Welcome to Dialogue This Week.
In this corner we will invite guests from in and out of Korea to talk about a variety of issues ranging from culture and sports, to the latest trends around the world.
This week, we will talk about several Korean drama series that took Netflix by storm, swaying the hearts of viewers across the globe.
Lately, we've heard that Squid Game has become Netflix's biggest ever series launch, having been watched by more than 111 million users in its first 28 days, knocking Bridgerton off the top spot.
Netflix's vice president for content in Korea, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand says the Korean show's success is "beyond our wildest dreams".
In fact, this is not the first such boom coming from Korean dramas as other contents such as D.P., Sweet home and Kingdom paved the way for its success.
What is the reason behind the latest achievements? and what has triggered millions of viewers to binge-watch these series?
For a more in-depth discussion on why and how Korean contents have been loved so much by viewers worldwide, we are joined by Kayti Burt, editor,writer at "Den of Geek", who is also a member of the U.S. Television Critics Association.
Also joining us will be our go-to film critic Pierce Conran.
Its great to have you both in our show.
Let's start with
1. (KAYTI) In the U.S., "Squid Game" has become the first non-English title that has remained in the #1 spot for over 3 weeks now First, how did you personally like the nine-part survival thriller?
And what do you think it was about the show that resonated with the U.S. audience to bring it so much popularity around the world?
2. (KAYTI) Perhaps what makes the series approachable but also adds to its grimness, is how close to reality it is.
The average person is likely to have experienced some level of burden that debt brings; and the featured games don't require futuristic tools or specialized skills - they're just childhood games here in Korea.
Kayti, how do you think this played a role in "Squid Game" spreading as pop culture?
3. (PIERCE) Now Pierce, (since I heard you've been in Korea for a while now), beyond the short-lived hype and trends, what influence do you see "Squid Game" having on South Korea?
4. (PIERCE) One of the reasons serious fans of K-content want to learn Korean is to eliminate the one-inch barrier.
As someone who has a good understanding of both Korean and non-Korean language, what were some things you noticed while watching "Squid Game" that just couldn't be translated or perhaps even explained?
5. (KAYTI) Kayti, how would you say fan culture has transformed in the U.S. over the years? It feels like acceptance, appreciation and, for some, obsession has never been so trans-continental.
6. (PIERCE) Pierce, how do you think Korean content has evolved that's made it more universally appreciated?
There's always been some following of K-dramas overseas, but leading up to the success of "Squid Game" was a CONTINUOUS series of popular Korean TV shows from various genres like "D.P.", "Kingdom", "Move to Heaven" and "Sweet Home"
Is there an underlying common denominator that's built up to the milestone success of Korean content on Netflix?
7. (KAYTI) What about you Kayti, what are some other K-dramas you've watched? What elements of Korean content do you think work on the global audience and which less so?
8. (PIERCE) One of the big effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on screen culture is the growth of O-T-T media services which unfortunately came as theatrical releases have been suffering.
Pierce, you were at this year's Busan International Film Festival that's coming to a close.
A bold shift that BIFF made this year was the opening of the "On Screen" section designed to showcase TV series released through online streaming platforms.
As far as I know, only very few international film festivals run similar programs.
How did you see this? Do you think this is the next step of screen evolution?
9. (KAYTI) Kayti, do you think this is the peak of success for Korean content in the global audience? What do you think could be next?
I'm afraid we will have to wrap up our discussion at this point.
Thank you so much Kayti and Pierce for that meaningful discussion, hope to speak to you again soon.