Is it something I have seen before? Yes. Did it stop me from binge-watching it? No.
Like me, I am sure most people who saw this new Netflix series that critics are raving about, were left with a similar after-taste. The plot is all too familiar and reminded me of Hunger Games – recreational pursuits of the ultra-rich of the world, where pawns are replaced by flesh and blood humans. What follows is a deviant, twisted round of games that are sure to bring out the best and more often the worst in people.
Squid Game is an out and out Netflix original. It has great actors, dazzling sets, intimate but all-too-familiar parallel stories. The drunkard who gambled all his money away, the celebrated young man who went astray, the North Korea escapee and the refugee from Pakistan; these are all characters that we have seen before – that too on Netflix. The good thing however is that there are no long epilogues and prologues to these characters making these stories only as long as is needed. The episodes are almost an hour-long each but with a few forward button hits, they feel fairly compact.
The element of surprise in a story that has been told already is the choice of games. My unfamiliarity with Korean games made me curious about what would the next game be and how are people going to be eliminated, quite literally. The use of Money Heist-ish masks is again a repetitive trope and honestly felt confusing at times. My dumb ass got fooled several times because there are literally like 30-odd people wearing the same mask at the same time and I didn’t know where to look.
The story ends on a definitive note and honestly doesn’t need another season, a task that even the makers want to avoid, but given the hit that it has been, I am sure Netflix will cash in on with many, many seasons if past precedents are anything to go by.
Should you watch it then? Well, a friend of mine said that the show is also a commentary on us who choose to binge-watch nine-hour-long series even when they know they probably shouldn’t much like the characters in the show who dive in for a crazy ride knowing full well what they are getting into! If you have the time and the energy to find out what that is, hop on the Squid Game train!
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Listen to Episode 49 – Midnight Mass Reviewed & Ending Explained.