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Did I like the Squid Game?

The Squid Game is the show everyone is talking about at the moment. I came in with no expectations and I was greatly surprised but what happened after episode 6?

 

Warning: You will find spoilers in this review!

 

As many of you must know, the series followed the characters as they went through a series of survival games. The peculiarity of this premise was that the challenges were all children’s games. I really loved this since it creates a cognitive dissonance. As a viewer you were left in shock with the amount of violence displayed in such an innocent environment. The bodies of the deceased players were carried out in gift boxes!!! Everything was so well put together! It was certainly visually stunning and that was what hooked me to the series.

The other thing that kept me glued to the screen was the mystery behind these games. The show started with what seemed to be a flashback to the childhood of the man behind the game. In this scene he explained how it felt winning a game as a child. This moment struck a chord in me, remembering how serious my friends and I would take those silly games. Immediately I wanted to know the motivation behind creating such a sadistic game and I suspected it stemmed from the feeling of being at the top of the word when winning a game as a child.

I liked the acting and the different set of characters. The soundtrack is amazing. Some pieces are haunting but others take you straight to your childhood even when there were people being shot on the screen. So why do I have a bone to pick with this show?

 

I was very into the show until episode 6. I think that episode highlightedthe show’s strengths but at the same time it made evident what was lacking in the following ones. This episode is so poignant. What I liked the most was how nostalgic it was. The game was set in the sunset with the last rays of sun illuminating the streets. It was calming and took me back to the end of a long day playing outside with my friends. I think playing marbles has to be one of the most universal games out there so everyone could relate. It took me back to my childhood when I just wanted to keep playing with my friends for a bit longer before having to go back inside for the night. This feeling was echoed by the characters. In a twist of fate they had formed teams with people they kind of cared about in the game but they had to beat them in order to advance to the other round. The loser died. All of them wished they could play one more round, they could extend the game time indefinitely and stay in a limbo.  I found this episode so hunting and so rooted in nostalgia that I couldn’t wait to know why someone was so fixated in the past to create the game to begin with but… the answer disappointed me.

 

The show suddenly got transformed into Korean hunger games. The squid game was just a form of  entertaiment to filthy rich and entitled men. It felt lackluster. It already was a clear critique of capitalist society. The audience didn’t need a reinforcement to realise that. The hunger games aspect of the squid game didn’t add value to the plot. The games felt personal, like they were the endgame for someone’s aspirations and what they gave us took that away. I didn’t like that the game was an ongoing thing that spanned decades. For some reason it felt that someone was preparing their whole life to create this twisted event. I felt that everything was meticulously planned because it was a one time thing but the fact that it was an annual event made it less shocking…?

 

The plot twist

I can’t tell how much of this next critique comes from my personal experience and how much comes from my years studying media but I will give it a go. During the show we met a series of characters, one of them was a elderly man. This character reminded me a lot of my grandfather but he turned up to be the man behind the wheel. I didn’t like the plot twist but it didn’t bother me. The fact that this rich guy wanted to experience what the players felt is similar  to what happens in real life when rich people want to feel what being poor is like. It made sense but I think that he would have to be in real danger during the game to make it better or have him die for real and reveal the truth in other ways. How could he get the true thrills of playing the squid game if his life wasn’t in the in? 

What bothered me to no end was the shallowness of the motives behind the games: just for entertainment. Nothing about the origin of the game was explained. Will we get a season 2?

 

What about the police officer?

This plot twist was unnecessary.  It literally didn’t add anything to the story and only made the timeline even more confusing. To summarise: a detective got infiltrated in the game to find his lost brother. All clues pointed towards the brother being one of the first victims but the missing brother was actually the underboss of the games… So was he actually missing for almost a decade? I don’t think so. My theory is that he was in charge of certain aspects of the game but the elderly man was the host of the games and had to present the final ceremony. The brother unusually went on radio silence for a longer time because he had to take the old man’s place thus worrying his mother and brother. So I think his disappearance was recent. Also, if a second season is announced I’m sure the detective will be alive to another day.

 

What’s your opinion on the squid game? Have any juicy theories to share?

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Hamlet is our Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of The Fanfic Collective. She has a degree in Communication Studies. Hamlet is currently an English teacher and part-time dancer. She landed on the world of fanfiction after reading a Jonas Brothers fic when she was 12. Her main fandoms are Sherlock, The MCU, Good Omens and Buzzfeed Unsolved. You can catch her on AO3 as Igraine_Smiley.

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