The Korean drama “Squid Game” dropped on Netflix on Sept. 17 with virtually no introduction or fanfare on the platform.
Less than one month later, the show is projected to be the most streamed show in Netflix history.
Though “Squid Game” has only recently entered the sphere of pop culture, it has been in the works for over 10 years. But no one would publish it.
In 2009, “Squid Game” creator Hwang Dong-hyuk pitched the show to several studios, but was rejected by all of them. At one point, he had to stop writing his script and sell his laptop in order to pay his rent.
How could a show with so much to offer get shot down by multiple studios?
The answer is obvious: Studio executives have lost touch with their audience.
In a world where re-runs and retellings dominate the box office, people are desperate for new content, especially thought-provoking shows like “Squid Game.”
Viewers don’t need to be babied by production companies any more. They are more than capable of critically engaging with complex media and heavy themes.
However, most studios would prefer to play it safe, hiring big name actors to play roles in productions that have sold well before and will likely sell well again.
“Squid Game” has clearly shown that you don’t need a big-named celebrity to make a popular show. You just need something that actively engages viewers.
Studios have more than enough time and money to produce something worthwhile, but movies and shows are no longer about craft for them, but rather, the money.
Thus, in order to get a quality viewing experience, it’s important for both avid and casual movie watchers to embrace independent cinema, where risky plot, cinematography and casting lead to productions that capture viewers’ attention and imagination.
Indeed, indie movies are the way to go.