Rarely has a show captured the zeitgeist like Squid Game has the last few weeks. Rarer still is for this popularity to be attained by a foreign language series.
Squid Game is a dark and hyper-violent series on Netflix that has topped the streamer’s top 10 list since its premier. Its dystopian take on present day South Korean society, where debtors with no other prospects are corralled together to play childhood games with a deadly twist, has garnered comparisons to The Hunger Games and Battle Royale.
While libraries can’t offer Squid Game on DVD for patrons, we can use its popularity to highlight some of our resources. Many fans of the show may not be familiar with South Korean entertainment and culture and will become curious about exploring what’s out there.
Hoopla, for instance, has a nice selection of Korean films, including popular titles that would appeal to fans of Squid Game like Train to Busan. Hoopla also includes many K-pop albums, including BTS, who have already topped the charts in America.
Libraries can also highlight books in their collection that will appeal to those looking for a similar experience to Squid Game.
New York Public Library put together a read-alike list that you can jump off from.
While Squid Game has become popular worldwide, this has also caused more of a social media conversation around translation and whether some of the meaning and characterization of the show is lost to translation (whether viewing the series with subtitles or dubbed).
Salon has an article on the subject which outlines a bit of where the conversation around this issue is. Users across platforms are showing non-Korean speakers how some of the translation used for the show is not necessarily coming across and where that can change how a viewer is engaging with the show.
While non-Korean speaking fans can’t quickly learn the language to a high proficiency, this is an opportunity to highlight learning language options like Mango and duolingo.
Also, CIA World Fact Book‘s page on South Korea can provide some basic information on South Korea that viewers may not already know. CIA World Fact Book is a nice resource for this type of need–just to provide scaffolding for future understanding.
These are just a few ways to capitalize on Squid Game‘s popularity while providing a nice way to highlight some of our resources!
Jeff, South Park