Squid Game (2021) TV Mini Series Review

Worth Binging


Squid Game may not be that new an idea but its execution is fantastic with memorable characters, colourful set design and most importantly violent kills. Not sure I love the last episode or the way it ended as it seemed to lessen the impact of what came before but it’s still a darkly entertaining ride.

Plot: Hundreds of cash-strapped players accept a strange invitation to compete in children’s games. Inside, a tempting prize awaits with deadly high stakes. A survival game that has a whopping 45.6 billion-won prize at stake.

Review: *Spoilers ahead* I’d been hearing everyone talking about Squid Game and seeing memes all over social media so I figured it was time to see what all the fuss is about. It’s a similar idea to Battle Royale (which is till my favourite of these kinds of tales and I will review it soon) where a bunch of people battle for survival for a grand prize.

It takes a couple of episodes to get really interesting but I felt my patience was rewarded as I started to get to know the characters and (to my surprise) genuinely care about them.

At first Seong Gi-hun Seong (Lee Jung-jae) just came across as a loser addicted to gambling so I didn’t take to him but as the story progressed you could see that in his heart he was a good man who didn’t want to hurt anyone but would do what he had to in order survive the mysterious Squid Game.

I think most of us loved Player 1, the old man (played by Yeong-su Oh) who just came across as a gentle soul but then we all know how that turned out…

The best episode for me was the “marbles” one as it was heart wrenching stuff and I’ll be honest, I actually teared up so imagine how annoyed I was at the end of the show. I think I hated the last episode which dragged out a little too long and I’m not sure how I feel about that twist.

The performances are excellent and there are so many memorable characters I won’t go into them here but I particularly liked Ali who was a pathetic soul and Deok-Su made for a truly hateful antagonist. I thought Stephanie Komure was wonderfully deranged as Mi-Nyeo who will use anyone to her advantage.

The set design is fantastic with all the games looking like genuine kid’s games… with a deadly twist. The pink suited guards are like armed Oompa Loompas and I love that little tune that plays when they are setting things up or clearing away the debris.

In terns of action there is a bodycount genuinely in the hundreds so we get plenty of violent kills, people being shot, a huge fight at night time (which was the highlight of the show for me) and even a climactic fight.

It’s dark stuff but it doesn’t reach the excessive levels of gore that the Saw movies do but it sure is close; like Saw there is a moral behind it and it’s all about the evils of greed and how far you would go for lots of money.

I’m not sure how interested I would be in a second season as I feel this works better as a one off, but I believe it has been announced so I imagine there will be more depravity; it will be intriguing to see what Gi-hun plans on doing…

Overall, Squid Game may take a little while to get going and the ending may piss some people off but I found myself involved with each episode and grew to care about the characters. There are some inventive deaths so it’s a good mixture of horror, action and mystery.