With money at stake, rather than life itself, some of the cooped-up politicking in the middle episodes smacks wearily of Big Brother. Other passages of play lean too heavily on popularity contests. But by the final few episodes the tension, intrigue and antagonism are bubbling to the boil. I’ve seen eight of the ten episodes and am agog to discover how ruthless the last dollar-driven survivors can be.
Along with the usual tension of the ticking clock, the tough task, the difficult decision — all very effective — participants are made uncomfortable on a moral level; one might be called upon to choose between acting nobly and metaphorically assassinating a competitor, in front of the crowd. They may be forced to face themselves. It’s clever that way. .... But in “Squid Game: The Challenge,” the only audience is, you know, the audience, make of us what you will.
The feuds and alliances will likely heat up as the competition gets tighter, and the possibility of other new challenges adds some intrigue. But that first batch of five episodes is kind of a snooze. Squid Game: The Challenge is no match for Squid Game itself — and in the annals of reality contest shows, it's no great shakes either.
Although it gestures at some of the more complicated questions lurking beneath its existence, this is merely lip service without any real care or substance. All the gimmicks it throws in at the margins can't hide how morally bankrupt it is at its core. When we look back on the rise of streaming, Squid Game: The Challenge will be the show that saw the fires of hell and decided to find an even more craven low.
They took everything that made Squid Games great and got rid of it. The only thing carried over from the original is its name, "Squid Games." Imagine taking 007/James Bond franchise, removing everything about the franchise except the name. Then you put two groups of people together on a beach. The new show's premise is to see which team can throw sand into the eyes of every player on the opposing. Throw in some interviews. Reset the teams whenever one side loses 50% of its players. Rinse and repeat until there is only 1 player left. Oh yeah, everyone is competing for the prize money. How much you ask? It doesn't matter because it's not 007/James Bond.
I would have given the 0 score but I know there's a lot of work behind all of it. But what a disaster. They lietrally transformed Squi Game into a fake-scripted telereality show, wtf ? I'm so disapointed, I was waiting this S2 to be a candy to watch, but 30min of the first episode was enough to understand the DNA was crap.