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Squid Game: Episode 1 (Review)

Netflix is showing no signs of slowing down in the Korean entertainment space, and their next offering is the 9-episode drama Squid Game. With pitch perfect production, a great cast, and an elaborate kill game for its plot, Squid Game makes for an edge-of-your-seat watch that’s as disturbing as you might expect.

Note: This is a first episode review only.

 
EPISODE 1 REVIEW

Since the release of Squid Game so closely follows Netflix’s previous original, D.P, it’s an almost automatic reaction to want to compare the two. Of course, there’s very little to compare, and maybe it’s the contrast that says the most.

D.P. is bleak and realistic in its storytelling, and even in the way it handles violence. In contrast, Squid Game is also dark, and maybe even more dire, but because of its setting, it’s more stylized than realistic. For me, stylized violence will always be more disturbing — for some reason it’s easier for me to watch a brutal fist fight than it is to watch people in matching tracksuits get mowed down by a computerized machine gun. Everyone is different and has a different threshold, but I guess the point I’m making here is that Squid Game is a rather unsettling watch.

Before the games even start, we meet our hero SUNG KI-HOON (Lee Jung-jae), but calling him a hero at this point is a bit of a stretch. He’s basically a wreck of a person, and he’s destroyed his life with his gambling addiction. He lost his marriage, he rarely sees his young daughter, he’s millions of won in debt, and he even stoops so low as to steal money from his elderly mother to feed his gambling addiction.

It would be hard to sympathize with him if it weren’t for Lee Jung-jae’s fantastic performance. Ki-hoon is willing to do awful things, and to take extraordinary punishment, all for his addiction — but even in his lowest moments, there’s a humanity and a desperation there that allows us to feel for him.

Ki-hoon soon hits a new low point. His most recent winnings are stolen, he’s about to lose his daughter for good, and he signs a disclaimer of physical rights, which means if he can’t pay up, he’ll give a kidney and an eye to service his debt.

It’s when he’s at this point that a mysterious man in a suit (cameo by Gong Yoo) approaches him in the subway station. He lures Ki-hoon into playing a simple game of ddakji, where 100,000 won (~$100) is won or lost each round. If Ki-hoon wins he’ll get the 100,000 won; if he loses, since he has no money to pay, he’ll take a slap in the face. Shocking though it is, Ki-hoon agrees.

The two play countless rounds. Ki-hoon takes so many full-on slaps across his face that his cheek is bleeding by the end. This is the moment in the drama where we realize what the story is really exploring: how people surrender their humanity for their greed. Ki-hoon could have easily walked away and left with no money but his dignity intact. Instead, he leaves bloodied and battered, with a few hundred dollars in his pocket and a business card. He’s told to call the number if he wants to play more games for an even bigger prize.

I linger on the setup here because it’s so telling, and such a great explanation of what we’ll find when Ki-hoon gets involved with the actual kill games that this story is about. He decides to call the number and participate in the games, but he (and all the others he’ll meet), clearly have no idea of the stakes involved in those games.

A creepy van picks Ki-hoon up in the middle of the night, and gases each person the second the door shuts behind them. When Ki-hoon wakes up he’s in a green tracksuit with #456 on his chest. He’s amongst 455 others who are just as desperate as he is — they’re in a gigantic room with jail-like beds stacked as far as the eye can see. This is the first moment where we (and Ki-hoon) realize that this whole “game” is going to be a lot more orchestrated and powerful than he might have thought.

As everyone wakes up in their creepy barracks, we meet some other characters who become important players later on. Interestingly, Ki-hoon already finds himself connected to many of them — one is the young woman who expertly pickpocketed him, and the other is JO SANG-WOO (Park Hae-soo).

Sang-woo is an SNU graduate, doctor, and the pride of the neighborhood he and Ki-hoon grew up in… but the fact that he is involved in the games means there was a lot to him that no one knew about (read: oppressive debt). Another character that looks like he will be important is the awful gangster JANG DEOK-SOO (Heo Sung-tae).

