Squid Game and the Art of Predictability

October 01, 2021



    There are a lot of articles I could have written that would have done better than this one probably would’ve. Top 10 details you missed in Squid Game. Theories and Predictions for season 2, etc… However, I wanted to shine a light on something so useful that made this show unique and memorable. It’s the ease of predictability of the entire events, which may sound like it makes a tv show boring but in reality, it’s the complete opposite.

  

    Let’s revisit, Squid Game is a show about losers in society playing deadly children games to pay off their debts. That simple premise is the key to this show’s success. Dig a little deeper and you’ll see that it’s commentary on capitalism and the sacrifices people make for others. The games aren’t riddles and the characters aren’t easily classified as heroes or villains. We already know that the main character will win, because he is the main character and they spent a lot of time building up his backstory. We already know the conclusion of every game and who will survive them based on the characters and their strength and weaknesses we’ve seen. Such as the sad passing of the old man and Ali in episode six, it wasn’t a surprise yet this predictability didn’t take away from the show’s quality or my enjoyment of it. And if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that foreshadowing was used quite a bit to help you along with predicting. I loved how the show starts with Seong betting on horses and winning even though he bet on a horse who doesn’t typically win, predicting his storyline for the season and the real purpose of the game. Or how Sang-Woo was ready to commit suicide but was saved by the second card, however that didn't stop him and he ended up killing himself in the finale.

 

    But why? Why would a show choose to tell us the answers we seek so easily without any added shock value? Here’s why, because it doesn’t need to. Squid Game doesn’t need any added shock value that doesn’t make sense to appeal to viewers, not when you have a strong enough story to do that. And what better way to build up a reveal than to lead your viewers into a false sense of predictability. If this was any other show we wouldn’t be shocked to suspect that the old man is the mastermind of it all, the clues and the hints dropped would have been enough to reach that conclusion. However we the viewers, build trust with the story. We knew how it’s going to end because that’s the conclusion the writers wanted us to reach. It was almost like we were playing the game together. But unlike the characters, we were satisfied at the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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