Thoughts On Squid Game

  • My favorite character was Cho Sang-Woo. This guy had to make some very difficult choices but his choices were in alignment with what we knew of how his character got into debt. He played a very good desperate cutthroat willing to do whatever it took for the money and ultimately redeemed himself (well, not really, but he didn’t do a slimy thing in the very end). I sort of hoped he would be the ultimate winner. I wished he had been the winner especially after we saw how Gi-Hun acted after he won, which leads me to my next point. I also think Sang-Woo would have done more and better things with the prize money than Gi-Hun (who did nothing except get the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen on a man).
  • My least favorite character was Gi-Hun. A nice guy at times but a scumbag deadbeat nonetheless. Not only did he willingly go along with the old man’s ruse with the marbles, but he failed to do anything of worth with the money, he didn’t actually change. Maybe they were setting him up for a second season where he goes and rescues others and shuts down the Squid Game, which seems obvious, but I don’t want a second season of him being the hero taking down the Squid Game, I want to see him redeem himself by becoming a decent father to his little girl. As a father myself, I instantly disliked his character all the more as soon as he turned around instead of getting on the plane. At least see your daughter and set her up for life before you go and risk everything on a stupid whim. Did he miss the part where every contestant wanted to be in the game, including himself?
  • The scenes with the rich VIPs seems exactly like what our rich elite are like, at least in theory. The total disregard for human life, including using boobies as a pillow, was picture perfect. A beautiful encapsulation of how many of us feel about the psychopathism of wealthy and powerful elites. But, unfortunately, there was a missed opportunity here to give the audience some mixed feelings by showing some compassion in any one of the elites. I think villains are sometimes portrayed too evilly and one-dimensional. If some of the elites had shown compassion or disgust at the spectacle, I think it would have made the shown even more intense.
  • I didn’t see the twist with the old man being one of the VIPs. In retrospect it made a lot of sense, but you got the feeling that it was so easy to be killed playing a game no one would risk planting themselves in like that, especially when there were the murders during the night. I didn’t react to the twist though, I tend to find such twists tiresome.
  • I’ve read some people thinking parts of the show were funny, but I don’t recall ever feeling any humor. The crushing debts and struggle to financially survive were just as frightening, if not more so, than the senseless killing of the Squid Game. In real life we are more likely to be crushed under the weight of debt and economic problems than we are to be murdered.
  • The tough guy character, Jang Deok-su was a great character. He added an element of fresh villainy to all of the otherwise monosyllabic characters. His scenes brought spice and intensity. His death was poetic since he died a selfish coward, something he was trying to hide as the tough. I never found myself hating his character because he was at least an open and honest badguy and you knew where he stood.
  • None of the female characters were particularly interesting. The woman who kills Jang was annoying as hell. The North Korean girl never had much opportunity to show a softer side to her character. Her character remained a guileful thief too long and I thought her ending was melodramatic. I don’t think it would have made any difference if her character had been the one to die from the marble game than the other girl.
  • The games themselves were interesting and I was genuinely curious how everyone was going to pass. The marble game was the apex of good drama.
  • I didn’t care for the police character who went undercover. He ultimately didn’t matter except to give us a sneak peak of some information on the games we wouldn’t otherwise ever know about. I believe Nabokov had a name for this kind of character whose purpose is to show us stuff we need to see but otherwise wouldn’t, but alas I forget the term he used. Also didn’t care for the separate plot of insiders trying to make a buck off of organ harvesting, but I guess they needed something more for the police guy. Didn’t care one jot or tittle that he was murdered by his brother.
  • I thought the old man’s explanation for the games made sense. His own personal involvement was believable and logical. Gi-Hun protested a bit too much regarding these explanations. Again, in the last scene with the old man, Gi-Hun’s emotions didn’t always make the most sense. Perhaps I missed the buildup of his character’s reluctance to participate. It would have been almost better to have Gi-Hun decide to sacrifice himself at some point, probably the marble game, and then have the old man rescue him or smuggle him out under the guise of being dead. But then Gi-Hun couldn’t be the hero! So what? He did nothing with the prize money until a whole year passed and even then he hadn’t seen his daughter. He also pawns off the North Korean chick’s brother on an old woman who may or may not survive into the kid’s adulthood. So the only person the kid is going to bond to now is an old woman who may not live for very long? The old woman has no choice or say in raising a young boy she just met? Gi-Hun shirking responsibilities yet again.
  • I truly don’t want there to be a second season. This one was done well enough and didn’t need to end on a weak cliffhanger. If it is truly done, then I am okay with it, since Gi-Hun ends the show with the same rashness he began it with, leaving us with the same uncertainty his daughter must feel toward him. Him getting on the plane to see his daughter, and it ending there, I admit would be too much of a feel-good Hollywood ending.

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Danielsradam

Danielsradam

Some serious and some satire articles. Only I know the difference.