So you just finished the first season of Netflix’s newest hit Korean series, Squid Game…now what?
Until we hear from Netflix about it being renewed for a second season, there are several other series and movies that promise the same drama, mystery and excitement that Squid Game has to offer while remaining different and fresh. This series was the first time I have enjoyed a dystopian, game-based thriller since the era of The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner.
Whatever aspect of Squid Game you loved, these eight picks might just be for you!
- If you loved the characters…watch The Wilds
Immediately after watching the first episode of Squid Game, I thought of the Amazon Original series The Wilds.
When the series was initially released in late 2020, I was disappointed to see how few people my age were watching it. If you haven’t watched the classic series Lost, you should certainly go do that, but this series has a blend of the best elements from Lost, The Maze Runner, and Squid Game.
The Wilds follows a group of drastically different teenage girls who are promised to be whisked away on a luxury retreat for female empowerment when their plane crashes, stranding them on a deserted island. Little do they know that they may not have ended up there by complete accident.
- If you loved the social commentary…watch Snowpiercer
As Squid Game is a Korean series, watching it made me think of the amazing film industry there is in Korea and some of its prominent figures like director Bong Joon Ho. Though Parasite is undoubtedly his most well-known film, his filmography is rich in dystopian content like Squid Game.
Snowpiercer in particular is one that similarly ponders how discrimination between classes functions in a dystopian setting. Snowpiercer takes place on a train that is on a never-ending trip as climate change has frozen the outside world, while inside the train the group of lower-class people in the back attempt to revolt. You can find it now on Netflix.
- If you loved the disjointed family dynamic…watch shoplifters
The success of Squid Game is (hopefully) reminding American viewers of the value of watching content from other countries and in other languages.
Shoplifters is a Japanese film that follows a dysfunctional family that takes in a young girl from the street. If you appreciated the way the cast in Squid Game decided to come together with a found family dynamic, Shoplifters will provide that same emotional tug at the heart with witty moments to go along with it. It is currently available to stream on Hulu.
- If you loved the games…watch Are You the One?
I know what you are thinking…you are recommending a reality dating show as being similar to Squid Game? The answer is absolutely yes, I am. If you were intrigued by the games and wanted to know if you would be able to play them (maybe in a less life or death scenario) but want a change of pace to a drama-filled reality show, this one is for you.
Are You the One? is a competition series where a group of self-proclaimed serial daters are secretly paired with their “perfect match,” and it is their job as a group to get all of their matches correct in ten attempts to win a cash prize.
My favorite way to watch this is to make it into a game, where I get overly invested and attempt to figure out the perfect matches way before the cast does. The various seasons can be found on Netflix and Hulu.
- If you loved Sae-byeok or Ali’s backstory…watch His House
His House is a great horror movie to watch around this time of year regardless, but Squid Game’s attention towards the stories of refugees and immigration especially reminded me of it.
In His House, a couple leaves war-torn South Sudan for a small English town where they are provided government-assigned housing. However, their transition to the new town clashes with the memories that haunt them. His House can be found on Netflix.
- If you loved the suspense…watch The Twilight Zone
If you want to see more stories like Squid Game but in a shorter format, The Twilight Zone (both the original series and the newer series) should be added to your watchlist immediately.
If you don’t know about the classic anthology series, each episode follows a different protagonist and story with a dystopian genre and commentary on current social issues.
Some of my favorite episodes from the newer series include “Replay,” “Meet in the Middle,” “The Blue Scorpion” and “Among the Untrodden.” Both versions of the series can be found on Paramount Plus.
- If you loved the extreme dystopian genre…watch The PLatform
The Platform (El Hoyo) feels like a chapter straight out of the Squid Game universe.
Taking place in a vertical prison where two prisoners are placed on a random level, the fight to survive is constant and deadly as a feast of food travels down to each level one at a time and the lower-level prisoners are faced to live off the scraps if they fail to find a way to change their place. It tackles classism in a similarly gruesome and violent way as Squid Game and can be found on Netflix.
- If you loved the mystery…watch Wayward Pines
Wayward Pines is one of those series I watched years ago and loved, but it seems as though no one else was watching it. The mysterious, dystopian genre of Squid Game as you are first learning about the games is similar to the experience of watching this series, executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan.
Ethan Burke is a Secret Service agent who is investigating the disappearance of two federal agents in Wayward Pines, Idaho. When he gets into a car accident, he wakes up in the town with no wallet, identification or a way out. Wayward Pines can be streamed on Hulu.
I hope you enjoy all of the recommendations and add them to your watchlist! Happy viewing!