오징어 게임: Squid Game (2021)

The Best TV Of 2021, SQ: dark, psychology x kanji-themed, ethos-layered, hypergeometrized religion/capitalism social experiment juxtaposing the nostalgic, pastel-coated idyllicism of childhood w. odieux, égoïste fiscal darwinism of adulthood; battle royale for the ages. 10/10.

Plot Synopsis: In Korea, hundreds of people in major financial debt accept a mysterious invitation to compete in children’s games for a cash prize of 45.6 Billion – a competition like nothing the world’s ever seen before.

*Spoilers Ahead; Do Not Read On ‘Til Watched*

CLC’s Official Best #SquidGame Episodes: 1. One Lucky Day, 2. Gganbu, 3. Red Light Green Light, 4. Hell, 5. The Front Man, 6. V.I.P.’s, 7. Stick To The Team, 8. The Man With The Umbrella, 9. A Fair World

Official CLC Review

The Parasite Complex

The Academy Shocked The World In 2020 By Evolving W. Progressivism: A Best Picture Of POC Origins – The First Time In ~100 Years. 1.5 Yrs Later, Minor Cinema Diversification Is Under Seige; Need For A New, Bigger One

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

February 9th, 2020, 10:52PM, The Academy Awards, Los Angeles, CA. Black-tuxedoed and elegantly-gowned movie-stars amongst the most powerful and richest people in the world celebrated the best of the year of movies – and the night progressed to the final two and biggest honors: Best Director and Best Picture. #OscarsSoWhite had become a prevalent hashtag trending on social media in the preceding years by P.O.C. [People Of Color] – us included – chastizing the comprehensive lack of cultural diversification in major categories year-after-year, but there was one dark-horse in 2020 the world had its eyes on: Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite. A chef d’oeuvre of hierarchical dichotomization, charlatanism, greed, marxist class warfare, coup de grâce, sycophantism, home invasion, black comedy, socioeconomic hell joseon, miasma theory, flipped allegory, contrastive juxtaposition, futility of aspiration, religion, & colonialism/imperialism themes all in a centralized staircase aesthetic, Parasite was the Best Film Of The 2010’s and a precipice of change for the biggest landscape in movies. 2019 was a stacked year cinematically: Ford v. Ferrari, The Irishman, 1917, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Joker, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, Ad Astra, Birds Of Passage, The Lighthouse, Tigers Are Not Afraid, Midsommar, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, etc., but if the kingpin conglomerate of motion picture arts & sciences truly practiced what it preached, that would’ve meant awarding the top prizes in the world of cinema to a film of humble origins from South Korea and a person of color for the first time in the ~100 year history of The Academy. Nevertheless snubbing the project from [even nominations in] major categories like Best Actor/ress, Cinematography, & Score, The Oscars shocked the world by giving Bong Joon-ho & co. their due on the biggest stage imaginable – promising the spark and inauguration of a new age of cinematic globalism.

The Best Netflix Since House Of Cards

The Platform Of TV First Beginning The Streaming Wars Back In 2012 With The Original Bingewatch: House Of Cards In Acute Desperation For The Next Big Thing – Losing Market Shares To New Wolves: HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon, Hulu, Peacock, Etc.

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

Once the inevitable P.R., hype, puff-piece editorials, and self-congratulatory pats-on-the-back subsided, though, the status-quo ~reformed to the landscape we all knew beforehand. There have been some progressions in the backgrounds of the industry – e.g. more culturally & demographically-diverse casts, crews, and execs with studios beginning to slowly greenlight more indie small-scale projects from minorities. The Academy has also honored its promises for more inclusivity by expanding membership & awarding the best films in the world even outside the borders of North America, doubling down in 2021’s Oscars with nominations for projects like Minari and Judas & The Black Messiah alongside another revolutionary first: a Best Picture of Nomadland by a POC-Woman Best Director in Chloé Zhao. The broad strokes of cinema in major projects, however, remained [largely] the same. Maybe it was prestige cinema’s black-hole chasm of disconnection from the average moviegoer’s blockbuster and MCU-laden preferences – precluding the possibility of critical thought/analysis. Maybe it was behind-the-scenes racism deep-seeded in the subconscious of audiences in the world capital of movies: The USA, exhibiting regressionary symptoms by the election (and near-reelection) of MAGA and its hate-fueled principles. Maybe it was the COVID-19 pandemic many aforementioned politicians convinced their target demographics to ludicrously blame 100% on all POC & Asians in misdirection from the rise of the antivax movement catalyzing viral mutations and preventing herd-immunity to finally end the purgatory of quarantine. Regardless the diagnosis of cause, the luster purge of Parasite & its potential industry-innovations were quickly fading away – and the artform needed a successor to re-evoke hive-minds and excise the malignant tumor slowly killing the industry’s progressivism. Now in 2021, we finally have that mythological gryffin and savior: a TV series by a Netflix in acute desperation for the next big thing after progressively losing market-shares to a cavalcade of bloodthirsty wolves hunting them [HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Peacock, Apple TV+, Etc.] in The Streaming Wars they first began with the chess ploys and cat-and-mouse subterfuge of DC politicians back in 2012’s House Of Cards – going outside their normal YT-comfort zone to a South Korea [again] ready to take pop-culture by storm.

Relativity & Geometry In Motion

Dadaism, Minimalism, Expressionism, Abstractionism, & Surrealism In A Canvas Of Dali & M.C. Escher Paintings Alive, SQ’s Hypnotize & Traffick Us Into A Geometrized World Of Childhood & Drm. Phantasmagoria

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

Beyond A Pop-Culture Phenomenon, SQ Is One Of The Greatest & Most Revolutionizing TV Projects Of The 21st Century & The Best Netflix Since House Of Cards: a dark, psychology x kanji-themed, ethos-layered, hypergeometrized social experiment nightmarishly reverse-alchemizing the nostalgic, pastel-coated, wide eyed, fun, jejune, free, naïve idyllicism of childhood into the odieux, égoïste, masochistic, predatory fiscal darwinism of adulthood – metaphorized in battle royale aestheticization w. capitalism allegory of marxist proletariat-strife and h. joseon dehumanizing, cannibalizing, killing, embezzling, and f***ing ourselves over for economic scraps instead of the bourgeoise’s feasts, complexity/depth evoking real-world ethical paradoxes and psychological research like The Stanford Prison, Milgram Shock, Blue Eyes Brown Eyes, Asch Behavioral Conformity Paradigm, & GSP Experiments to prismatically-analyze the evils of mankind by lenses of power, injustice, privilege, cognitive dissonance, [holocaust-themed] genocide, imperialism, & discrimination, animal kingdom iconography synergized with masculinity, nature, evolution, and history exposition, religious pedagogy through allegorical symbolism of The Good Samaritan, Christmas Eve, Buddhism Four Noble Truths, & Old Testament v. New Testament Biblical God: 001 vs. 456, powerful characterization /performances crafting heroes x villains from everyday archetypes by a narrative evoking Game Of Thrones & classic Star Wars/Shyamalanic plot-twists of wild unpredictability brought to life by the most game-changing cast and legacy of TV history debunking the myth of prerequisites for white or movie-stars in big projects, pulse-catalyzing excitement jolting lost survival instincts watered-down in civilization’s move from tropical jungles to concrete ones, concept-pitch of pure green-light brilliance given red ones for 10+ years in development purgatory out of studio discrimination: Lord Of The Flies x Kaiji x The Hunger Games x Lost x Battle Royale x As The Gods Will x 007 x The Purge x Liar Game x Among Us x Fortnite x Parasite, horror/war/survival/action/romance /comedy/spy-thriller/mystery/tragedy/k-drama genre-diversification, elemental medium discourse on TV vs. Film, eulogization of orientalism by a lost cultural authenticity even down to a bizarre & exotic non-marketable title choice of pure idiosyncrasy, daegeum-heavy score mixing tribal drums, minor-key trap synths, grunge-metal, classical waltzes, opulence jazz, & gospel, and chef d’oeuvre prod/costume design & cinematography utilizing a library of techniques & evoking avant-garde movements and principles of art history: Dadaism, Minimalism, Expressionism, Abstractionism, and Surrealism to create a live, orthogonal, hyperimaginative phantasmagoria dreamscape of Dali & M.C. Escher paintings.

