‘Squid Game’ Makes Emmys History As First-Ever Non-English Drama Series Nominee

Netflix’s “Squid Game” continues to make history. The brutal South Korean drama about class, power, wealth and kiddie games has just landed an Emmy nomination for outstanding drama — making it the first-ever non-English language show to receive a series nod by the Television Academy. “Squid Game” earned a total of 14 Emmy nominations, including Lee Jung-jae for lead actor, Jung Ho-yeon for supporting actress, Park Hae-soo and Oh Yeong-su for supporting actor and Lee You-mi for guest actress.

Until this year, non-English projects have never won — or have even been nominated in — a major category at the SAG Awards, Golden Globes or the Primetime Emmys. But that has changed this year, as “Squid Game” already has been nominated at the SAG Awards for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series and by the Globes for best drama.

Hwang Dong-hyuk created the series for Netflix; the first season starred Lee Jung-jae (who plays Gi-hun), Park Hae-soo (Sang-woo) and Jung Ho-yeon (Sae-byeok).

And in the win column, the show received SAG Awards honors for male actor (Lee) and female actor (Jung). Lee also won the Independent Spirit Award for male performance in a new scripted series, and drama actor at the Critics Choice Awards. (Additionally, O Yeong-su won at this year’s untelevised Golden Globes for supporting actor in a drama.)

Other wins have included breakthrough series (long form) at the Gotham Awards, as well as “bingeworthy show of the year” at the People’s Choice Awards, and best actor (Lee) and best foreign language series at the Critics Choice Awards. Next up, “Squid Game” is nominated for program of the year, outstanding achievement in drama and individual achievement in drama (Lee) for the Television Critics Association awards, which will be announced next month.

In almost every instance, “Squid Game” has made history. For the Globes, O was the first Korean-born actor to win the award.

“Squid Game” dominated the fall TV conversation, leading Netflix’s Top 10 chart in the U.S. for 24 days and hitting No. 1 in 94 territories. According to the streamer, the show attracted 1.65 billion hours of viewing in the first 28 days after its Sept. 17 premiere.

Hwang is now at work on Season 2 of “Squid Game”; he recently told Variety’s Kate Aurthur that the show’s Season 1 ending allowed for a continuation: “There are very small loose knots throughout the first season, so to speak, things that I didn’t conclude, and put in little rooms for further expansion.”

Hwang also confirmed that Lee will be back, as will Lee Byung-hun, who plays the sinister Front Man who oversees the games.

Meanwhile, the “Squid Game” franchise has also expanded to the reality competition “Squid Game: The Challenge,” which the streamer announced last month as “the biggest reality competition series ever.” In the series, just like on the drama, 456 players will compete in a series of games — in this case, for the chance at winning $4.56 million.

Source: Variety

K-Pop Stars BTS Begin Preparing To Serve 18 Months Of Mandatory Military Service For South Korean Army At Height Of Popularity

South Korean pop stars BTS grabbed worldwide attention when they performed their hit single “Butter” at the 64th Grammy Awards ceremony on April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas, especially when band member V whispered something to Grammy winner Olivia Rodrigo as part of the setup for the performance.

While members of the BTS Army (what their rabid, mostly teenage online fans are called) are furious that BTS lost the Grammy for Best Pop Duo or Group Performance to Doja Cat and SZA, the group is likely more focused on a reminder from the Daily Mail that some of its members are staring down a military commitment in their home country.

Back in 2020, the South Korean national assembly passed a law that allowed members of the band to postpone their mandatory military service until age 30. That probably seemed like a sweet reprieve, but time is relentless. Now member Jin is set to turn 30 in December, and Suga will follow next March.

Gunn Kim, South Korea’s ambassador to Britain, tried to prepare the group’s fans for the future when he told The Sunday Times, “It is very much expected that young Korean men serve the country and those BTS members are role models for many young-generation Koreans. Most of our people expect that our members of BTS will fulfill their obligation as citizens of Korea. Eventually I think that will happen.”

Jin and Suga will be required to serve for at least 18 months, followed by J-Hope (now 28), RM (27), Jimin (26), V (26) and Jungkook (24). Once this cycle starts, the entire group may not be able to perform together for nearly a decade. Maybe the group’s representatives will be savvy enough to advise that all seven members do their service together and get the obligation taken care of as soon as possible.

Of course, anyone who’s entering the South Korean military has to accept the very real possibility of combat with North Korea, which claims to have test-fired a new long-range nuclear missile called the Hwasong-17. International observers have claimed that the test was actually the older Hwasong-15 but allow that the new missile could be ready soon.

