Netflix’s green light has just swung into action, with the streaming platform finally confirming that Squid Game is definitely returning for a second season. The compulsively watchable South Korean series was one of the best new TV shows of 2021, and proved enormously popular for the service — becoming its most-watched show ever, in fact — so this news is hardly surprising. Getting the official word is still far better than playing Red Light, Green Light with the series’ killer doll, though, clearly.
Netflix co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos made the announcement as part of a video call about the platform’s fourth-quarter earnings, advising that there will “absolutely” be a second season of the hit program. “The Squid Game universe has just begun,” he said — although exactly what that might mean in terms of future episodes beyond the now-confirmed second season, spinoff shows or even movies wasn’t mentioned.
Netflix also started moving into games in 2021, so perhaps digital rounds of sugar honeycombs, marbles, hopscotch and tug of war could be in the franchise’s future.
When a second season of Squid Game will reach your streaming queue hasn’t yet been revealed, either; however, given that creator Hwang Dong-hyuk started chatting about it in 2021, fingers crossed that it occurs sooner rather than latter. Yes, if news of the show’s renewal sounds familiar, that’s why — but today’s announcement is the first time that Netflix has officially said that it’s happening.
Back in November, Hwang also advised that lead actor Lee Jung-jae (Deliver Us From Evil) was set to return as main character Seong Gi-hun. As for what else the second season storyline will follow, nothing has been revealed as yet — although Hwang has chatted through possibilities, including maybe giving another character the spotlight, with The Hollywood Reporter.
If you somehow missed all things Squid Game last year, even after it became bigger than everything from Stranger Things to Bridgerton, the Golden Globe-winning series serves up a puzzle-like storyline and unflinching savagery, which unsurprisingly makes quite the combination. It also steps into societal divides within South Korea, a topic that wasn’t invented by Parasite, Bong Joon-ho’s excellent Oscar-winning 2019 thriller, but has been given a boost after that stellar flick’s success.
Accordingly, it’s easy to see thematic and narrative parallels between Parasite and Squid Game, although Netflix’s highly addictive series goes with a Battle Royale and Hunger Games-style setup. Here, 456 competitors are selected to work their way through six seemingly easy children’s games. They’re all given numbers and green tracksuits, they’re competing for 45.6 billion won, and it turns out that they’ve also all made their way to the contest after being singled out for having enormous debts.
That includes aforementioned series protagonist Seong Gi-hun, a chauffeur with a gambling problem, and also a divorcé desperate to do whatever he needs to to keep his daughter in his life. But, as Squid Game probes the chasms caused by capitalism and cash — and the things the latter makes people do under the former — this program isn’t just about one player. It’s about survival, the status quo the world has accepted when it comes to money, and the real inequality present both in South Korea and elsewhere. Filled with electric performances, as clever as it is compelling, unsurprisingly littered with smart cliffhangers, and never afraid to get bloody and brutal, the result is a savvy, tense and taut horror-thriller that entertains instantly and also has much to say.
So yes, bring on more.
Squid Game’s first season is available to stream via Netflix. We’ll update you with a release date for season two when one is announced.
Top image: Noh Juhan/Netflix.
Published on January 21, 2022 by Sarah Ward