The Magic Of Aesheticization

A Pastel-Coated, Youth Evocative Dreamscpe Twisted Into A Nightmare Of Adulthood, Fiscal Darwinism, & Marxist Genocide Brought To Life By Magnum Opus Visual Worldbuild, Prod., & Costume Design: Next 10/31 Icon & X-Factor Of Behind-The-Scenes

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

Most striking about Squid Game from its opening scene is the visual aestheticization. The exemplification of how ocular brilliance and craftsmanship can single-handedly create a new pop-culture phenomenon, SQ evokes artistic movements & principles of chroma-theory, abstraction, surrealisme, expressionism, dadaism, & more. The TV Series hypnotizes and trafficks us [literally] into a world of dreamlike phantasmagoria on a private island straight out of 007 villain archives – a layered canvas of hypergeometrized imagination, childhood aesthetics, and pure idiosyncrasy. Pastels of hot pink, forest green, cyan blue, and yellow long-since forgotten in the cold, black, smoky cityscape apartments we live in [and the series contrastively juxtaposes for social-commentary on how bleak and depressing the world of adulthood is] nostalgize the landscape to days of our youth, fantasy storybooks, fairy-tales, and elementary/preschool classrooms: extrapolated to the ultimate scale in a world bringing your inner-child back to life and making you want to play. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than the staircase at the crux of the world: one clearly-referential of Dali paintings, Dr. Seuss novels, & the orthogonal staircase juxtapositions of M.C. Escher’s 1953 Dutch lithograph ‘Relativity’ amongst the greatest and trippiest artworks ever made. This is brought to life by the VFX magnificence and resources of the 21st-century in a major win for cinema over portraiture as an artform: able to experience it three-dimensionalized on top of the sensory additions of music [score], literature [screenplay], and theatre [performances]. Never before have we seen a TV Series where the background plays such a critical element in defining the series: from its cold white rooms of sterilization to black-and-yellow industrial complexes to red-hued sunset miniaturized towns to epic-scale playgrounds to marble hallways leading to blue-hazy rooms of luxurious opulence with jungle wallpapers and animal-costumed servants – defining the narrative and themes, as we’ll explain. The leitmotif of Squid Game is geometry: also harkening back to childhood and the school days we first learned about shapes in, while highlighting the cool X-factor of simplistic shapes [the same kind PlayStation has made its fortune off, and the series leans heavily into gamer culture visually, eulogizing it also through its concept of games] weaved throughout in the other aspects of its magnum opus worldbuilding.

Cinematography, Editing, Modus Operandi

A Proficiency & Library Of Viz Techniques: Black-And-White Kurosawan Chiaroscuro, Deep-Focus, Rotational Pans, Extreme Long-Shots, Jump-Cuts, Diametrically-Opposed Geometry Vicissitude, Chroma-Theory, Etc.

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

The set & prod. design, cinematography, editing, costumes, and score to bring a work like this to life is Emmy-worthy career work by the behind-the-scenes crew/technicians – one of the penultimate examples of how critical their often-underappreciated work is in building the next pop-culture phenomenon; just as much a character as Gi-hun or Sae-byeok. The 10/31 Civilizational Day Of Macabre is going to be flooded with Squid Game [hereby abbreviated: SQ] costumes, guaranteed; we’ll bet there won’t be a single city street you can walk by without seeing its paraphernalia.. and there’s a reason for that. Squid Game might have the best costume design in TV history – from the pink-uniformed soldiers to green track-suited players to charcoal-masked Front Man to black-and-gold royalty/animal-thematized V.I.P.’s, a comprehensive masterwork of stylistic fashion loaded with palpable allegory [as we’ll get to later in themes] playing by the rules of its hypergeometrized and chromatically-vibrant overworld – down to even the millions of contrastively-juxtaposed line/shape gradations in In-ho’s Black Mask – while defining its viral cross-cultural demographic appeal. The cinematography to capture and translate all this boasts lens proficiency, compositional elegance, synergy, and extensive library of techniques: deep-focus, rotational pans, black-and-white chiaroscuro, low-down shot consideration for dynamicism, extreme long-shots for scale, jump-cuts, diametrically-opposed geometry, dark visual-filters, chroma-key backgrounds, practical VFX, selective pops color splashes, epic genre-references through iconography like the samurai/western-evocative finale [Kurosawan in feeling, even down to the Mifune-doppelgänger Gi-hun], and hyper-symmetry for eye-candy of the highest pedigree. The score of SQ – another masterwork by Parasite composer Jung Jae-il – both works in-tandem with and opposes its visual landscape, simultaneously to evoke the magic of Kubrick’s films half a century later. The opening scene furthers the childhood nostalgia with the employment of instruments practiced by real-world grade-school students we all probably remember from music theory class like recorders and castanets, alongside a bizarre 3-3-7 clapping rhythm not often seen in western traditions that gives it an idiosyncrasy and cultural-authenticism, being used by children to cheer on games and athletics in Korea the score extrapolates to feel like a military/battle theme by the inclusion of war snare-roll drum cadences.

A Clockwork Orange

A Score Of Both Synergization & Opposition To Visuals; Eulogization Of Its Culture & Youth Themes Alongside Contrastively-Juxtaposed Pieces Of Classical Symphony & Jazz Opulence – Taking Cues From 1971 Kubrick To Clash Acoustic Bliss W. Violence

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

The orchestration of SQ is extremely diverse: everything from poignant, heartbreaking slow-simmering piano chords plucking your heartstrings to large bamboo Korean daegeum flute bugle-fanfare to tribal drum cadences to grunge-metal guitar strums to trap vocal synths to jazz to 80’s arcade sounds from Pac-Man & Galaga. The major theme of the series is comprehensively mystifying, perplexing, haunting: a minor-key, darkly-tonalized swirl of 2001-evocative Tchaikovskian Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy wonderlands and nightmares. Finally, SQ takes major cues from Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange by its consistent utilization of Beethoven symphony and classical/jazz music to establish rhythm: contrastive-juxtaposition of the acoustic ecstasy & anodynic quiescence with its clashingly-dark events of hyper-violence. The trilogy movement of Joseph Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto wakes the players up each morning, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Mozart’s Requiem In D Minor are background music in the V.I.P. lounge, and Johann Strauss II’s The Blue Danube indicates the start of a new game: each catalyzing an existential motif of happiness, bliss, armistice, and insouciance to the inexorable masochism and blood-soaked events of the narrative. The multiversal omnipotence of a luxurious, sumptuous, romantic, lyrically & melodically-beautiful cover of Frank Sinatra’s 1964 Fly Me To The Moon by Joo Won Shin reverberates this leitmotif – embodying the polarizing capitalistic society we live in by cynically juxtaposing them with irreverence to also evoke the perspective of how the rich are physically and metaphorically shielded from the carnage in their own bubble-worlds of carefree idyllicism by the power of money, a world reminiscent of the childhood we all wish to go back to. Allegorical of the fun, jejune, naïve, wide-eyed innocence of childhood, the A/V landscape sensorically lulls us into a false sense of security: one eulogizing the simplistic charm and vibrance of the best time of our lives: childhood. Squid Game is, foremost, a panegyric to childhood and chastizement of adulthood. Exposition on how the early developmental stage is heaven and perhaps the one-and-only time we actually get to enjoy the experience of life is everpresently-weaved throughout the series.

