You have to admit: it feels a little weird. When Squid Game blew up on Netflix – from almost nowhere – it understandably captured the world’s imagination with its satirical skewering of our own capitalistic nightmare. In a brutal world, it’s a bloodbath scramble to a miracle cheque to try and survive, unless you’re one of the masked elite thriving off the spectacle of watching childhood games turned murderous. So, naturally, in response to that major success Netflix has… well, put on its own Squid Game competition, in which 456 people battle it out for a $4.56 million prize fund (albeit without the literal bodycount – we hope). Because, that was the point of the original show, right? Right? Guys? Whatever, look over there at the shiny new trailer!
The series, titled Squid Show: The Challenge, offers a faithful recreation of the pastel-colored environs, normcore tracksuits and minimalist guard uniforms that popped in the original show – and the trailer climaxes with a glimpse at the iconic ‘Red Light, Green Light’ freeze-frame game that kicked off Squid Game’s first episode. Stay tuned to see which other tasks from the show are recreated in game show form here. Beyond The Challenge, a second season proper of Squid Game is on the way too, having entered production earlier this summer.
So, will Squid Game work when transposed into game show format? Will it be possible to watch the show without a sense of creeping shame, with the series’ sledgehammer-subtle message being seemingly missed entirely in the name of streaming numbers? Will the pop cultural ouroboros find yet another coil to swallow down? Let’s play the game on 22 November and find out!