SPOILERS FOR SQUID GAME EPISODE 1
“Red Light, Green Light“
One of the cultural phenomenon in the world of pop culture over the last few months has been the 10-episode series, Squid Game, on Netflix. It seemed like the entire world was buzzing about this series. As I have said before, I have been having a difficult time to committing to watching new series, especially binging a series, lately. Especially because my time has been limited with school, the DailyView, the Dodgers and the regular movies that I am responsible to do.
However, I have had friends ask me about whether I have watched this yet, and so I was looking to plan out a time to get it done. It did not help matters that the episodes were mostly right around the hour in length. I considered a Thanksgiving binge, but I have decided that I would start this one tonight, but not worry about binging. I would do this one episode at a time when I could squeeze one in.
The first episode, entitled “Red Light, Green Light,” started in a black and white flashback with a group of kids playing a kids game called Squid Game. This was not a game that I was familiar with (I am not sure if this was made up for the show or if it were a real life game played in Korea), so I appreciated the outline of the rules. I assume this is going to come into play later in the series.
I guess I should say that I did watch this with the English subtitles on and without the dubbing. I am not a fan of dubbing English into the mouths of characters. I have heard that they do a good job with it, but it always is distracting for me so i would rather read the subtitles than put up with the dubbing. This series is, of course, made in Korea.
We get introduced to our main character, Gi-hun (Lee Jung-Jae), one of the kids we saw in the flashbacks, having much more success playing the kids game as a youth than he was having as an adult living life. He was just a slacker extraordinaire here, a divorcee, an absentee father, a gambler… as well as someone who would steal his mother’s ATM card to get money. Yes, he was getting the money to spend on his daughter (or so we think) but he was anything but likeable.
Thankfully, that means Gi-hun has quite a road to travel to find improvement in his character during this show.
The set up for the game is excellent. The whole face slapping was a funny moment, not knowing how sinister it would eventually become. The chance at changing the pattern of his life was just too much of a temptation to ignore. It was obvious right away that Gi-hun had wound up in above his head. I did enjoy the way the show began to introduce the secondary characters that will be involved in the games.
Then, with the dark version of Red Light, Green Light, we see how brutal the games were going to be. I was not quite ready for the bloody and tense children’s game. The giant girl robot was creepy and the execution of those who were caught moving was frightening. When the whole group freaked out at the start, you have to wonder what they were all thinking. I loved how into it Number 001 was too.
I enjoyed the first episode and I will be trying to find time in the schedule to watch more this weekend.