The Orchestration, Themes, & Score

A Wildly-Diverse Orchestration In Genres, Instruments, Key, Rhythms, Time-Signature Mixing Everything From Daegeum Bamboo To Xylophonics To Elem. School Recorders To Tribal Drums To Dark Trap Synth To Gospel

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

The first phase of our lives is exclusively about fun, exploration, self-discovery, learning, friendship, and games – unburdened by the pressures, expectations, finances, politics, labor, family, spouses, children, burdens, and responsibilities taxed [literally] upon us as get older; we’re free to ‘play until our mom calls us in for dinner’ each night, worrying about nothing but living in the present now and fully enjoying every moment in a way few adults (only the rich-and-famous) ever can. Life is as simple as juice-boxes, video games, frolicking, summertime, and putting circular, square, or triangular pegs into matching cubby holes in our elementary classrooms between lunch/nap-times. Indeed, if we’re tasked with finding the happiest moments of our lives, they’re almost comprehensively embedded within our childhood memories – things like, for us, playing Game Boy cartridges of Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal after-school with friends on a rainy day in sixth grade and toasting s’mores by the campfire underneath the stars on hot August summer-camp nights. We spend the rest of our lives fractured between times: past, present, and future – futilely believing we can live within all three synchronously, subconsciously chasing remembrances and nostalgia-evolutions of childhood [even down to entertainment preferences, the biggest box-office franchises being ones like DC/Marvel, Transformers, Pokémon, Etc. driven by the adult version os of the kid demographic they originally targeted and grew up on them] while having to toil our present away working in order to provide for a future always haunting the background of our thoughts, actions, & decisions in omnipotence. One major part of the childhood experience is games: the lens of the entire series of SQ and one loaded with masterpiece allegory of depth/complexity. Dabanggu, Hopscotch, Biseokchigi, Tag, Don Katsu, Freeze Tag, Gonggi, Elastics, Cat’s Cradle, Ddakji, Tail Tag, Why Did You Come To My House, & more classic kids’ playground games are referenced with hymn-like praise by the screenplay. Even ones that are more rough-housing and ~violent in nature like Squid Game along with sports like football [helping boys funnel evolutionarily DNA-coded aggression, competitiveness, and testosterone in healthy non-destructive ways] are innocently-painted in the childhood phase because they are – all with easy, well-defined rules, winning-and-losing guidelines, and punishments of cheaters to become about as close to egalitarian society as we ever get.

The Best Time Of Our Lives

Nostalgically-Evoked Through A Lens Of Childhood Games Are The Memories Of Simplistic Pleasures From The One Stage Of Life We Truly Have To Be Free, Explore, Self-Discover, Play, & Experience – Magic We Spend Life Afterwards Trying To Recapture

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

There is ~no preregistration of evil in childhood; we’re not born with inclinations of hatred, bigotry, or discrimination, but they’re programmed into us by our environment or upbringings over time through both nature and nurture. Games – like sports – are metaphors for life; life can even be seen as a game itself, and even strictly-mature activities like gambling and our jobs are glorified ones if you really think about them critically. Games teach us vital lessons for usage throughout our adult lives like how to win and lose, the rewards of hard work, and how to be a part of a team. The problem is: those childhood lessons are more like the fairy-tales we’re told by our parents when contrastively venn-diagramed to the world we see as adults – a Neverland to never be seen again; a Keanu bullet-dodge ready Matrix. The idealized, meritocratic, egalitarian worldview/perspective of children is nothing like the civilization you see once you grow up and the curtain is pulled back on the illusion. The rose-colored, kaleidoscopic glasses of childhood wear out into a cold, bleak, desolate grayscale as you see and learn the evils of the world on the other side of the portal: larceny, blackmail, domestic abuse, bribery, corruption, narcotics, murder, sexual assault, rape, embezzlement, fraud, genocide, trafficking, voyeurism, xenophobia, terrorism, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, inequality, etc. The game of life is no longer fun once you reach adulthood: a daily purgatory/hell of slaving away your time and body for a mediocre paycheck barely scraping by if you’re an average joe – while those born into privilege, wealth, connections, beauty, luck, or frankenstinian milieu get to enjoy a higher class of living they’ve oftentimes not earned and sometimes never have to work a day in their lives to own. Cheaters prosper, crime pays, and there is rampant inequality from player-to-player across demographics – the antithesization of what our childhood games taught us, and a hard life-lesson we oftentimes learn bluntly by the flip of a switch: exactly as Squid Game metaphorizes through its sniper-rifled first game and concept of pure imagination and brilliance given red lights for 10+ years before finally getting a green one.

The Nightmare Of Adulthood

Through A Lens Of Childhood Games, SQ Metaphorizes How Adulthood Bait-And-Switch Lures Us From Childhood Paradise To A Dystopian World Of Larceny, Blackmail, Corruption, Narcotics, Murder, Rape, Embezzlement, Fraud, Genocide, Sexism, Racism, Xenophobia, Inequality, Etc.

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

Squid Game is one of the Greatest TV Series Of The 21st Century because of its concept: one that strikes the holy grail perfect ratio of cinema – being just as IQ-heavy/complex in themes as existentially-fascinating, legacy-full, and exciting of an experience across cinematic departments – millions of projects have died trying to reach, and only a few (double-digits maximum) have passed the graveyard to its heaven-ascension. Hwang Dong-hyuk had been trying to source crowdfunding for the project all the way back since he wrote the script in 2009. In the 2010’s, Netflix was actively searching for the next Stranger Things or House Of Cards, noticing viewer growth outside of the safe-haven of North America and opening divisions in strategic places like Asia. Their kingdom of market-shares was quickly-dwindling as the world’s major studios came running towards the promised land of streaming Netflix proof-of-concepted back in the early 2010’s – forcing reassessment of scripts and talents, bringing creators like Dong-hyuk back to the forefront. Helped by the decade’s exacerbation of economic/class disparity reaching an apex boiling-point in the COVID-19 pandemic, The CEO of Netflix said SQ’s cryptic title, idiosyncratic visuals, and premise of something boldly-original and ‘different’ were what finally ended development purgatory and greenlit the series. That was an understatement. Lord Of The Flies x Kaiji x The Hunger Games x Lost x Battle Royale x As The Gods Will x 007 x The Purge x Liar Game x Among Us x Fortnite x Parasite, Squid Game references an eclectic amalgamation of Manga, TV, & Films – but never overtly copies or thieves from anything; a rare [~nonexistent] dying breed of cinema with entirely its own identity, singularism, and revolutionary originality. The experience of watching that first prodigal game of Red Light Green Light is one of the most epic, jaw-dropping, & electrifying moments in TV history: the first signs of bonafide life in ages enough to challenge film as an equal medium instead of its B-side.

