“Squid Game” Steals the Show


After the success of the Academy-Award winning films “Parasite” and “Minari,” the Korean film industry has been on a global hot streak, and following this triumph, a new hit Korean show is taking over TV: “Squid Game.”
In the Netflix show, hundreds of contestants in major debt accept an invitation to compete in traditional children’s games for vast amounts of cash. However, the outcomes of these games are beyond deadly. The series has been receiving attention for the irony of its colorful visuals depicting a dark subject, and its introduction to traditional Korean games.
“Squid Game” has been catching the eye of Williston students as well. Some have been seeing content related to the show on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, while some have been watching the show through Netflix.
Jeremie Ng, a senior from Hong Kong, has always been fascinated by South Korea’s pop culture; “Squid Game” has recently grabbed her attention.
“I think the show is really cool and I feel that it’s a very new concept that I haven’t really seen been done before,” she said. “I think the rising popularity is super cool and not only for Asia, but especially for Korea in general. I feel that Korea is topping the game of everything so I just think it’s very cool.”
The cast of “Squid Game,” written and directed by director Hwang Dong-hyuk, includes some of the biggest names in the Korean film industry and some newer faces as well. Lee Jung-jae, an actor in Korea known for his roles in “New World” and “The Thieves,” plays the main character of the show. Jung HoYeon, a South Korean model, has been praised for her role as player #067, despite it being her acting debut. Non-Korean actor Anupam Tripathi also landed his first major role in the series playing the role of Abdul Ali.
Everly Carroll, a senior from Lenox, Mass., and an immense fan of the series, shared how its media coverage first introduced her to it.
“I really like the show and I think its been getting a lot of attention on the internet, which is just making more people want to watch it and be a part of these ‘Squid Game’ trends that are happening on TikTok based on the show,” she said. “I think more people are watching it to understand these trends which is also why I started watching it because I felt like everyone else was.”
Some trends feature a traditional Korean snack, Dalgona, a honeycomb toffee with different shapes in the middle for people to cut out using a needle. The costumes seen in the show are also becoming popular Halloween costumes.
Everly has an idea about the larger social message “Squid Game” is trying to convey.
“I think it’s a statement about how desperate people are and really how much they’re willing to risk just because of their debts,” she said. “I also think it’s a statement about how much pressure is put on people to pay off their debts even though there is such a good chance they will die, but they risk it because of how much money rules everything.”
Pietro Briguglio, a senior from Dubai, is just getting started with the show; he says he heard people talking about it in the dining hall, and “wanted to see what all the hype was about.”
Kai Hori, a senior from Tokyo, is also a new fan.
“Everyone was watching it so I watched it to be on it with the trend,” he said. “I think it’s really violent. I was shocked by the first 10 minutes.”