Squid Game: Are you watching?

Netflix’s biggest hit analyzed by Crusader’s Mauricio Gonzalez


Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Mysterious red-hooded figures line up against a series of doors.

Squid Game is a new series launched by Netflix that is causing a furor. Experts believe that this show will become the most-watched series that Netflix has ever had. Squid Game is about hundreds of people who are going through many economic difficulties who accept a strange invitation to a game of survival in which there is a 38.4 million-dollar prize awaiting the winner but there is a lot at stake. 

This series has only one season with nine episodes. The series is based on a certain number of games, in which 456 participants compete to be rewarded with a grand prize of 45,600 million which would convert to 38.4 million U.S. dollars. The participants that manage to stay alive and win all the games will be the winner and will receive the money that will help him/her to pay all of their outstanding bills and more. 

This is not so easy because in each game the participants put their life at risk to overcome the challenges. The participant who fails to complete the game will be executed. This series features six common children’s games from Korean culture.  

Red Light and Green Light is the first game and consists of participants touching the wall behind the doll but players can only move when the doll is not looking at them. If any participant moves while the doll is looking at them, they are eliminated and they will lose their life. 

The second game is the Dalgona Candy Challenge. This game is based on the custom that children have of eating around the outline of the traditional Koren cookie without breaking its shape. The only thing that changes in the series is the participants are given a needle to break out the cookie outline. Whoever breaks the outline of the cookie will then be executed. 

The third game is the traditional Tug-of-War which is probably the most well-known game. In the series, the contestants had to form teams to play. The difference in this version of the game is that the players face each other on two elevated platforms separated by a gap in the middle. Not a minor detail is that all players were chained to the rope so if one player falls all the others do too. 

Marbles is the fourth game. In this version, the participants were allowed to choose the game they wanted to play with the marbles. Their only requirement is that they had to compete with another player. To win the game and not be eliminated, participants had to get all ten of the other player’s marbles – no matter what version of marbles they chose.

The fifth game is called Stepping on the Bridge Stones. In Squid Game the bridge was glass panels instead of stones and the bridge was at a fairly high altitude. The only thing the participants had to do was to cross the bridge and get to the other side. However, they had to choose between stepping on ordinary glass, in which the player would break and fall into the void, or tempered glass that was able to support the weight of up to two men. 

All 456 participants await their next competition. (Photo Courtesy of Netflix )

The last game is The Squid Game competition which involves two people or teams having to fight each other within a grid drawn on the floor that is quite similar to the outline of a squid. Before starting, it must be decided who or which team will be the attacker and who will be the defender, as there are different restrictions for each role. 

Some of the main characters we see throughout the series are Seong Gi-hun, Cho Sang-woo, Oh II-nam, Kang Sae-byeok, Jang Deok-su and Abdul Ali. Seong Gi-hun #456 works as a chauffeur and is addicted to gambling especially horse racing, which is the reason why he has a lot of debts. Cho Sang-woo #218 is the head of a securities company. As a child, he was a friend of Gi-hun but now he is wanted by the police for fraud. Oh II-nam #1 is a man with a brain tumor who prefers to survive the competition and then die on the outside. Kang Sae-byeok #067 is a North Korean defector who entered the game in order to pay a broker to reunite her family. Jang Deok-su #212 is a bad gangster who enters due to gambling debts, more specifically from stealing from Philippine casinos. Abdul Ali #199 is a young immigrant from Pakistan who plays the game to support his family. 

In my opinion, it is a good series in which we can see a lot of drama but it is not one of my favorites. Honestly, I started watching it because many people were talking about it on social networks. In my personal opinion, the first episode is not so good and it didn’t attract me so much but the following episodes got better. As the episodes go by the series becomes more and more interesting. It is a series that I recommend watching and I definitely look forward to the second season of this series. 

Squid game is available on Netflix. Many hope that there will be a second season, as there are several issues that left viewers in suspense. However, the director of the series said that it is not in his future plans to make a second season – although he also explained that if he were to do it, he would not write it alone but would do it with a group of screenwriters.