KOR | Oct 12, 2021

Netflix’s hit show ‘Squid Game’ and why people love it

Juanique Tennant

Juanique Tennant / Our Today

Scene from Netflix hit show ‘Squid Game’

Squid Game is the limited Korean series that’s taken the world by storm.

On its way to becoming Netflix’s biggest show of all time, Squid Game, released worldwide on September 17, is a South Korea based survival drama series.

The show opens by following a down-on-his-luck chauffeur and gambling addict named Seong Gi-hun, who struggles to make ends meet, before being confronted by a businessman who shares an odd proposition with the potential to change his life.

A frightening game played by desperate, cash-strapped contestants in Squid Game.

Not long after the meet, Gi-hun finds himself thrust into a game of survival of the fittest, alongside 455 other players with severe debt and seemingly nothing left to lose.

After being whisked away to an undisclosed location, the 456 strangers are asked to play a series of childhood games, where the rules are simple – win or be eliminated.

In order to walk away with a grand prize of more money than one could ever need, players must be successful in all six games, competing against one another where the stakes are literally life or death.

456 severely indebted players compete against one another for a life-changing cash prize

Why people love ‘Squid Game’?

There’s a lot to love about Squid Game, from its inherently compelling plot to the portrayal of real-life financial struggles, and the desperation that arises from this.

People can’t help but love Squid Game because:

  1. The plot adds a fresh and compelling take on traditional survival competitions

Deadly reality competitions are nothing new, however, the unexpected twists and turns, unfolding mysteries and absolute brutality portrayed in Squid Game certainly is.

Who would have thought that the fun obtained from playing familiar childhood games would no sooner take a turn for the worse when the odds of winning were no longer in your favour?

The fact that players have staked their very lives on the ability to win a game of Red Light, Green Light, one of the more popular childhood games depicted in the show, takes the idea of survival of the fittest to a whole new level.

Squid Game theory explains how the players and workers are chosen - PopBuzz
Strange businessman confronts Seong Gi-hun with an odd proposition.

2. Audiences can relate to financial struggle

Squid Game taps into one issue that transcends people of all races and locations. Regardless of where in the world you live, financial struggle is one ailment many can relate to.

Throughout the limited series, the situations of men and women struggling with various loans and debts are depicted, shedding light on the desperation that fosters and the appeal that winning roughly US$38 million overnight despite having to risk bodily harm has.

3. The visuals and costume designs are striking 

With green tracksuits emblazed with white numbers on the front for players and hot-pink hooded uniforms with black fencing masks stamped with triangles, circles and squares for workers, Squid Game utilises very striking imagery and easy-to-replicate symbols.

These factors have earned the show much favour among fans as they are easily recognisable and replicable, fueling the popularity of social media challenges, merchandise sales and cosplay.


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