What’s important is that we immediately learn that each of these 456 people are in crippling debt, and that they all went through the same weird hazing that Ki-hoon did, with the ddakji game and hundreds of slaps to the face. On one hand it’s sobering to see such desperate people gathered together; on the other hand, it’s unsettling, since we have seen glimmers of what they’re capable of.

The first game starts, and it’s a rendition of Red Light Green Light. Everyone seems perplexed as they’re ushered into this weird pastel-colored M.C. Escher-like maze, and then dumped onto the playing field: a sand pit with a giant doll in the distance, and a finish line. The rules of the game are simple enough, but what everyone slowly and horribly realizes is that the games have life or death stakes. Being “eliminated” from the game actually means you are slaughtered on the spot.

This is where Squid Game’s heavy and pretty unforgiving violence comes in. We watch person after person gunned down, blood spewing. We watch people trample over dead bodies in their own desperation. And above all, each player in the game seems already desensitized to what’s happening around them. Their desperation to pass the round (and survive) makes them forget the humans gasping for their last breath around them.

It’s this element that makes Squid Game so disturbing. The players are dressed alike and sent scurrying around like literal Lemmings whose lives don’t matter beyond the game. It’s sickening that this is happening and has been orchestrated, but even more so, it’s sickening because we see what inhumanity people are truly capable of. It’s a ruthless picture of mob mentality and desperation. But the greed element that’s latent here keeps us from siding 100% with the players, like we might want to.

After a huge bunch of players are eliminated (murdered) in that first game of Red Light Green Light, and here the drama starts hinting at the bigger picture that’s going on. We’ve seen most of this from Ki-hoon and the players’ perspectives, but we’ve also been teased that there’s someone masterminding it all.

There’s a legion of soldier-like characters in pink suits who seem to exist to keep the players in check, and if that wasn’t creepy enough, a person in a black hood and mask manages the game from afar. Later, he sits on a couch and watches the game of Red Light Green Light in front of him; the slaughter seems like pure entertainment. It’s like the blood sport that was the Roman gladiators.

As the first episode draws to a close, it’s hard to not to be completely sucked into this story. Just as the players find themselves locked into this brutal gameplay that may cost them their lives, we the audience have our attention grabbed by this disturbing story. You want to look away, but you kinda can’t.

The entertainment factor is through the roof — a brassy jazz song blasts while the players are diving across the finish line, surrounded by corpses. It’s almost as if the drama is playing with us. Are we just as guilty as the creepy guy behind the screens watching this mayhem play out? It seems like entertainment for him, but are we (the viewers) any different?

The first episode of Squid Game is a great introduction to not only our characters and what drives them, but the scope of the games, and the hints of what is to come. It’s not hard to imagine how much more brutal the games will get, as the number of players diminish, and they’re pitted against each other. In addition, we’ve also got a mysterious setup that’s ripe for fresh chaos, unexpected twists, and a deeper look at how far humans can be pushed.

The construct of the games feels like a giant psyop, with rules you can’t predict, and I guess the real question is whether all the human players will let themselves become dehumanized Lemmings, or if they’ll realize their very essence is at stake and instead value what makes them human. With eight more episodes to go, I imagine the stakes will get even more intense as we venture deeper into this horror-tainment rabbit hole.

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The settings with volonteer people was a little bit different from the other drama with the same plot. But the rest was pretty the same in the different personalities (villain, mad, traitor, etc.) and the gratuitious violence. I didn't feel attached to the characters, so I didn't really care for them. I watched it completely detached from the story.

Personaly, I'm the opposite of @missvictrix, this kind of violence doesn't affect me but the one in DP did a lot.

