Everything WRONG about Squid Game (Round 6)
Updated: Mar 14
With amazing success from the latest trending Netflix show, Squid Game, or Round 6 in Portuguese, Korea has reached another milestone in international recognition and representation. Success with Korean pop culture media is well known as Korean pop music, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, and most recently, the show Squid Game. The series is about playing rounds of different children’s games that are offered to those in debt to earn a considerable amount of money. The players play to survive and make it past each round without dying. The nerve-wrecking plot, combined with amazing cinematography and reflections of the real world widened the audience significantly, which continuously grew after its peak in fame. The Korean show is in a different language, meaning it has subtitles and dubbed audio available for those who don’t enjoy reading, provided by Netflix. However, dubbing is not always everyone’s first choice since it’s uncomfortable to watch unsynced audio with images.
Watching shows in different languages with subtitles is not a newly introduced concept. However, people manage to spark arguments on social media platforms about their unwillingness to watch the show due to their inevitable struggle with reading. Of course, this statement is not directed to those who struggle with literacy and comprehension, but to those who have begun to show their ignorance by refusing to watch something in a different language despite its popularity.
This refusal goes far deeper than people being offended because of a show: it’s proving something to the rest of the world. Blatant rejection popping up in various places encouraged many people to argue back and explain how this derives from a very outdated ideology made of self-centeredness and ethnocentrism. Comments such as “Bro then make one with people who speak English”, (@the_jack_kilgour on TikTok), have brought such negativity upon this Korean success, by proving to foreigners that the world still struggles with understanding cultural differences. It subconsciously contributes to the increasing xenophobia together with the rising internationalization of the entirety of media.
One of the best quotes about overcoming this struggle with foreign media is by Bong Joon Ho himself, who has made history after introducing a sensational Korean movie that won 4 awards, “Once you overcome the one inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”. Reading at a fast pace is difficult to adapt to at first but eventually gets easier the more you watch. Squid Game’s subtitles are no faster than the ones in the documentary you watched during Science Class in 1st grade.
Rather than immediately turning your back to foreign media because of subtitles, introduce yourself to a new simple goal. This is not only the first step in overcoming a personal issue with media consumption but one with all of us doing our part in creating a more flexible environment everywhere, especially for an international school.