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Korean thriller ‘Squid Game’ tops U.S. Netflix charts

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SEOUL, Sept. 23 (UPI) — Squid Game became the first South Korean show to top the U.S. Netflix charts this week, overtaking Sex Education Season 3, according to FlixPatrol, which tracks streaming data.

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The nine-episode Squid Game, directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, hit No. 1 in the United States on Tuesday and Wednesday. Globally, it ranked second, as it gained popularity in countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

The Korean horror series Sweet Home, released in December, became the first South Korean show to enter Netflix’s Top 10 charts in the United States, eventually climbing into the top three.

As of Wednesday, the show held a 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In Squid Game, hundreds of cash-strapped players are pit against each other in a series of deadly children’s games. The winner of the battle royale wins $39 million.

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“In the show, financially distressed people play games that we used to play as children in the schoolyard or on the streets, in order to hit the jackpot,” director Hwang said in an online news conference ahead of the show’s release.

Hwang, who also wrote the script for Squid Game, said the show depicts various competitive aspects of modern Korean society.

The show stars Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, and Lee Byung-hun.

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