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Unlike other Netflix shows, this doesn't have the oomph factor. The characters' desperation are all what we have seen multiple times in numerous dramas, but this time around they don't seem to have any effect on the audience. Maybe it is because the dialogues aren't that heart wrenching or it is more of story telling through visuals. Even the characters seem detached which is either intentional to portray the driving force for the game or just the direction in general ( because I know the cast can act very well ) .

I am on episode 3, but I don't have the curiosity to check if they survive or if anyone even gets the promised prize money. I kept checking the time in episode 2, that if I keep up with same, I might as well drop it.

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The Gong Yoo cameo definitely caught me off guard. When he sat down, before we could see his face clearly, I thought “Wow, this guy’s profile looks a LOT like Gong Yoo’s…but they wouldn’t get him for a cameo right?”

Overall I quite enjoyed the first episode, even if it was pretty standard and formulaic by Battle Royale/Death Game standards. Has a nice style, and good artistic direction, which I feel is a must for these types of shows to differentiate from other similar ones. I haven’t seen Lee Jung-jae in many things, but he always kills it, so no surprise that he’s consistently good here as well.

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But I couldn't believe that Gong Yoo also appeared on episode 9. That means, two(!) episodes that Gong Yoo appeared as the Squid Game train man (episodes 1, 9).

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I guess the man behind the black mask is even more shocking ... Afterall, Gong Yoo used to be in one of Director's past work (Silence, to be exact). But for me, those new actors and actresses are a greater surprise to me, their performances are even more amazing.

The six games are a huge contract of children fun and brutality, but I guess there are still hope in humanity in this who battlefield. I really can't forget a scenario in Ep.6, when the pairs who think they are best friends suddenly become arch rival, Kang Sae-byeok (#067) the pickpocket paired with Ji-yeong (#240) the father-killer (she did that because her father was abusive) ... Everytime when they share their names, they are one step away from being just a racing horse (You know why I say that when you finish the whole thing) but a real human being, and and when Ji-yeong finally made that decision, I can't help but stop to mourn for her ...

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He does have a pretty distinct voice, but I guess the modulation threw me off so I wasn’t expecting that actor either.

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And actually, there is not much actor can speak English (and Japanese as well) that good like him, and he has a very specific tone when speaking ...

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Oh. The last paragraph. That was my wish too.

It's good thing this is only ep1 review. There is no need to review the whole series. It would be a waste.

Excellent budget. Crappy storytelling.

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*or as one beanie mentioned, same character types we've seen before. Very annoying too. They scream a lot. Like a lot.

Very literal. Not nuanced. So it's difficult to relate to the characters.

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I got a Beanie for Squid Game! I'm completed the whole 9 episodes of Squid Game after episode 9 was such a tearjerker and of course, my massive, emotional sadfest in this episode despite of another Gong Yoo cameo. T-T Episode 9 was rarely found the Christmas scenes just one year later after the first Squid Game even a lot of snowy scenes during Christmas. In overall episodes, I screamed for Gi-hun an ultimate winner so he made it to be the first Squid Game winner and I didn't believe that Squid Game was just an imaginative dream, not a reality. I was hoping and looking forward for second season of Squid Game.

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This is my genre... so I liked it, bonus is my hubby watched this with me which is rare. Stylized violence indeed it is, eps 1 to 3 were a bit slow-paced but it amped the pace after. Yes, not new in how it depicts human nature in the face of greed or desperation to survive, been the running theme in all survival,apocalyptic shows whether korean or not, but it did not pretend to be otherwise so it is what it is. And yes, there is no hero in this show, from the get go we were shown the players are not your heroic types, they after all got to be the players because they are indeed the dregs of society, the ones whose life outside the game is worse than inside the game. Villains - the game masters etc are one dimensional, sure! They are not even central to the story, as the true villain here is greed. So dont expect to root for a winner. At the end ,perhaps the question to ask is: if you are one of the players, will you survive? Me? I'd probably die at game 1.

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It was my first time watching Lee Jung Jae and I found him very compelling. I really appreciate it when actors don't care about showing themselves "pretty" and just plunge into the role.

