'Squid Game' parodies rake in millions of YouTube views

By Tan Cao   November 16, 2021 | 09:30 pm PT
Two Vietnamese web dramas with content based on South Korean virus survival drama "Squid Game" have attracted millions of views on YouTube.

YouTube comedy channels run by Vo Tan Phat and Thien An said they wanted to use the global craze over the the popular Netflix series 'Squid Game' to good effect.

In Vo Tan Phat's web drama, a financially exhausted family decides to participate in the game challenges to win money, mimicking the plot from the original film's plot where contestants ended up competing in deadly classic children's games for $38 million in cash prizes. The two-episode parody quickly climbed up the YouTube trending tab in Vietnam, each getting more than three million views.

Vo Tan Phats promotional poster for his Squid Game parody web drama. Photo courtesy of Phat

Vo Tan Phat's promotional poster for his 'Squid Game' parody web drama. Photo courtesy of Phat

Similarly, a three-episode parody on the Thien An YouTube channel has gathered millions of views after its release on Oct. 15. This parody also uses five of the six games taken from the original version. The story begins with the firing of five employees of a company, forcing them to engage in a challenge to earn money. After facing several challenges, they realize they need to work together as a team to overcome difficulties.

Tan Phat said: "I was inspired and wanted to create an own version of the popular show, but leaning towards a humorous, gentle, familiar angle for Vietnamese people."

An said that her team spent VND300 million (over $13,000) on the background, props and costumes. She said she kept the games similar to the original version as much as possible, removing the deadly and violent elements.

Vietnamese have not been immune to the global craze over the dystopian South Korean drama series.

Besides parodies, many other Vietnamese entertainers have also created 'Squid Game'-inspired content like vlogs and memes online, in which people wear uniforms like the players in the movie and participate in challenges with unruly characters and unfair rules.

The show has sparked several trends among young Vietnamese, from creating Dalgona candies to dressing up as characters in the series.

People have been sharing recipes, trying the challenge out, and re-enacting the episode involving the candy, attracting huge attention on social networks.

During the Halloween weekend, young people thronged the streets of Hanoi and HCMC dressed like the players, guards or the giant creepy doll from the show.

Since premiering on Sept. 17, the nine-episode show on global streaming service Netflix has claimed the number one spot in over 90 countries and territories.

The series is dark, with debt-ridden participants not simply competing for money, but also playing for their lives. Losing means death.

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