Netflix’s Squid Game is proving to be as much a critical darling as it is a global pop-cultural phenomenon. One great example of its acclaim is the recent news that the show is already garnering its first award nominations.
Deadline reports that at the Gotham Awards, Squid Game was nominated in both categories it qualified for—one for Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes) and Outstanding Performance in a New Series for star Lee Jung-jae.
It must be a point of pride for the show’s creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, after he went through considerable pains to get the series made, including going through financial hardships while shopping the script around to studios for 10 years and going through such a tremendous amount of stress as both writer and director that he reportedly lost six teeth during production.
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It’s certainly the kind of Cinderella tale that is thematically appropriate to the series, as the show centers around cash-strapped individuals getting a longshot chance at winning big.
Taking an allegorical approach to storytelling, the show’s premise centers around competitors seeking to win millions by succeeding in a series of children’s games, but if they lose, they die.
The show presents a whip-smart commentary on class inequity and late stage-capitalism while not shying away from the cynical realities of human nature.
Like many great works of fiction, the show challenges our expectations as viewers begin to sympathize with characters they once thought villainous—and despise characters we once thought were one of the good guys.
You can catch all nine episodes of Squid Game on Netflix now.