About the series
"The Squid Game" was released on September 17, 2021. According to the plot, over the course of eight episodes, the characters must compete in various children's games. Losers are killed on the spot, and the only surviving winner will receive 45.6 billion won (more than 2.8 billion rubles) from the organizers.
Tests from the Game itself began to be repeated en masse on TikTok and other social networks.
Reasons to watch the series :
"The Squid Game" is built on the principle of high concept - based on one simple idea that is easy for both the producer and the average viewer to describe. The authors wonder: what if desperate, debt-ridden people were offered a large sum of money for a survival game?
In The Squid Game there is no totalitarian state forcing people to risk their lives as in the above examples. People are pushed to participate in the Game by harsh reality. The managers list their unthinkable debts; viewers are constantly shown the poor interiors of their apartments, the meager food, and the general cramped conditions in which Koreans live; for the protagonist Song Ki-hoon, a trip for fried chicken is considered a fitting birthday present for his daughter. The fear of creditors and the desire to finally live at one's own pleasure are tangible, understandable, and even recognizable here.
Participants are challenged by the children's games ("The Wild Ride Begins Later," "Sugarcomb," tug-of-war, etc.), familiar to most Koreans since they were in diapers. The innocence and simplicity of these contests makes what goes on more of a nightmare.
2) General Style
Fans of the show in the U.S. have already started buying up costumes similar to the characters' clothes en masse. It's understandable: the game on the show is visually detailed. Players, wardens and even unexpected guests (closer to the final show) wear special uniforms, all interiors are minimalistic and sterile, without a single extra item.
The authors of "The Squid Game" observe the unity of style to such an extent that even the invitation to the Game itself and the coffins in which the corpses of the losers are taken out look the same - a black box with a beautiful pink bow on the lid. Everything about the organization of the Game is marked with geometric shapes (circle, triangle or square), which are easy to spot even in the credits.
The Squid Game has a great soundtrack: continuing the theme of children's games, in places it feels like it was written for a Disney cartoon rather than a bloody survival series. And each challenge begins with the pompous melody of Johann Strauss' "On the Beautiful Blue Danube"; the Game organizers generally have a weakness for classical music, so it's often heard on the show.
3) The elaborateness of the characters
Most of the characters in The Squid Game are people who have driven themselves into desperate situations and evoke mixed feelings. One of the central characters, Son Ki Hoon, has to pay for his mother's treatment for diabetes, but is mired in debt. He is supposedly let down by his own weakness and love of gambling.
Song Ki-hoon's actions in the course of the Game make him a much better person than he was at the beginning of the series. His childhood friend and neighbor Cho Sang-woo, on the other hand, studied at Seoul National University and was the pride of his elderly mother, he is smart, shrewd and a lot of help to his fellow Playmates. But later, viewers find out the reason for his debt - Sang-woo lost his money in the stock market, stole money from customers and owes 6 million won.
With each episode, viewers learn more and more creepy details from the characters' past, revealing a new side to them. And at the same time, what they did outside of the Game doesn't matter. What matters is how this very standard set of characters - a terminally ill and obviously weak but wise man; an unambiguously evil bandit; a woman in a difficult life situation; a smart man; a brave man with a good heart - behaves during the trials.
The authors of "Squid Game" talentfully interweave the characters' relationships, stack their strengths and weaknesses, give them qualities and add details that enhance each episode. Even the strongest characters in the series break under the pressure of circumstances, the good ones become embittered, and the indifferent ones are imbued with the grief of others. For example, the touching story of a young refugee from North Korea, player number 067, who initially tries not to get attached to anyone and not to be friends with anyone. She keeps her secrets to the end, only to reveal them to a select few characters - and in particularly difficult scenes.
4) A suspenseful plot
Even fairly predictable plot twists are executed perfectly in the series. It is logical to expect unconventional, dishonest behavior from the characters - betrayals, deception, withholding information, and even murder to win. But the most unexpected characters are used for these plot twists. That said, not a single plot move raises questions about the logic and plausibility of what's going on (except for the controversial final twist).
Not all of the action of "The Squid Game" focuses on the participants' trials. The series has a decent side story involving a police officer. Young officer Hwang Joon-ho infiltrates the Game under the guise of a probation officer to find his missing brother. So in addition to what the Players see, viewers can also follow the other side - the side of the organizers. However, even the overlords in this show can't feel safe.
5) The bloodthirstiness of the writers
In terms of violence, "The Squid Game" is not far behind the iconic 2000 Japanese "Battle Royale," another film about a deadly game of survival.
The first ordeal leaves only half of the 400-plus participants - the rest are shot during a game of Silent Ride Farther Away. They are forbidden to move during the ordeal, so people have to stand and just watch their less restrained companions die at their feet. A massacre can unfold at any moment: at the trial, during a night out, or in the corners of the building where the Game takes place.
That said, don't expect the writers of the series to indulge or be able to cheat the rules - as, for example, Hunger Games participants outsmarted the game's creators in the first book and movie. Sometimes the Players are helped by their ingenuity, but more often than not the rules are flawlessly followed. So don't get too attached to the characters - each of them is equally likely to die.