Netflix has released the latest trailer for their new reality series Squid Game: The Challenge based on their wildly popular original Korean series that explores the devastating consequences of desperation and greed… and the new show proves Netflix failed to heed their own warnings.
In September 2021, it felt as though the entire world was fixated on Netflix’s latest original series. Squid Game, a South Korean series created by Hwang Dong-hyuk, was unlike anything fans had ever seen; it was so addictively sinister that it was simply impossible to look away. It quickly became the most-watched show on Netflix through its perverse, dystopian commentary on society’s modern-day pursuit of greed.
The show explores themes of desperation and the human desire for survival. It delves into the psychological toll that the competition takes on the contestants as they face difficult moral and ethical choices in order to beat their rivals, and, ultimately, survive.
The show was an instant hit, with millions of fans around the globe watching in horror at the barbaric competition that the 456 contestants had to endure. The show earned awards with a number of Emmys and BAFTAs, and made international stars of their South Korean actors.
WATCH Netflix’s Squid Game: The Challenge trailer below.
But now, it feels as though Netflix failed to learn their own lesson, releasing the latest trailer for a Squid Game-style game show set in the real world.
Squid Game’s popularity largely stemmed from the familiarity with the gameshow format; we felt as though we had seen this show before, where contestants from every walk of life had been brought into a house to compete for a cash prize, although with a fatal twist.
Stripped of their names and identities, contestants were allocated numbers and provided with the same uniform to wear by the masked guardians who worked in the house throughout their time in the show.
The shroud of secrecy enveloping the show left viewers captivated and desperate to uncover the hidden truths. It was only during the first, seemingly innocuous game, that the audience, as well as the contestants, came to discover the brutal nature of the competition they had unwittingly entered.
Just like in the original Netflix series, 456 contestants are competing in a series of games to leave the competition with a cash prize of $4.56 million (~$7.2 million AUD) – Netflix’s largest cash prize in reality television history.
The games featured in The Challenge are consistent with the original childhood games such as Red Light, Green Light, Tug of War, and Marbles in the original Squid Game – however, you’d hope that the stakes are significantly lower, as losing a game often meant losing one’s life.
I can’t imagine that players will fall to their deaths should they choose to walk on the wrong glass step later in this competition, but, of course, the contestants in the remake will be encouraged to “fake die” as they compete through the series of challenges.
The Challenge may not carry life-or-death consequences, but the sheer gravity of the situation underscores the intense pressure and desperation faced by the contestants and it certainly raises questions about the lengths people would go to in order to secure the life-changing jackpot; clearly Netflix failed to heed their own warnings from the original series.
Squid Game: The Challenge will stream on Netflix on November 22, 2023.