You've probably heard of the latest Number 1 show on Netflix by now, or had a co-worker ask if you've seen it yet. Squid Game, released on Netflix September 17th is on track to beat out Bridgerton to become Netflix's most popular show of all time! (Worth noting, it's already claimed the most popular foreign title crown.)
So what is it about the show that has everyone going crazy?!
1) It's another version of Hunger Games.
Everyone has a secret adoration for stories where some form of contest is involved. We all secretly pick our favourites to win and those who we think will lose early. And we all know how successful Hunger Games became, based on the same idea of people in a 'survival of the fittest' battle. Squid Game has a very similar set-up, but perhaps the child-like element of each round of games make it that much more intriguing.
2) The horrific end to children's games
The show is pretty violent. The show runners did not hold back when it came to the gruesome ending to some of the contestants. Sniper shots to the head. Bodies crushed from fall impact. And all the blood and guts for everyone to see. So yes, it's gory. Once again, viewers enjoy the occasional bloodbath entertainment.
3) It's vibrant colours and exquisite sets are eye-catching!
Call me crazy, but I think there's a science behind shows that adopt colourful scenery. I refer in particular to the multidirectional, colourful staircases (that mimic the famous print "Relativity" by M.C. Escher - and it's a great visual!) Combine that with the powerful set design of the giant playground set and the Front Man's golden office and you've got some pretty incredible scenery, pleasing to the eye.
4) It's really well written!
How many of you found yourself watching more than 1 episode in one sitting?! I know Netflix shows are designed nowadays to keep you watching, but this one had a continuous stream of cliffhangers, especially the end of Episode 4! *No spoilers!* Not only that, but the different characters's arcs are well crafted within the context of the main event.
5) The musical effects/soundtrack were a masterstroke!
I still hear it in my end. The intriguing choral chimes when all contestants are first introduced to the masked officers. It builds that joyful suspense that you just don't hear in many other shows. Score one for the Korean musical designers there. But not only that. Who would have thought a version of "Fly Me To The Moon" (sung by Joo Won) playing over the first contest would have been so clever?!
So have you seen it? Are you as obsessed as many others appear to be, or are you annoyed with the hype?
(For what it's worth, I rate it 8/10, with Korean nuances being occasionally lost in translation to a global audience.)