Today, the streaming service confirmed that they are officially green-lighting Squid Game: The Challenge, a reality series where 456 players compete for a grand prize of $4.56 million. The teaser below highlights that this is the biggest prize ever for a reality show of this nature.
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On paper, it absolutely makes sense why Netflix would do this. They want money, and they’re more aware than anyone of their stock crisis from the past several months. Turning a scripted drama about a life or death competition into a real-life reality show may seem like an easy cash grab. Obviously, nobody is going to be killed for losing the Squid Game reality show, so go ahead and forget about that entirely, but it seems that Netflix has missed the point of the original series.
The original Squid Game series was a social commentary on the poor being used and killed as entertainment for the rich, and how people were willing to risk their lives for a chance to get on the other side of massive debt or poverty or medical bills. Doing a reality show, which is a less-dangerous version of the real thing, is both incredibly exploitative and oblivious to the original show’s message. It was controversial enough when YouTuber Mr. Beast did a version of this, but in this case, it’s so much worse since this is the very service that gave Squid Game a platform in the first place.
Will people watch this show? Absolutely, but we wonder already what this could do to not only the legacy of the original, but also the creative process and hype surrounding the recently-renewed season 2. (Read more about that here.)
Are you excited about a Squid Game reality show, or do you think this is a terrible idea?
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This article was written by Jessica BunBun. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.