What Is Squid Game?
If you’ve been on social media at all these past few weeks, odds are you’ve come across something called Squid Game. If the name isn’t enough to grab your immediate attention, the premise definitely will.
What is Squid Game About?
Netflix’s latest hit is a South Korean thriller series about 356 people who owe massive debts and have the opportunity to win money by winning a series of children’s games. It seems simple enough, but there’s a twist. Those who lose the games die. This is demonstrated quite violently in the first episode during a game of red light, green light. The game is conducted by a large, doll-looking robot. If she catches you moving, even slightly, after she’s called “red light!” you are shot immediately.
What Does the Title Mean?
Squid Game refers to a type of game that the protagonist, Hero Seong Gi-hun, as well as the director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, played as children. The game involves drawing a large squid-shaped figure in the dirt or sand. The children playing are split into two teams: offense and defense. The offense then tries to tap the squid’s head with their feet, but if they are pushed outside of the squid, they lose. Hwang told Radio Times, “It was one of the most physical and it was also one of my favourite games. I felt that this game could be the most symbolic children’s game that could represent the kind of society we live in today.”
Why is it So Popular?
The show’s wild success has been compared to that of Parasite, a South Korean thriller movie that was the first foreign movie to win the Best Picture award. Audiences have become enthralled by this show, drawn to both the shocking violence and fascinating social commentary.
Hwang himself says that he believes the game represents the society we live in. Many of the characters on the show are so desperate for money that they are willing to risk their safety and their lives. Those running the games are preying on this vulnerability, this need. It portrays inequality as exactly what it is: deadly. It separates the winners from the losers, and if you’re deemed a loser, you’re dead. This survival of the fittest mindset is a reflection of our own society. While the shocking violence in Squid Game makes the events of the show feel entirely fictional, it is rooted very deeply in reality.
Social media has played a huge role in the show’s popularity. TikTok users, for example, have developed several new trends based on the show. The most popular involves making dalogna cookies and trying to break them apart without cracking or crumbling the cookie.
Will There Be a Season Two?
Much to the disappointment of fans, there are no plans for season 2 of Squid Game. Director Hwang Dong-hyuk says that he has no vision or plans for season 2 as of right now. While this is frustrating for viewers who want more content, sometimes shows are better off concluding as they were meant to. If Hwang Dong-hyuk tried to force another season due to pressure from Netflix or from his audience, it may not meet those expectations or have the same impactful message.
Squid Game is not likely to be forgotten anytime soon. The show is memorable to say the least, and is still growing in popularity.