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REVIEW: Netflix’s Latest Phenomenon Squid Game

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

By Zachary Robinson | October 24, 2021

If you like pink jumpsuits, violence, childhood games, a grand prize of 45,600,000,000 Won ($38,460,271.20 US dollars), or are just really into watching Netflix, then you have probably heard of the phenomenon that is “Squid Game.”

Created by Hwang Dong-hyuk, the series follows Seong Gi-hun, a man in financial ruin, who enters a game joined by 455 other players with similar financial hardship to compete for a grand prize of 45,600,000,000 Won. The catch? Those eliminated from the game are killed.

The success of “Squid Game” comes from the series’ suspense and mystery by keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat. The show captures this feeling by giving the players the option to end the game if the majority rules. Instead of being coerced into playing the game, the players choose to be there, knowing the risks. The competition is played in a series of rounds with each round being a different game, either played individually, with a partner, or in teams. The competition is played in 6 games: red-light, green light, dalgona (sugar honeycomb), tug of war, marbles, glass bridge, and squid game.

We see how the players form strategies, alliances, and struggle with their mental health throughout the series. The characters have to get creative. The show immerses yourself into each player's shoes to try to figure out how to beat each round.

****Spoilers Ahead****

Seong Gi-hun is in financial ruin, and with a daughter moving to the U.S. and a mother in poor health, he would do anything to get the money he desperately needs. A representative of an undisclosed competition challenges Gi-hun to a game of ddakji. Ddakji is a Korean game where two or more players take turns throwing paper tiles, the goal being to try and make the other player’s tile flip over at another one placed on the ground. If Gi-hun flips the tile he would win a sum of money.

After several attempts, Gi-hun wins the match and is invited into a competition to win more money. Although he was hesitant at first, Gi-hun decided to enter the competition. During the first round, Gi-hun and the other players discover this competition has their lives at stake.

Within each round, as players are eliminated, the jackpot increases. While competing, Hwang Jun-ho, a Korean police officer, infiltrates the game to find his missing brother.

Not only does Jun-ho find his brother, he discovers the secrets that lie within the game. Unfortunately, Jun-ho’s story is cut short as he was shot by his brother, the front man, the enigmatic character who creates the games. However, throughout the season, Jun-ho has been documenting incriminating evidence on his smartphone.

At the end of the series, Gi-hun comes out on top as the winner of the competition. Winning $45,600,000,000 does not satisfy Gi-hun as he develops a new motive to end the game.

As of now, “Squid Game” has not been renewed, but with its popularity, it is likely.

Squid Game is now streaming on Netflix.


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