Student Opinions on the Popularity of ‘Squid Game’



Squid game protagonist Gi-hun.

Jack Kelleher, Contributing Writer

Squid Game is a South Korean drama mini series that was recently released on Netflix, to an incredibly popular opening weeks. Netflix themselves have stated that Squid Game is on pace to be their most viewed show, topping others such as The Office, Breaking Bad, and the quarantine hit Tiger King. The show was originally in Korean and to understand it most American listeners had to use American subtitles or watch the American dub, which was not great. With all the buzz around Squid game, I set out to ask students why the show was so popular.

When asked his opinion on why the series was so popular, junior Marco Scobo responded, “it’s a pretty good show, because of the cool plot twist and interesting premise as well as well developed characters. I also liked the cool pink guys that shot people, and I think lots of people will dress like them for Halloween.”

Additionally, junior Freyia Tennebo deduced that, “If I really had to break it down to the root of its fame I would have to say that social media has contributed to the spread of the show with small clips and memes.” 

One defining feature of Squid game was the extremely violent and gory premise and scenes. Senior Shay Crean thought that, similar to games like Grand Theft Auto, the violence in the show might have contributed to its popularity: “it’s very graphic, I think shock value contributed to it spreading. Also good characters.” Senior Teagan Schnorr agrees as “it’s really scary,  I think drives it’s popularity.” Junior Nick Germain also thinks the gore plays a part, as “people enjoy watching people die. Think about the coliseum, or even MMA.” 

Other students had more different and interesting ideas on why it is so popular.

Senior Kyle Wilson thinks the show was “interesting as it was all financially unstable people, which was relatable for lots of people.” Junior Matt Gilman must have really like a particular episode, as he thought that “Squid game is so popular because of episode 4.” Junior Alex McGowan believed that “It hit at the right time, similar to Tiger King.” By hitting audiences after other Asian shows, like the Japanese Alice in Borderland, had some success, Squid game was able to be much more popular than it would have had it released a year ago.

 Finally, junior Jackson McManus mused that maybe the games titular animal drives it’s popularity, as  “I think it’s cause people really like squids.”