If you have Netflix, then this show might become your new favorite bingeable series. PHOTO CREDIT: marca.com
What would you do for enough money? How far would you go to financially support yourself and your family? Netflix’s newest original hit show, “Squid Game” tackles this very question.
Born from the mind of South Korean director Hwang Dong-hyuk, “Squid Game” is a drama set in a dystopian South Korea where desperate individuals compete in children’s games to win a cash prize. Sounds simple enough, right?
Wrong. The game is set up to only have one winner, and they are the last one standing ‒‒ literally. Survival is the name of the game.
The show follows Seong Gi-hun, a divorced father whose financial mishaps and gambling issues have ruined his family life, separating him and his daughter. Gi-hun owes thousands of Won to various loan sharks and criminals in his village and is constantly scrambling to make ends meet. Gi-hun is later approached by a man in a subway station to join the Squid Games, where he can make all of his financial troubles disappear. After agreeing to the games, Gi-hun is taken away to a remote island with 455 other contestants.
On the island, Gi-hun and the other contestants compete in children’s games including Red Light, Green Light, tug-of-war, marbles and many others. Throughout the challenges, we are introduced to the other competitors and their respective backstories. There are so many layers to “Squid Game,” and so many interesting subplots to follow. The characters really make this show special. Each one is memorable and unique in their own way. Netflix did a great job fleshing these side characters out and making the show more engaging overall. Every episode left me wondering more about each character’s motivations and backstories.
The visuals of this show are spectacular. Each scene is so striking, and the uniform chaos of each episode gave this series a very chilling and dystopian feel. The pink soldiers especially demonstrated this feeling. Remaining silent and faceless for the majority of the series, these stoic guardians strike fear into both the contestants and the audience. However, nothing compares to the Front Man, whose intimidating masked face is at the forefront of everyone’s mind throughout the duration of the games. The setting is also incredibly bright and colorful which juxtaposes the dark and ominous nature of the show so well.
The music of “Squid Game” is also fantastic. Many original pieces in the score were created by composer Jung Jae-il. The repeated use of “The Blue Danube” to mark the beginning of new challenges is so unsettling and the “Pink Soldiers” theme is equally so, as it incorporates haunting chants that syncopate with their marching boots. The other pieces complement the emotional impacts of each scene
“Squid Game” calls out human nature and morality in the most disgustingly perfect way. You can feel pain and internal conflict when a contestant makes a difficult decision. The loss of human life contradicted with financial gains feels so uncomfortable and honestly bone-chilling. The show truly is an allegory for life itself; the power of money, greed, friendship and morality are all explored. The constant tug-of-war between being a good person or teammate and the necessary concern for survival and financial security is demonstrated through each challenge.
This show was gut-wrenchingly addictive to watch. With memorable characters, an obscure and twisted plot and true questions of morality being raised, “Squid Game” became my favorite series from Netflix this year, and the most popular show on the platform right now.