The Korean-language drama dropped on the streaming platform on September 17, and could become its biggest show of all time.
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The show follows a tournament in which a group of contestants who are deeply in debt play children’s games in order to win money. However if they lose the game, they are killed.
Now, the show has earned additional popularity via social media, as a wave of memes and online games have been circulated by fans. One game has gained considerable traction, called “Red Light, Green Light.”
The game, which happens in the show’s first episode, is based on a children’s game in which one person commands those behind them to run (green light) and hold still (red light), and eliminates those who move during a red light phase. In the show, those who move are killed off by a giant animatronic girl.
Many of the videos use a sound bite from the show that clips the animatronic saying “mugunghwa kochi pieotsumnida“, which is the Korean name for the game. The sound has been used in over 200,000 videos to date.
Meanwhile, the show’s breakout star Jung Ho-yeon has opened up about how it felt to film the series.
“Filming [the show’s fifth game] Glass Stepping Stones was actually terrifying,” she said in a recently released behind-the-scenes video. “The set was about one metre above the ground. We put real tempered glass there and ran around on it.”
Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk also added that “a mere 1.5 metres can make you frightened” and that using actual glass made the actors “nervous” as well, both of which allowed them to “express the unnoticed rigidity and fear of the body”.
“It felt like really jumping off a high bridge. The game was real and they felt real fear. Their bodies showed that fear,” he added. “We think that set had the power of realism.”