Is Netflix Riding the Korean Wave or Vice Versa?| Kingdom Cultures: Zombie Growth and Netflix Korea

Joseph Jonghyun Jeon


This article considers the position of Netflix Korea within Netflix’s global business and in relation to South Korea’s place within a transitioning world system in the early 21st century. The article will first discuss prospects for growth at corporate and geopolitical levels, with an emphasis on leadership principles. Netflix culture implies a useful strategy for stamping out weaker competition amid crisis conditions but is not one that solves the crisis itself, a fact that becomes apparent when Netflix assumes its position as an industry leader rather than a scrappy upstart. Second, this article will track the way in which Kingdom, Netflix Korea’s first original scripted show, encompasses the contradictions of imperialist logics that ramp up precisely as the foundation for that power erodes. Kingdom and Netflix more broadly imagine a world that bypasses this fundamental requirement, and in so doing they risk building castles in the sand susceptible to shifting tides as hallyu waves begin to recede.


Netflix, Netflix Korea, Kingdom, platform imperialism, corporate culture, zombies

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