Squid Game: Yes or No?


Rotten Tomatoes

With the incredible popularity of the Korean drama, Squid Game, the questions begs to be asked: Is it a good show? I surveyed ten of my peers to find out.

Matthew Munson, Freelancer

On September 17, 2021, the Korean drama Squid Game was released on Netflix. Within days, the show took the world by storm and quickly became one of the most popular shows on Netflix. 

87 million people globally have watched all 9 episodes of Squid Game (roughly 89% of all viewers). Since the show has now been named the “biggest TV show ever” by Netflix, it has to be good, right?

Before we get into more statistics, let’s dive into the premise of the show. Squid Game follows Seong Gi-Hun, a divorced man living with his mom in financial debt. He is approached by a salesman who entices Gi-Hun into playing a game. The prize for said games: cold-hard cash. 

Gi-Hun and 455 others compete in a series of childish games to win the coveted prize. 

Each episode contains twists and turns that give the viewer an on-the-edge-of-your-seat experience. Director Hwang Dong-Hyuk got the show’s idea after reflecting on childhood games as an adult. 

He says, “Having grown into an adult, the question ‘what would it be like to go back and play those childhood games again?’ was the start to the creation of the entire series.” He continues on by saying, “This is a story about losers — those who struggle through the challenges of everyday life and get left behind, while the ‘winners level up’”

Now that you are familiar with Squid Game, the question now begs to be asked: Is it a good show? To find this answer out, I surveyed ten of my peers who have watched the Korean drama; I asked them the same eight questions and got eight somewhat different responses. 

To start, 90% of those surveyed finished the show. When asked to rate the show from 1-10, 20% gave Squid Game a 10; 40% a 9; 20% an 8; 10% a 7; and 10% a 6. 

They were then asked to elaborate on their answers and how they came to learn of the show. To this, every answer cited an outside recommendation as their entry-point: 60% came to the show through other people, and 40% through social media, especially TikTok. Finally, when asked if they would recommend the show to others, all 10 gave an emphatic ‘yes’.

For fun, I also threw in this question: Who is your favorite character? 40% replied with Kang Sae-Byok, a badass who fights her way through the competition; she doesn’t trust the others and only participates for one goal: money. 30% said Ali Abdul, an illegal immigrant from Pakistan who is trusting and respectful of his fellow competitors. Another 10% said Hwang Jun-Ho, a brave cop who is on a mission to find his lost brother. 10% went with lead character Seong Gi-Hun. The final 10% did not know who their favorite character is. 

Squid Game is a rollercoaster, and it’s up to you whether you wish to ride it.”

— Matthew Munson

So, what do these results mean? Judging by these outcomes, we can infer Squid Game is a very enjoyable show worthy of recommendation — to this, I would have to agree. Squid Game is an action-packed thriller that is climactic and fun to watch. (Watching this show reminds me of when I was younger and would watch fast-moving superhero movies.) 

The show is also a quick watch, with only 9 episodes ranging from thirty-two minutes to an hour and three minutes. The drama calls out to people who love to binge-watch shows filled with action, cliffhangers, twists, and turns. 

Squid Game is a rollercoaster, and it’s up to you whether you wish to ride it. So, the next time you are bored at home with nothing to do, turn on Netflix and begin binge watching this thrilling horror fiction. Trust me, you’ll enjoy it.