- Netflix’s “Squid Game” is a South Korean dystopian series with violence, competition, and games.
- Fans are calling “Squid Game” a violent mix of “The Hunger Games,” “Black Mirror,” and “Parasite.”
- The dark series was created by Hwang Dong-hyuk in 2008.
‘s South Korean dystopian drama “Squid Game” has taken the world by storm since its premiere on September 17.
A few days after its release, it ranked No. 1 in the US and it’s on track to become the streaming service’s most-watched show of all time.
Keep reading to learn what exactly “Squid Game” is and why so many people are watching.
Warning: Minor spoilers from the first few episodes ahead.
The series follows players as they participate in deadly versions of kiddie games to win cash
“Squid Game” is created and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk and set in Seoul.
Fans have called the show a mix of the young-adult movie “The Hunger Games,” Netflix’s dystopian series “Black Mirror,” and the Oscar-winning Korean thriller “Parasite.”
The show’s premise involves 456 people who are deeply in debt and have been chosen to compete to win 45.6 million won (about $38.4 million USD) by playing deadly versions of traditional children’s games.
The games have simple premises but deadly consequences.
For example, the first game is a version of Red Light, Green Light, where players must get to the finish line without being caught moving by the person who is it. If they see you moving, you’re out. In the “Squid Game” version of Red Light, Green Light, characters who are seen moving get shot dead by an oversized doll.
Some of the other games include challenging participants to eat around the imprinted shape in a Dalgona honeycomb without breaking it. Some games involve marbles or tug-of-war. No matter the game, losers are killed by the masked guards.
The players are dressed in identical track-suit uniforms and named by the number on their shirts. The show follows 456, protagonist Seung Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-jae).
The dark series is an allegory of sorts that was created over a decade ago
For a long time, the creator said, he worried about how “Squid Game” could be commercialized for a broad audience. He said he struggled with funding and casting until Netflix picked it up.
“But after about 12 years, the world has changed into a place where such peculiar, violent survival stories are actually welcomed,” Dong-hyuk told The Korea Times.
Dong-hyuk described the show to Variety as “an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life.”
‘Squid Game’ is also designed so that viewers can focus on the characters
Hwang told Variety he wanted the series “to use the kind of characters we’ve all met in real life.”
“People are attracted by the irony that hopeless grownups risk their lives to win a kids’ game,” Dong-hyuk said in an interview, per Yonhap. “The games are simple and easy, so viewers can give more focus on each character rather than complex game rules.”
There are currently no plans for a second season.