Squid Game – Is It Really Worth Watching?


Emina Hergic, Writer

The media has been going absolutely insane over the new show streaming on Netflix, Squid Game (spoilers beyond this point)…

The wildly popular and highly discussed show is a Korean-horror-thriller sci-fi about hundreds of contestants competing in children’s games to win a huge cash prize, 45.6 billion dollars to be exact- but at the expense of death if they do not abide by the rules, or lose a game. Considering most players are facing financial struggles the cash reward could be life-changing in terms of developing better living conditions and combating financial debt. The real question is, is the show really worth the hype, or is it just another trendy drama the internet is going crazy over?

As someone who has completed the series, I’ll give you my personal take on it. The pilot episode starts off a little slow, and introduces us to the character Gi Hun, giving viewers background information on the developing plot, and his character, who is facing a number of issues from a failed marriage, to dealing with gangsters and fighting for custody of his daughter. There are nine episodes total in the season, and each one is 30 minutes to an hour-long. After missing his train at a train station, Gi Hun meets a man who proposes a game of ddakji, and offers him 100,000 dollars if he wins one round. Eventually, he does win, and accepts the cash reward, the man also gives him a business card with contact information to compete for more money, but Gi Hun is unaware of the fact that the stakes are deadly.

After arriving home, Gi Hun learns that his daughter is moving to the U.S. desperate for money, and better odds at living a better life in modern society, so Gi Hun decides to call the number. He is later picked up, and gassed, unconscious along with other passengers for the ride. He wakes up in a room with 455 other players, himself being numbered 456. Being the last numbered player, Gi Hun befriends the numbered one player. Staff members running the game are completely covered, wearing bright red uniforms and masks so they cannot be identified. The first gory scene in episode 1  takes place during the game “Red light, Green light” in which competitors who failed to stay still after the red light call were brutally gunned down to death and eliminated from participating by a doll with a camera that can detect sudden movements. After completing the first episode, I expected a little more considering there was a lot of hype about it. I remember thinking the show was somewhat overrated. But as I got deeper into the series, the show kept me at the edge of my seat, waiting in anticipation of what was to happen next. After the first episode, I didn’t end up picking up where I left off until a few days later, once I got through the first few episodes, I couldn’t stop watching.

The acting was amazing, and the show definitely featured a lot of intensity, plot twists, betrayal, comedic aspects, and economic woes in capitalism, as it shows the division between the wealthy and poor. The ending is both devastating and exciting, as Gi Hun does end up winning the game, but comes home with the cash prize to find his mother is no longer alive. The episodes following his win, actually prove to show that in the end, Gi Hun didn’t win anything because his life remains the same, his mother is dead, and friends/people close to him are no longer present in his life. He is trapped in his own state of grief, losing sight of his meaning/purpose in life. Exactly a year later Gi Hun coincidentally receives another business card. He sees a woman selling flowers, and purchases one single rose. There is an envelope attached to the rose, he opens it to find a squid game card similar to the one he got for the game, which leads him back to player number one. It is revealed that Oh ll-name (player 1) was behind the creation of the game the entire time. His motive was wanting to spend his final moments in an exciting way, but is this really justifiable for the killing of hundreds of other people? In the end, it wasn’t even a fair game, because after player one loses a game, he isn’t killed. The game is rigged to the super elite’s advantage, similarly to the real world. This is just one of the many plot twists the show has to offer. 

So the answer is, no, the show is not worth watching. It is binge-watch-worthy.