Red Light Green Light on Squid Game


Graphic by Megan Bilecki

Camila Escobar, Arts and Entertainment Editor 

   It’s been a long day at school hearing the same words being repeated: “You have to watch Squid Game”. You finally get home and turn on Netflix to find out that it’s trending at #1 in the U.S today so you take a chance on it. In just the first episode you are introduced to a fear-invoking little girl animatronic that causes you to have zero clue as to what’s going on. What before seemed to look like a traditional Korean game of Red light, green light quickly turned dark with surprising life-threatening consequences. The looks on the actors’ faces convey the same confusion that the audience feels and with every passing moment you find yourself pleasantly trapped down a long road of excitement, hardships, and a great deal of anxiety. 

   Brand new Korean drama, Squid Game revolutionized American television for the students at Pembroke Pines Charter High School. Constantly captivating, this sinister twist on childhood Korean games of the 70’s and 80’s leaves watchers at the edge of their seats. With only nine episodes, creator Hwang Dong-hyuk has been able to tell an incredible heart-felt yet violent story that will leave you crying in the middle of the night but also wondering why you’re still watching. 

   The show took over 10 years to finally be produced in the United States since Korean producers found the show’s idea to be too violent. (Wall Street Journal). However, this violent take on childhood games is just the kind of entertainment that Americans eat up. The show had a successful production and slowly made its way to becoming Netflix’s most-watched show in just one week after its release. (Insider). Senior Priscilla Lozano feels that after watching Squid Game “the increase in exposure that Korean artists now have in America is an amazing thing. I always hoped that at some point there would be more Asian representation in the United States and I’m so happy that it’s finally happening and that the show was so successful. ” 

   The production gained the majority of its fan base due to its enticing plot, but it also kept the audience addicted by releasing subtle hints and hidden meanings throughout the nine episodes. The main message being “the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor have no fun in life.” This means that even though someone may have all the money in the world they may feel lonely or they may not have liked the way that they obtained all that money. For the poorest of the poor, it seems obvious how they could be having no fun in life and are holding on to the thoughts of someday getting money and are prepared to do anything to get it. 

   This message is exploited throughout the entire series where you see the selection of contestants be stereotypical poor people and the victor/victors be unhappy even though they won. Senior YingYing Zhu had a few things to say about the deeper meanings that Squid Game has to offer, “While watching certain action and psychological shows like this I always pay attention to the smaller details and hidden meanings that most people might not catch onto the first time they watch it. That’s why I enjoyed the show so much because of how much attention to detail made me predict future events, and the satisfaction I got from getting it right made watching the show that much better.” Even with all the mysterious messages and buried meanings, the highly-rated show continues to draw the attention of millions of viewers every day. 

   Breaking records and hearts, Squid Game remains to be the show to watch this season