“Squid Game,” “Midnight Mass,” “Ted Lasso”... 8 Tips for Choosing Your Next Binge

“Squid Game.” Photo Courtesy: Youngkyu Park/Netflix

You might be wondering if you should stream Squid Game right now — that’s if you haven’t already watched Netflix’s latest viral sensation. The streamer has touted the South Korean drama as their biggest series launch ever, with the show reaching 111 million households. In comparison, Bridgerton was Netflix’s previous biggest series ever, a title it claimed when a record 82 million accounts watched the Regency-era-set show in the first 28 days after its debut. (However, bear in mind that Netflix doesn’t specify how many people finished watching any of their shows).

Squid Game currently sits at the number 1 position among Netflix’s Top 10 streaming titles in the U.S. and has kick-started an endless tirade of memes on social media. The new series follows 456 contestants as they battle against each other in a survival competition comprised of a series of traditional Korean childhood games. But be advised: the show packs a generous amount of blood and violence — which is the reason why I still haven’t found the energy to commit to watching its nine-episode first season.

Squid Game is not the only recent show lacking a big marketing campaign or a recognizable brand name to make it to Netflix’s popular Top 10 chart. Just a couple of weeks before Squid Game, the horror-themed Midnight Mass walked a similar path. Before that, there was Clickbait and the three-season-old Manifest. After being canceled by NBC, Manifest rose to the top of Netflix’s Top 10 and was even uncancelled by the streamer for a fourth and final season.

Netflix’s viral shows have made us discover the bingeability of the French gentleman thief drama Lupin starring Omar Sy, the Spanish adrenaline-fueled melodrama Money Heist and, back in 2016, it made us devour Stranger Things, a then-little-known supernatural show set in the ‘80s and starring Winona Ryder.

But should virality be the measure by which you choose what to watch next and how to invest your time in front of the television?