The awards came from both the Creative Arts Emmys and the acting Emmys. They won for Outstanding Director, Outstanding Lead Actor, Outstanding Guest Actor and other technical category awards.
Korean Drama enthusiasts definitely felt vindication like no other when Squid Game swept the Emmys not only with the nominations but with the wins as well. Lee Jung-jae who plays Seong Gi-Hun on the show won the award in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, while director Hwang Dong-hyuk won the award for being an Outstanding Director for a Drama Series, New York Times reported.
While these are monumental for the show and the Korean film and television industry, it is interesting to see them get nominated for not just these two but for 14 categories including Outstanding Drama Series, two for Outstanding Supporting Actor (Park Hae-soo and Oh Young-soo), another for Outstanding Supporting Actress (Jung Ho-yeon), a win for Outstanding Guest Actress (Lee You-mi), a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Single Episode, Outstanding Stunt Performance, Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series, Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour Or More), Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series (One Hour), Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series and Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. These nominations are great but Jung-jae is happy they had also won something. “I mean, yeah, this is just great honor just to be here but we won something. So it’s even greater honor,” he said.
The show had already received critical acclaim for the themes and the character dynamics of the show, even actor Lee Jung-jae in his speech mentioned how the show expressed “a realistic problem we all face come to life so creatively.”
In case anyone missed the memo about Squid Game, the dystopian show follows our protagonist Seong Gi-hun as he navigates childhood games to clear his debts. What he doesn’t expect is that there will be hundreds of other people looking for the exact same thing. The penalty for losing is not just getting kicked out of the tournament, it is death. No one decides to put their life on the line for childhood games, but Gong Yoo’s character lures players in the game and entices them with cleared debts to be a part of a competition that will eventually include shady politics, alliances and betrayals.
The story is a larger commentary on the poverty in South Korea paralleled with the opulence and the ambivalence of the filthy rich. It became a mirror for society and our places in the capitalistic system as playthings for the wealthy. Apart from its insights into our social structure, it has built an ensemble that audiences feel empathy for, its ability to suspend disbelief and convince audiences that this kind of inanity is possible is what makes the show so popular and greenlit for a second one.
Hwang Dong-hyuk’s Directing for a Drama Series win makes him the first Asian winner ever in the category, first native Korean winner, and first ever for a non-English language series. pic.twitter.com/U7cWk5LnjL— Golden (@netflixgolden) September 13, 2022
Season 1 Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix.