SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — “Squid Game,” a South Korea-produced Netflix show that depicts hundreds of financially distressed characters competing in deadly children’s games for a chance to escape severe debt, has captivated global audiences since its September debut.

It’s the streaming platform’s biggest hit ever.

This undated photo released by Netflix shows a scene of contestants vying to win the Dalgona Korean candy challenge in a scene from “Squid Game.” Squid Game, a globally popular South Korea-produced Netflix show that depicts hundreds of financially distressed characters competing in deadly children’s games for a chance to escape severe debt, has struck a raw nerve at home, where there’s growing discontent over soaring household debt, decaying job markets and worsening income inequality. (Youngkyu Park/Netflix via AP)


But the dystopian show has struck a deeper nerve at home, where there’s growing discontent over soaring household debt, decaying job markets and worsening income inequality.

The problems, dramatized through the show’s characters, raise disturbing questions about the future of one of Asia’s wealthiest economies.

“Squid Game” is just the latest of many South Korean entertainment products inspired by the country’s economic misery.