LH Show Review: Squid Game

As one of the most intense and entertaining shows of the year, it’s no wonder that “Squid Game” is on track to becoming the most watched Netflix show of all time

Noah Bodzin, Reporter

Strange men wearing pink and green jumpsuits, rooms that look playful and fun, children’s games. These are things which wouldn’t typically come to mind if you tried to picture one of the most violent and intense shows of the year. However, “Squid Game” turns this bizarre combination into a show which is as intense as it is fresh and intriguing.

“Squid Game” follows a group of 456 competitors in large amounts of debt as they risk their lives in a series of games, with the winner taking home a huge amount of money. Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) is one of these competitors. Gi-hun, a gambling addict, is joined in the games most notably by Kang Sae-byeok (Jung Ho-yeon) a North Korean defector, and Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo) a humiliated embezzler. Throughout the show these three often butt heads, their conflicting personalities creating an interesting dynamic.

Although the games are incredibly dangerous, they aren’t the only thing that poses a threat to the competitors. As the games progress and the prizes become more and more obtainable, the characters’ desperation leads them to begin sabotaging each other. The most intense and emotional moments of the show are not caused by the people who run the games but rather by the competitors. Jung-jae and fellow cast members also help to drive the suspense and intensity with their strong performances throughout the show, making the intense moments feel more real.

The large amount of violence in “Squid Game” can sometimes feel overdone, with seemingly nonstop death throughout the course of the show. Additions such as the bright colors and children’s games help to balance the incessant amount of maturity within the game. This isn’t to say the intensity or emotion are any less prevalent, though; the balancing components help to make these moments feel less heavy and also add a layer of eerie intrigue and entertainment.

The addition of things such as children’s games aren’t just completely a tool for shock factor, however. The elites who control the game use them for their entertainment, with the children’s games bringing the head of the games back to his childhood. With money at their disposal, the elites have the power to control the impoverished competitors. This is the nature of society both in the show and current day South Korea people are born with little chances, their desperation causing them to look to their very oppressors for help. There will always be people like Gi-hun, willing to take their chances at the games, people willing to give their lives for the sake of others’ amusement. The games will likely be played again, as the elites walk away unscathed, to claim the lives of more victims.