Squid Games: The Last Resort

Leo Thompson, Writer

A new Netflix original, Squid Game, a korean tv program filled to the brim with anticipatory drama and striking suspense, has now become the most watched television series of all time. Since it’s release, over 142 million Netflix users have watched Squid Game, and for good reason.


Squid Game is a survival-thriller television show that revolves around 456 people that are in deep debt. They get a chance to win millions of dollars and have their debts waived. But, they have to fight each other in children’s games, and anyone who loses is killed. The more people that die, the more money is added to the bank. This dilemma shows the desperate lengths that people will go to in order to earn money.

The different kids games make the rules simple and easy to understand, making the pacing of the show a lot better than one might expect from other thrillers. With them not having to waste time explaining the rules, the audience gets to spend more time with my favorite part of the show: the characters. The main character is a divorced gambling addict named Seong Gi-hun. At the start of the show,  he is 2 million dollars in debt. Because of this, he has to live with his mom, and can’t get a job. Once he gets the news that his daughter is going to move to America unless he can come up with some money, he decides to join the squid games in an act of despair.

Once he is there, he reunites with a childhood friend, Cho Sang-woo. He was a lawyer who went to a prestigious school, but now, he’s fallen on tough times. This is due to the fact that he made many bad investments; investments that have bankrupted him, and forced him to give up on his job. He also meets an elderly man who is infected with a brain tumor and comes to the games to win some money for his son, with what little time he has left; he and Seong Gi-hun quickly become friends. He also meets Abdul Ali, a man that needs the money to help his wife and daughter, of which he has little. This is due to his boss refusing to pay him for the past 3 months of work. These characters are a bright spot in a dark show who give the audience something to root for.


The biggest problem with Squid Game, for me, was the pacing: the early episodes and the last episode get affected the most by this. In the first couple of episodes it takes the show too long to set up any other plot point besides the game, and we still don’t get to know much about the characters. Also, you don’t get any idea of why the people running the game are running it in the first place.


Squid Game is a slow burn, and for that reason,  I highly recommend that you watch another show if you are in a hurry. The show begins to shine, however, around episode 3, when the characters start becoming more three-dimensional and the plot begins to advance.


Overall, I enjoyed my time with the show and fell in love with its characters, and it’s mysteries. It is a great show that will hopefully bring more foreign films to the limelight, and allow the American audience to learn more about the perspectives of people from foreign countries. While the Korean culture displayed in the show has many differences from that of shows filmed in the United States, one thing is true: the human experience is universally felt across all cultures, and mankind has a lot more similarities than differences.