Streaming giant Netflix has greenlit Squid Game: The Challenge – a reality show based on the dystopic fictional show, Squid Game… A clearly poor decision.
The biggest streaming service in Australia, Netflix has had its fair share of troubles recently. First, it announced that the platform would crack down on Netflix users who share their password and then a ton of original films & shows were cancelled due to Netflix losing subscribers and share prices plummeting.
But this truly takes the cake: Netflix has announced that it’s greenlit a reality competition series called Squid Game: The Challenge. If the name hasn’t tipped you off, this new show is inspired by the hit South Korean show Squid Game.
And the announcement of Squid Game: The Challenge has left me – and the Internet – completely baffled. If anything, it proves how out of touch Netflix really is.
The most obvious message that Squid Game imparts to viewers is that capitalism has gone too far and is no longer a viable economic system in today’s society. The dystopic show achieved this message by following 456 people who were so desperate for money, they agreed to risk their lives by playing a series of games where losing meant being brutally killed but winning meant a cash reward.
And yet, that message seems to have gone completely over Netlix’s head. Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s Head of Global TV, said Squid Game: The Challenge will follow 456 contestants as they compete in games, inspired by the games played by the characters in Squid Game, for a cash prize of US$4.56million – minus the fatal punishments.
To turn a fictional dystopia, that’s clearly anti-capitalist, into a lighthearted reality show with a cash prize is seriously ill-considered. And yet that’s what Netflix is set on doing.
Netflix’s Vice President of unscripted and documentary series, Brandon Riegg, even said, “Squid Game took the world by storm with director Hwang’s captivating story and iconic imagery. We’re grateful for his support as we turn the fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment.”
How they got Squid Game’s writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk to sign off on – or even “support” – Squid Game: The Challenge, I’ll never know.
The Internet is, of course, having a field day with Netflix’s Squid Game: The Challenge announcement, with many taking to Twitter to proclaim what an idiotic idea it is. One Twitter user wrote,
“I think Squid Game can go down in history as the most egregious example of capitalism completely missing the very obvious point of a narrative. Squid Game the game is not supposed to be a fun reality game and that goes against the entire message of the show.”
Another user Tweeted, “making an actual Squid Game reality game show is the exact move [you’d make] if you didn’t watch the show, didn’t understand the show, or didn’t find the masked gazillionaires totally disgusting… in short: Netflix, YIKES.”