It’s the show that everyone is talking about – Squid Game, the violent thriller from South Korea that is centred on a survival game. The Netflix series has been rated at number one in 90 countries and the game show from hell has only just wrapped up its first season.
Squid Game, the latest sensation has captivated millions around the world and what better timing to introduce a hyper-violent Korean language drama into an October month – spooky season.
On social media, users can’t stop talking about “Squid Game,” especially some of its children’s games, which have lent themselves to some unforgettable memes.
For example, the show on TikTok, “#SquidGame” has been viewed more than 22.8 billion times.
The series features 456 people competing for a jackpot in a bloody survival game. If they lose any of the lethal childhood games-they die.
Similar to the Hunger Games franchise, this Netflix start-up series is about contestants forced to compete in life or death versions of classic children’s games.
Squid Game writer Hwang Dong-hyuk played the game himself as a kid, and the show describes it as violent, where the defence can do whatever’s necessary, including pushing and pulling, to keep the offence from winning.
Though of course, no one dies when playing the game in real life.
Released Sept. 17, the nine-episode Korean thriller is poised to become Netflix’s biggest “non-English-language show in the world,” said Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos.
Korean entertainment has been thriving in the U.S. and around the world for years.
K-pop, or Korean pop music, groups, such as BTS and Blackpink, have massive fan bases in the U.S., and their popularity continues to grow. Movies like the South Korean film “Parasite” have dominated Hollywood; it went on to win the Academy Award for best picture last year.
And now Korean television is having its moment.
Green Tracksuits, Red Jumpsuits, Fencing Masks And Metallic Trench Coats.
The matching green tracksuits are one of the most distinct parts of the series, worn by the players as they take part in nostalgic games from childhood, including Red Light, Green Light and Tug of War.
Counter to them is the mysterious guards, clad in red jumpsuits and eerie fencing masks, each wielding the power to set the rules and enact fatal punishments for the unfortunate losers.
We also have the metallic trench coat men with solid stern-looking masks and let’s not forget about the giant creepy doll who features in the red light, green light episode.
Here we suspect to see a lot of yellow t-shirts underneath the brown school-girl dress with high-knee white socks.
There Are Multiple Characters In The Squid Game But Only A Few Protagonists
Experts attribute the show’s success to its characters, many of whom are marginalised members of society.
“People are attracted by the irony that hopeless grownups risk their lives to win a kids’ game” – Squid Game director, Hwang Dong-hyuk said in an interview.
Though they are all linked by huge money troubles, they come from all walks of life. For example, a few of the characters are:
Seong Gi-hun is a divorcee, gambling addict who needs cash for the custody of his daughter. After discovering that his mother needs surgery for diabetes, he joins the games in an attempt to win some money.
Cho Sang-woo is Gi-hun’s old childhood friend. The businessman has been caught embezzling money from his clients and is fleeing the police. His ability to make quick decisions and his previous knowledge of playground games give him the edge over others.
Abdul Ali is a Pakistani worker, enters the game to provide for his wife and baby after his employer refuses to pay him for months.
“People, especially the younger generation, who regularly suffer from alienation and resentment in real life, seem to sympathise with the characters.” – Kim Pyeong-gang
Just A Heads Up, The Series Is Violently Gruesome
Squid Game isn’t for those who have a weak stomach.
The trailer gives just a small taste of some of the gore and violence that occurs throughout the series as the competition is underway.
But that is nothing compared to what actually takes place in the series. So if you’re squeamish at the sight of blood, we suggest staying far away.
The show follows the main character Seong Gi-Hun, played by Lee Jung-Jae, as he and hundreds of other desperate and deeply indebted contestants compete in a violent and often grotesque competition for about $46 million.
With that amount of desperation and money involved, it’s no wonder the contestants go all out.
While the genre of the show is hardly new, its striking visuals, relatable characters and disturbing study of human nature have spoken to audiences all around the world.
In the end, this series has seen its fair share of success residing at the top of the streamer’s charts. However, according to Variety, there are currently no plans to make Squid Game season 2 yet.
Hwang Dong-hyuk, the writer and director of the well-received Netflix show, said in the same interview that he doesn’t have another chapter on his agenda, at least, not any time soon.
Let us know what you think of the first season!