The Squid Game Hype
Let me first say that I'm one of the people who never saw "Squid Game". My boyfriend did and I remember him being shocked that this is such a sick and twisted show and I heard him discussing it with a friend a few times too. Then there were all these news articles mentioning Squid Game, which I ignored and only registered in terms of them talking about the show. I never read into it, for some reason, I never got curious to check it because I heard it was a twisted show a few times. It surely helps when I have tons of other shows or movies to watch that I am actually curious about, lol. Looking back, this is probably part of the reason why Squid Game never got me curious even a while after its release.
I never thought about it again, until last week.
Squid Game: The Challenge
I was browsing through a website where they offer links to tv show episodes you can't watch from abroad and one of the people who provides shows that I love had a list with episodes, including the five episodes of Squid Game: The challenge. I didn't watch them right away because again, the name didn't make me curious right away.
Then I noticed the episodes are on Netflix and that it's a Netflix show so when we finished our other show on Saturday, we decided to check this one together. My boyfriend's first response was "it's such a twisted show, you'll see". But there was no turning back now, I had to know!
The things people do for money
I had to look up the origin of Squid Game and I read it's a Korean survival drama where 450+ contestants are being followed while playing childish games to win a huge price. Before I started watching the challenge, I decided to not first watch the original show but just dive right into this one instead. To be honest, reading what the show is about made me wonder if I'd watch more than one episode, it didn't sound appealing to me at all. But there's this curious being inside me who's a sucker for psychological stuff and curious how people's behaviour changes so I started watching all available (5) episodes in two days.
In the challenge the 456 contestants are competing to win a 4.56 million dollars, each contestant represents 10 thousand dollars worth of prize money, meaning if someone is eliminated, 10k gets added to the prize pot. There's nothing wrong with a challenge where people can win a big prize if you ask me but my biggest concern is that people who are desperate for money, will at some point do anything to get to the end. No matter what they have to do to get there. After watching the challenge, I can only guess how far these contestants in the original show went.
What I find concerning, is that people who are eliminated are being shot in front of the others. I know it's not a real bullet they catch, but that's not the point. Getting shot, seeing someone get shot does something with a brain, no matter what you think about it. Some sort of response, a trigger will be present once you have seen or experienced this. Yes, the contestants knew what they signed up for, of course, but I think plenty of people can't oversee the bigger pictures in terms of what this type of show will do to you mentally.
A good example in the challenge is a guy who breaks down when he has to claim a spot to get an easy task for his team. They have 4 different shapes and he ends up getting the most difficult one, leaving the rest of the team in anger, disappointment, and whatnot. He can't handle the pressure and there are several more moments where you find him crying and literally breaking down mentally. He's the perfect example of a person that should have never been selected and most likely will end up having PTSD from the experience.
Five episodes down
While there are a few more to go, being released on Netflix today, I started to check online if I was the only person who finds it a bit of a disturbing show, eager to read a bit more about how this was all set up. Maybe I could find some contestants who spilled the beans afterwards? On YouTube I found the video below:
The title only makes you wonder how twisted this game actually is. By watching this video I learned that the filming was done in the UK, while it was called, and you can already guess that the circumstances for the contestants were far from ideal. I remember the very first episode "Red light, green light" I think it was called where you see a woman squat and having to stand still until the doll starts to sing again (this is the game) she can't anymore and gives up. On TV it looks as if this is just 3 minutes max in between of the music that stops and the doll starts singing again, in reality this didn't take 30 minutes to shoot but 9 hours according to the video above. It makes you wonder how long people had to endure this stuff. They even mention some couldn't continue because of the cold in the studio and had to be taken away by medics.
Netflix getting richer
What's also concerning to me is that Netflix took the idea of the show from the original creator, who actually had an interesting story behind creating the show (you can see it in the video if you haven't seen it yet) which made me emphasize more with "Squid game" in general, yet Netflix had to be greedy and take all the earnings without crediting the original creator. I guess this happens a lot, I just think it's not done, but apparently that's how Netflix gets richer, over other people's backs.
I personally wondered how many of the contestants were actors in real life because some of them are a bit too vocal and weird to be normal contestants. They stand out and after watching "the dark sided of Squid game's reality show" I think it's safe to assume that there were indeed actors working with a script and the rest of them were just playing a role in their show. I have not watched the final episodes yet, will start them tonight but I bet that it's been clear from the start who will get to the end and who won't or even be set in stone (in the script) who ends up winning.
Curious about the contestants
Now that the final episodes are online, I will be digging to find some of the stories from contestants directly, I bet if there's one person speaking up, there will be more. This is such an intense experience that you can't share with anyone else but those that were there with you, that it's likely more of them spoke out after one spilled the beans. I bet they have signed NDA's though, so it may be costly to speak up.
I can only hope none of the people end up with trauma's after this challenge which probably appears as innocent to a lot of people at first, simply because they play "childish" games. The other aspects of the game (psychological) are way more interesting than finding out who won, though.
Let's engage! Have you seen Squid Game? What were your thoughts about it? And have you seen Squid Game, the challenge? Did your opinion change? Please let me know in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!