but it’s on my list to watch.

  17. Asking for a friend says:

    I loved it and found it stunning but also bleak, heartbreaking, and riveting. I fell in love with so many characters!

    I’m a big fan of Korean shows and movies. Don’t get me started on the costume dramas – I am obsessed with the hanbok, hair, and men’s hats.

  18. Hazel says:

    I saw it this weekend as my coworkers were all discussing it. My heart broke on Episode 6 for a particular character (the world does not deserve you!) and the lesbians.

    Have watched Train to Busan now because of the slappy recruiter guy. Hey, he’s hot!

    • Leah says:

      Slappy recruiter guy is something else. He deserves his own backstory within the story.

      Episode 6 is a grab a tissue type of episode, who knew that game could bring out so many emotions. I never played it as a kid so no doubt I would have failed the challenge but for some people, it played a big role in their childhoods.

      • AmelieOriginal says:

        That actor Gong Yoo was also one of the romantic leads in the romantic K-drama Goblin (or also known as Guardian: The Lonely and Great God). It was one of the most hyped romantic dramas. I thought it was okay and found it dragged, didn’t think the romance was all that great but Gong Yoo himself was great in it and I loved the Grim Reaper character too. I also watched Train to Busan because of him because as you mentioned, he is hot!

  19. Mumzy says:

    We finished watching last night. I was so upset toward the end I threw my face into my pillow and sobbed (and I’m not much of a cryer). I guess that’s the sign of a powerful show; perhaps I’m just not in the right headspace for something so malicious and sad.

  20. Willow says:

    Haven’t watched Squid Game (still debating, because horror). BUT, I did watch Train to Busan, because zombies! It was great. Violence wasn’t too graphic, which is what I hate.
    I like subtitles better than dubbing, but I’m also a speed reader. I’m guessing subtitles are frustrating for slower readers. Dubbing is so distracting when they use the same voice for all the actors or it obviously doesn’t match.

  21. Jessica says:

    We binged it this weekend, and episode 6 is absolutely crushing. I normally am not a fan of watching torture p*rn or excessive violence, but I managed Squid Game pretty well. It’s so watchable, we got sucked in and just needed to keep going, episode after episode.

  22. moonchild says:

    It’s a very good show. I loved the cinematography, the contrast of the bright and colourful walls vs the horror of what was happening, and the use of children’s games but with adult consequences. It’s really dark and bleak, showing some of the worst aspects of people, but there were some really amazing scenes of camaraderie and friendship there. The actors were so, so good.

    I’ve been seeing the second game popping up on a lot of social media. Lots and lots of people are trying that dalgona challenge. I’m thinking Squid Game will be a very popular Halloween theme this year.

    Alice in Borderland is a Japanese show and came out last year. It’s somewhat similar to Squid Game but they’re not playing for money. They’re literally playing just to add more days to their lives because they automatically get “eliminated” if they don’t. It’s quite a good show, too.

    • SpilldatT says:

      Alice in Borderland is based on a manga. There’s also an anime.

      Squid game is fantastic, binge watched it the week it came out. Can’t recommend it enough. I actually don’t want it to have a S2, even the creator of the show doesn’t want to think about it, but with the success the show is enjoying, who knows. But this is a show where given the themes, ending it as it did makes a lot more sense.

      Two other kdramas I’d recommend is Vincenzo and Sweet Home. They are both on Netflix.

    • Mei says:

      Yes to Alice in Borderland! That was great.

    • A. Key says:

      In my personal opinion, Alice in Borderland is a much superior show, but I really enjoyed Squid Game as well.

  23. Bibliomommy96 says:

    I loved it, my 12yo and I binged it over 3 days. It had us crying in some episodes.

  24. 2lazy4username says:

    watched 2 episodes with my boyfriend and we both hated it. thought the acting was awful,was full of gratuitous violence (and i have zero issue with violence), and was a bit too gimmicky. we are both desperate for something good; any recommendations?

    • ME says:

      Scenes from a Marriage on HBO. It’s a five episode mini-series. The last episode airs next week, plenty of time to catch up. It’s really good…acting is fantastic.

  25. Serena says:

    I don’t know about ‘Vincenzo’, the italian parts and stereotypes were..bad.. but funny too if you take it as comedy.

  26. bobafelty says:

    I just read about the show writer and it made me really interested in watching! The writer worked on this project for years, and couldn’t get anyone to want to produce it. At one point the writer had to sell his laptop just to pay bills. Then, Netflix bought it and now it’s a big hit. I always like an underdog story.

    • Normades says:

      I really appreciate that Netflix recognized other markets/talent….now it’s paying off

  27. Coffeeisgood says:

    Its the Hunger Games meets Hostel. The violence and gore is a bit shocking but the story is fascinating. So much to still explore in Season 2.

  28. Abby says:

    Hunger Games gave me heart palpitations the first time I saw the movie without reading the books or really knowing about it. It sounds like this might not be a great fit for me, lol. Is there any twist ending where people aren’t really dead….???!!!

    • Leah says:

      Yeah there’s a twist but to reveal it would give so much away. Just to say, can’t judge a book by its cover because some people are not who they appear to be.

  29. A. Key says:

    It’s not horror at all, I don’t really understand why you would say that. I am 100% confident Game of Thrones had a lot more gruesome deaths and horrible scenes (hello Ramsey) and nobody sold it off as horror or said it was too painful to watch. I seriously don’t understand why suddenly this show is somehow problematic. I’ve grown up on so many worse Western movies and shows in terms of brutality and violence, and only extreme stuff like Saw or Halloween etc were labeled as horror.