With ‘Squid Game’ Nominations, Emmys Finally Truly Go Global

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Two years ago, Netflix broke ground for the Emmys with eight nominations for Unorthodox, its German-American limited series that was told in English, Yiddish and German.

Now in 2022, another of the streamer’s programs have helped the Television Academy truly go global. Squid Game is the first series solely produced outside of a Western country and completely not in English to score major-category nominations at the Emmys, with 14, including best drama series. The Korean thriller from Siren Pictures is Netflix’s most-nominated series this year, leading Ozark and Stranger Things (13 each) and Inventing Anna (three).

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Including the expected nominations for SAG winners Lee Jung-jae (lead actor) and Jung Ho-yeon (supporting actress), five total members of the cast received nods. Park Hae-soo (who played the disgraced financier Sang-woo) and Oh Young-soo (the mysterious elderly Il-nam) will go head-to-head in the supporting actor category, while Lee You-mi landed a surprise guest actress nomination for her heartbreaking work as Sae-byeok’s marbles partner in the episode “Gganbu.”

That episode, which Netflix often screened at its FYC events during Squid Game‘s epic nine-month awards campaign, saw the players splitting up into pairs for a game with a cruel twist, set in a period reproduction of a residential alley. “Gganbu” scored nominations in production design for production designer Chae Kyoung-sun, art director Gim En-jee and set decorator Kim Jeong-gon and single-camera picture editing for editor Nam Na-young.

Creator Hwang Dong-hyuk received a pair of solo nods for directing the pilot, “Red Light, Green Light,” and writing the finale, “One Lucky Day.” Other episodes singled out for praise include “Stick to the Team” (the one with the dormitory battle royale and tug of war), which yielded nominations in cinematography for DP Lee Hyung-deok and stunt performance for Lim Tae-hoon, Shim Sang-min, Kim Cha-i and Lee Tae-young; and “VIPS” (the one that revealed the wealthy foreigners for whom the game is staged) for special visual effects in a single episode (VFX supervisor Cheong Jai-hoon, CG supervisor (3D) Kang Moon-jung, VFX producer Kim Hye-jin, layout lead Jo Hyun-jin, matte painting supervisor Kim Seong-cheol, animation supervisor Lee Jae-bum, CG supervisor (2D) Shin Min-soo and compositing supervisors Seok Jong-yeon and Jun Sung-man).

And rounding out the bounty, composer Jung Jae-il landed a nomination for the series’ main title theme.

July 12, 12:08 p.m. Corrected Unorthodox‘s number of Emmy nominations.

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