by Ella Silvestrini
October 30, 2021
The new nine-episode series Squid Game, directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, has shattered the record for the most-watched series in Netflix history. The series stars model Jung Ho-Yeon as Kang Sae-byeok, Lee Jung-jae as the main character Seong Gi-hun, and Yeong-Su Oh as Oh Il-name.
The series takes place in South Korea, where 456 players are given a chance to win an unfathomable amount of money. However, there is a twist. Only one player can win, and the rest will die. They follow a series of children’s games such as red-light-green-light, tug of war, and Dalgona Candy, where players carve shapes out of honeycomb candy. Each person who fails to win in these competitions is either shot or otherwise dies horribly. The games get more and more aggressive each day, and they force the players to fight each other for the money that will change their lives and also their own survival. In the end, the main protagonist, Gi-hun, wins the game because the only other remaining person sacrifices himself for Gi-hun’s happiness. When he arrives back home, Gi-hun experiences immense guilt. To make matters worse, he finds his mother dead.
The series shines a bright light on the troubles of people struggling with money and highlights what people will do when they are desperate enough. When Gi-hun gets back to the real world, he is shocked. Much like troops who return from war, he was too traumatized to function correctly. He had seen 455 people die in front of him, and he was carrying all their blood on his hands. He doesn’t even touch his credit card with the 45.6 billion won, roughly equivalent to 39 million dollars, until a year after the games have ended.
I love stories like this, which show the flaws of human society. You might think, “Yeah, but that’s just a show,” but Squid Game was created to highlight these problems in society. It even uses real news feeds in some of its episodes to show that wealth inequality is a real problem in today’s culture. I highly recommend Squid Game to any viewer who is interested in dystopian topics. I rate this show a 9/10, only because I think the ending could have been better. I would also like to give a content warning as it is somewhat gory at parts.