‘Squid Game’ has won the hearts of the netizens


@Netflix – Twitter

Samantha Stokes, Co-Managing Editor

South Korean drama “Squid Game” has become a worldwide smash hit seemingly overnight. Very quickly, the Netflix series has become the top viewed show of 2021, with over two-thirds of all Netflix users having watched the first episode. 

The plot of the show follows Seong Gi-Hun, a poor father who is addicted to gambling, as he reaches his wit’s end trying to get enough money to keep his daughter in Korea with him. When Seong is approached by a businessman with an invite to play a “game” for a cash prize, he is too desperate to decline. This is where he enters the Squid Game, and meets others that are in major debt like him: some with good hearts, and some with borderline bloodlust. 

Together, the debtors compete in games resembling children’s games played in South Korea, but much more morbid in their consequences. The final player will win 48.6 billion won (approximately 38.8 billion US dollars), and the players are willing to do anything to win.

The show has garnered the support of many netizens (including myself) for its plotline that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seats, characters that are easy to both hate and love, and actors that do a wonderful job of conveying their characters’ messages.

The internet has taken specific interest in Jung Ho-Yeon, who plays Kang Sae-Byeok in the series. Jung plays a teenager that has gone into debt by trying to retrieve her mother from North Korea, where she was deported to. The character quickly became a fan favorite for her girl-crush look and her deep care for her loved ones (although she may not show it). 

Fan arts and people gushing over Jung have broken out all across Twitter. Twitter user @hoyeonhours said, “if somebody says no one is perfect, I just know they haven’t seen Saebyeok,” and many users were quick to agree with them. 

Many watchers were also very happy to see her unique relationship with Ji-Yeong, one of her only girl teammates. Many have speculated a possible romantic undertone between the two, which was actually confirmed as “canon”–meaning supported by the original storyline– by Director Hwang Dong-Hyuk. 

“When I wrote this 10 years ago, Ji-Yeong was a boy,” says Hwang, stating that he wanted to explore the “bond between women,” describing it as “pure” and “understanding.”

Memes have broken out all over the internet of the show, especially a scene where Player 1, Oh Il-Nam, is huddled in a corner. If you have been on social media at all in the past few weeks, you are sure to have seen a variation of the meme. 

As the wave of success still continues to crash down on “Squid Game,” many fans are excited to see more shows like this, as well as more work from the actors! If you haven’t seen “Squid Game” yet, I would definitely recommend it and say it is worth the hype. If you have seen it and are looking for shows that have the same vibe, I would recommend “Sweet Home,” which is a Netflix adaptation of the famous Webtoon by the same name. “Alice in Borderland” is also a series that viewers have migrated to after watching “Squid Game.” All of the shows are available to stream on Netflix, and are a great addition to your binge-watching list!

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