In 2021, Squid Game, a Korean survival thriller series, was released on Netflix and it quickly became one of the streamer’s most popular original shows. Conceived by series creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game follows a select group who are among the 456 players who are competing for a large cash prize. To emerge victorious, the players will have to master several children’s games. But what the players don’t realize until it’s too late is that the penalty for failing in the games is death, in order to whittle down the 456 contestants to a single winner.
Squid Game‘s success meant that a second season was inevitable, but that won’t arrive on Netflix until 2024 at the earliest. However, Netflix is set to debut a new reality competition series, Squid Game: The Challenge, which will place real players in the games from the show — but presumably with less fatal consequences for failure. With Squid Game: The Challenge right around the corner, we’ve put together everything you need to know about the show.
The first episode of Squid Game: The Challenge will premiere on Netflix on Wednesday, November 22. Since reality show competitions are meant to be spread out rather than binged, this will be one of the rare Netflix original to have a staggered release. Multiple episodes will premiere weekly through December 6, which will mark the premiere of the 10th and final episode of the season.
Squid Game: The Challenge streams exclusively on Netflix.
Only a small prize of $4.6 million, which echoes the original series’ 45.6 billion won prize. And like the scripted Squid Game, there will be 456 players competing for the top prize. But with so many people in the contest, it seems likely that those 456 players will soon be a more manageable number.
According to the official description for the series, players will “compete through a series of games inspired by the original show — plus surprising new additions — their strategies, alliances, and character will be put to the test while competitors are eliminated around them.”
It does! View the trailer above to find out more about the show.
It looks a lot like the original show, with even more cheesiness. The producers of the series include Studio Lambert and The Garden, and it appears that they are attempting to recapture the complete aesthetic of Squid Game, from the player uniforms to the colorful outfits worn by the guards.
The big question is whether The Challenge can entice viewers to tune in the same way that the original Squid Game did. Reality series are often edited to create drama and tension, but scripted shows tend to have the advantage in that category. We’ll just have to wait until November 22 to see how Squid Game: The Challenge matches up against the actual Squid Game.
Excellent question. Earlier this year, Rolling Stone published a blockbuster exposé that put forth troubling allegations that questioned the show’s safety procedures and legitimacy. “All the torment and trauma we experienced wasn’t due to the game or the rigor of the game,” a former contestant confided to the magazine. “It was the incompetencies of scale — they bit off more than they could chew.”
Four ex-contestants testified that the show’s producers rigged it so certain preselected influencers and popular TikTokers would advance over lesser-known contestants. “Instead of ‘Squid Game,’ [they] are calling it ‘Rigged Game,’” one “contestant alleged. “Instead of Netflix, they’re calling it ‘Net Fix,’ because it was clearly obvious.”
In addition, some contestants were allegedly put in danger on the very first day of filming. According to The Sun, while filming the first game, the now-iconic Red Light, Green Light, several people fell ill due to freezing cold temperatures. An eyewitness told The Sun that “even if hypothermia kicked in, then people were willing to stay for as long as possible because a lot of money was on the line. Too many were determined not to move so they stood there for far too long. There were people arriving thinking they were going to be millionaires, but they left in tears.”