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The Relatable Brutality of Squid Game

Minor spoilers ahead. 

Just think of The Hunger Games and Battle Royale meets your local kindergarten recess. 

Squid Game is a new series on Netflix and is set to become the biggest show ever on the streaming service. The hit Korean drama revolves around innocent children’s games played amongst 456 desperate and in-debt contestants. If you win, you get 45 billion South Korean won (approximately 48 million Canadian dollars). The catch? If you get eliminated in any of these games, you die.

The games seem simple enough; it’s nothing different from the children’s games we used to play growing up, like ‘red light, green light’ and tug of war. But with every game comes a new twist, and if you lose, you pay with your life. The children’s games, partnered with the instant and violent deaths, create an interesting juxtaposition. You almost feel sick watching the show as it takes innocent games to the next level. But boy did I binge this show in two days while also getting some friends and family members addicted to it. 

The show isn’t just about brutally twisted deathmatches. It also goes into detail about the many emotions felt by characters and what viewers are feeling. I think the best episode that portrays these emotions is Episode 6, titled “Gganbu (깐부)”. 

Without revealing too much (because you really should watch this show), the sixth episode showcases the duality between friendship and betrayal and sacrifice. You feel the heartbreak of a friendship coming to an end; the sadness of betrayal from the person who you thought was your closest peer and the heart-wrenching sacrifices made to keep you alive. You can envision yourself in those situations; you probably haven’t played any deathmatches, but you most likely understand friendship, betrayal and sacrifice.

The ninth and last episode of the show, titled “One Lucky Day (운수좋은날)” shows how people look at humanity. The episode touches on whether the world has any humanity left after the deathmatches. I think this question is up to the main character and the viewers. We must take into consideration how the games are made, the victor left standing and the betrayal and sacrifices that are necessary for winning. Do you think the main character has won? That question is up to the viewers to decide. 

Squid Game is a relatable show in the sense that you might consider doing what other characters do to survive. Could you even blame them for doing what they are forced to do?

Other than the amazing storyline and the massive plot twist, the show has beautiful visuals. From the pastel-coloured game centres and massive playground slides and jungle gyms to detailed animal face masks and incredible red jumpsuits for game makers, the show has it all. Squid Game is an easy series to binge with cliffhangers at the end of most episodes. 

The addictive show premiered on Sept. 17 on Netflix, and according to Deadline, it has reached “No. 1 in 90 countries in 10 days — from Qatar and Oman to Ecuador and Bolivia.” The popularity of the show stems from the diverse characters and their backgrounds, as well as the familiarity of the games played.

And if this article hasn’t convinced you to watch the show, check out the trailer below.

Hi everyone! I'm Ayleen and I’m a third-year journalism student from Lahore, Pakistan. I currently live in the big city of Toronto, Canada and I can't wait to share all my thoughts, and experiences with you! A few things about me... I love food, animals, and horror movies. Sounds like a killer combo am I right? Check out my writings in my profile or follow me on all my socials to see more from me!
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