The cast of the Netflix-hit, Squid Game, appeared on The Tonight Show Thursday where they spoke with Jimmy Fallon about the massive success of the show which recently became the #1 trending non-English Netflix show across 90 countries. The cast, including Lee Jung Jae (as Seong Gi Hun), Park Hae-soo (as Cho Sang Woo), Wi Ha Joon (Joon Ho), and Jung Ho Yeon (as Sae-Byeok), appeared virtually on Fallon's show. Forbes, a global media company, also had some words to say about this incredible work. If you haven’t watched Squid Game, this is a friendly nudge to turn on the tv and pick up some popcorn to watch this thrilling show. It’s only a total of nine episodes, making Squid Game shorter than any standard K-drama.
K-drama, for many American audiences, is a plate of new cuisine that is put on the dining table. The impression of K-drama from my childhood remains in the cheesy script of love stories. Now the industry has broadened to include other genres with successful works like Parasite which gained Korean director Bong Joon-ho numerous awards. This shifted the attention of international moviegoers toward K-drama and South Korean filmmaking. Squid Game seems to be another Korean hit gaining international attention. K-dramas and K-movies have been evolving and shining on the international stage and gaining as much prestige as the Hollywood filmmaking industry. I can see that K-movies are on the rise with the additional complexity from script works. Let’s dig in with Squid Game.
In brief, Squid Game depicts a high-end criminal organization that anonymously generates a system of deadly games that hooks desperate debtors to join in and have the chance to receive a handful of cash. The players are all similar in the sense that they’re indebted with a great amount of money for various reasons. Appearing out of nowhere in the middle of the subway, a good-looking gentleman offers a debtor to join the games, which is where the deadly adventure begins.
The joy and the fascination of Squid Game are the games themselves. They're Korean traditional children’s games, and the rules are simple. But the deadly punishments pour the thrilling adrenaline-rush into the veins of each player. Every episode keeps viewers on the edge of their seat to see how the game is played out, how players manage to get through the round and how greed and desperation pushed out all the good deeds in human nature.
A deeper look into the series shows how the director is making a statement about human nature. The players are given a choice to quit early and leave, but they have nowhere to go and no one to ask for help. Their situation is helpless. They’re desperate. A chilling line from the series states that life outside the game is even more terrifying. Seong Gi-Hun, the main character, is a divorced father who lost his job and all the money he manages to gain. His mother suffers from necrosis in her feet which pushes Gi-Hun to participate in the game once again. As heartbreaking as it is, Squid Game exploits the darkest parts of human nature and desperation. Desperation possibly results in a great consequence. But to know what it is, let’s turn on Netflix and watch the series, shall we?