Is the First Season of “Squid Game” Bingeworthy or Overhyped?

TV Series Review


“Squid Game” has been hyped up all over social media. I remember the day that I went to school and practically everyone was talking about “Squid Game” like it was the Second Coming of Christ. I didn’t want to give it a chance because of how much it was getting hyped–it started to get annoying. But once I got on Netflix I ended up enjoying it.
“Squid Game” covers societal issues such as the rich taking advantage of the poor. In this case, the rich use the Squid Game for entertainment purposes. Side note: this kind of relates to the “Hunger Games.” The Squid Game demonstrates participants sacrificing their lives for the sake of gaining riches and paying off their debts.
Although “Squid Game” is just a work of fiction, real world problems such as gambling and debt are a reasonable stance for why people decide to participate in the games. It’s all just a representation of reality, especially the desire for survival which is present through the rivalries and teams. The show highlights that despite the human desire to help others, every man is for themselves.
You almost feel a sense of pity for Lee Jung-Jae’s character Seong Gi-Hung because of his gambling addiction. But his refusal to call out his friend Cho Sang-Woo, played by Park Hae-Soo, for betraying him during one of the games ignites a sense of annoyance towards him. He puts his team mates in danger by not informing them of Sang-Woo’s deceptiveness. And because of his ignorance, this leads to the death of Abdul Ali, who is played by Anupam Triphati; Gi-Hung is the indirect reason for Ali’s death despite Ali saving Gi-Hung during the Red Light Green Light Game, an instance in an earlier episode of the Squid Games series. But Ali himself made bad decisions to let a man that was desperate not to die persuade him into giving up his bag of marbles during the Marble Game.
Interestingly, the show has a variety of character types:
The representation of the religious man deeming everyone sinners and praying overdramatically depicts him as a religious fanatic. While Ji-Yeong, played by Lee Yoo-Mi, depicts the type that are haters of God.
Kang Sae-Byeok, played by HoYeon Jung, depicts the nonchalant character usually incorporated in anime and manga.
Player 070 , played by Lee Ji-ha, depicts a desperate older woman trying to cling on to her youth through hanging out with bullies within the Squid Game. She resembles an English teacher in her 30s trying to impress the popular jocks in high school because they never noticed her when she was a high schooler. But it is understandable that she feels the need to change her personality because she thought all she had to offer was sex and that through a relationship with the leader, she secures safety.
About Ali Abdul’s sincere naivety within Squid Game, how can this man have a wife and kids and still think that people want to be his friends when they are competing for money? These character types of extreme naivety despite age also are present within anime and mangas.
Each character has some sort of depth and conflict, whether it be desperation and cold-heartedness, naivety and a strong will, or passion yet nonchalance. None of the actors’ performances fell flat in which actors did not invoke viewer reactions and emotions. The instances of betrayal, murder, and the roles that people play within the show, whether good or bad, proved to be enticing.
The show also does a great job of demonstrating conflicting relationships between the characters. Anupam Triphati’s performance as Abdul Ali was pity-inducing as he was naive. As a character he is desperate for survival and is a good family man. And his scene with Cho Sang-Woo left viewers heartbroken as well as angered by Sang-Woo’s deceptiveness. Especially the scene with Gi-Hung and the old man, people don’t like watching defenseless characters die off. Yet the reality is that many people would do what Gi-Hung did by tricking the old man with the marbles because they would feel “too young to die” in comparison to him.
The show is overall good and an overnight success. The action is great and there are a lot of twists and turns to each character’s story. Viewers are never bored and the episodes are never uneventful. Yes, the show was hyped to an extended amount, but it cannot be denied that the show is actually good.