“Squid Game” Worth The Hype?

Most of you have probably heard about Netflix’s phenomenal show, Squid Game, but many of you have probably not watched it yet. The buzz is everywhere -on Instagram, TikTok,  and YouTube.  Squid Game is Netflix’s biggest series launch ever with over 111 million viewers.  Should you become viewer one-hundred and eleven-million and one?  As a devoted journalist, I stayed up until 3:00 am to binge all 9 episodes in order to answer your burning question – is Squid Game really worth the hype?

First, I will explain the plot.  Poor Koreans, who are in large debt, compete in a series of Korean children’s games for a chance to win a huge cash prize.  This premise seems similar to many American game shows like Wheel of Fortune or the Price is Right.  But, Squid Game has a catch, contestants are not just eliminated from the game, they are permanently eliminated from life!  

As you can imagine from the plot description, Squid Game is extremely violent and gory.   In fact, I was so shocked at what I witnessed in the first episode, I felt that I could not watch any more episodes.  I worried that I would become berated by nightmares and sleepless nights.  Squid Game is definitely not for everyone and certainly should not be watched by anybody under the age of 13. Yet, I was torn because the plot is so riveting, the characters are very well-developed, and the action is continuous.  When the Netflix app counted down the seconds to the next show, I resisted my temptations and didn’t quit..  Through closed fingers and a racing heart, I watched, without a break, all 485 minutes.  

Although Squid Game is a Korean show, its themes are universal.  Extreme wealth inequality and lack of human decency have created this dystopia.  The indebted Korean contestants choose to compete in this deadly contest because they have no alternatives.  One nice contestant, Ali gives his opponent a second chance at life after defeating antagonist Seonng Gi-hun in a game of Odd or Even.  In return, Seonng Gi-hun steps on by the person he saved. Another desperate character, Seonng Gi-hun although he seems perfect, even he is not.  His actions lead to a heartbreaking death that I still can not get over.  Similar to Hunger Games, the rich spectate the poor’s misery as entertainment.  

Squid Game, despite its violence, is an important show to watch and I am glad I finished the first season.  Through its massive viewing platform, Squid Game forces people to see the deadly consequences of wealth inequality and cruelty.  Squid Game is definitely worth the hype! 

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