In Squid Game, hundreds of cash-strapped players accept a strange invitation to compete in children’s games. Inside, a tempting prize awaits with deadly high stakes. A survival game that has a whopping 40-million-dollar prize at stake.
There’s this hysteria taking over popular culture and entertainment. People are getting meaner (or more honest) on social media and the lived experiences embodied in shows like the Hunger Games and Squid Game are clear. We can relate to the brutality of the post-modern dystopia.
As the world is getting older, wealth inequality is getting more serious. In Squid Game participants in a death tournament are desperate since they are heavily in debt. Hunger Games is all about independents vs. the empire as well.
Squid Game has an 8.2 rating on Imdb and while it shows Korea’s genius in film writing and execution, the Hunger Games and Squid Game is stretching how the kinds of content streamers like Netflix will get into, who are also getting into gaming. Dark dystopian plots are in fashion and so is a totally disregard for human beings.
There is a gritty desperation in Squid Game and depicts also how loyalty breaks down in the “game” of Capitalism. There are a lot of metaphors as the game’s onlookers are Billionaires who “bed” on the people in the game as if they were horses in some blood sport. Korea is getting better at bringing up social issues like wealth inequality or sexism in their entertainment business.
What people are forgetting is Squid Game really is about social wealth inequality and how people at the bottom need to play by different rules just to survive. We live in a world where China is trying to mandate common prosperity while the American central bank is pretending it’s just business as usual with incredible QE that props up the rich.
The acting is pretty good and the script writing while having a few weak moments is overall very believable. Squid Game is worth watching if you can stomach it. I have a mild case of PTSD after watching it, far more than I did watching the Hunger Games. It’s even more brutal, a recipe that won’t be lost on Netflix who are taking us further down the streaming rabbit hold.
What what does its popularity tell us about the theme of wealth inequality in the world? The Korean series is already set to be Netflix’s top non-English show “for sure,” co-CEO Ted Sarandos says — but Squid Game also has a “very good chance” of being its most popular show, period.
At first, Squid Game follows Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), a middle-aged divorcé who rarely sees his daughter and has got himself into dangerous debt with a gang of sadistic loan sharks. When he meets a peculiar man at a train station after a particularly dismal day, he is offered a chance to win an incredible (but undisclosed) amount of money that will change his life forever.
You are led along to painful root for the underdog. But even the underdogs need to make incredible sacrifices to their humanity in order to survive in such a world. They need to sacrifice their dignity and there’s a moral dilemma implicit in the show that I think is a metaphor for the rat race and capitalism.
That people are dying so easily doing kid games just makes the irony so much worse. In the first episode, business cards containing an eight-digit number that gets contestants involved with the survival game are given to multiple characters. It’s organized by a secret sect of masked men who create the various stages of the tournament.
In the real world those masked men are the bankers, Government officials and mega rich behind them pulling the strings. Squid Game is about the social, political and economic pyramids we live under. Human reality is all about our place in such a self-defeating system.
There’s no doubt in mind this will be the biggest winner of Netflix. Squid Game would be overtaking Bridgerton — a racy Regency-era drama released late in 2020 — as Netflix’s most popular series. The reason it has done so well all over the world as a global hit is truly quite a marvel. I believe it has do with rising wealth inequality all over the world that makes such crazy underdog stories more activating.