It was also my first time watching Park Hae Soo getting so many lines, ha! I've only seen him playing silent types before (Prison Playbook, Alhambra and Time to hunt) , so I was surprised at how good he is playing the smooth talker, the kind of dude able to cheat people out of their savings 😂
My only quibble was Wi Ha Joon's arc, that really didn't lead anywhere besides showing new dimensions to the horror and paving the way for a second season. I still enjoyed watching him as a badass cop after seeing him playing lovelorn second leads. Besides being super handsome, dude has a bit of range - although he was a little bit too ruthless and efficient a killer to be on the right side of the law, wasn't he? That felt a bit weird scriptwise, but he did a good job!

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ON Wi Ha Joon's... I hope we can enjoy him on a 2nd season if there are plans for one. His arc was interesting and that encounter at the mountain was so good. Not unexpected, I suspected their relationship for a while, but still enjoyable, and gave us more questions than answers. at least for me it was that way.

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I didn't like that twist so much, because, as you say, we could see it coming... But, yeah, his whole arc felt a bit like laying groundwork for season 2, and I'd have preferred to watch him interact with the contestants. In general, I enjoyed this drama but found the twists all a bit meh - I hugely enjoyed seeing Crazy-Eyes back at the dorm on ep 6, though 😂

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So, this is the part that thoroughly confused me! When we first see Wi Ha Joon, he was looking for a bother who looked like has been gone missing for a few days. But then the "brother" turns out to have played the game back in 2015....so, are we to assume the "brother" went back after that game and lived a "normal" life again until 2020? Then how did he get his high position within the game? Was he secretly involved with the game since 2015? Leaving these out seems more like lazy plot work that a conscious plan to pique curiosity or set up a framework for season 2.

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Had the same thoughts about the brother! Doesn't make any sense - on ep 2 the cop checks his brother's goshiwon room. But dude should be a freaking milllionar. How does this work? 6 months living like a meager student, 6 months being Darth Vader? Of course, his brother is also a super murdery cop, so some crazy may be running in the family 😂

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Even if the brother was living like a miser on purpose, he would have been so busy running the games (they seem to start a new one almost immediately) that he would have been MIA all the time. But that room looked very lived in and the cop said nothing about his brother being constantly unreachable regularly. Unless he was suddenly tapped to play the game manager and took to it so well because, like you said, crazy runs in the family! :P

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I was thinking that perhaps the brother felt the same crushing guilt as Gi-hun after “winning” and lived as a broke student until finally coming to terms with it and being invited to be the Front Man.

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Wi Ha Joon! Hello sir! Despite him being away from the main action, when he was on, he had great screen presence. Well, let's just say what happened to him wasn't enough so there's a slight possibility he'll be back S2. Given the response/viewership, maybe his role gets extended to one of the main roles in S2? There's still a missing backstory for him + his brother as well.

@flyingcolours You're right though! Dude is super handsome lol, turns out he also played a serial killer in a film called Midnight. I think he probably wasn't all that into the police work, only did it b/c he either had not much going for him, or until he find out what happened to his brother, that's when he was like eh F it lol? There's a scene (gross one at that), but the way he delivered his lines was spot on. His English delivery was better/less cringe than the Westerners :D.

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Lee Jung Jae is a very big actor in Korea, he's not a cheap actor lol. Netflix must pay very well. I too appreciated that he for a better lack of a word looked 'homely' here. He dived 100% in with this character/role. I love when actors who are known to be attractive, dgaf and I noticed that all the actors here weren't too glossy/brightened like they usually would be in K-dramas. It made it more gritty and realistic for me. For the men here, lots of stubble/under bags lol, but it was rather kinda hot?

