Review: “Squid Game”


Ava Goforth

Squid Game

Since it’s release on Sept. 17, 2021, ‘Squid Game’ has become the most popular television series in Netflix’s history, having reached No. 1 in 94 countries around the world with over 111 million viewers of all ages, genders and ethnicities. 

While the title might make one think that ‘Squid Game’ is a fun and carefree Netflix series about a (South Korean) children’s game, the show is extremely twisted and dark, exploring the inequality between the rich and the poor and what some are driven to do in fear and desperation. 

Taking place in modern day South Korea, the show follows Seung Gi-Hun, a divorced chauffeur with an obsessive gambling issue, which has resulted in him facing extreme financial debt. 

When he is forced to face the consequences of his actions and the harm that his destructive behavior has caused, Gi-Hun is approached by a man known as The Salesman, who offers him a chance to win a large sum of money by playing seemingly simple and innocent childhood games, unaware of their danger and deadliness.

Quickly realizing the seriousness of the games and the danger to his life, Gi-Hun, along with 456 other players of various ages, gender and social status, try and struggle to survive the competition for the slim chance of winning and creating a better life for themselves, even if it means losing their humanity in the process. 

Although the show is and was intended for a mature audience, as it portrays scenes that are extremely graphic and violent and even some that are sexual in nature, many teens and young adults watched the show after seeing its success, and generally liked the show overall. 

“I thought it was really good,” Thomas Dirico, sophomore, said. 

Like many other students who viewed ‘Squid Game,’ Dirico was initially skeptical of the positive ratings and was unsure of how he would like the show. “When I first watched it, I didn’t think it would be that good,” Dirico said. “But, a couple episodes in the plot got really good, and I kind of got hooked on it.”

Despite the fact that Dirico enjoyed the show, he did think that there were some areas where the show could be improved, especially when it came to the problems that arose due to the show being filmed in a different language. 

While it makes sense for the characters to speak Korean, as the show takes place in South Korea, for viewers who did not speak or who were not fluent in Korean, they were only able to view the show through subtitles or by dubbing it in their own language, which is a feature that is available on Netflix. 

However, despite these features being readily available, some found that the English-dub did not convey the same meaning as the original Korean version, and that by dubbing it in English it lowered the quality of the show. 

This resulted in some confusion regarding the plot and characters, as many people had trouble remembering the names of the characters despite their importance in the story. 

“I don’t remember any of the characters’ names because it was in Korean,” Nico Georgeou, sophomore, said. “I don’t even know the name of the main character.”

And yet, despite the language barrier, students who viewed the show were able to thoroughly enjoy it, and were even able to come to their own conclusions about what the meaning of the show was, focusing on different aspects of what the show represented. 

For Dirico, the message was to always be careful about the intentions of others, focusing on the betrayals and broken trust that can be seen throughout the game. 

“No matter how kind you are, no matter what you have done for them, people could turn their back on you easily,” Dirico said.

However, for senior Morgan Lury, while the show’s overall message was still dark, it focused more on why the characters did what they did, and what drove them to lose their humanity. 

“Greed takes over,” Lury said. “People will do anything to be rich.”

Overall, ‘Squid Game,’ was an interesting and compelling show that forced its audience to be confronted by the flaws in today’s society and the value of one’s compassion and humanity. While there were some confusing aspects, it portrayed an interesting story that captivated viewers, making up for some of the areas where the show could be improved. 

Despite its mature and graphic rating, I would recommend this show to others, and I’m excited to see how it will progress in the future, hopefully through a second season.