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Why You Should Watch “Squid Game” | Maxine Mah

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

Spoiler Warning - This article contains spoilers for recent episodes of “Squid Game”

Has your TikTok For You Page been full of random people wearing red and green? Do you keep hearing the same creepy song sung by a doll-like girl in Korean? And most importantly, have you seen people simp over Korean model Jung Hoyeon? If you have, I’m in the very lucky position to tell you you’re on “Squid Game” TikTok. And instead of mindlessly scrolling by, it’s time for you to actually watch it.

“Squid Game” is a Netflix Korean drama that has been exponentially growing in popularity over the past few weeks. It’s described as a thriller survival drama that highlights the growing gap between the rich and the poor in South Korea.

Men and women — all in insurmountable debt — are asked if they would like to compete in a game for millions of dollars by a well dressed man in the subway. 456 of those who are asked accept the offer and are essentially kidnapped to an abandoned warehouse to play simple children’s games. However, only one person out of 456 can win the prize of 45.6 billion won (roughly 38 million dollars) which means that the other 455 players need to be eliminated.

The show takes up nine episodes in which the contestants play seven games: “Red Light, Green Light”, “the Dalgona game”, “Tug-of-War”, “the Marble Game”, “the Glass game”, and the “Squid Game”.

At the start of “Red Light, Green Light”, in which the players can only move when the words “red light, green light” are sung out loud, all of the contestants think the same thing: this is a children’s game, whoever doesn’t win gets to leave and go home. But upon the first movement after “light” is uttered from the speakers, the first person found moving gets shot. And as chaos ensues, and the players try to run away, more and more people die. As the games continue, the players become extremely competitive — some even commit suicide or kill others — which only increases the prize money.

The show follows the main characters, Ji-hun, Sang-woo, Sae-byeok, Ali, and Il-nam, and we watch as each of the characters follow their own corrupt path towards competing for the prize money. We also see crazy side characters, those who would stop at nothing to win, and some fan favorites who truly did not deserve to die.

Towards the end, we see a major plot twist that reveals the games were made to entertain both the wealthy and the poor. Rich people from across the globe pay to watch, and the poor people are driven mad to win. While the show may seem like just another thriller series, it actually highlights the effects of money and power among both the rich and the poor, and at the end, we see the characters realize how dangerous the game is and how they try to stop it.

While I gave a rough summary of the show, there are still many, many things I didn’t cover: the role of police, the VIPs, what actually happens during the seven games — all things you wouldn’t ever learn about unless you watch the show. Plus, by watching, you can finally understand all the references you see on TikTok. However, as a warning, it’s rated to be for mature audiences, and there is bloodshed and explicit content, so watch at your own risk.

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