Park have Soo was great too! His character was the most intriguing to me. He was a scumbag, but I found him to be a memorable character. He was a musical actor, and now he's doing a lot of crime/thriller roles, what a 180! He was quite a smooth talker, matched w/ his looks haha. The type that acts all goody two shoes, but they'll stab you when needed. I wonder if the director threw us a shirtless scene for fans haha. Surprised after Prison Playbook, he hasn't had any ML roles, but surely that might change after this.

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That shirtless scene was total fan service, no complaints here though 😂
About the English lines, yes, the cringe is strong but I agree that WHJ did it best . Since English isn't my first language either, I much prefer it when characters aren't supposed to speak perfect English and just go with a more "natural" accent instead of trying too hard to sound like native speakers

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Park Hae Soo is in two upcoming Netflix dramas: Suriname and the Money Heist remake. I'm glad he's getting more roles.

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@flyingcolours Haha, ikr?! Thanks, I guess? I could tell from his shoulders that he works out. Not a bad sight, although what resulted from that scene though :((

The actors were playing too obviously mustache twirly stereotypical like, that it felt forced. Meanwhile, WHJ who isn't a native speaker spoke his lines well. I felt his control and confidence. Icky scene, but man WHJ pulled it off, its a fan favorite scene b/c of what he said after that gross scene. He has a slight English accent imo? Maybe he caught it from working w/ Bae Doona ;)

Park Hae Joon is another guy that should be in a lot more stuff post WOTM. Fun fact: He was cast/but dropped out of Money Heist thus giving Park Hae Soo the role. Once Netflix likes you, they tend to be loyal, so for him its great. Its not the main main roles per say, but he's getting in several big budgeted projects that's going to have a global viewership.

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Would you (or anyone) kindly share here what WHJ said during that scene that became a fan favourite?

I know the context of that gross scene you are talking about, but I fast forwarded through most of the VIP stuff because they were all icky... and the body paint models.. ick

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@HC Hello! Yes! Hold on! I can't find the article, but it was recent like Sep 29/30. He basically was asked about the success of the show, and how proud he was to be in this show that was globally seen/liked. He said he would love to come back in S2, as he's not sure if his arc is done/more to explore. And how the scene/response that he didn't expect to get a lot of love from International audiences was the V.I.P scene. He also said he had help w/ his English by someone who taught it, & he was flattered by comments that said Jun-ho was sexy and cool. Also regarding the V.I.P scene, the director instructed him on ahem that scene (grab), & WHJ said he just listened to the director on that, & followed it as it was not easy.

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I watched the whole drama in a day and it was excellent. Ep 6 is definitely a weeper. I could relate to characters just fine which I have hard time doing when I watch dramas that I consider to be drivel. You know them, bad romance, bad melo, mostly starring talentless second-tier idols (by second tier I mean strictly not BTS/Blackpink) or second-tier idol lookalikes (Song Kang for example). Doom At Your Service, Nevertheless, Rowoon opus. I had to drop all of it cause it was so bad.

Anyway, this drama is for fans of Alice In Borderland, Battle Royale and Hunger Games (unless romance is the main reason you like HG...then no cigar). The deathly game genre doesn't break new grounds but this still provided some big twists, acting was excellent, and production design a jaw-dropper. Use of Blue Danube was inspiring.

I'd say my only tiny gripe is the very end that seems to open the door for Season 2 even though the drama is well-contained and answers the biggest questions.

A very easy binge.

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"I could relate to characters just fine which I have hard time doing when I watch dramas that I consider to be drivel. You know them, bad romance, bad melo, mostly starring talentless second-tier idols (by second tier I mean strictly not BTS/Blackpink) or second-tier idol lookalikes (Song Kang for example). Doom At Your Service, Nevertheless, Rowoon opus. I had to drop all of it cause it was so bad."

Tbh it was really nice seeing veteran talents mixed in w/ fresh faces (non idols/rookies/newbies/rising stars) here. Netflix Originals are mostly thrillers/action/crime genre, and they do really well for the streaming platform. Hallyu shows in the future seem like they aren't going to romance anymore (or as much), tbh shows like DOTS/CLOY are rare. OG fans obviously aren't going to like this, but I think that in the positive side, it means more diverse array of options. Apple+/HBO/Disney+ going into the market will see how K-content will continue to grow.

