Follow us for updates
© 2021
Read the Story →

Moneymaker 'Squid Game', a Critique on Capitalism, is Forced to Make Season 2

Can art expose the system and ride it at the same time?
by Ara Eugenio
Just now
Photo/s: Facebook/Netflix

Netflix's Squid Game, the streaming phenomenon that is at its core, a critique of capitalism's perils, is having its second season, its creator said Tuesday, joking that the drama's global success has almost left them with "no choice".

South Korean director Hwang Dong-hyuk had intended to end the first season with a cliffhanger so viewers could dream up their own sequels.  But due to "so much pressure, so much demand, and so much love", Hwang said season two is happening. Netflix has yet to officially confirm this. 

"So I almost feel like you leave us no choice... But, I will say that there will indeed be a second season.” the creator told the Associated Press at a red carpet event. 

"It's in my head right now. I'm in the planning process currently. But I do think it's too early to say when and how that's going to happen," he added. 

Continue reading below ↓

Squid Game has been hailed Netflix's most popular series launch ever, having drawn over 111 million fans within a month of its debut.

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos


'Squid Game' Characters are Drawn From Its Director's Life

'Squid Game' is Based on a Real-Life Debt Crisis That Will Outlive the Netflix Hit

Continue reading below ↓

Why the Bleak World of Netflix's Squid Game is a Streaming Phenomenon

Rise of Anti-capitalist entertainment

Depicting a macabre world in which marginalized people are pitted against one another in traditional children's games, the dystopian South Korean drama is the latest sucess story under what's been dubbed as an emergent "anti-capitalist entertainment" in film and television. 

Like the 2019 Oscar-winning film Parasite, also a product of South Korea, Squid Game affirms a growing thirst for works of art that explore themes of economic inequality, a long-standing problem across the globe exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While such films show capitalism's horrors and how it's practically to blame for much, if not all the world's ills, analysts have noted the context in which they are being made doesn't depart much from the very system they criticize. 

"We should also be aware that anti-capitalism is being remarketed to us by the very billionaires who would be in the Squid Game VIP room," American writer Laura Pitcher wrote for Refinery29. 

Continue reading below ↓

A video by Tiktok user @paik4president is currently making rounds, as he outlined, while citing news sources, the extent to which Squid Game is a commercial success for the streaming giant.

"Despite making Netflix an estimated $891 million in impact value, Squid Game was produced for only about $21 million dollars. Why is this the case? Well because, just like with any manufactured business, it's a lot cheaper to make stuff when it's not in the United States," he said, citing a CBNC report.

Unlike the U.S. where the law limits working hours, people can work for longer periods in Korea. The government in Seoul also offers tax credits and rebates to production companies, and for the longest time, this has been credited for inspiring creativity and experimentation.

"Squid Game would have probably been five to ten times more expensive if it had been shot in the United States with a U.S. cast and U.S. union production regulations," the Tiktok user said, quoting the same article that he noted for being "positive" about the information, even going as far as mention how more production companies like Disney are also going to start shooting in Asia. 

Continue reading below ↓

ALSO READ: Why Filipinos Can't Stop Binge Watching Korean Dramas

"So Squid Game is about a show about a bunch of wealthy Western capitalists coming to South Korea to watch South Korean compete with each other, fight to their death, for their entertainment. And that show was made by a wealthy Western production company that went to South Korea to exploit South Korean labor to make their entertainment commodity," he said, trying to point out the show's ultimate irony. 

"Like yes, the show is a critique of capitalism, but the conditions under which it were made are the same dystopian capitalist conditions that it attempts to critique," he added. 


Reply to @thomasrowland84 ##squidgame ##southkorea ##asian ##capitalism ##politics ##parasite ##tv ##netflix

? original sound - paik4president

At the end of the day, commercial films like Squid Game are still "forced" to participate in capitalism, much like every other person. "You can be as anticapitalist as you want but at the end of the day you still need to wake up and go to work," anti-imperialist activist Rhamier Balagoon said in the Refinery 29 story. 

Continue reading below ↓

Squid Game director Hwang's decade-old body of work has been noted for "consistently and critically" responding to social ills, power and human suffering, Jason Bechervaise a professor of entertainment and arts management at Korea Soongsil Cyber University told  Agence France Presse.

The director "deals with issues facing society" at the same time as "finding ways to entertain his audiences", Bechervaise said.

A journalism graduate of South Korea's elite Seoul National University (SNU), where he became a pro-democracy activist, Hwang loosely drew from his own experiences and beliefs for most of the characters and story arcs in his Netflix production. 

"Hwang is part of a capitalist system and the success of his series means he is benefitting out of such a system but that doesn't mean he doesn't struggle with the very nature of it," Bechervais said.

Reportr is now on Quento. Download the app or visit the Quento website for more articles and videos from Reportr and your favorite websites.

Latest Headlines
Read Next
Recent News
Except in PUVs, hospitals.
Can art expose the system and ride it at the same time?
Period of candidate substitution ends on Nov. 15.
The President's daughter has until Nov. 15 to decide.
The news. So what? Subscribe to the newsletter that explains what the news means for you.
The email address you entered is invalid.
Thank you for signing up to On Three, reportr's weekly newsletter delivered to your mailbox three times a week. Only the latest, most useful and most insightful reads.
By signing up to newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.