Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Squid Game review (spoiler lite)

Okay, I guess everyone is finally up to watching some real Battle royale style programming because all of sudden everyone is talking about Squid Game, and so am I. It's a certified hit. What is it? Who's in it, and why it works so damn well. I wanna try and talk about the series without giving away spoilers. 

In these modern times, let's be honest, the struggle is real. We're still dealing with the aftershock of 2020 while still dealing with a global pandemic. A lot of us are feeling the pinch in our pockets and the show creator knows. We meet several characters from different walks of life who all have one thing in common. They are broke!!! ( like college freshman year ramen is breakfast, lunch and dinner broke). Each character you meet will have their own tale of woe that resonates with us.

You could be a defector from North Korea that needs money to save her brother like Sae - Byeok. 

Trying to visit his daughter in America after not being able to provide for her, or take care of your sick mother like Gi-Hun.

Live to the hype that your friends and family have been saying about you for years. All while dodging the police like Sang Woo.

Maybe you like one last adrenaline rush? You're at the end of life and wanna go out in an amazing way like Oh II-Nam.

These folks and many more have signed away their rights for a chance to win 39 million dollars in a secret location. Who has what it takes to win it all? Who has what it takes to survive? 

A lot of folks have been comparing it to the Japanese Netflix series Alice in Borderland. This is fair because both are about strangers trapped in life-death games. The devil is in the details. In borderland, there is a strong sci-fi element lasers from the sky killing off players. 

Whereas in Squid Game you have these guys armed to the teeth to put a bullet in someone. Story aside, they are shot differently as well. 

Squid game is constantly hitting you with bright, vibrant colors. It gives a sense of voyeurism that this is entertaining to watch from inside the show. The cinematography is amazing, it is beautifully shot, and the accompanying music is a chef's kiss to mayhem. Alice in borderland feels like it was done guerilla-style at times, and other times it feels like a windscreen stage. It's good, but it didn't draw me in. Alice in borderland set us up for the long haul on the game alone. A whole season and we still don't know how many players there are. Squid game keeps us updated. It started with 456 players. The visual effects in the Squid game are beautiful, mostly practical, and the CGI looks really good. It really is a must-see TV.

My only issue is how do you follow up on this? I think I've done a very good job not spoiling the show.  I've given you just a sampling of what the Squid Game is about, but let me make a few things clear; This is not for children or folks with weak sensibilities. If you thought the Hunger Games were extreme, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU. If you're still here please watch and pay attention because whoever your favorite character will be probably won't survive. 

It's like a very weird look into the possible future of “reality” shows. 

Squid Game: Final Grade A. Might be tempted to binge-watch!

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