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I see that the reviews here are mixed, and the Korean audience seems to hate it, but I liked it. It doesn't break new ground, but I thought it told the story stylishly (those sets were awesome) and effectively. I could see why characters living in hell, either because of their own actions or because of the world they were born into, would choose to play a deadly game for money. Sometimes shows with this theme will strive to keep the hero's hands clean, but I liked that there was no hero in this story.

My favorite thing was the use of simple, childhood games. The dalgona game was brilliant. The marble game heartbreaking. Episode 6 was definitely the best episode IMO.

There were things I didn't care for, like the investor bit. The cop showed us a different side of things, but his arc was a little pointless. They certainly left it open for a second season, but it would be a very different show. I'm good with just this one, it felt complete.

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Unpopular opinion but Lee Jung Jae was horrible in this. He was not convincing in his character and it felt like he was trying to fit into a role he didn't understand. Gong Yoo was more compelling in his brief appearance and so was the actor who played Ali though I'm sure he's typecast. The plot was meh and twists didn't have the shock factor one expects in dramas like this. The front man reveal was too predictable especially with all the bad English. Why do Kdramas have such bad English dialogues? Don't they have any bilingual writers? Isn't English a core subject to get into those fancy Universities? This had the potential to be extraordinary but ultimately was a let down.

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The English dialogue is so bad, lol. It looks like they used Google translate and terrible b-movies for the English.

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Gong Yoo😍😍😍😍😍, I can't comment without spoiling, so that is my comment.

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I do not expect a second season. Netflix has a way of keeping open space for second seasons; however, there are so many cases left the audience at the first season.
The show is not for the faint of the heart definitely. Rather it is for people who enjoys watching fighting without getting emotionally attached.
It was also a good experience for actors/actresses to show their capabilities. There is no emphasis on keeping the beaty or good character here, which is something I do not enjoy in kdramas.
The characters were easy to connect. Somehow I find some behaviors in kdramas extreme or unrealistic. Things related to honor, gossip and being noble are a little contradictory or confusing for me. With this drama, I was really comfortable to understand the characters. Maybe my culture is very different with that of korea.
Ocerall I enjoyed the drama. My only complain is about the last episode and how it handled the life of the winner after the game. Ooooh I ca not find a way to explain it without spoiling the drama ....

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Squid Game reminds me of another Netflix drama, Alice in Borderland. I hope this will do better than AIB. AIB was lacking in storyline towards the end. I like how the participants are given a choice to leave the game unlike Alice. Hope we'll get to see more of Gong Yoo later in the story.

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I agree with a lot of the comments being that the shaw was pretty meh overall. I had beeen eagerly waiting for it to come out but it ended up being more of a letdown. The cast and prodcution value were great. But the script, dialogue, and characterization were poor. I never fully cared about the characters. Expect Ali and Sae Byeok. And that had more with them being somewhat unique and choosing to play because of the life that they had been dealt vs poor choices. The show truly went downhill though with the VIPs. The dialogue and jokes were so bad. Also why just a few white guys (and all American) and one other accent I couldn’t place. Them explaining the things they were watching while we are watching ourselves didn’t help either. Should have kept them silent. And had more diversity if they are insistent on it being an international thing. Which also makes no sense. They made it sound like it is played in different countries each year, but the new game at the end of the show was recruiting Koreans again. If every year 400+ Koreans go missing within days of each other, it’d get noticed. I wish they had just had Korean actors and not made it international. Clearly I am thinking too much about this. Overall the show had potential with the concept of playing children’s game to the extreme, and great actors that were letdown by a poor script and characterization. Sucks even more compared to the other gritty Netflix shows that were actually fantastic (Kingdom, Extracurricular, D.P.).

