Not even Never Have I Ever Season 3 is blind to the fame of Squid Game. While the Netflix series is about Devi’s continuing teen drama and her relationship with Paxton, there is some downtime. It is not surprising that the most popular K-drama stream on Netflix is also a must-watch for Devi and her family.
[WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Never Have I Ever Season 3.]
Devi and her grandmother enjoy a night watching ‘Squid Game’ in ‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 3
In the final episode of Never Have I Ever Season 3, Devi is doing okay. While she has gotten over her relationship with Paxton and pursued a small fling with Des, she is back on her feet for now. While enjoying a night in with her grandmother, they watch one of the most talked about series that has come out on Netflix.
Never Have I Ever Season 3 makes a shoutout to Squid Game. Devi’s grandmother exclaims, “If they kill off the Indian character, I’m writing to Netflix.” Fans of the K-drama know she is referring to Player 199, Ali Abdul, played by Indian actor Anupam Tripathi. The character resonated with fans as the only character of color in the K-drama. He told the story of immigrants in South Korea.
Comically, Devi got the message of Squid Game and explained, “I think the whole point of Squid Game is that a lot of people have to die.” Devi is not far off as the K-drama is about a broken capitalist society told through the elite’s heinous Games where 456 players play childhood games to win a grand prize. Failing to win a round means a less than desirable death.
‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 3 makes other pop culture and culture references
Besides Squid Game, Never Have I Ever Season 3 subtly slides in a few other references fans will know. In the eight-episode, Devi tries to get her family out of the house to have some alone time with Des. Her plan involved using Shen Yun tickets her teacher did not want.
Fans have likely seen a Shen Yun ad here or there on bus stops, commercials, and more. According to the official site, “It performs classical Chinese dance, ethnic and folk dance, and story-based dance, with orchestral accompaniment and solo performers. For 5,000 years, divine culture flourished in the land of China.”
Never Have I Ever Season 3 also refers to another hit Netflix series, Bridgerton. Devi explains the school has its own Lady Whistledown who posts TikTok videos about the latest gossip. During her therapy session, Devi also mentions Olivia Rodriguez.
‘Squid Game’ changed the tide of K-dramas on a global scale
Before Squid Game, the Hallyu wave from South Korea skyrocketed K-dramas, K-Pop, and K-content on a global scale. Over the years, many K-dramas have been considered top-tier and classic, from Crash Landing on You, Hospital Playlist, and more. While Squid Game managed to catch global attention, it is not the first and highest-rated K-drama in history.
But the Netflix drama has broken barriers no other drama has been able to accomplish. It is the first K-drama to gain Hollywood recognition, from SAG Award wins to the first non-English series nominated in 14 categories at the Emmys.
Squid Game spotlighted South Korean entertainment and has since allowed other dramas to gain a more extensive fan base. Since its debut in 2021, Netflix has invested in K-dramas with a long list of original works. It is no surprise that Netflix too the chance to include Squid Game in Never Have I Ever Season 3.