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‘Squid Game’ sweeps Emmy nominations with 14 nods in 13 categories

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Wednesday July 13, 2022

Netflix’s ″Squid Game″ [NETFLIX]

Netflix’s dystopian record-breaking hit series “Squid Game” (2021) continues to write history, scoring a heap of nominations for the upcoming Emmy Awards.

It became the first non-English language series to be nominated in the outstanding drama series category.

The nominations were announced Tuesday by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), which hosts the awards show.

The other nominees in the category are AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” Showtime’s “Yellowjackets,” Netflix’s “Ozark,” HBO’s “Euphoria,” Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” Apple TV+’s “Severance” and HBO’s “Succession.”

Including the history-making nod, “Squid Game” picked up 14 Emmy nominations across 13 categories, with four of them going to main cast members.

Although “Succession” earned the most nominations with 25, “Squid Game” is the only non-English drama series to be included in this year’s list of nominees.

A scene from Netflix's "Squid Game" (2021). From left, actors Oh Young-soo, Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo play characters who compete among 456 contestants to become the sole survivor who wins a grand prize money. [NETFLIX]
A scene from Netflix’s “Squid Game” (2021). From left, actors Oh Young-soo, Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo play characters who compete among 456 contestants to become the sole survivor who wins a grand prize money. [NETFLIX]

Actor Lee Jung-jae, who played protagonist Gi-hun, is nominated for lead actor, Park Hae-soo and Oh Young-soo for supporting actor and Hoyeon (or Jung Ho-yeon) for supporting actress.

Park played Sang-woo, a former classmate of Gi-hun, and Oh was the elderly contestant Il-nam. Hoyeon played North Korean defector Sae-byeok.

Lee is up against Jason Bateman for “Ozark,” Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong for “Succession,” Bob Odenkirk for “Better Call Saul” and Adam Scott for “Severance.”

Park and Oh compete against each other as well as Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin, and Matthew Macfadyen for “Succession,” Billy Crudup for “The Morning Show” and John Turturro and Christopher Walken for “Severance.”

Hoyeon earned the nomination alongside Patricia Arquette for “Severance,” Julia Garner for “Ozark,” Christina Ricci for “Yellowjackets,” Rhea Seehorn for “Better Call Saul,” J. Smith-Cameron and Sarah Snook for “Succession” and Sydney Sweeney for “Euphoria.”

Lee Jung-Jae, right, accepts the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series for ″Squid Game″ at the 28th annual Lee You-mi was nominated in the guest actress category for her role as Ji-yeong, a contestant.

It marks the first time for all the “Squid Game” actors nominated to be recognized by the Emmys.

Director Hwang Dong-hyuk is nominated for outstanding directing as well as drama writing. 

The series’ other nominations are for production design, cinematography, special effects, editing, main title theme and stunt performance.

“Squid Game” follows Gi-hun and 455 other players who take on a series of deadly children’s games. They battle to be the sole survivor and win prize money of 45.6 billion won ($34.8 million).

Pink henchmen in Netflix's "Squid Game" [NETFLIX]
Pink henchmen in Netflix’s “Squid Game” [NETFLIX]

“Squid Game” is Netflix’s most-watched series, surpassing 1 billion views in just 28 days after its release last September. 

It had immense cultural impact in not only Korea but around the world, with many dressing as the “Squid Game” guards in pink jumpsuits for Halloween last year and memes and parodies taking over social media.

“Squid Game” and its stars have already earned a collection of prestigious accolades, such as at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

“While ‘Succession’ was mostly popular in the Western regions, ‘Squid Game’ was seen all over the world,” pop culture critic Kim Heon-sik told Yonhap. “I’m sure it has a chance at winning the major categories.”

“‘Squid Game’ was successful for having a plot that read the times and tossed new questions. It used a variety of characters to criticize society,” pop culture critic Kim Sung-soo said. “It’s time that the world recognizes the show’s value for creating an international syndrome.”

“Even if the show fails to win the outstanding drama series award, the nomination is enough of an accomplishment,” pop culture critic Jeong Deok-hyun said. “It’s a series that has proved that language is no longer a barrier in the global content market.” 

The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony will be held on Sept. 12.

BY SHIN MIN-HEE [shin.minhee@joongang.co.kr]