This series has everyone asking "what the actual f**k is a Dalgona cookie?"
By Sarah Bagdon
The K-drama known as “Squid Game” has taken the world by storm. It has reached the No. 1 spot on Netflix in 90 different countries. It has completely dominated the Internet. We’ve all seen the TikToks: people attempting to make those traditional Dalgona cookies, people poking fun at Gen-Z if they participated in the games, cosplayers dressing up as the characters, even people who find player 067 very attractive.
Ahmed Twaij, a journalist, filmmaker, and doctor wrote an article for NBC, saying that on TikTok the hashtag “#SquidGame” has been used over 22.8 billion times. The real question is: is it over-hyped? The answer: Well, that depends on if you’ve seen the show or not. As someone who has recently finished the show, I can say that I’ve been left with many questions. Now don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers, but I can say that this show is filled with drama, plot twists, plot holes, and will leave you with so many questions.
A show about people in severe debt, playing childish games, and getting killed if they lose—how on Earth did it become an overnight sensation that completely dominates the Internet? The main character, Seong Gi-Hun, is in severe debt and tries his hardest to find a way to make money to save his sick mother and support his young daughter. He is the cliché kind of person who drinks away his problems and spends the little money that he has. He goes against any advice that anyone gives him, until it starts to really affect him. In the show, we learn that his sickly mother does not have medical insurance and he can’t afford the bills because he gambled all their money away, so he gets desperate. He begins to do whatever it will take to earn the money.
He’s so desperate that he agrees to play a children’s game with some stranger in a suit at the subway station. Now, why would he agree to play some game with a random person? The wager was 100,000 won (about $84 USD). Granted, in the U.S., that’s not much money, but it was almost enough for Gi-Hun to pay for his mother’s medical bills. Of course, the show couldn’t stop there, that was only the beginning. The strange man offers Gi-Hun that cursed card that we’ve all seen, the one with the circle, square, and triangle. A phone number is on the back, and as with all suspicious cards, it’s a suspicious number. But of course there would be no show without Gi-Hun calling the number and realizing that if he played some childish games and won, he’d earn a substantial amount of money.
6 games, 456 players, only one winner. As viewers, you’d think “eliminated” would mean sent home, but oh boy is that wrong. The first game, ‘Red Light, Green Light,’ is your typical juvenile game where someone says “green light,” and you move as far as you can, then they say “red light,” and you stop. If you move, you’re out. Little does the audience know that when someone’s out, that’s the end of the line… for good. You lose, you die. Each person that dies, means 100 million won (about $84,000 USD) added to the total. 45.6 billion won (about $38 million USD) is now at stake.
This show leaves viewers biting their nails and hanging on to the edge of their seats as 456 turns to 1. Unique main characters that each have a different story make for good television. Not only is each character special in their own way, but the writer, Hwang Dong-hyuk, created characters that are easy to get attached to and sympathize with. In this show’s case, it stirs strong emotions in the viewers as they watch players get eliminated throughout the course of nine episodes.
This morbid, dark, mysterious thriller K-drama has shocked and enticed audiences in over 90 countries. It has dominated almost every social media algorithm. It has everyone asking, “How do I make these cookies properly?”
But one question still remains: Is it over-hyped? Quite frankly, yes, but it’s making history before our very eyes as it inches closer to becoming the most streamed series on Netflix.
Melanie Moyer '22,