Squid Game: The Challenge Review - It Is Truly Chaotic And Brutal

Don’t worry, no one dies…

  • written by Joy Onu
  • 4 min read
  • 23 Nov, 2023

The intensity that comes with Squid Game: The Challenge is a bit off putting both onscreen and offscreen. The Netflix show is a 10-episode competition series based on the popular South Korean drama, Squid Game.

In the TV drama, 456 poor people competed in extreme conditions to win a huge cash prize at the end of a series of life or death children's games. This time around, the reality show picked 456 real people to do the exact same thing, minus the death, obviously. The endgame of the reality show is $4.56 million, so proceed with caution because you’re about to witness some inhumane behavior. 

Offscreen, there have allegedly been some complaints of exploitation of the contestants, it’s reported that they were exposed to bad conditions such as freezing temperatures and other brutal treatment, but Netflix has since denied that any contestant was exposed to any form of injury on set.

On screen, the reality show is proof that people will literally do anything for money. The games are truly a test of character, and just from the first episode, you can already tell who’s got a good one or a bad one.

The reality show managed to replicate each game, the costumes, the ambience and the dormitory to a tee. It’s insane how identical everything is, except with the overflow of American contestants and a little bit of diversity. 

The girl who says ‘Why did I squat?’ In the first episode, had ‘main character’ energy. I felt her pain right after letting out a chuckle. At some point she gave up, as she should have, because I would do exactly the same thing in her painful shoes.

Squid Game: The Challenge Netflix
The mother-son duo is heart melting, I almost shed a tear when the mother crossed the finishing line in the first game to the warm embrace of her son. They really pulled all the stops to give the reality show the same emotional rollercoaster feeling the original series had. 

The first player eliminated should have won in my books,  but that’s the thing about games like these, the nice guy you could potentially root for, almost always gets the shorter end of the stick. 

After watching the first episode, one lesson you’ll learn is, never be the first in line in any challenge, because the mind-cluster of choice that comes with the ‘Dalgona’ game is insane, it had the man with the umbrella crying and we don’t even blame him, we introverted people can totally relate. 

Player 432 of the reality show was tagged as the biggest bully of the reality show because of his lack of sympathy towards players, he had a huge ‘villain’ target on his back for outspoken attitude that often came off as brash.  When it comes down to it, his backstory gave him a little bit of a softer persona, and it just goes to show that people shouldn’t be judged so black and white and without a little benefit of a doubt that there's some good in them. 

The first few episodes won’t really have you rooting for anyone like the original show did, it will only have you ‘not-rooting’ for certain people who showed extreme patterns of villainy, but I guess that was the whole point of the show.

At the end of the day, it is a good show to watch if you’re curious to see how it all plays out, but if you can’t be bothered with people acting chaotic in chaotic situations for money, you might want to sit this one out.

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