The Jaguar Journal

The Student News Site of North Creek High School

The Jaguar Journal

The Jaguar Journal

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Squid Game: The Challenge. A Study in…Blasphemy?

Contestants competing in one of the show’s many challenges.

What is our criteria for “dumb” media? It almost seems like we as a society have a general consensus of what media is “dumb”, or at least shouldn’t be taken seriously. Think of the chick-flics of the late 90s and early 2000s. Sure, we don’t take Mean Girls or Clueless as seriously as we take movies like Oppenheimer or Schindler’s List, but at least these films are fun. You can relax, kick back, and watch them while in a bathrobe and munching on sugary treats.

But this piece of media that I’m here to tell you about is one of the occasions where dumb does not necessarily equal fun. Introducing…Squid Game: The Challenge. A game show based on the hit 2021 Netflix series, where contestants compete in games of life-or-death for a cash prize. In the case of Squid Game: The Challenge, this cash prize starts at $4.56 million (a record in reality tv history), and increases $10,000 whenever a contestant is eliminated. Of course, people aren’t dropping like flies in Squid Game: The Challenge like they are in the original Squid Game series. But still, Squid Game: The Challenge, despite being a reality TV show, feels so scripted that it’s almost like an actual show. The backstories of the players strive to be relatable, but many fall flat.

The big plot twist of the original Squid Game show is that the whole game is just entertainment for ultra-rich capitalists, who watch with delight as our lead cast suffers. However, for Netflix, a streaming service run by the ultra-rich, to pick up the show and make it a game show, seems in a way blasphemous to the message of the original show.

Perhaps, if Squid Game: The Challenge had been written in a way that was at least entertaining and realistic for the audience, one could overlook the money-grabbing nature of the show. Yes, I would consider Squid Game: The Challenge a shameless money-grab at the popular intellectual property that is the original Squid Game. However, no matter how hard Netflix may try to recreate the original Squid Game, Squid Game: The Challenge feels like nothing more than a parody of the original, and it completely misses the point of the original show. Either way, it’s not even enjoyable as-is.

Audiences seem to agree with this sentiment. On IMDb, the show rates 5.8/10 based on 15,000+ ratings. And on Google, the show is rated a mere 2.1/5 on the basis of 904 ratings. In the end, it no longer matters who wins the game and takes home the millions of dollars offered by Squid Game: The Challenge. After all, it seems that Netflix only wants to get into the audience’s wallets. But for such a badly written reality show, I sincerely hope they didn’t.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Yu, Editor
Isabella Yu Opinions and Editorials Editor Like a small Chihuahua, small and annoying but we still love having her around The only editor not leaving this school this year
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