Pop culture all over the globe is dominated by South Korean content right now. In recent weeks, Netflix has seen a steady stream of South Korean TV shows rise in popularity. Thanks to Netflix, Korean pop music has also seen a surge in popularity. Groups like BTS — which picked up three AMAs in recent days, as well as a Grammy nomination — has a similarly global army of fans. This is the current list of top Netflix TV series. HellboundThis trend can also be seen in the aforementioned article.
The series debuted on Netflix a week ago. And, already? It’s dethroned Squid Game — another Korean show that turned into one of the biggest releases of all time on Netflix — from its perch at #1 on Netflix’s Top 10 list. Read on for what this new 6-episode series is about, and why it’s so popular.
Hellbound= The next Squid Game?
It is difficult to ignore the similarities between these shows. Both shows share the same origin story, but they are also high-concept dramas with dark and sometimes shockingly violent themes. Instead of playing a series, where participants can die horrendously, the game of HellboundThe basic storyline is as below.
A creepy face materializes to tell sinners they’ve been marked for death. Three terrifying, huge demons appear at the right time to give the victim a beating. After which they’re incinerated, sending their soul on its way. “Unbelievable demonstrations of hell take place in the middle of Seoul right in front of crowds,”The official synopsis of Netflix is available here.
“Mysterious beings condemn individuals to be hellbound, and otherworldly beings appear exactly at the specified time to kill the condemned in a brutal burning.” Mysterious, indeed. CGI demons can be huge and terrifying. Although some critics have raised concerns about the visuals, I believe the show does a good job of frightening you with these men.
“A dark delight”
It would have been a good enough TV series if the show ended there. However, the series continues to bring you in with its creative extras. Such as a QAnon-style group that stirs up people into a frenzy with its own bizarre ideas about what’s happening. There are many twists to the story, and all characters have three-dimensional backstories.
All of this makes the series in the words: One reviewer, “dark delight.”
Talks about what? yoo ah #hellboundAccording to his point-of-view
“we don’t have to focus on the afterlife. we already have the power to make the place we live in heaven or hell. ‘but what are we doing now?’. I think that’s the question this drama asks us” pic.twitter.com/wx4RnZ2MBy
— kdramafolder (@kdramafolder) November 26, 2021
Hellbound has still received a perfect score of 100% from critics as of this writing Rotten Tomatoes. Based on 257 user reviews, 77% is the current audience score.
This show has been a big hit with critics. It’s even drawn comparisons to Squid GameThey are partly due to the delightfully creative twists. Such as the lawyer character Min Hyejin, who suspects that there might be a different explanation for what’s all going on here. “She joins forces with the few who try to protect the hellbound and return the world to the realm of humans, not gods,” Netflix’s press material explains.
They resist the chaos created by the QAnon-style group. “Then one day, an infant born two days ago is condemned, making it difficult to believe the divine will that only sinners become hellbound.”
It is interesting to me that these shows were released essentially in reverse order on Netflix. These two shows work together well as thematic companion pieces.
Squid GameThe dog-eats-dog, winner takes all aspect of capitalism is a topic that the author grapples with. While HellboundThis article discusses the consequences of blind faith in something. These are two very important aspects of modern life. This South Korean team of creators decided to try something big. They both made it through, each their own way.