Squid Game takes Netflix by storm

Unique plot has competitors playing children’s games with the hope of eliminating debt.

Josh Garced, Beacon correspondent

On Sept. 17, Netflix released the South Korean show “Squid Game,” directed and written by Hwang Dong Hyuk. It has become the new Internet sensation ever since its debut, and a week after its release date, it was put on Netflix’s No. 1 TV show list.

According to NBC News, “Squid Game” is the No. 1 show in many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea. 

As the days and weeks go by, more and more viewers watch it. Some viewers have stated that the concept and plot of the show is strange, yet interesting. Others either like the show or they do not.

The show is about a game made for those in debt to have a chance to clear that debt and make a lot of money as well. The catch is that they must play six rounds of children’s games like “red light, green light” or hopscotch.

“There have been many shows and films with the same concept as Hunger Games, but it is enjoyable to watch and invest your time into it,” said Paul Lopez, a first-year student and computer science major.

Viewers learn in the first episode that if a player fails a game, they are eliminated and killed. The show starts with 456 participants and whomever is left standing wins the prize money. 

Throughout the show, viewers follow a set of characters with story arcs that began in episode one. The characters’ journeys continue through the nine-episode season.

The whole popularity and discussion would not have even started if it was not for Dong Hyuk writing this script more than 10 years ago. Hyuk wrote the script for “Squid Game” in 2008. 

He kept giving the script to studios, hoping that one of them would take it and run with it. None of them ever did.

During the years of writing and improving his script, he struggled to make ends meet. Hyuk eventually had to stop writing the scripts because of his financial blockages, even selling his laptop for money. Finally in 2019, Netflix picked it up.

The popularity of this show has taken both Instagram and TikTok by storm. Many posts on each site are about the show or the show’s characters. 

Since the show is based in South Korea, many of its characters are from South Korea. This does not stop other countries, especially the United States, from being obsessed with the characters.

Speaking of characters, there is a set of people in the show that control it, and there

are tiers to these characters. 

The lowest group of people on the tier are represented by a circle on their masks. The next set of people up on the tier are represented by a triangle, and the leaders are represented by squares. 

There is an alpha leader that the Squares respond to, but he never is contributing to the actual game. The alpha leader just keeps the game in check. 

Although the release date was in mid-September, once October hit, there has been a buzz on dressing as these shape characters for Halloween.

“With our age groups now, I won’t be surprised if people dress up as the characters from the show,” said Bria Johnson, a first-year student and biology major. “Whether that be the characters playing the game or the people controlling and monitoring the game.”