A Social Experiment

Lord Of The Flies x The Hunger Games x Lost x As The Gods Will x 007 x The Purge x Among Us x Fortnite x Parasite W. Capitalism Exposition, Religion Allegory, & Scientific Complexity/Depth, The Greatest Concept Of TV In Years: Dehumanizing, Psychoanalyzing, & Breaking Man’s Spirits

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

One of CLC’s favorite aspects of Squid Game is that it creates a series of what would, without question, have been a cinematic franchise squeezed for 10+ pre/sequels and reboots like a teenage pimple if studio executives had been even remotely-competent enough to recognize the IP’s genius. That makes SQ feel bold, original, and new: like nothing we’ve seen before on TV. 2012’s Arrow on DCTV began the trend of revolutionizing television as more than where failed movies got sent to detention: a medium you could build an entire franchise comparable or even exceeding movie ones in profitability, scale, and ambition like The Arrowverse did expanding with spinoffs [yearly-weaved into Avengers-level crossover events] like The Flash, Supergirl, Titans, Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Legends Of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, Superman & Lois, Batwoman, Stargirl, Constantine, etc. Many big-name movie franchises are beginning to follow with TV shows like The MCU & Star Wars on Disney+ a ~decade later, and Netflix has grown several big names of its own like Stranger Things, The Queen’s Gambit, & The Haunting Of Hill House since House Of Cards inaugurated The Streaming Age & Bingewatch-Craze [along with an opportune The Office-revival] bringing in a large proportion of their viewer-base, but few – if any – big franchises have had the balls to begin their journey on TV.. and for good reason. Movies are exponentially more popular and watched because they’re much faster of an experience. One TV episode in hour-long format encompasses ~+/- half of an entire film. Added to the fact there’s 10-12 all the way to 23+ eps in a season-order depending on the network and oftentimes multiple seasons – crunching viewer attention especially in TL;DR culture as well as numbers: not being financially-viable to have as big of budgets as film-counterparts, there’s almost no logical justification for choosing TV over Film to debut a new mega-project. Even the big names of recent pop-culture and Emmy-lore like WandaVision+, Loki, TQG, Small Axe, Chernobyl, etc. have ~cheated the system by going to limited series format instead of a full-fledged show because of these reasons.

The Holy Grail Of TV/Film Balance

The Mythological Ratio Of Cinema: As IQ Heavy In Themes & Analysis As Existentially Fascinating & Exciting Of An Experience; TV As A Blessing-Or-Curse Medium Of Time Able To Kill Charlatans Or Reward The Ciné-Worthy Beyond Their Wildest Dreams

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

Thus, TV is a hike on a treacherous mountain-path lined with corpses and lost travelers – one able to offset the inherent flaws of its medium by placing a luring treasure at its summit only experienced and gifted traversers will be able to reach and know how to properly use: time. TV bestows the ability to flesh-out characters, craft new ones, script B and C-arcs, and take the time to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ in its writers’ room on every line of dialogue and action 10x more than a film can; a double-edged sword & a blessing-or-curse of major stakes: able to kill charlatans or anoint/reward worthy talent beyond their wildest dreams. Squid Game & Hwang Dong-hyuk is the latter case. A dark, nihilistic-complex, kanji-themed, ethos-layered, hypergeometrized social experiment nightmarishly-twisting the nostalgic, pastel-coated idyllicism of childhood into the odieux, égoïste fiscal darwinism of adulthood, SQ metaphorizes capitalism, religion, and natural allegory – as well as life-cycles and the progression of time – into a literal battle royale of children’s games turned dead and new mythology for the ages – the biggest event [besides perhaps Game Of Thrones & DCTV’s Arrowverse Justice League crossover-events spanning 30+ superheroes like Crisis On Earth-X & Infinite Earths] to ever grace television, but w. more IQ. The set-up is incomprehensibly-sadistic in devilish malevolence: scouting databases for people in extreme debt on the edge of a pecuniary cliff-face, cyberstalking with background checks on every aspect of their lives, striking at their rock-bottom with an easy money false-promise scam to lure them into a blank-check proposition, and trafficking them to an island of terrorization exploiting their existential need for the billions within grasp – pitting them like animals in a f***** up sport of gladiatorial conquest to the death for the world’s richest and most powerful watchers. We love the grounded hyper-realism of the concoction; this could happen tomorrow if someone with 007 Goldfinger-levels of wealth, Spectre power, and a Dr. No private island wanted to. SQ doesn’t need the now-clichéd dystopian fast-forward or governmental cruxes any other franchise [*cough* The Hunger Games & The Purge] would’ve showered it with to water-down the existential terror of temporal/universal accessibility: you, neighbors, family, or friends in our lives today – not 50 or 100 years from now.

The Fiscal Darwinism

Though We Outgrow Childhood’s, Life Is A Game – A Battle Royale Of Marxism And Capitalism With No Rules & Dark, Brutal, Animalistic Complexes; Calculated, Systemic Proletariat In-&-External Strife/Oppression Dehumanizing, Cannibalizing, Killing, Stealing, & F***ing Ourselves Over For Scraps Instead Of Bourgeoisie’s Luxe Feasts

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

The Games are perfectly-chosen/ordered to craft an overarching narrative, comprehensively dehumanize, and break the spirits of its dwindling number of survivors – also twisting the idealized world of complete equality all players start in free of any discrimination or reduction in their chance to win [symbolizing birth and the creation of mankind in eden] into one of growing inequality [growing-up, original sin, history/evolution, and nature] in a variety of themes. 1. Red Light Green Light – The ultimate way to inaugurate this dark version of the olympics, RLGL breathes pure shock-value and perverse entertainment in the audience alongside its players by the most evil design of any game. The childhood aesthetics and overt happiness of the island lull us into a false sense of security and narcotic-somnambulence, only to massacre it with a pure adrenaline-dosage of merciless brutality and god-tier horror: a motion-detector triggering sniper-rifle machine guns killing hundreds of people in seconds to thin the herd, one that metaphorizes stoicism in the face natural disasters [supported by the fact the gun’s are concealed in the sky-painted background connected physically to the real one by the opening of the top of the dome] like our ancestors faced in prehistoric times and also preys on our natural fight-or-flight mechanisms.. weaponizing it back against them by a game they can’t even scream, move, or run from or they’ll get shot and have to play and beat within a few minutes after the most traumatic sight of their lives. HOLY SH*T. 2. Sugar Honeycombs – The complete opposite of the epic-scale destruction porn and warfare battlezone preceding it, Game 2 eulogizes surgeons by having everyday people have to recreate their levels of precision out of life-and-death stakes: alone pressured enough to make average hands shake, made 10x worse by the brilliance of using silencer-less pistols in a closed room to boom even steady hands out-of-place with lethal consequences. The game also has synergism furthering the series’ geometrical motif in its shapes/childhood-turned-deadly and brings elements of luck into play by how random shape choices like umbrellas are exponentially tougher than the easiest like triangles. 3. Tug-Of-War – The most world-famous of all the games [despite RLGL we’ve played multiple times before as children in the USA] also becomes one bringing teamwork and leadership into play, as well as references to natural imbalances not known beforehand like masculine strength as a vehicle of biological inequality and advantage in strength-based tasks.. and the power of strategization and working together as a means of counteracting this and conquering any challenge nature or external factors can throw at them by Gi-hun’s gender-balanced team weaponizing physics with knowledge/experience to outmatch the stronger & all-male foe team: a fable of M/F cross-demographic unison for our divided times through a lens of a game everyone has played. Pure brilliance.

