SEOUL – First it was the movie “Parasite”. Then there’s Yuh-Jung Youn, the star of “Minari.” Now, “The Ink Game.”
The success of the Netflix horror drama series at the Emmys on Tuesday – including a top acting award for the show’s star, Lee Jung-jae, the first for a foreign-language show – was touted. welcomed with cheers in South Korea and hailed as the latest example of the country’s rise as a cultural powerhouse.
Major Korean news agencies such as MBC and Yonhap made the news the main story on their website. Chosun IlboOne of the country’s largest newspapers, said “Squid Game” has written a “new history in K-drama.”
“It seems that Korean works are gaining more and more international recognition, which makes me very excited,” said Lee Jae, a commercial producer in Seoul, who avidly watched the film as soon as it was released. launched last year.
In the show produced by Netflix and became the most watched show series so far, 456 desperate contestants are pitted against each other to the death for a cash prize of nearly $40 million. Players must survive multiple rounds of kids games to win.
After its release last September, the show skyrocketed in popularity, became a craze not only in Korea but also on a global scale. According to Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer, at the time, the series outperformed other popular non-English shows like “Money Heist” and “Lupin.” At a business meeting Last year, he said that “Squid Game” “blows them all away”.
The show’s success is the latest in a string of international awards for Korean works. In 2020,”Parasites,“Classroom satire film directed by Bong Joon Ho, became The first foreign-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Last year, Youn, a veteran Korean star, received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “minari,“The movie is about a lucky family of Koreans who immigrated to the United States.
Daniel Martin, a professor of film studies at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, said the previous awards signal a growing acceptance of foreign-language productions. He said the success of “Squid Game” at the Emmys could be “a sign of hopefully a generational change.”
While audiences may “return to not being interested in non-English content, ‘Squid Game’ victory shows that viewers are receptive to Korean content, which is encouraging,” Martin said.
In recent years, South Korea has emerged as a popular country in the entertainment industry, attracting international audiences with K-pop bands like BTS, as well as hit TV shows and movies. appreciated by critics.
Most recently, “Extraordinary Lawyer Woo”, a touching Korean show about a young lawyer with autism, was Most watched non-English program on Netflix over the past few weeks.
As for “Squid Game,” the Emmys are just its latest achievement. In February, the film won multiple awards at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, including lead actor honors for Lee and Lee. Jung Ho-yeon.
Lee, who is considered one of the most successful actors in Korea, started his career as a model before starring in several hit Korean films, playing characters including romantic and gangster. His directorial debut, “Hunt,” a spy thriller, was released in South Korea last month.
On social networks and online forums, his fans have not stopped praising him.
“Dear Lee Jung-jae of Korea! Congratulations on winning the best actor award. You are an actor who dedicates himself to his work and to his fans. I salute you, a person whose hard work deserves such achievements,” said one fan. Twitter.
“Wow, Lee Jung-jae won the award for best actor. He is really cool”, another fan tweeted.
In his acceptance speech, Lee acknowledged the support of his fans back home and their love for the show. “I want to share this honor with our precious family, friends and fans watching from Korea. Thank you!” he said.