Seoul: The South Korean breakout hit ‘Squid Game’ has emerged as a big contender in the US year-end awards season, possibly to become the first Korean-made TV series winning a trophy at prestigious awards ceremonies.
The highly competitive race for great TV shows and movies of the year is the biggest celebration for the US entertainment industry eying for the Emmys and Oscars next year, says Yonhap news agency.
In the past two years, the American awards season unprecedentedly caught the eyes of Korean people, after Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’ swept the awards-positioning autumn film festivals and the eventual Academy Awards, and Youn Yuh-jung of ‘Minari’ brought home the first acting Oscar.
Written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, the nine-part Netflix series about contestants engaged in deadly Korean children’s playground games to win the equivalent of $38.5 million in prize money, has become a global phenomenon, viewed by 142 million households over the first four weeks of its release on September 17.
Last month, the organisers of the 2021 Gotham Awards nominated ‘Squid Game’ for two categories — Breakthrough Series: Long Format (over 40 minutes) and Outstanding Performance in a New Series for its lead, Lee Jung-jae.
The awards for lower-budget films and TV series are considered the beginning of the harvest season, and its winners are seen as key precursors for subsequent awards shows.
Since Gotham Awards nominations, U.S. media outlets have increased the odds of ‘Squid Game’ winning a good number of recognitions in big-name accolades, including the Critics Choice Awards and also the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.
According to Gold Derby, an American awards prediction website, ‘Squid Game’ has been included in its top five candidates for the SAG Awards TV drama ensemble prize, along with HBO’s black comedy ‘Succession’, the Apple TV+ drama ‘The Morning Show’, Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and FX’s ‘Pose’.
“If ‘Squid Game’ makes the final five, a win is definitely not out of the question,” said Gold Derby, adding the SAG has given its top prizes in TV and film to popular hits of the year, such as ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.