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What makes a binge-worthy show? A look into Squid Game

What does it really take for a show to be binge-worthy? Is it the plot that pulls the audience in, or the likable characters within the show?

The definition of binging is watching two to six episodes of a show in one sitting, and what was more binge-worthy than Squid Game?

binge worthy series
VIA Squid Game Store

Korean Netflix original, Squid Game has been the talk all over social media, group conversations, you name it. Since the premiere on September 17, 2021, it’s estimated that about 87 million people have completed the first season of the show.

Overtaking the views on Bridgerton, another one of Netflix’s hit shows, director Hwang Dong-hyuk says that his idea of Squid Game came from a global financial situation that hit his home area. 

Director of Squid Game talks going binge-worthy on GMA

At his lowest point in life, he related to those who were desperate for money and success which led him to imagine a survival game in comics to become reality. He wondered if he would join for the sake of his family, turning his imagination into a hit television show. 

The underlying meaning of the show was not to simply grab the money and all issues were resolved, but it has shown the issues within modern capitalism. It has the ability to target an individual’s lowest and most vulnerable point in life.

Some other factors that come from vulnerability are greed, selfishness, and betrayal that come from human nature when one is desperate. The binge-worthy show successfully executes a raw and realistic portrayal of the habits of humanity. 

“They constitute the minority in any country in the world”

Hwang Dong-hyuk

Characters such as Cho Sang-Woo and Seong Gi-Hun provide different sides of humanity that one can relate to. Sang-woo chooses greed and betrayal due to desperation regardless of who he hurts in the process of the game, whereas, Gi-Hun stays true to his morals and the goodness of humanity.

Squid Game reveals that capitalism may not obtain a negative connotation from the start, however, it results in greed that individuals may feel that they must stoop to.

Sang-Woo betrays Ali in order to survive and move onto the next game level.

This opens up the question to if capitalism was non-existent, would society and humanity be different in the way we treat people? In a place where there was no opportunity for a significant outlet of corruption, would there be more compassion in individuals?

Squid Game has shown that the best television shows can come from your own imagination. Realistic ideas and situations can create the best of plots within a show. Having relatable content and a story that the audience can empathize with is crucial. 

Squid Game’s director Hwang has taken relevant societal issues that many can relate to and has added a twist that has sparked an iconic binge-worthy series.

Here’s to season 2!