Review of Netflix’s Smash-Hit “Squid Game”

Sara Paredes, Copy Editor

Recent international sensation and South Korean television show “Squid Game” has made its mark on the entertainment industry, topping all global charts and making its way to becoming Netflix’s most viewed series of all time. 

When it comes to disturbing plots and gory takes on Korean children’s games, Netflix’s “Squid Game” takes the cake. The show’s plot consists of 456 indebted contestants participating in bloody versions of typical Korean children’s games to win a cash prize of $38.8 million. In a fight for their lives, each contestant takes all measures necessary in order to advance to the next game. 

With 111 million Netflix accounts viewing “Squid Game” since its debut on Sept. 17, the numbers speak for themselves. Under Hwang Dong-hyuk’s stellar direction, the show’s acting, production and underlying message set the stage for overall success. 

Despite the show’s disturbing, brutal gore, “Squid Game”’s emotional core has a nostalgic resonance for many around the world, especially in Korea. Many of the games played throughout the series are common with younger children from all over the world — ranging from Red Light, Green Light to Tug of War to simple games of marbles — except each game is altered to result in either life or death for the contestants. 

Each addicting episode portrays the core human instincts of greed and desire as each contestant must fend for themselves throughout the torturous conditions of each game. 

The series gets its name from a traditional Korean children’s game, “Squid Game.” The game — played on a court shaped like a squid — splits two groups of children into defense and offense. At the start of the game, the defense is allowed to run around on two feet while staying in bounds, while the offense outside the lines are only allowed to hop on one foot. If an attacker cuts through the waist of the squid past the defensive line, they are permitted to run on both feet. 

Once ready for the final battle, the attackers must gather at the squid’s entrance. The game’s objective is for the attackers to tap the closed off space on the squid’s head with their foot and yell out ‘Victory’ if accomplished; however, if someone on the defense pushes you out of bounds, you ‘die,’ or lose. 

The series has faced worldwide success, and with Netflix’s 209 million subscribers, “Squid Game” speaks of the platform’s ability to produce a world-renowned hit. Subsequently, the show has become a pop-culture phenomenon. From memes to Halloween costumes, the series has proved itself a global smash-hit.