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Squid Game: The Challenge Breaks the Main Rule of the Original Series


Netflix’s Squid Game reality show misunderstands one crucial aspect of the original series.

Two players react in horror in Squid Game: The Challenge.
Photo: Netflix

This article contains spoilers for Squid Game: The Challenge through episode 5.

Squid Game: The Challenge gets a lot of things right when it comes to its namesake.

Like the 2021 classic series before it, Netflix‘s ambitious reality competition is all about the details. The production design here is second-to-none, with the cold barracks, colorful yet sterile uniforms, and beguiling M.C. Escher staircases perfectly recreating the iconic look of Squid Game. The competitions, still based on childhood games, are exciting and profoundly stressful. Still, there’s one thing that Squid Game: The Challenge completely misses the mark on in relation to the beloved survival drama.

No, we’re not talking about the fact that the players aren’t killed, that would be insane. Digital media is a tough industry but it’s not “advocate for the wholesale murder of game show contestants in a headline” tough … yet. What we’re referring to is all the, for lack of a better word, bullshit.

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