The Netflix drama from 2021, which follows debt-ridden contestants as they compete in deadly versions of children’s games, has become the year’s biggest pop culture phenomenon, inspiring PC game mods, Halloween costumes, and an SNL music video that barely qualifies as a parody because it mostly just describes the show. (“Pink guards imprisoned us in a large room,” “a robot girl chased me down,” and so on.)
The finest part of YouTube personality MrBeast’s rendition of Squid Game is that one pair of participants pledged not to betray each other despite having seen the performance. What makes you think you’ll forget about the marbles?
The point is that simply “doing Squid Game” is enough of a premise to win a greenlight in 2021, and I realise that MrBeast’s production, which he claims cost $3.5 million including the cash awards, isn’t a spoof. The video is 25 minutes long.
Some have criticized MrBeast for missing the point of the show by spending so much on the video (see the replies here), which is reasonable, though I find it hard to declare that $3.5 million spent on a YouTube video and cash prizes is bad, but $21.4 million spent on a Netflix show is good. And for that matter, what makes the millions spent on Battlefield 2042, a shooter I enjoy, or any of the entertainment people like, a more noble use of human potential? Hm. Much to think about.
One thing I know for sure: Now that Squid Game has reached its ironic potential and the year’s almost over, I’ll be glad if we leave it in the past now. At least give it until 2023.
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- $3.5M Without actually shooting somebody, squid game reproduction is about as accurate as it gets
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