In the past half month, "Squid Game" has undoubtedly achieved tremendous success worldwide. Not only did it dominate the streaming charts of multiple countries in a short period of time, but it also sparked a craze for #SquidGame on various social platforms, with the symbolic masks and characters from the show being widely spread. There were even offline game interactions organized.
Several friends around me were watching it, and some even subscribed to Netflix just to watch it. During the holiday, I almost finished watching the entire series in one go. The first few episodes were indeed great and made me unable to stop watching. However, as the plot progressed, I found it increasingly boring.
It's like staying up all night at an internet cafe during school days. Before staying up, you are full of anticipation and excitement. You know it will be great, even though you know you will feel empty afterwards. But you still choose to step into the internet cafe.
That's the feeling "Squid Game" gave me.
After listening to everyone's recommendations and watching the trailer, I thought this series would be cool and give me a thrilling feeling. After watching the first episode, I did feel the excitement, but I also saw many familiar elements. For example, the character of Ki-hoon is almost identical to the protagonist Cheng Yong in "Dying to Survive". Then there are various symbolic elements in the game, such as circles, triangles, squares, red clothing, green clothing... This series reminded me of other popular shows like "Money Heist" and "Love, Death & Robots".
These elements indeed served the series effectively, making it easier to spread and more topical. But as I said, everything is too familiar, so familiar that it feels like a mass-produced product. People who frequently watch Netflix should resonate with this and discover even more familiar elements.
At this point, I gradually realized that it's not as cool as I imagined. On the contrary, this well-produced series is filled with many seams.
The dazzling set designs and the exhilarating pace cannot hide its thin storytelling.
"Squid Game" is indeed exciting and visually appealing, but it cannot be considered an outstanding work.