A Worse Hell Outside

The Brilliance & Tragedy Of SQ Is That Even A Landscape As Breathtakingly-Dark, Exploitative, & Inexorably Cruel As This – Waving Money Above The Poverty-Stricken Out-Of-Reach Knowing Most Will Die Chasing It As They Lived: Empty-Handed.. Is Preferable To Slow, Daily Purgatory Outside

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

4. Marble Create-Your-Own – Through a heartbreaking masterpiece gut-punch of an episode: Gganbu, game 4 shatters every ounce of humanity left lingering after its previous trilogy through the most common playing toys on the planet: marbles. The timing is absolutely perfect: again tricking the players into thinking teamwork would be a recurring motif throughout the rest of the games after tug-of-war so that they pick their best friend, wife, husband, etc. they’re then forced to murder/kill-or-be-killed in the ultimate ethical paradox and crisis – 30 minutes that would feel like an eternity. G4 also boasts thematic depth showing how cheaters prosper, nature favors the selfish-minded, and nice guys finish last through its characters’ actions. My God. 5. Glass Stepping Stones – Turning up the theatricality with carnival-like histrionics, calliopes, and tents, the game flip-flops back to teamwork and luck-of-the-draw in the most cruel-of-ways: having to lean on the pawns-to-be-sacrificed in front of you [being killed in a sadistic way of again falling] as you navigate a landmine field of booby-traps in randomized order again bringing back themes of luck, strategy, and time. Finally, 6. Squid Game – Taking us back full-circle while infusing it with masterpiece characterization amongst the best any major pop-culture project has ever seen, the finale is the best episode of the eponymous series. Brother vs. brother evoking iconography of Cain & Abel through its hyper-violence to prismatically-analyze our history from its very beginning act, G6 is a deconstruction of humanity that also brings Gi-hun’s arc full-circle to a nirvana he rejects earthly possessions in [we’ll explain alter] before being forced to win by a tragic character-driven ending that begs to question if anyone has ever truly won these games by how comprehensively they’re broken in heart-and-soul across the journey. The entire games are mired in naturalism, in patterns to synergize with its geometric motif; games 1, 3, and 5 are all based on nature – beyond themes to even the mechanism of death being gravity and physically carried out by an outsideand 1’s being a metaphor for natural disasters, while games 2, 4, and 6 are based on the evils of mankind: employing our weapons like guns, knives, and hands. The lens of games allows for comparative analysis of the stages of life: how where once we prioritized fun and friends, most people would gladly kill or f*** over those we claim to love.. all for the dangling carrot we spend life chasing on a treadmill Squid Game surgically-dissects as the crux of its thesis: money.

A Real-World Psychology Class On TV

The Stanford Prison, Milgram Shocks, & Asch Behavioral Conformity Paradigm Experiments, Recreated On TV Allegorically To Highlight The Horrors Of Mankind – The Real Terror Of SQ Being The Evil Lurking In Us Its Games May Activate, But Don’t Create

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

Squid Game might be the greatest exposé on capitalism and marxism in the history of TV – and, perhaps, cinema in general: a sentence we didn’t think we’d be saying for 15-20 years after Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite. Like its games allegorize, we in the proletariat are merely pawns in a battlefield & system that forces us to fight, betray, thieve, and kill each other for economic scraps barely enough to feed our families. The games are A+ horror and a plunge into the depths of hell in their own right, no question – but the endless cycle of purgatoric daily existence the poverty-stricken call life is even worse. The series brilliantly elucidates this by a godly subversion of expectations in Ep. 2 – allowing the players to vote democratically by a majority to terminate the games. This is a no-brainer, right? They just committed sniper-rifle genocide against hundreds of innocent people in the guise of a children’s game. The fact there was strong opposition to those wanting to go home and only a 51-49% slim margin [the patriarchs honor even more surprisingly, bonus points for 001 being the one to honor the democracy – knowing they’d come back from experience] agree is tragic – but the fact 93% of players beg to come back after a mere day or two outside is amongst the most perverse events we’ve ever seen on TV. These are free lambs voting to go back into the slaughterhouse; kidnap-victims not only negotiating with, but asking the terroriss who abducted them to do it again – Helsinki syndrome to a brand new level, all just for the ultimate high-stakes craps dice-roll just for the 1:456 (0.219%) chance of becoming rich, even at ~99.8% chance of dying. Holy sh*t, that’s dark. Though we try to convince ourselves it doesn’t to help us sleep at night, money runs the world – and most of us professing holiness and purity of heart would do unspeakable things to our neighbor, spouse, or best friend [as well as pawn our own lives] like animals if given the possibility of becoming a millionaire overnight. SQ gives its contestants that real chance-of-a-lifetime and conducts the ultimate social research experiment – watching their spirits break and innocence unravel with devilish malevolence and psychological complexity. This isn’t your snoozefest high-school chemistry class; this is science on the greatest stage of entertainment imaginable, yet extremely educational with pedigree and authenticity – evoking real-world experiments allegorically: The Stanford Prison, Milgram Shocks, Blue Eyes Brown Eyes, and The Good Samaritan Paradox Experiments.

Blue Eyes Brown Eyes

Beyond The Ecosystem Of Cognitive Dissonance, Behavioral Conformism, Agentic State, & Pain-Infliction Catalyzed By Power-And-Privilege, Racism, Sexism, Discrimination, & Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Through Elliott’s Social Exp. On Eye Color In 1960’s Classrooms & SQ’s Social Dynamics

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

First, TSPE. The power dynamics in Squid Game are divided between two groups [under a king Front Man and V.I.P.’s funding the system]: the contestants and pink soldiers. This is much like the roles of prisoners (the players are both physically and symbolically being held captive: despite being given the opportunity to leave whenever, jailed by the prison of money, capitalism, and materialism & watched over by the soldiers enforcing the day-to-day of and around the games) and guards in Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D’s The Stanford Prison Experiment. The infamous psychological study was held at its eponymous university in 1971 to examine the effects of situational variables on college student participants’ reactions and behaviors in a planned simulation of them being in prison for $15 each. Part of the instructions were to dehumanize the prisoners by referring to them by given numbers rather than by name – evocative of The Holocaust employing similar principles and clearly-invoked by Squid Game [even going further with gas-chamber, concentration-camp, and firing squad iconography to drive home the unmistakable parallels & symbolize the upper class’ synergized dehumanization, empathy-deprivation, and overt or secretive desire to eradicate the poverty-stricken]. The Stanford Prison Experiment was scheduled to be two-weeks long, but lasted only six days due to the increasingly-hostile actions of the guards who began to abuse their power in savage ways beyond the scope of the experiment’s confines, ethics, and methodological allowance. The landmark study infamous in textbooks has changed the way prisons are run in many countries, illustrating cognitive dissonance theory and the slippery-slope of power and privilege as vehicles of discrimination and justifications for repugnant, evil acts scarier on a psychological level than Squid Game’s physical constructs. The conclusions, themes, and situational attributions of TSPE are compatible with yet another one SQ references: The Milgram Shock Experiment. Random participants at Yale University in 1963 complied with orders to administer dangerous and even potentially-lethal electric shocks to fake test-dummies given the illusion of being real people by actors – even at-times sadistically laughing at the power and infliction of pain on fellow human beings in cases. Despite scientific perfection in experimental design with control variables spanning a spectrum of backgrounds to negate external factors/biases, the trends illustrate a troubling common theme: humanity’s willingness to obey authority figures even when performing evil acts conflicting with their logic or personal conscience. This brings themes of behavioral conformism and agentic state theory to the forefront: how subjects with neither ability nor expertise to make decisions in crisis will leave decision making to group and hierarchy, as well as how the essence of obedience lays in the person viewing themselves as instruments of a larger-theme allowing them to shift the onus of responsibility to someone else they can blame for their actions – like SQ’s pink soldiers do by killing people in the games, again hugely-attributable to help explain how & why humanity’s biggest horrors across history like The Holocaust happened.

