“Squid Game.” It’s the Netflix show absolutely everyone is talking about. The series has been surging in popularity since its worldwide release on Sept. 17, and has been dominating Netflix’s Top 10 most popular programs for the last few weeks.
But for as many people that are obsessed with “Squid Game,” there are still a significant number of folks who haven’t watched it yet and likely don’t know what it is or what it’s about – or why seemingly everyone can’t stop talking about it. If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place.
Below we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about “Squid Game” but were afraid to ask.
What Is “Squid Game” About?
“Squid Game” is Korean-language survival drama series that takes place in South Korea. It opens by following a down-on-his-luck chauffeur and gambling addict named Seong Gi-hun who’s struggling to make ends meet while also trying to forge a relationship with his daughter, who lives with his ex-wife and her new husband. But when Seong Gi-hun is confronted by a strange businessman with an odd proposition, he suddenly finds himself thrust into a game alongside 455 other people who are similarly in severe debt and have, seemingly, nothing left to lose.
These 456 strangers are whisked away to a secret location where they are asked to play a series of kids’ games like “Red Light, Green Light.” The rules are simple – if you lose, you’re eliminated. What the guards fail to tell these contestants at first is that elimination means death, and for every contestant who is “eliminated” the cash prize for the ultimate winner grows bigger.
Whoever makes it through all six games alive will walk away with more money than they can imagine, but to get there they must compete against one another where the stakes are literally life or death.
Why Do People Love It?
There’s a lot to like about “Squid Game.” The premise is inherently compelling, and the season plays out in unexpected fashion — while Episode 1 kicks things off with a bang, Episode 2 does a great job of getting the viewer to invest in each character before things get really intense.
But perhaps there’s a greater, more depressing reason people are responding to “Squid Game” — it speaks to the desperation and impossibility of upward socio-economic mobility that many feel. Just like another South Korean work of fiction recently connected to the world at large in the Oscar-winning “Parasite,” this series takes aim at the greed of capitalism and paints an unsettling portrait of the world that we live in. The lengths to which people will go for a chance to become incredibly rich, even if it means harming their fellow man, feel particularly ripe right now. And it’s a theme that connects globally – this is not an issue unique just to South Korea or America.
Is “Squid Game” Actually That Popular?
While it can be hard to take Netflix at its word when it boasts about the popularity of its content while only releasing carefully curated viewing numbers, the evidence suggests the hype for “Squid Game” is real. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos recently said the show is currently their biggest non-English language show in the world and has “a very good chance” of becoming the biggest Netflix show ever made.
Additionally, in contrast to most Netflix originals which peak in popularity two or three days after release and then fall off, “Squid Game” is performing more like a weekly release as it continues to build off of positive word-of-mouth. The viewership is steadily growing, not sharply declining.
Is Squid Game Funny?
So yes the name “Squid Game” is objectively funny, but no, on the whole this show is very much a dystopian drama. There are moments of levity here and there, but the kills are certainly not played for laughs, and ultimately the season builds toward an emotional and thematically rich finale.
Is Squid Game Scary?
“Squid Game” is scary in the sense that it offers a view of a dystopian world that seems entirely plausible, but fraidy cats can rest easy – this is not a horror series, nor is it a show with jump scares. But it is terrifying in the sense that it lays bare the worst instincts of humanity.
How Violent Is Squid Game?
If you’re squeamish, “Squid Game” might not be for you. The show’s violence is played for real, and the gore is incredibly brutal. This isn’t “Saw” or “Hostel” — it’s not relishing in the violence, but it does play the violence as real and therefore impactful. The violence inflicted on the various contestants hits hard, and is difficult to watch at times. There is a tremendous amount of death.
Will There Be a Squid Game Season 2?
No spoilers, but Netflix certainly seems open to making a second season of “Squid Game.” Netflix’s Global TV chief Bela Bajaria reportedly sounded “upbeat” about the idea, but cautioned it would depend on the interest and availability of the show’s writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk, who has a film and other projects he’s currently working on.
But given the success of the series, and how quickly Netflix pounced on greenlighting further seasons and spinoffs of its other most popular shows like “Bridgerton” and “The Witcher,” one imagines some kind of continuation for “Squid Game” is likely in the cards.