Ian O’Riley ’24
Children’s games could make you a billionaire, and if you don’t pass the round, you are killed. That’s the premise of Netflix’s number one show, Squid Game, which follows the stories of people who have amassed enormous amounts of debt who go through six children’s games that will determine the course of their lives, but how does a show like this relate to our life? As a teenager in high school, how do the lives of these characters connect to ours?
The show confronts tough real-world situations. It encourages you to think. While teams are forming, the men split up into the “stronger” teams. It is reminiscent of the immaturity of our time as kids where teams were picked based on the fastest or most competitive people. Keara Hanlon, a reporter for America Magazine, said that the show represents situations in real life in a very exaggerated way. This gets people interested and engaged, and that is when the message is spread. Squid Game can be viewed as an analysis of the problems that plague our society that surface through desperation such as lack of money, food, or power, which are the reasons the players are at the game in the first place.
Squid Game held the number one spot on Netflix in October, and it became very popular worldwide. Each of the six games follows the basic rules of popular children’s’ games, but when a rule is broken, the player is shot. It connects to us through games we used to play as children, but there are not many people who would roll the dice in a game with odds of 1 to 456. The more interesting aspect of this show is the desperation. Many high school students can relate to the desperate actions of the characters because of the way the characters’ lives relate to those students. Many students can remember a time when they forgot to do homework, study for a test or practice for a presentation, and they can connect to the careless decisions made in the show just to get one place ahead of another person.
During the show, the players begin to form teams with one another. These teams end up competing together, but with groups forming, fighting breaks out between the players, and teams are killed in bloody fights during the night. Each episode is packed with several events occurring all at the same time, which is similar to the crowded events in a busy student’s life. The show also follows secret relationships between characters. Relationships are built and destroyed, and there is always a conflict to follow, just as relationships change in high school and our everyday lives.
The music also does a lot to add to the show. Even during the most horrifying scenes, the director, Hwang Dong-Hyuk, included visuals and music to keep the show cheery during dark times. He used classical pieces such as Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, which is usually a bright and happy piece, but it is used in a scene displaying death during the next game in the show. The music is not what you would expect in a show like Squid Game, which is part of what makes the show so unique and interesting to watch.
Squid Game also follows a surprising subplot, which is done in secret underneath the island in which the games are conducted. Squid Game has many surprising twists and turns, as well as unexpected plot developments that keep you on the edge of your seat as you watch.
Squid Game is an amazing show, and if you have not seen it, I would recommend giving it a try. It is very interesting, and it can appeal to anyone who enjoys exciting and suspenseful moments. Watching Squid Game is a great way to spend some time on a weekend or day off.