A New Holocaust

The Psych. Experiments Decipher The Puzzle Of Mankind’s Psyche & Explain Our Evils: Ones Catalyzed By Religion’s Forgiveness-Paradox – Rationalizing Crimes-Against-Nature Like The Crusades & Holocaust SQ Invokes By Gas-Chamber, Number-Over-Name, & Concentration-Camp Iconography; We’re In A New [Symbolic] One: Capitalism

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

These findings were also consistent with the Asch Behavioral Conformity Paradigm: a series of experiments in the 1950’s showing how individuals predominantly-yield to a public majority group’s opinion – even if they know it’s wrong like in the simple addition of numbers as one of the studies elucidated – to attain social reward and avoid social punishment. This, again, dehumanizes and depersonalizes the group – shielding from outgroup or minority perspectives dissenting from the main one to perhaps explain how the pink soldiers rationalize and adopt the group majority notion these games are somehow acceptable and normal. Finally on this field of research, Jane Elliott’s 1968 Blue Eyes Brown Eyes experiment on discrimination is palpably relevant to Squid Game. The day after the tragic assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., a boy in Ms. Elliott’s third grade class asked ‘why they shot Mr. King?’. To teach a lesson on discrimination she hypothesized would be hard for them to understand without experiencing it, she based the exercise on eye color rather than skin color to let the children see what racial segregation is like firsthand. Preliminary resistance amongst the minority group of students to the notion brown-eyed children were better than blue-eyed ones was countered by lies Elliott told them: claiming melanin [the chemical responsible for skin and eye pigmentation] was linked to higher intelligence. After that, the backlash fell away. Those deemed ‘superior’ by their eye color started to display characteristics of arrogance, bossiness, and otherwise unpleasance to their ‘inferior’ classmates – who became increasingly timid, subservient, and self-isolating themselves. This became more-and-more pronounced over time, with the ‘superior’ children also getting better grades on tests and completing academic tasks even previously at outside their ability before. Meanwhile, ‘inferior’ ones [even those previously at the top of the class] started doing poorly. The next Monday, Elliott reversed the exercise – making the blue-eyed children superior – and while they did taunt the brown-eyed ‘inferiors’ in similar ways, it was far less intense.

The Good Samaritan Paradox

The Hypocrisy Of Majority Of ‘Religious’ People, God-Misattribution, & Mankind’s Dwindling Empathy: Even In Christian Nations On Holiest Day Of Year 12/25, Not Practicing What You Preach & Turning A Blind Eye Of Indifference To Plight Ft. Away

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

Conclusions were made on the volatility, origins, evils, dangers, and self-fulfilling prophecy of bigotry: how it can be bred by the most simplistic of origins like being told unsubstantiated claims about one type being ‘better’ than another, lead to discrimination, change the groups on foundational levels to create imbalances they believe where once there was none, and even be reversed – with empathy of having experienced it before firsthand making you less likely to act like an a**hole. This is tackled through Squid Game’s social dynamics – extrapolated beyond the obvious class implications to racial/cultural ones like how many players and teams pass up gifted minorities like Ali because of perceived (xenophobically-fueled) inferiority just by the color of his skin.. This can also be seen on gender/sex levels in SQ: how male contestants throughout the games – from the alpha-male and bad boys in Deok-su’s goon-squad to beta-ones – continually avoided picking women for their teams when possible. They projected one imbalance of physiological strength (of which there is biological supporting evidence) to perceived cognitive and existential inferiority as well [hogwash justifications for misogynistic perspectives where there is no difference]: brown/blue eyes type discrimination enforced over millennia of civilization.. and religion as well, with the series quoting Genesis theology of how man was made before woman and Eve from Adam’s rib to perhaps reference that this may be the Elliott melanin ‘research’ that first began this notion. God – or lack thereof – is a theme of omnipotence over the events and narrative of Squid Game, prismatically-analyzed for a comprehensive view on the oldest topic of mankind’s history. Firstly, one of the major recurring contestants espouses biblicisms everywhere he goes – letting it guide his every principle and action while stringently enforcing it on others [like its end sign-protestor exploitatively maligning the ‘sinners’ around him who will all ‘burn in hell’ unless they repent to Jesus immediately and convert right now].

001 Vs. 456: Old Vs. New Testament God

The Alpha & Omega / Beginning & End, Oh Il-Nam: The Old, Wrathful, Cynical, Unforgiving, Totalitarian Book-Of-Genesis God & Creator Of The Games [Six Games Like The Six Days Of Creation; Noah’s Ark Genocide; 001] & Gi-hun: The Kind, Gentler, Compassionate, Hope/Love-Based Jesus – Even Down To The Stigmata, Look, Betrayal By A Judas Figure, & Exact Number Of Messiah Prophecy/Acts In The Bible: 456

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

This brings the history of religion into play – how people with otherwise no reason to hate each other have killed billions in genocides like the holocaust, inquisitions, and ‘holy’ crusades while enforcing ethos-definitive perspectives of hatred and bigotry [anti-LGBTQ+, racism, slavery, women being inferior & subservient, etc.] since humanity’s origins – all mostly stemming from Biblicisms shaping our entire worldview, governments, and civilizational constructs in Christian nations predominantly-based on its tenets and laws. This can be seen on both epic scales aforementioned and intimate ones, like Ji-Yeong’s dad beating his wife and molesting his little girl even as a priest he justified with religion by a simple prayer for ‘forgiveness’ afterwards: a crux pacifying the need to change such ghastly and abhorrent actions beforehand and grow/evolve. After all, if someone you knew was a murdering people in the neighborhood and told you about it – would you forgive them just because they asked, without any change or even attempt to change their actions as the carnage goes on? Or stop them? What does it say for his victims innocently losing your lives if you bystand and actively excuse/enable such actions when you have the power to stop it – aren’t you complicit, as well? Not only is the system of religion flawed on fundamental levels with an exploitable loophole of just fauxing sorrow, mea culpa, and empty platitudes afterwards, but this elucidates the hypocrisy of the vast majority of ‘religious’ people who are equal-if-not-worse than others. This concept is best exemplified by The Good Samaritan Paradox – which SQ explicitly references. The parable of the good samaritan in religious texts details an injured man on the side of the road – one passed over even by priests and Levites exemplifying the highest level of assumed religious sanctity, while an average passerby eventually offers help the officials do not. He does so without even the promise of a reward; he does it simply because it’s the right thing to do for his Neighbor – and is rewarded afterwards. The parable is the perfect exemplar for the truism that people don’t practice what they preach, hypocritically calling themselves religious when they’re not. They recreated the situation in modern times in a scientific experiment at Babylon Religious Institute in 1973 – with an actor planted on the side of the road outside a theology building religious studies major students passed by on their way to class every day. Not only did less than half of the students even acknowledge or offer assistance [and these are theology students infinitesimally-more concerned with godly principles/acts than the average person that likely would’ve only been single-digit percentages], but some literally stepped over the victim like they’re nothing: reporting after lame b.s. excuses like being ‘in a rush’ or ‘too busy’ to avoid fulfilling a prophecy they even knew about but still played their part in proving true.

