“Squid Game” is a hit show with a lot to say

“Squid Game” was released less than one month ago on Netflix, and has gained extreme popularity across the world.

The genre involving high-stake death games isn’t original, but the well-thought-out plot twists and the relationships you build with the characters explain why “Squid Game” is one of the most watched shows in Netflix history.

The popular new K-drama tells the story of 456 people who are in deep debt and are given a chance to participate in a series of games to pay off their debt. The “players” are to play classic Korean children’s games with the promise that the winner gets to bring home 45.6 billion won ($38 million USD). What the players initially don’t know is that their lives are at stake if they lose.

“Squid Game” cleverly and abruptly twists the faces of the characters that you once thought you knew. The desire to survive can bring out the worst in people since people will reveal who they truly are while on the verge of death. Whether it is tricking your best friend or killing a spouse, “Squid Game” isn’t afraid to show just how low people will go to save themselves. This hits some people deeper than others because they know that they would do the same thing that the characters did if it meant seeing another day.

Games such as red light, green light, tug-of-war and one that involves dalgona candy (honeycomb candy), have unique twists that make them each deadlier than the last. All of the games they played really had me sitting on the edge of my seat wondering who was going to move on to the next game and who would be eliminated.

It isn’t easy to incorporate humor into serious situations, but Seong Gi-hun, played by Lee Jung-jae, does a fantastic job of keeping the tension light. “Squid Game” also does a good job of maintaining an antagonist amongst the players in Jang Deok-su, played by Heo Sung-tae. I’m sure that the majority of the show’s viewers, including myself, disliked Deok-su. Relationships in the show like Cho Sang-woo and Gi-hun, who are childhood friends, devolved into cutthroat relationships because of the prize money. Money can really make people lose their conscience and morals. This is best shown in Sang-woo when he deceives and cheats his “friends” just to get farther ahead in the game.

“Squid Game” also provides insight into the Korean social hierarchy and the problem of poverty. The only reason the players got their invitations is because they were poor and were unable to pay off their debt in their lifetime. They are viewed as entertainment for the wealthy people that gathered them.

Overall, the show’s plot twists and character development make it extremely engaging and makes it so that you can’t stop watching until you’re done.

By Daniel Lee, Staff writer
Photo source: Netflix