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The Eastern Echo Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Print Archive
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Review: Netflix’s Squid Game truly hits the mark on the head

Echo columnist Marie White makes her writing debut covering Netflix's brand new hit show, Squid Games.

Finally, a series that seems fresh and new with a scary twist just in time for the spooky season. Released on Sept. 17, Squid Game quickly became a top 10 Netflix show and is still sitting pretty on the charts.

This South Korean series is an interesting take on what would people do for the chance at a new life. If you knew the games in the show would lead to your death, would you still play? These gripping games had me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next the entire time I was watching.

I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this series based on some of the things I’d seen prior to watching, but I was pleasantly surprised, and honestly a bit alarmed afterward. There will be some spoilers and plot points discussed in my review, but I won’t spoil everything the series has to offer. I’ll tell you what I loved and what I didn’t, then score it out of five.

Let’s dive right in!

Synopsis

A group of 456 people are invited to play in six games over six days. If a player wins all six games, they then win a sum of money that accumulates over the duration of the games. The rules that players must follow are that the players cannot stop playing the game, and the players who refuse to play the game, will be eliminated.

What I Loved 

The character development in the series is top tier. You root for your favorite characters, and your love for them keeps you planted on the edge of your seat. There are the usual protagonists vs. antagonists tropes, but the ability to play the game and characters comes heavily into play.

The pace of the series was quick and fluid, which kept us moving from one scene to the next without becoming boring. I loved the series' ability to show us things from different perspectives, and not just portray a stagnant plot line. I truly felt like I was seeing all angles of the show.

Another thing I really loved was the premise of the show itself, the games that take place. Taking classic childhood games and turning them into a survival free-for-all was a very interesting concept, and I thought that it worked well. It was such a fresh idea that I haven’t seen done by other shows!

The last thing that made the whole show amazing was the set design. Every single time a new game or place came forward, it was pleasing to my eyes. The pop of color and well-made props just made the whole show vibrant and fun. Sometimes when you watch a show you think "wow the budget on this must’ve been low!" But not this show, as when I wasn’t in complete awe of a new set, I was thinking about how it most likely cost a fortune to build.

What I Didn’t Love

The gore throughout the entire series. It definitely wasn’t the goriest thing I’d ever seen, but it was a lot of blood and guts that start right from episode one and last till episode nine. If you don’t like seeing blood and death (and a lot of it) this series isn’t for you.

While I loved how many different points of view that were offered, there were some storylines away from the main plot that were slightly confusing. I found myself rewinding frequently trying to figure out if I did in fact miss something. I cannot fully hold that against the series, since it’s translated from Korean, so things may have been lost in translation. But it’s something to keep in mind while watching. 

The last thing I didn’t like was the wrap-up of the season, because it seemed like it ended multiple times but still kept going. More plot lines kept wrapping up, and you’d think it was the end, then the show kept going. It goes back to the point I made earlier of the blurriness of the side plots and where they were going.

Verdict

All in all, I really enjoyed this series and believe that it has an amazing plot. If you can handle gore and tough emotions, I think you will like this series.

I’d score Squid Game 4/5.