Play the game or die.
It's you, how you choose.
This is the episode of The Squid Game that aired in 2021. With more than a million minutes on Netflix and over 100 million households tuned in, this is Netflix's most popular series to date.
And with the emergence of a phenomenon comes all the buzz that inevitably accompanies it, along with the never-failing sequels and spin-offs from the production team behind it.
▲ Netflix's Most Popular TV Series of All Time 'The Squid Game'
After The Squid Game burst onto the scene there was talk of a series of variety shows.
Now that production on Variety is finally getting underway, Netflix has begun the first step - recruiting contestants. The platform is looking for 456 contestants from around the world to give everyone a chance to participate in the taping. Unlike the TV series, you won't die if you lose the game in Variety, 'the worst fate is to go home empty-handed'.
So some colleagues also signed up, after all, the game will not die if you play to lose, and win back is a big profit.
Sign up for The Squid Game reality show, we're rushing
Netflix calls Squid Games' variety show 'the biggest social experiment of all time'
In the reality variety show, Netflix will recreate the classic game from the show's episodes, where 456 contestants come together to compete for $4.56 million and become the final winner. Of course, this is a bit of a departure from the original show's satire on the capitalist class, so it was not without criticism when the news was announced.
But criticism aside, fans can love it. After all, it's a variety show of the same series made by the show's producers, and there's no charge to participate, so it's sure to give you the most immersive experience of the show's games. What if you're as lucky as the hero and do get rich overnight?
▲ Squid Game Actor
But don't worry, if you want to join us for the recording of the squid game, you'll have to see if you qualify first: the
- Be at least 21 years of age.
- speaks English, as the programme will be filmed in the United Kingdom.
- Expects to be available for filming of the programme in early 2023, but may change the schedule without prior notice.
- Have a valid passport for the entire recording time and be able to arrive at the designated location for the variety show.
- your your immediate family members are not employed by All3 Media Group or Netflix.
▲ The Squid Game registration portal is divided into US, UK, Global
In fact, all of the above would be restrictive enough, you'd have to have the money and the knowledge to sign up so that you could pay for your own trip to the UK to participate in the recording if you were selected.
There are 3 entry lanes, UK, US, and Global. We picked the global entry channel where all fans outside of the US and UK sign up, so there's no shortage of competitive pressure.
In order to stand out, you'll have to impress the judges where you can use your subjectivity. So after filling out the basics like name, country, and email, the photos and videos are what you need to put the effort into making. In the video, you can tell the producers why you want to be a part of the show, if you have a game plan, and what you'll do with the huge prize if you win.
▲ There is not much information to fill out for registration, so video is important
Just to take away the glitz and glamour, Netflix has put some restrictions on the videos. For example, you can't use filters in the video, you need to be in real life, the video has to be in landscape, and it should try not to be longer than 1 minute.
Although there are many requirements and restrictions, the variety show Squid Game is a global hit IP that is sure to attract a lot of applicants. As for whether or not our colleagues will be selected from the global applicants, we will have to 'do our best'.
From doing drama to variety, Netflix has changed
For most people, Netflix is the reliable platform that has a lot of good episodes, no ads, and the ability to watch them all in one sitting without having to catch up.
Does Netflix do variety too?
In fact, Netflix has been doing variety for 5 years now. It's just that variety reality shows have more of a cultural contextual divide and less of a storytelling foundation than traditional film and TV content, so there aren't many variety shows globally that are as recognizable as episodes of shows like Squidward Games.
▲ Stairs featured in the Squid game show
Netflix's first reality show is actually very much a 'squid game'.
The reality show called "The Ultimate Animal Tamer" has 3 seasons and also features contestants from around the world coming together to compete in an obstacle course race for the title of "The Ultimate Animal Tamer".
PK competitions, home decorating, dating and romance, pet parenting ...... and even a prison variety show are all categories of Netflix variety shows that explore more than you might think.
▲ Netflix's First Reality Variety Show "The Ultimate Animal Tamer
Chinese users are probably more familiar with the Netflix romance variety Singles is Hell.
As a relationship variety show produced together with a Korean TV station, Chinese users won't face a lot of cultural disconnect when watching it, and it's rare that you don't know what the joke is when the dating man and woman have already started laughing maniacally.
▲ Singles are Hell, Song Ji Ah has gained some popularity because of this variety show
But even variety shows that don't easily catch on globally can break through with the addition of the Netflix platform.
The evergreen Japanese variety show "Old Enough!" has been on the air irregularly since 1991, being updated one after another. But it was only after 2022 Netflix aired the variety show that it really 'came out of the loop' and sparked a lot of buzz among European and American viewers. Through it, viewers around the world are watching Japanese kids "go out" on their own without help to play soy sauce and buy groceries, discussing a different view of parenting.
▲ "First Dispatch
For Netflix, the move from producing dramas to producing reality variety shows is a natural one, and may even be an upgrade from 'simple to extravagant'. After all, variety shows have a shorter production cycle, lower cost investment, and potentially higher ratings and buzz than TV shows, making them a higher ROI business for the platform.
Little Red Book's cut into the entertainment track is also a cautious attempt at a self-produced variety show.
The contrast between China's two streaming giants, Akiyay and Mango TV, is also clear, with Akiyay's two-pronged approach and Mango's greater focus on homemade variety shows, but Mango's homemade variety shows are much more popular with advertisers than Akiyay's Ace of Mist Theater. The production cycle is short, the return on investment is fast, there are more opportunities to insert ads, and the combination of ads and shows can be more natural.
▲ More flexible ad sponsorship for Variety
If advertisers love variety, and variety has the added advantage of shorter production times and lower costs, then there's no way a platform like Netflix is going to miss out.
Even Netflix is breaking its own rule with variety shows - releasing them all at once. The Circle, Too Hot to Handle, The Great British Baking Show, and Rhythm + Flow are all produced by Netflix, and none of them have been released at once - they're all weekly variety shows.
▲ The Great British Baking Show
Netflix said at the time that it was trying to give people more time to dissect, and guess at, the changes in the show's plot.
Giving users more time is also really important for them. Content like Netflix's The Witcher itself lends itself to longer fermentation, giving users plenty of room to discuss it, rather than releasing it all at once and potentially confusing viewers with the high density of information.
▲ One release of the squid game
Variety shows will be more suited to slow-running than regular TV and film content, and the weekly shift will help the variety show accrue ongoing buzz on social networks. Whether or not the variety show's weekly shift will carry over to other episodic content will probably depend on Netflix's consideration of which broadcast format is more appropriate for the content.
But regardless, viewers also already have the experience of catching up on content on Netflix through Variety.
Netflix has been in a flurry of layoff news lately, which has raised concerns about whether the platform's content will decline along with it. Keep in mind that Netflix has previously been known to give money generously to attract film and TV producers, and for that reason Netflix has made a point of telling the world that cutting content spending isn't part of the platform's cost-containment, growth-seeking approach They're still ready to invest $17 billion in good enough content this year.
Now, variety is an important part of Netflix's investment in content, too. As a global platform, it's still missing a more influential variety show than Singles is Hell to show more people Netflix's new role in the variety world.
And with its own IP aura, The Squid Game fits the bill, and perhaps the variety version of The Squid Game could be the one with the highest global visibility of any Netflix variety show.