Show n ° 1 onfrom Monday is a Korean series with a strange name. Squid Game, released September 17, is a nine-part series about a world where children’s games become deadly. Squid Game Is The First Korean Drama To Reach # 1 On Netflix, Reaching This Milestone . It’s bloody and violent, but it’s also addicting and bingeable.
Here is what you need to know.
Disclaimer: Minor spoilers ahead, although we only explain the basics of the series, not who lives or dies.
What is Squid Game?
Squid Game focuses on a group of people in dire debt in South Korea. They are first drawn into a deadly children’s play tournament, but many of them volunteer to return, realizing that the games may be their only chance to earn the cash they need to survive. Significant sums are at stake: 45 billion South Korean won, which translates to 38 million US dollars (27 million pounds sterling, 52 million Australian dollars). But the chances of survival are not good. Think The Hunger Games only offers contests such as Red Light, Green Light and Marbles.
You’ll get Hunger Games flashbacks while watching Squid Game, and there are flashbacks to Hostel and other horror movies when a group of wealthy masked VIPs come in to bet and cheer on the dead. But Squid Game doesn’t look like an impersonator – it’s a well-made drama / horror series. Rich stories are developed not only for the desperate candidates, but for others, including some of the masked guards in red suits.
You can watch the trailer here:
What does the name Squid Game mean?
In the first episode, main character Seong Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-jae) explains that Squid Game was a game the kids in his neighborhood once played on a squid-shaped field. It’s kind of like Red Rover, or an elaborate version of tag. No spoilers, but the Squid Game itself ends up appearing in the Deadly Tournament.
Why should you watch Squid Game?
There is no doubt that the series has a dark theme and the blood is spurting freely. Watching children’s games turn into deadly battles is nerve-racking, and it’s not for everyone. But the characters are well developed and the action moves fast and never stops for long.
Main character Seong Gi-hun is a desperate father who is easy to root, but he’s not perfect – there’s a heartbreaking episode where his actions lead to a heartbreaking death. And he’s not alone – other nominees include an elderly man who becomes the group’s grandfather, a North Korean refugee, a gangster with a snake tattoo on his face, and a highly educated man who was the pride of his hometown, but didn’t quite live up to his potential.
The characters are introduced quickly and smoothly, and then the games begin. Once you’ve watched an episode, it’s hard not to keep coming back, if only to see who survives the next twisted game.
How can you watch Squid Game?
You will need Netflix to connect to the nine-episode series. (Read.)
Squid Game is an original Netflix drama, produced in South Korea, but it’s being dubbed in English. And unlike some shows where the dubbing leaves a little to be desired, this is top notch work. Viewers never forget that the show was originally in Korean, but the voice actors, many of whom are experienced American voice actors of Korean descent, are excellent. The show does not suffer when viewed in English.
Will there be more Squid Games?
All nine episodes of Squid Game are already on Netflix, so if you’ve got nine hours to spare, go ahead and indulge yourself. Content Warning: This is a bloody and violent show. When people lose these innocent children’s games, they die, often horribly. It’s up to you to decide if you want to see this in a nine hour binge, or if you’re going to need to space out your viewing and take breaks for sanity.
Once you’ve watched the whole series, don’t hold out for a second season. Writer / director Hwang Dong-hyuk told Variety he might return to movies on the big screen before he thinks of a Squid Game sequel.
“I don’t have any well-developed plans for Squid Game 2,” he told Variety. “It’s quite tiring just thinking about it. But if I had to do it, I certainly wouldn’t do it alone. I would consider using a writers’ room and I would like several experienced directors.”
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Squid Game has elements of The Hunger Games in its competitive format. It’s also reminiscent of Battle Royale, a 2000 Japanese film where middle school kids must fight to the death using random weapons. It’s also a bit like the 2014 movie Snowpiercer, in which people fight for survival on an endless train traveling through a frozen apocalyptic world. (Snowpiercer later became a television series.) And the three-part Japanese show, Alice in Borderland, features students transported to a parallel world where they must play games to survive.
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