However this plays out, BTS will be the biggest news in pop star military service since Pvt. Elvis Presley answered the U.S. Army’s call in 1958.

Source: Military.com

After Being Cut Twice, Atlanta Falcons Kicker Younghoe Koo On Track To Make First Pro Bowl

Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo is having an outstanding 2020 season and looks to be on track to make his first Pro Bowl.

Thus far, Koo has converted on 96 percent of his kicks, making 24 out of 25 field goals. He’s a perfect 5-for-5 on his attempts from 50 yards or more, trailing only Jason Sanders of the Jets.

Koo joined the Falcons in 2019 after the team parted ways with long-time veteran, Matt Bryant. Koo went 23-for-26 the rest of the way and made it a point in the offseason to become more consistent with his kicks.

That hard work looks to be paying off for Koo, as for the 26-year-old leads all NFC kickers in Pro Bowl voting.

Source: The Falcons Wire

Outdoor dining and drinking is allowed. But is it safe? 7 questions about outdoor dining and drinking in the pandemic, answered

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1) Why is outside dining and drinking considered safer?

In an outdoor space, “there would generally be much more air movement, so particles containing the virus would dissipate faster,” he told me.

2) What counts as “outdoors”?

“I think large tents with a top and open sides can still be called outside. In hotter climates and on sunnier days, the shade protection is necessary for comfort and sun protection,” Gloster said. “Air can still circulate freely in those environments.”

3) Are we putting staff at risk?

Yes. The general rule is every time we expose ourselves to more people, we increase our risk to ourselves and to the people we come into contact with. This is why health directives have specifically said to minimize nonessential trips and contact with other people.

4) What can bars and restaurants do to keep patrons safe?

If you’re trying to assess whether the restaurant you’re considering eating at is taking precautions seriously, distanced tables, masked staff, and enhanced sanitation measures are all hallmarks to look out for.

5) So how are we supposed to eat and drink with masks on?

“Keep your mask on while waiting for your food, take it off and eat, and then put it back on when you are done is the best strategy,” she said. “Make sure that you put your mask away and not just on the table unless you have sanitized it or you feel it’s a clean surface.”

6) Who should we be eating with?

The ongoing advice from health officials has been that the people we live with — families, roommates, significant others — are the only people we should be interacting with. That’s because we share the same environments and risk levels with said people and, ideally, have open communication about things like commutes, essential trips, etc., that we are taking.

7) What’s working in South Korea? And can it work here?

One of the things South Korea has been able to do well is not only get its citizens to buy into the social distancing measures, but also supplement that with robust and extensive contact tracing — essentially testing as many people as possible who were in contact with someone who was sick.

Source: Vox

K-Pop Fans Flooded #WhiteLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter Hashtags on Twitter and Instagram with Fancams and Memes to Drown Out Racist Posts

K-pop stans have emerged as hashtag heroes amid Black Lives Matter protests across the country, and after coordinating to spam a Dallas Police Department reporting app with fancams earlier this week, they’re using their collective might to drown out tags like #whitelivesmatter and #bluelivesmatter on Twitter and Instagram with fancams and other memes.

The content spam is borne out of a desire to render the hashtags essentially unusable as a means of spreading racist or anti-Black Lives Matter content.

Source: Insider

Why People Gaslight Asian American Struggles

You don’t have to scroll too far to see comments like these on articles about hate crimes or xenophobia. People seem quick to dismiss news reports of Asian Americans being verbally and physically assaulted, or even use the comment section as a stage to continue the attack from the comfort of their keyboard.

This behavior of denial and gaslighting of crimes against Asians is overwhelming and, frankly, perplexing.

Source: NextShark

African-Chinese TV show contestant Winnie Zhong Feifei target of racist attacks on Chinese social media

But most attention has been reserved for Zhong, a 24-year-old who completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University in the United States and is now taking graduate studies in intelligence and counterterrorism at Johns Hopkins University.

Before being announced as a trainee, Zhong had posted vlogs featuring her speaking in Chinese about feeling out of place in China due to her distinct curly hair that makes her stand out.

In November, she attracted racist comments when she uploaded selfies to the Chinese microblogging site Weibo. One commentator asked whether the ancestors of Chinese people “in hell” might become angry due to mixed-race people proudly branding themselves as “descendants of the Yellow Emperor” or “descendants of the dragon” (an ancient term for Han Chinese people). Zhong responded: “If you don’t know, go down [to hell] and ask [them] yourself. I am a living person who can’t answer this question.”

Source: South China Morning Post