Have You Watched “Squid Game”? (My Thoughts)

This week we’ve spent our afternoons and evenings at a game convention here in St. Louis, hence the lack of blog posts. However, last night we watched the final two episodes of the Netflix show “Squid Game,” and I have some thoughts to share.

When I originally saw the ads for Squid Game, I thought it was a reality show, which it most definitely (and fortunately) is not. It’s a scripted drama about a few hundred adults who opt into a series of challenges–many of them childhood games–with deadly consequences and a massive prize pool.

Overall, I found the series compelling and exciting to watch. The characters are interesting, the games present a fun puzzle to solve, the direction is excellent, and there are plenty of twists and turns. I’d recommend it to fans of The Hunger Games if you don’t mind a bit of gore (the gore was too much for me, but it was easy to look away at the right time). I’ve heard the subtitles aren’t the best, but we relied on them instead of the English dubbing (it’s a Korean show).

I also have a few notes that delve into spoiler territory:

  • Unlike many other works of fiction in the battle royale genre, I really liked that we got to see some of what happens behind the scenes. However, I wish the show could have gone a bit further, as we were left wondering what type of person would sign up to operate the game (the people in the pink uniforms). Surely there are some interesting stories about them.
  • I thought many of the games were interesting, and the strategies to solve them were fascinating. However, I was left wishing (a) that the contestants had known up front that there would only be 1 winner (and personally I think it would be more interesting if there was the possibility of multiple winners who would split the prize) and (b) that the contestants would know the challenges in advance. The lack of information led to some dramatic moments, but the lack of agency isn’t a game design decision that I’d make.

I’m curious what you thought of the show. While I’m not sure it’s a show that needs a second season, if there is one, what are you hoping from it?

2 thoughts on “Have You Watched “Squid Game”? (My Thoughts)”

  1. Jamey,

    I absolutely loved it and while I’ve now read about the history behind this series along with the Japanese film Battle Royale and of course Hunger Games, this one was equally compelling.

    Beside the overall premise of the story, which as I’ve stated was compelling, I applaud the music, costuming, and so many other elements of production. In short, quite impressive!

    [Spoiler Alert ~ skip this paragraph if you haven’t seen it]

    With the revelation of the old man, the ending was great and exactly what I wanted as a perfect wrap-up.

    [Spoiler over]

    As for a Season 2, I would like to see more of the behind the scenes of what compelled individuals to engage in this activity. Some writers have talked about Anti-American bias in Asian movies and here it is much more subtle.

    Cheers,
    Joe

    Reply
  2. Your recommendations are great i too am a fan of hunger games and battle Royale my personal favorite being condemned check it out if you haven’t seen it. Squid Game was very entertaining beside the whole way it ended. I dubbed it and it was actually dubbed well. Maybe the sequel will be like the new escape room movie, if you haven’t seen those also check them out.

    Till later Jamie
    Cody

    PS who knew a show like squid game would be the most watched series on Netflix.

    Reply

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