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I agree on all the points you made - I sometimes wonder if they just drive around Seoul and pick up white tourists to play these foreigners in k-dramas (except for one of those white guys with the beard - he's always the white American in all k-dramas!). And yes, I could not get over the huge hole in the logic of having these games year after year and the cops not picking up on a lot of people going missing every year (since they were happening since 1980s?). And just the scene where they were viewing....all the people as "props" in body paint was weird. What happens to them after these games? Do they continue to live on that island as "tables", "stools"? I know it was meant to be shocking and hedonistic, but it seemed more garish and weird than anything else.

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Yes! Exactly. Same white actors that can’t act. Or even if they could their English dialogue is awkward. And that whole setup with the VIPs and painted people just seemed over the top and out of place. Also, I totally forgot to mention Seong Gi Hun’s red hair at the end. I think it was supposed to be him finally freeing himself and moving on or not caring. (If I had to venture a guess of why.) But it came across as ridiculously cheesy and it was tough to take him seriously. The fact that nobody said anything about it as well. The “tender” moments at the end with the mom of the friend and the younger brother, I had to try not to laugh as he looked like a clown next to them. Poor daughter and ex wife would think he finally had lost it, if he had taken the flight.

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Oh, don't get me started on what a terrible father figure Gi Hun has been in this show. I get that he missed his daughter's birth for a reason, and yes, he would have been in shock after his mother's death and surviving the game. But you would have thought that even if he didn't take the winnings for himself, he would have mailed the 100K to his wife or something at some point in that year! Instead of showing Gi Hun wallowing in self-pity for a year, and the bizarrely getting the spunk to color his hair red because he suddenly believed in humanity again, it would have been better if they had shown how he tried to give 100K to each of the players' families that he could track down (like showing a box of money arriving in Pakistan to Ali's family, 100K to his friend's mom pretending to be from her son, etc.) and also getting the young boy out of that orphanage right away. How could he not contact his daughter or let that boy stay in an orphanage for a whole year??Am surprised his wife and daughter were even speaking to him after that year's gap!

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ah, so Gong Joo is not a zombie any more.

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can anyone tell me who is player 118 actor? he seems so familiar but i cant get his name in my head.

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crash landing on you!

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Interesting that the first ever Korean show to hit #1 in the U.S and #2 Worldwide for Netflix isn't being reviewed in whole. I really dug this show, I thought it had some heart & some truths about human nature. The games were all well designed, and the world building was epic. I for one expected (from reviews that this was going to be meh/no heart), and was surprised in a good way that wasn't the case at all. While there were some things that could've been addressed, I think the show made me think and re-assess certain things. It reminded me a bit of Parasite but the game version lol.

Only quibble is, Lee Jung Jae sorta over-acted at times, he did a good job but he could've toned it down sometimes. Overall, solid watch, good pacing, great use of sets, colorful characters, & assured director behind the helm made this one of the best Netflix Korean Originals since they began doing so.

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I can finally read the comments now that I finished watching this drama. I did get spoiled on who lives and who dies and who are the villains due to Twitter memes but I still enjoyed the series. I thought it was written well and tightly plotted. And, I actually quite liked the ending.

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Since this article was last posted on here, this show has gone to become a pop culture behemoth. It is insane imo what 2 1/2 weeks does to a show's popularity. For what its worth, I really enjoyed the aspect of watching as soon as one episode finished. That really helped in my immersion of the story, and the score was ominous. All of these things really heightened the tension. The ending def. smelled a cliffhanger, the director is considering a S2, but said he would prob. focus more on the police officers. Again, who knows lol? Would be cumbersome not to have S2 to finish this show on a closed loop.

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I deleted my comment because it was spoilery. I wasn't sure if we're allowed to post spoilers on a first episode review article.

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Oh hey! That's totally fine! You can always at me at my username, so we can discuss further! In the Beanies discussion thread, just @soulsearch12 me!

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