No Church In The Wild

The Extreme Flaws Of The Broken World We Live In: ~100% Of Lifeforms Must Kill-Or-Be-Killed, Finite Resources, The Very Existence Of Evil, Etc. Begs To Question: What Kind Of God Would Create This? ‘If God Is All-Powerful, He Cannot Be All-Good.’ Greek Philosopher Epicurious, 271 BCE.

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

The Good Samaritan Paradox & Experiment [as well as many other of Christ’s teaching by the fact most of the games’ players are traditionally-defined sinners: pickpockets, thugs, embezzlers, prostitutes, etc. we instinctually look down upon, but don’t deserve to die] is explicitly-referenced by Squid Game & its finale: a man freezing to death on the side of the road in the snow people step over, rob, and ignore the possible death of, even on the eve of the holiest day in religious calendars and iconography – Christmas Eve. Watching from above, onlookers make bets on whether humanity symbolized by the passersby below will help him or let him die in the biggest source of religious allegory in the entire TV series: 001 vs. 456. Il-Nam & Gi-hun represent the Old and New Testament God in Biblical Christianity, respectively. Il-Nam creates the games and entire world of its system – just like Old Testament God in creation-mythology created the world in six days, there are six games in the competition – purposely themed and referential to its matching creation day like the light, sky, and sun being major background components of Games 1, 2, and 4 [brought to life by set/prod. design magnificence]. There are multiple allusions to the system being pure and ‘a fair world’ – one of equality where every player, though they encounter obstacles, has the same chance to win in a world free of racism, sexism, bigotry, discrimination, classism, etc. metaphorical of eden before sin ravaged the world and laid groundwork for the foundations of these principles. These all lead towards the final eponymous sixth game of squid game: perfectly and unmistakably referential of mankind by the most cynical lens: evocation of Cain & Abel brother-vs.-brother iconography to symbolize the first act of mankind’s violence and violation of God’s commandments and how comprehensively we’ve fallen from grace. Il-Nam is physically old and personality-wise cold, wrathful, totalitarian, and unforgiving when we learn of the real him to match characteristics, indifferent to the suffering of those around him throughout the games, ruthlessly commits genocide through his world’s design [just like God does with the flood of Noah’s Ark], and spatially placed above the other players cinematographically at multiple points throughout the series [like the speech from the top bunk-bed in the riots and Christmas Eve scene] – looking down from a penthouse and front man’s suite on mankind he theologically looks down upon with a front-row seat to the deconstruction of humanity through his games and bets no one will help and be a good samaritan below on 12/24.

The New Apex Predators

Though Evolving From Tropical Jungles To Concrete Ones W. Civilizations Dividng Us From Nature, We’re Still Bound To Its Rules & Principles – Even In Our Own Device: Currency; New Apex Predators Synergizing W. The Animal Masks Of SQ V.I.P.’s: The Rich

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

Bonus points: as the man slowly dies and suffers below on that snowy night, Il-Nam could’ve easily called police or someone to help him himself too.. but just watches from above with blasé apathy and lascitude for a calumniatory social-commentary by SQ on the patriarch of creation as it posits he’s not pure, blameless, or perfect himself. Gi-hun, on the other hand, is a far kinder and gentler person – just like Jesus and the type of religion he symbolizes. Not only does Gi-hun look like the messiah by his hairstyle and beard finale ensemble, but gets a knife through his hand [stigmata referencing crucifixion], is betrayed by the person closest to him in Sang-woo [aka Judas, further-supported by the fact Sang-woo commits suicide in the finale out of guilt for what he’s done in killing others for money: exactly the same reason Judas did after turning the Son Of God in for money], rejects material possessions when not needed in dire circumstances like loan sharks requiring organs for payback or to repay his mother and salesmen he references as missionaries out to convert him, and his number 456 is the exact number of instances Jesus fulfills messianic prophecies from The Old Testament. The Alpha & Omega, Il-Nam & Gi-hun represent the beginning and end literally by their numbers’ iconography: 001 & 456 – also wearing both numbers over the course of SQ’s events when they wear each others’s jackets. They share a fundamental difference of opinion on humanity, with Il-Nam cynical and judgmental while Gi-hun is forgiving and optimistic trying to find the good in people. 001 dies on Christmas Eve, just as the day turns to the 25th: the birth day of Jesus Christ. Though a semblance of hope is there in the finale by the reversal of the good samaritan paradox we’re led to believe is going to die but gets help at the last moment [only Gi-hun sees like Jesus symbolically sees the good in humanity underneath the finale ends on a ~positive hint anew], the series – overall – is inexorably dark, mature, cynical, and nihilistic in its treatises on religion and capitalism. As people do when they’re in trouble: turning to religion and trusting/misattributing it when things are going well, they do the same with the salesman and capitalism.

A New Warzone Of Natural Battles

Though Now On City Streets Instead Of Deserts, Oceans, Forests, & Mountains And W. Currency Against Unseen & Anonymous Prey/dators Instead Of Talons, Stingers, Fangs, & Claws, We Still Fight Everyday Tooth-And-Nail For Resources & Survival

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

This esoterica is literal by the first encounter with the pawn who promises them money no-strings-attached in the subway station and lets them win to trust him and want to play more games by accepting his business card’s invitation to the island’s games. Over time, we progressively see terrible things happen over the course of the game, while God or the powers in charge just look away and do nothing. People – even religious adherents and obsessors like Player 276 annoyingly attributing all glory to God even when we’re the ones performing actions [there’s a saying I learned in Medical School: ‘Get used to being thankless; people will always blame you when things go wrong, but invoke prayers and thank God when there’s a recovery – negating the surgeon or doctor 100% responsible for every incision, diagnosis, reaction, movement, and decision as if they had nothing to do with it’] – are killed brutally like animals in the games, with no help from the proclaimedly pure/caring forces in the universe their prayers fall on deaf ears on. The multiversality of this is extrapolatable to the world outside the island’s carnage: one of larceny, blackmail, domestic abuse, bribery, corruption, narcotics, war, sexual assault, murder, rape, embezzlement, fraud, disease, genocide, trafficking, voyeurism, terrorists, xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, inequality, etc.. SQ goes back to the central paradox of religious existientialism: what kind of God would create a type of world this depressing? ‘If God is all-powerful, then he cannot be all-good – and if he’s all-good, he cannot be all-powerful.’ Greek philosopher Epicurious, 271 BCE. God – if you choose to believe in him regardless of the mountains of scientific evidence and philosophical complexes throwing his existence into question – must be a megalomaniacal, dark, cynical, fascistic, tyrannical monarch who revels in enjoyment of suffering, death, and strife; where does that sound familiar.. oh -yeah: Il-Nam, down to even his bizarre smirk [since-memeify’d by the internet; we should’ve been able to tell right there he was the villain in retrospective.. if his performance and the storytelling wasn’t so damn good at hiding his true identity until the end] as people around him are getting killed like cattle in droves in Red Light Green Light, like he’s having fun or a warped & broken perspective/worldview enough to think it’s all funny or entertaining.

