The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Squid Games: Challenges Players In New Reality Based Show

Everyone is losing their ‘marbles’ for the new Squid Games reality-tv show
Emma Rivera
The new Netflix series is all the craze as it is #1 on the Top 10 TV Shows.

Platform: Netflix

Release Date: Nov. 22, 2023

Director: Hwang Dong-hyuk

Genres: Reality Competition

Rating: TV-MA

Our rating: C+

“Squid Game” has been one of the biggest ongoing Internet sensations of the past two years. This Netflix-produced show went viral, as people circulated memes and recreated on-theme costumes for Halloween. This time, however, instead of a gruesome ending for the players, the director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, decided to turn it into a reality-TV game show called “Squid Game: The Challenge”, featuring real people who are all competing for a life-changing prize: $4.56 million. 

Despite the fact that many were excited for the new Netflix series, some fans are shocked with the remake because it defeats the purpose of the real meaning of the show: highlighting the dangerous lengths people go to in order to obtain financial security. The original show criticized capitalism and started discussions about social inequality. Audiences are confused as to why the same director is making a travesty of the fictional show; in reality it is just another cash grab. 

The beginning of episode one began with the same concept as the fictional show that was released in 2021. Players were shown getting picked up in black vans to begin playing for the large cash prize. The show started off with the infamous ‘Red light green light’, where the iconic motion-sensing animatronic doll known as Young-hee turned her head and eliminated anyone caught moving with black ink, simulating the dramatic gunshot in the original show.

“Honestly, this show is a good representation of the lengths that people would go to to be financially stable, but at the same time it isn’t because none of the contestants are in any type of danger; they aren’t going to lose any money. All they are losing is the chance to gain a large chunk of money,” junior Melissa Sosa said.

As the show was being released, contestants complained that they suffered injuries while filming the “Red Light Green Light” game. Two of them threatened to sue the show due to their experience in the games, highlighting their symptoms of hypothermia, which were a serious threat to their health. Standing in the “Red Light” position for a while led to many players complaining of the freezing temperatures on the set. Some may argue that it is their issue since they signed up for the show, but it should be widely known that when filming a television show, guaranteeing the participants’ health and safety is extremely important. 

Hwang Dong-hyuk and his crew were extremely irresponsible for giving their participants a poor experience and they should be held accountable for it. No one should be put in the position where they feel the need to sue, especially if they are the ones choosing to participate. This reality TV show becomes eerily similar to its dark predecessor when players come forward about what they went through.

“I think that the concept of this show is really cool, but I don’t think that I would have wasted my money to produce something like this, especially when they are already giving away a few million dollars in prize money,” junior Nina Benson said.

The large prize fund in these types of productions sadly reveals the true colors of their participants; many defy their morals just to move forward, whether that entails betraying alliances or eliminating their ‘friends’. 

The credibility of “Squid Game: The Challenge” as a whole has been destroyed as it removes the trust of the viewers and disrespects their intelligence. Contestants complained the show was rigged, for instance, when 20 people were unfairly eliminated after crossing the finish line with 38 seconds remaining during the first challenge. The claims that have been made about this show make it less authentic and have led to fans refusing to watch future seasons.

With the prize fund being that high, I would for sure do anything it takes to win it. Everyone hates on the players for their decisions throughout the game, but I think with the pressure they are just doing what’s best to win that money,”

— junior Hayli Perez said.

These bitter allegations make fans wonder if players made choices of their own volition or if their actions were controlled by the crew simply because producers wanted more drama. The show’s dependability decreases as a result, negatively affecting its entertainment value as well as the possibilities for the players to share their stories on air. 

“After I found out the show might have been rigged, I was outraged, and it honestly made me rethink the validity of the whole show. It made me wonder if my favorite people were really eliminated or it was the makers of the show,” junior Cinthia Cruz said. 

With each game ending in money added to the pot, the stakes get higher and players get more anxious. By the end of episode nine, the pot stands at $4.53 million and three players remain. The show ends on a cliff-hanger leaving viewers waiting until the finale airs on Dec. 6.

“I think it is crazy how when they are put on the show they only care about material things like money and getting ahead in the game by deceiving people. These people need to disconnect themselves from material objects and be free from greed,” junior Robert O’meara said.

Ultimately, participating in the real-life Squid Games is not for the faint hearted. This game-show is a unique and chilling way to explore how humans behave under extreme circumstances. Although the ethicality of the show may leave some apprehensive, there is no denying the fact that the adrenaline-fueled feeling that comes with stepping into the brutal world of the game is a life-changing experience. This was an entertaining program, but at what cost? Whether this show is viewed as a bald-faced experiment or a wake-up call, the real-life version of Squid Games undeniably pushes the boundaries of hypnotic entertainment, leaving participants and viewers questioning the limits of our need for thrill and drama in the pursuit of real-life production.

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About the Contributors
Emma Rivera
Emma Rivera, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Emma Rivera aims to make the most of her junior year. Rivera joined Gables as part of the Academy of Finance due to her interest in business. Fascinated by music and arts, she hopes to join creative and community service clubs. Her love of music began with her obsession with One Direction at six years old. When the group went in different directions, her inner fangirl chose Harry Styles. Her love for music was inspired by many of the greats, and she will often sit in one spot to play guitar for hours. During the rest of her time, watching cheesy Netflix shows and wasting money at Sephora are her absolute favorite hobbies. Although she takes great pleasure in these pastimes, Rivera's future is still unknown, and she hopes to have a career in computer science.
Gabriela Vega
Gabriela Vega, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Gabriela Vega is a junior in the International Baccalaureate program at Coral Gables Senior High School. This is her third year in the publication, and she proudly owns up to her spot as a staff writer. Along with being an ongoing member of the International Baccalaureate Honor Society at Gables, she also takes part in other clubs that help grow the number of opportunities that come her way. After leaving behind an important era of her life, she focuses on school and her internship at a Certified Public Accountant office, but also makes time for her friends. She has a wide array of interests such as watching movies, kayaking with her dad on the weekends and driving her younger brothers all around Miami. Writing has always been one of her strong suits, so she chose to use that to her advantage and join CavsConnect, which has allowed her to blossom and improve her writing exponentially, especially when it comes to IB exams.
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