Written by Morgan Cormack
Hit Korean Netflix series Squid Game has made history as the first non-English show to garner not one but four SAG Award nominations.
Squid Game may have taken the world by storm last September when it dropped on Netflix but the hit Korean series continues to make waves today.
It’s safe to say that the drama is getting some serious award show recognition this year. In addition to O Yeong-su taking home the Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in a supporting role on television, Squid Game has garnered not only one Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nomination but four.
This set of nominations is obviously a major win for everyone involved in the popular series but it’s also history-making – this is the first time a non-English-language show has received a SAG Award nomination.
The nominations for the survival drama include: outstanding performance by a stunt ensemble, Lee Jung-jae for outstanding performance by a male actor, Jung Ho-yeon for outstanding performance by a female actor, and outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series.
Squid Game’s director and writer Hwang Dong-hyuk was clearly over the moon with the nominations and said: “Upon hearing the nomination today, I think it has to be the happiest moment since we’ve created Squid Game.
“The fact not just one or two leading actors were recognized, but the whole cast being nominated as the best ensemble. It brings me great joy as a director, who has cast and created the series, just being nominated.”
The series tells the story of 456 contestants who compete in mysterious games with deadly consequences for a huge financial reward. With each round based on a traditional Korean childhood game, it seems as though the money could easily be won. However, with in-fighting, psychological trauma and desperation spurring many on, numbers quickly dwindle.
It only took 17 days for the nine-part series to become Netflix’s best series debut ever, eventually totalling over 3 billion minutes streamed and reaching over 142 million households.
Jung Ho-yeon, who plays Kang Sae-byeok in the series, also shared in the sweet sentiments of the award nominations. Taking to Instagram to promote the good news, she writes:
“I feel empowered to be reminded of how ‘together’ is more precious than a solo achievement. I am truly grateful!”
The long caption ends with: “Lastly, I was truly taken by surprise that I was nominated. I’m just happy knowing that my photo is going to appear alongside that of Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Elisabeth Moss, and Sarah Snook.”
Similarly, Lee Jung-jae – who stars as protagonist Gi-hun – has said Korean content is finally peaking due to the right mixture of visionary directors and adept industry members, according to Deadline.
“I think we are at a point where the quality of Korean content has improved greatly based on a lot of talented directors and all of the crew that are involved. Now, anywhere in the world you can enjoy high-quality Korean content in terms of its entertainment value and the way it is visually appealing.
“As an actor, I can only hope that this love for Korean content will only grow stronger and continue.”
While there are talks of a second series of the hit drama, details are being finalised and no concrete information is yet known about the future of Squid Game. What we do know, though, is that it has very clearly had a positive impact on Korean television – something we cannot wait to see more of.
Watch Squid Game on Netflix now.
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