Squid Game Becomes One of the Most Popular Television Shows Around the Globe


Jake Schachter , Asst. Web Editor

On September 17, the show Squid Game was aired for the first time on Netflix.  Three weeks later, the production became extremely popular and was even recognized as Netflix’s debut hit. 
The show concerns a middle-aged man, Gi-Hun, who is in massive debt from his gambling addiction.  He is harassed by loan sharks and meets a business person who invites him to play a game, in which he can win money to help pay off the debt.  He later arrives at a specific location, enters a car, and is knocked unconscious.  After Gi-Hun plays “red light” for the first time, he is stunned to find that people are shot and killed when they move and lose the game.  The show continues to revolve around his journey through all six of the deadly childhood games.  Throughout the show, Gi-Hun encounters violence, friendship, and betrayal.  

“I found the show quite enjoyable and the plot was very interesting,” said freshman Dillon Persaud. 

The cast is composed of a variety of Korean actors, but there are also some white actors who played the English-speaking VIPs.

 HoYeon Jung is a South Korean actress and a former model.  Squid Game is the first television show in which she has acted, and many people praise her as the show’s breakout star.  Lee Jung-Jae is also a South Korean actor who started acting in 1993.  He became very popular until 2007, where he had a slump, but he has been making a comeback.  His role as Gi Hun in Squid Game has boosted his popularity.  Wi Ha-Joon is a South Korean actor who is also a model.  He has been in several movies and television series, but Squid Game is his most recent one.  

“The cast adds a whole level of depth to the show’s amazing plot,” said sophomore Lauren Young.

Despite its current success, Squid Game had an interesting development period.  The writer of the series, Hwang Dong-Hyuk, was trying to acquire an investment to make a movie for a script he wrote in 2008.  Unfortunately, the investors declined, and he would struggle financially after the failure.  Inspired by the manga he was reading at the time, Hwang wrote a story of a survival game.  In such a game, you would win money to pay off debt.  It was written to represent an allegory of modern capitalism but at an extreme level.  Hwang, however, thought the story was too weird at the time and put it off for ten years to focus on movies and other projects. 

 In 2019, Netflix was interested in his script and decided that they would produce the show.  As the Covid-19 pandemic spread across South Korea, the show was able to exemplify the divide among South Korean social classes.  The initial script was meant for a movie, but it was produced as a TV show.  Hwang had chosen childhood games to demonstrate a form of irony because children’s games aren’t competitive and have no bearing on life and death in real life.  Filming the show took place from June to October 2020, and the series was released Sept. 17, 2021.  The story of Squid Game is an extremely unique one and provides viewers with a strong plot and cast. 

“It took ten years for the show to come out, but the result was well worth it,” said sophomore Ava Lucarelli.