Netflix’s New Top Trending Show: Squid Game


Squid Game is by far the most popular show that is on Netflix right now, featuring nine action packed episodes all running about an hour long. Squid Game was released worldwide on September 17, 2021 and rose to fame very quickly. It hit Netflix’s #1 spot in a record breaking four days, and is the first Korean show to take that spot. 

Squid Game is a show about 456 Korean citizens, all in deep debt, who were offered an opportunity to win back a generous amount of money in order to pay off what they owe. Those who agreed were brought to an undisclosed location where they were told they would play a series of games in a chance to win money. Each contestant wore a green jumpsuit numbered 1-456. Our main character, Seong Gi-Hun, played by Lee Jung-jae, is number 456. Numbers are generally how the characters are identified so some important ones to keep track of are: #067, #218, #199, #001, and #101. These main characters along with every other contestant have to compete in childhood games for the chance to win a total of 45.6 billion won ($38 million dollars US).

The contestants are told that each person is worth 100,000,000 won and once they lose, the corresponding amount of money will be added to the total prize. Another aspect to the show involves a young cop Hwang Jun-ho (played by Wi Ha-Joon) who sneaks into one of the cars that was sent to pick up contestants and is able to disguise himself as one of the workers. He believes his brother was taken by the “company,” and worries for his safety. This concept allows the audience to see both perspectives, as a player, and as a worker. The show follows both of their journeys, sometimes simultaneously so the watcher gets a really good insight into both sides of the story and even knows things before the contestants do. 

The players wake up in a warehouse-looking room with stacks of beds surrounding the perimeter. At the front of the room, there is a stage, large doors, and a TV screen with the number 456 on it. The contestants are interrupted by a group of “guards,” who wear red jumpsuits, carry weapons, and wear black masks with either a circle, triangle, or square painted on the masks. The “Front Man” is the head of the whole organization and gives the OK to continue with the games. It is announced that the first game will begin. Players are escorted out of the warehouse and brought to an intricate pattern of brightly colored steps and doors in order to reach the first game room. 

The first game is a childhood favorite everyone knows, Red Light Green Light. The players are brought into a large room and a towering mechanical doll is seen at the end of the room standing in front of a tree. A woman’s voice comes on over a loudspeaker and explains the rules: You may move when ‘it’ says, “Green light” and you cannot move once ‘it’ says, “Red light.”  The doll’s head spins around and yells, “Green light!” Two players race ahead as they made a bet on who would finish first. Not long after the doll quickly turns its head back around and calls out, “Red light!” Her eyes scan the players and one of the two men wobbles and flails his hands, trying to catch his balance. A sniper emerges from the wall and shoots and kills the man. His friend freezes in fear as he watches the blood from his mouth pour onto the ground. The player’s heart sinks as they realize they are playing for their lives. 

The remaining players are escorted back to the warehouse they originally woke up in. The player count at the front of the room drops almost half of the original number.  A massive golden piggy bank is lowered from the ceiling and more than 20 billion won is dropped into it. The players stand around, almost cluelessly, trying to process what happened. The games were just getting started.

The whole dynamic of the game changes from that point on as players start to form alliances, revolt against the one’s in charge, and even resort to attacking each other while they sleep. Another 4 games are played, slowly eliminating players one by one. The cash prize continues to go up but in turn the player’s sanity levels go down. The journey of Gi-hun and all of the other contestants is emotionally draining and the whole show leaves the audience with a different perspective on life.  

The show earned its #1 spot on Netflix by far because it keeps viewers intrigued and keeps your emotions on their toes. The plot is very well thought out and the ending leaves the audience questioning everything they thought they knew. While there hasn’t been a statement that 100% confirms a Season 2, it has been predicted that if a S2 were to come out, it would be released around early 2023. The show was originally in Korean, so Netflix offers two options: a dubbed version or subtitles. The dubbed version is very Americanized and the voice actors didn’t even try to match the accents of the actor’s ethnicities making it hard to really connect with the characters. The other option, subtitles, were claimed to be translated wrong by many Korean watchers. This caused some of the information to steer away from the original meaning of the show. Putting aside the language barrier, the overall plot and story of the show makes it a great watch and has the ability to change anyone’s perspective on life and money. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t already seen it.