Squid Game Takes Over

Netflix original skyrockets in popularity and gains high praise


Photo courtesy rottentomatoes.com

Squid Game’s main characters are shown with their signature outfits.

George Proctor, Social Media Coordinator

The popular Korean Netflix series known as Squid Game, or 오징어 게임, has taken the world by storm, quickly becoming the most popular title on Netflix.  Squid Game is a Netflix original series created by Hwang Dong-hyuk that is based in and filmed in South Korea. 

The series was originally recorded in Korean, but Netflix offers dubbed viewing in 13 languages and subtitles in 31. The premise of the show is that contestants enter the games after accepting a challenge from a well-dressed man in the subway. They must put their lives on the line, playing five deadly games. The end-goal for the characters is a life-changing number of won, Korea’s currency, which grows with each elimination. The show follows the main character Seong Gi-hun, played by Lee Jung-jae, and the people that he meets while navigating through the games. Seong Gi-hun joins the games to support his sick mother and to pay off his large debts built up from gambling. After deciding to join the games, he is picked up in a van driven by a man with a jumpsuit and mask on and is put to sleep. He wakes up in a large room full of stacked beds and hundreds of other people in numbered jumpsuits. He forms a group of friends that work together to survive and beat the other participants.  

Alex Tufino (9) enjoyed the show and how suspenseful it was.  

“I loved the incorporation of children’s games into a real-life game. I think that the hype was definitely worth it because it’s a really great show we don’t see often,” Tufino said. 

Each player participates in the games for different reasons including to alleviate debt, to run away from someone or to simply have fun. Because of this, each player is prepared to do whatever it takes to become the winner. These players range from teenagers to the elderly, having only a common ground in financial status. With 456 players starting the game, alliances as well as rivalries are quickly formed. 

Isabelle Colón (10) found the show a little overrated, but ultimately enjoyed it.  

“I thought that the show was really good. It was sad how people higher up took advantage of people in debt,” Colón said. 

The show not only entertains viewers, but also educates many non-Korean viewers on Korean culture. Viewers are given insight into traditional childhood-games in Korea such as ddakji, which is a game where players throw paper squares on the ground and try to flip the opponent’s square. The everyday culture of Korea is also shown with the food served, clothes worn outside of the games and relationships between the characters. The series shows a strong emphasis on the respect of elders and of each other which is prominent in Korean culture.  

The extreme success of the series has reached new heights becoming one of Netflix’s biggest hits. Having 142 million views in the four weeks after its release, the show has been ranked number one in 90 countries. 

Jenna Pittman (12) is a fan of the big plot twists in the show.

“I would highly recommend watching the show in Korean with subtitles because the dubbed version is really bad,” Pittman said.