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Stream Your Heart Out: “Squid Game” Review

by Bailey Weber

*This review contains spoilers.

Netflix tweeted on Oct. 12, “‘Squid Game’ has officially reached 111 million fans — making it our biggest series launch ever!”  That number has quickly risen to 142 million people. TV-watchers all over the world are talking about this show, but what makes it special?

“Squid Game” written by Hwang Dong-hyuk, revolves around lower class people in financial debt playing children’s games to win 45.6 billion Won. The catch, however, put their lives at risk. Losing a game resulted in their death and added 100 million Won to the grand prize. 

The show was originally released in Korean and has opened many viewers’ eyes as to what lies outside of Hollywood. 

The debt referenced in “Squid Game” reflects the real debt crisis going on in South Korea now. The national debt crisis fronts the show as one of the main themes. According to Nodutdol, a group of Koreans who were displaced from their homeland,“Household debt averaged 190% of household earnings in 2019, almost double the US average.” 

One reason the show became popular comes from the violence that happens on screen.

Competitors in “Squid Game” get killed quickly during the children’s games. For example, during the now infamous, “Red Light, Green Light,” sequence, players are killed by a giant doll without a second thought. 

In my opinion, “Squid Game” has all of the elements to a great story. It has an exciting plot, fun characters with interesting back stories, and most importantly, an end goal. I wanted players to win and felt connected to them.

I believe that the references to the national debt crisis happening in South Korea were needed. It brought viewers’ (who might not have cared before) attention there and allowed them to think about what happens across the world. 

Netflix’s release of “Squid Game” has definitely opened the eyes of a lot of viewers. This seemed to be the intention of the cast and crew.

I think that everyone should try and watch “Squid Game.” It has a lot of fun elements, so much gore, and makes every possible emotion come out at once. Give it a watch on Netflix!

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