‘Squid Game’ wins best foreign language series, best actor at Critics Choice

March 14, 2022
Lee Jung-Jae accepts the award for Best Actor in a Drama Series for "Squid Game" at the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 13, 2022. [reuters]

Lee Jung-Jae accepts the award for Best Actor in a Drama Series for “Squid Game” at the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 13, 2022. [reuters]

The South Korean sensation “Squid Game” has won best non-English language TV series and best actor at this year’s Critics Choice Awards.

At the ceremony held by the Critics Choice Association in Los Angeles on Sunday (U.S. time), “Squid Game” was named Best Foreign Language Series and its lead Lee Jung-jae won Best Actor in a Drama Series.

For the best foreign language award, the all-Korean Netflix original competed with the Mexican comedy “Acapulco,” the French comedy drama “Call My Agent!” the French thriller “Lupin,” the Spanish crime action series “Money Heist” and the American-Mexican crime drama “Narcos: Mexico.”

It is the first time that a South Korea-made TV show has won a prize at the Critics Choice, given by a group of 500 film and TV broadcast critics in North America.

On the film side, in 2020, the Oscar-winning satire “Parasite” grabbed best foreign language film, while director Bong Joon-ho won best direction.

Last year, “Minari,” a drama film about a Korean American immigrant family, won best foreign language film.

By taking home the best actor trophy, Lee became the second South Korean to win a title at the Critics Choice, following director Bong two years ago.

The actor beat five other candidates, including Sterling K. Brown of “This Is Us,” Mike Colter of “Evil,” Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong of “Succession” and Billy Porter of “Pose.” Lee is the only non-English performer among the nominees.

It marked the third consecutive week that he received a best actor honor for his role in “Squid Game” following the ones from the Screen Actors (SAG) Guild Awards and the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

“Thank you very much, the Critics Choice Awards and everyone who loved and supported ‘Squid Game,’” Lee said in an acceptance speech. “I can’t express how wonderful I feel now. Thank you, Netflix and my ‘Squid Game’ team!”

But for the best drama series section, “Squid Game” lost to HBO’s “Succession,” which also won best supporting actor and actress awards.

The nine-part survival drama depicts a mysterious deadly contest, in which heavily debt-ridden people attempt to win 45.6 billion won (US$37.9 million) in prize money.

With the latest award-winning rally in recent months, “Squid Game” has emerged as a strong contender for the upcoming Emmy Awards, expected to be held in September.

In November last year, it won Breakthrough Series — Long Format (over 40 minutes) at the Gotham Awards for lower-budget indie movies and TV series, while it received a special honor from the American Film Institute (AFI).

It collected best supporting actor in a TV drama series at the Golden Globes and took two SAG Awards when Lee and Jung Ho-yeon won best lead actor prizes a few weeks ago.

It also got multiple nominations and prizes at other awards ceremonies by Hollywood guilds, including the Producers Guild of America, the American Cinema Editors and the Art Directors Guild.