Netflix released a South Korean show called “Squid Game” in September 2021. According to a CBS News article, “Squid Game” became an international sensation, and it holds the record as Netflix’s most popular series of all time. The show had over 1.65 billion viewing hours in the first 28 days after its premiere, and its official Twitter page recently confirmed that the show will be renewed for a second season.
“Squid Game” follows 456 contestants — all of whom are undergoing major financial struggles — as they compete in South Korean children’s games for a chance to win 45.6 billion won ($38 million USD). However, players are never told that if they lost one of the games, they would be killed. Personally, when the show aired, I remember how shocked I was by the opening scene in which 255 contestants were “eliminated” during a twisted version of “Red Light, Green Light.”
The reality show “Squid Game: The Challenge” will similarly feature 456 participants who compete in children’s games for a chance to win $4.56 million, which is the “largest cast and lump sum cash prize in reality TV history.” But, unlike the original “Squid Game,” the worst-case scenario for players in the reality TV show is going home empty-handed — not death. Brandon Riegg, the vice president of Unscripted and Documentary Series at Netflix, said that his team has the full support of “Squid Game” director Hwang Dong-hyuk as it turns the “fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment.”
“Fans of the drama series are in for a fascinating and unpredictable journey as our 456 real-world contestants navigate the biggest competition series ever, full of tension and twists, with the biggest ever cash prize at the end,” said Riegg.
I really liked the show “Squid Game,” so the fact that Netflix is making it into a reality show is really exciting. My only hope is that the reality show is entertaining and that it showcases some other South Korean children’s games that weren’t in the original show.