The Kanji Animal Kingdom & Mythology

Furthering The Animal Symbolism & Iconography, K-Totems Of Octopus/Squids Symbolize Purity, Emotion, Psychicism, & Creativity, Nature Sees Them Often Found In Schools & Given Defense-Mechanisms Of Tentacles & Ink-Expulsion, And Shintoism’s Akkkorokamui Is One Of The Most Powerful Deities Of The Polytheistic, Nature-Divinifying Religion; Each Applicable To SQ

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

Why would God make 99% of people [except the 1% born into generational wealth or blessings] – and ~100% of other lifeforms in nature – kill, suffer, and compete with each-other to slowly-bleed out the planet he created of its finite resources in a landscape as comprehensively-flawed, merciless, blood-soaked, and bleak as ours? Even in the more idealized world of the games, free of discrimination equalizing all players regardless of backgrounds or externalized factors, differences begin to arise by mankind’s perversion of the system – perhaps also journalistically showing maybe it isn’t all God’s fault.. though he certainly could’ve designed it better if he truly created everything in existence. This brings into play themes of animalistic nature and darwinism. Across lifeforms, nature and the system whatever force creating the universe imbued it with favors ones bigger, stronger, and morality/empathy-deprived creatures. These are, oftentimes, male apex-predators like lions, sharks, birds of prey, etc. of ascension to the throne in their respective ecosystems by the catalysis of a nature giving them the resources to hunt anything they want to while not be hunted by anything themselves. Biology [I’m an Ivy League & Harvard graduate with a B.Sc in the field] & darwinistic natural selection teaches us that the most valuable legacy and point-of-life is genetics: surviving and reproducing enough to pass on your genes to the next generation as much as possible, as well as profiting off mutations in the genetic code translating evolution & being able to better adapt to changing surroundings to, again, live long enough to survive and reproduce. Other lifeforms live by these rules signed off by nature – and do so without worrying about repentance or morality beyond killing their prey, securing the most mates, and gaining the largest kingdoms to ensure their luxury of natural resources and survival-odds/probability by whatever means necessary. No Church In The Wild.

A Love-Letter To Eastern Cultures

Even SQ’s Exotic Title Evokes Refreshing Eulogization Of The East; Squids Being A Major Part Of Life – Delicacy By World’s Biggest Consumers, Recurring Element Across Manga & Animé From Shinryaku! Ika Musume To Doruron Emma-kun To Naruto To Gargantia On The Verdurous Planet, Etc.

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

Mankind is the only species evolving past the systematized rules set forth by nature: we build civilizations, pyramids, industrial-complexes, technology, and bustling metropolises. We’ve figured out how to water-down the carnage of life by removing the need for fistfights with sabertooth tiger, hunting wildebeests for food, & the elements in rain/snow/thunderstorms. We’ve moved from tropical jungles to concrete ones; hunter-gatherers to social-gatherings; real caves to man-caves. Perhaps that’s part of the existential intrigue/fascinations of cinematic projects like Squid Game: they evoke lost-feelings, eras, and natural instincts codewired into every fiber of our DNA through millions of years of evolution – experiences of our ancestors being hunters-or-hunted we’ve since lost the excitement in small-town suburbia’s cozy, blanketed rec-rooms or coffee-mug 9-5 office cubicles. Humans have quickly risen to the world’s biggest apex predator throne by evolution: that fateful genetic mutation coding the ability to recognize/utilize tools paving the groundwork & foundations eventually leading to the wonders of our modern technology like spacecraft, A.I., and skyscrapers. However, while the motif is vastly-divergent enough to fool us into thinking we’re totally-free of nature’s reign over us by how 1,000x more evolved and ascendant our way of life is to even – for e.g. – chimpanzees we share 98.8% of DNA with, we still live by its rules. Instead of resources like food, water, sex, territory, & shelter previously-ascribed through natural processes like tribal hierarchy, battle, and hunting, the onus of attainment has shifted towards currency as a means of transcationalizing them and buying a better life. Perhaps because we’re the ones who create this new perversion of natural order, we’re indescribably drawn to its power [giving us the possibility to be God of our own universe and do whatever we want like Il-Nam & The V.I.P.’s do creating this entire world out of mere boredom) – and the animal kingdom can be extrapolated to this new world order.

Buddhism: The TV Series

The Doctrines & Four Noble Truths Of Buddhism Exemplified By SQ: 1. Dukha – Existence Is Suffering [Poverty], 2. Trishna – Suffering Has A Cause: Craving And Attachment [Money], 3. Nirvana – A Cessation Of Suffering [Enlightenment], 4. Eightfold Path – A Trajectory To Nirvana [Rejection Of Material Possessions; Finale: Gi-hun Ascends, Dalai Lama-Red Hairstyle]

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

The apex-predators of modern human civilization are the rich-and-famous: symbolized brilliantly by the masks of the animal kingdom’s the V.I.P.’s funding the games wear behind-the-scenes. Squid Game is a panegyric to the working class. The series eulogizes the 99% with obvious sorrow and lamentation on how tragic & pathetic our existence really is: having to scrape by on fast-food, live with your parents even as a grown-man like Gi-hun, be unable to even afford putting a roof over our heads or visit the hospital when sick because of how expensive predatory systems like healthcare and government, and get f***ed over by a system even when we play by its rules and do everything we’re given the script for – like Gi-hun when his 10+ years working at the factory were completely discarded by higher-ups blaming and firing scapegoats while they escaped free burglars in the night. The series further the animalistic symbolism by comparing the blue-collar working class to workhorses who will work themselves to death – also working as double-symbolism by how we treat other animals like horses at the racetrack poorly for our gambling and sports event amusement, humbled by being put in their place and point-of-view to give us a taste of our own medicine. The bourgeoise look down upon and manipulate us, turning us against each other fighting our own side blind instead of a revolution against them – waving large prizes of money [literally] over the poverty-stricken’s heads just out-of-reach both symbolically in the mirage of capitalism and literally in timeless institutions like the lottery. The cruelty of inexorable perversion of Squid Game and the system is knowing most of the contestants and us will die in pursuit of the money we spend life chasing and never get any close to just as we live: empty-handed. If there’s ever been a call to action on Marxist principles, it’s Squid Game – nothing on TV or even cinema I can recall revolutionizes you as deeply in-your-bones and connects the dots as breathtakingly through both metaphorical and physical iconography as SQ.

The Most Revolutionary Cast In TV History

Game-Changing Performances Proving You Don’t Need Even One White Person Or Movie-Star To Make A Pop-Culture Phenomenon, Led By The Idiosyncrasy, Magnetism, Wacky Comicism, Rocky Underdog Energy, And Tragic Backstoy Of Jung-jae’s Wildcard Masterpiece Gi-hun

Photograph Courtesy Of: The Republic Of Korea & Netflix Originals

The series – while being predominantly Christian – also manages to encapsulate the entire religion of Buddhism on-screen as well to embody the encyclopedic spiritual identity/demographics of Korea [the enlightened theology managing to be the other major belief system in