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by finnley

WARNING: This post will contain spoilers about Squid Game! If you haven’t watched the show in its entirety, it is NOT recommended to read this!!

Welcome to Finngewatching, a pun of my name (Finn) and “bingewatching”. Sounds kinda stupid, but I think I like it anyway. In Finngewatching, I will talk about and review shows I just recently have watched; could be anime, could be a drama (not mainly focused on korean dramas, by the way), or a movie. And since everybody seems to be hyped about this series, I thought I would add my two cents on it as well.

Okay, so: What is Squid Game and what is it about?

It’s a korean drama that was released worldwide on September 17th 2021 and distributed by Netflix. And within days, it received a lot of attention and popularity as well.

Squid game is a story about a man named Seong Gi-hun, a chauffeur and gambling addict, who is in high debt and wants to support his ill mother and his daughter, who lives with her mother and stepfather. One day, he meets a mysterious man at a trail station, and plays a game with him, who then later hands him a card with a phone number. The man invites him to play more games to win more money, and Gi-hun accepts.

He then wakes up in an unknown area with other 455 people, and realizes that he got kidnapped along with them, and is forced to play games (inspired by old children games) against them, at the eventual cost of his life.

This is basically the gist of it; anime fans might compare it to Dangan Ronpa, when it’s not exactly the same. This isn’t about killing each other, but about getting killed by the staff if you lose a game. And in my honest opinion, comparing Squid Game with Dangan Ronpa is quite tasteless in my honest opinion.

We’re talking genre here after all, and the “Killing Game” genre has been around for so long, staring with Battle Royale (the movie! There’s a japanese movie called Battle Royale; just look it up), the Hunger Games, Dangan Ronpa, and I highly assume that Alice in Borderland falls under that category as well. I don’t know if there’s more, but these are the ones that come out of my mind immediately when I think about “killing games”.

Thanks to Tiktok, I fully understood why the whole Dalgona thing was related to Squid Game, as it was considered a game. I’ve known of Dalgona way before it became popular in Squid Game, to be honest.

I have to admit that the fourth episode was hard too watch. It contained too many things at once, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but for me it was, really, really overwhelming. That scene with the flashing lights, where the players started to kill each other at night (which got explained that if the players are given less food, they will get more agitated afterwards, and was considered a “special game”), was so hard to watch for me. I was not expecting a sex scene either. Yeah, that episode was quite too much for me, holy shit.

It took me about three days to watch all of Squid Game. Yesterday I finished the last three episodes, and oh man, it got so much better. I am still confused, because there’s a lot of questions I still have. “What’s with the VIP? Why are they important?” for example. There’s also the fact that there are apparently MORE games akin to the ones in korea, which means that the same thing is happening in different countries… or something like that.

The fact that the old man (#001) turns out to be the game maker all along, was… surprising. It was like he was aware of his tumor and his health deteriorating, and he wanted to make the best of it by joing the game one last time. I liked the guy, honestly. He looked like he had way too much fun. And finding out he actually survived and let Gi-hun continue to play, because he was a good partner, made me sad and a bit upset.

Although, on the fourth game, I was surely not happy that Gi-hun tried to fool the old man with the marbles, taking advantage of his dementia on top of that. Ali didn’t deserve to die either, and it just made me hate Sang-woo even more than I already did. Like, dude, I was starting to sympathize with him, but then he betrayed Ali AND killed Sae-byeok, just because she was about to die from blood loss anyway.

Rating time!

Everytime I make a review and talk/ramble about something I enjoy, I’ll give it appropriate rating. I rate from 1-10, with 1 being the worst, and 10 being the best.

Story (9/10)

It’s a very interesting story, and shows a rather dark side of korea with people falling into high debts, with foreigners having to deal with the hardship of getting a job, as well as the connection to old korean childhood games linked with the killing game genre. I am always fickle about the killing genre– once you’ve consumed the aforementioned media, you’ve already got enough of it after all. It’s why I remove one point.

Cast (8/10)

I don’t watch korean dramas so often, so I have to admit I didn’t know ANYONE. However, it was good to see a good variety. I’ll have to remove two points, however, because I was not satisfied with what they did to Anupam Tripathi, an indian actor living in korea. They made his role pakistani in the series instead. I don’t know if that was intentional, but I would have preffered if they didn’t change that. I don’t know, in my personal opinion, they shouldn’t have changed that, but alas.

Characters (9/10)

Every character was different and unique, I enjoyed all of them except three, and those were Jang Deok-su, the thug with the tattoo on his face, Han Mi-nyeo, that one woman who got on my nerves all the time with her attitude, and Cho Sang-woo. I started to trust the latter, but after what he did to Ali and Sae-byeok, it changed my opinion on him. One thing, that really has been strking my interest is in fact Sae-byeok’s history being a North korean defector. I have watched a video about North korean defectors just recently, and I really thought it was a nice aspect of the show to bring that up.

End result: 26/30

It passed the vibe check, and I’m waiting for the second season. I hope we get to find out more about the game. There were so many questions left unanswered, so I hope we get what we want with the second season.

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