Why ‘Squid Game’ Was One of the Best 2021 TV Series

The Netflix Original Series Squid Game was arguably the biggest surprise hit of 2021, coming out of seemingly nowhere to become the streaming service’s most-watched series of all time.  

It throws viewers head-first into a suspensefully surreal, hyper-violent Korean underworld where desperate debtors bet their lives competing in a winner-takes-all set of children’s games.  

One reason that viewers were so easily able to resonate with the story of Squid Game is that it was deeply rooted in the personal and financial struggles of its creator. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hwang Dong-hyuk explained that it took about 10 years of shopping around a feature-length version of his script before it was bought and developed into the nine-part epic that has been enjoyed by millions of fans worldwide.  

During the time that Hwang was unable to sell his story to a studio, he underwent great financial hardship and even had to sell his computer to put food on his table.  

When developing what would eventually become a massive hit series, Hwang read several other survival-game works, like Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale and the Hunger Games series written by Suzanne Collins for inspiration.