Squid Game: Korean series on Netflix (Spoilers)

I haven’t watched and I may still watch so I avoided the spoilers. I’m seeing Korean speakers online explaining how changes in translation altered the meanings of pieces of important dialogue. A line in English that’s a throw away is sometimes the key to the scene in it’s proper context.

I just read an article that listed a lot of clues that were scattered that totally got by me.
A few interesting ones were:
-When the cop was going through the binder with the players profiles there was no player 001. The binder started with player 002.
-The players quarters had artwork on the walls of the games they were playing which was slowly revealed as they removed more eliminated player’s beds from the room.
-The girl who leaned backwards to take the guy who betrayed her to his death has previously commented after the tug of war victory about how the leaning back strategy move made her feel very powerful.

The specific complaint I’ve seen is that it’s possible to accidentally use the closed captioning for the dubbed version instead of the English subtitles for the Korean-language version. And on top of that you have the usual “dub vs. sub” argument (i.e. dubbed versions won’t have verbatim translations because they make at least a token effort to match the lip movements of the actors).

This is about specific choices the translators made that changed the motivations of some of the characters. The woman in this article breaks some of it down. Click on the videos in the article to get a better idea of what she is saying.

This example from the article you linked:

is specifically from the closed captioning of the dubbed version (as mentioned in the article I linked), so it’s not clear that we’re talking about different things.

Even proper translation doesn’t cover cultural and political situations. I was reading that Korea is in the grip of a huge debt crisis. Not the government, per se, but the people. there are so many, many Koreans up to their eyeballs in debt that it’s on the verge of being a national disaster. I imagine this might cause the premise to strike a real chord amongst the Korean audience. Or at least help them identify more closely with the players.

And between Squid Game, Dark, and Ragnorok, I’m beginning to understand the international ubiquity of the word, “Okay.”

In the final episode, when he was getting his haircut, the TV news was about the debt crisis, and that personal debt had sharply risen due to the government lifting restrictions on loans.

I watched the whole show and I loved it, I really only had one complaint. The acting from the American "VIP"s was so bad that it ripped me right out of the show. Their dialog and the way it was delivered was laughable. I think it probably would have worked better if all of them had just sat silently in their weird masks, staring or just making the occasional exclamation of surprise or excitement. Most of the dialog from them wasn’t necessary for the plot.

Yeah, I was taken out of the moment by their decision to use a couple of community-theater Weinsteins. The use of women as furniture was off-putting, too. The producer was overdoing the whole “treating humans as objects” aspect. It might have been more chilling to show the VIPs as relatively normal people instead of moustache-twirling villains.

The acting of the American VIPs is pretty much everyone’s biggest complaint. I read elsewhere that this was intentional. That is, it’s how Westerners are typically portrayed in Korean media. They were purposefully acting like over the top stereotypical Americans. The counter to this is that American media portrays Chinese and Korean (as opposed to Americans of Asian descent) characters just as badly in their eyes.

Another thing is that I went for pretty much the whole show without feeling like it was too derivative of anything else. Yes, I know Battle Royale was an influence, but the aesthetics, characterizations, and game structure made it different enough that I wasn’t thinking “this is a Battle Royale knockoff.” However, once the VIPs came along, I started thinking “this feels like a (poorly done) Eyes Wide Shut knockoff.” That would have been sort of excusable, but then right afterwards, in the final episode with the reveal with the old man, I also found myself thinking “and now it feels like a Saw knockoff too.” So by the end of the show it felt more derivative and less original than it had, say, five episodes in.

I feel like these elements weren’t even necessary for the show, it would have worked WITHOUT them, so all I can really say is that it was a missed opportunity to display more originality. But - again - overall I thought it was a great and gripping show. These criticisms in the long run are minor.

I just saw the one with the VIP’s. It really was the worst part. I liked the bridge game, but the VIP’s were terrible and distracting.

That’s why they gave them the knives after dinner. I assumed no matter how many people made it through the bridge game, they would just let them kill each other until there were only two left.

When I lived in Korea, it bugged me no end that the American parts in TV shows and movies, even good ones, were often played by Eastern Europeans with minimal English or acting skills. I haven’t seen any of this series yet, so I don’t know if that’s the issue here.

I knew something was off about player 001, but I had no idea he was the one who organized the whole thing.

I heard some people say in the tug of war competition, his chains weren’t actually attached to the rope. But rewatching it, it seems like his hands were chained to the rope.

I saw a funny meme on reddit. It discussed the plot of squid games and said something like ‘imagine a sci fi, dystopian scenario where people volunteer to fight to the death to pay off their loans and get ahead financially’, then they had an image of the US military shyly looking away from the camera, trying not to draw attention to itself.

I think with his terminal disease, he decided to join the Squid Game(yes, that is the name of the entire competition, not just the final game) because…why not? He did risk his own life and could have died during all the various events.

My wife guessed it and once she had said it out loud, I began to accept it as true. In the post-game section of the final episode, I kept saying, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was no ‘twist’ of sorts? He just takes the money and never figures out anything?”

Nope, it was #001.

I loved the show, by the way. Criticisms exist, but it is almost certainly the best new show of 2021 for me and I can’t see much beating it by the end of 2021.

I’d rank it a lot higher than Midnight Mass, a show I was actually looking forward to that was OK, but not great. Squid Game was great.

Wait. This isn’t going to have a season 2, right? I just saw a clickbait type article about a potential second season.

Didn’t the creator-director say this was “one and done” essentially? I think a second season is totally unnecessary.

Another thing that I wondered: why didn’t anyone try to be more careful when jumping on the glass panels? I realize that you have to jump to get to it. But try to land near the railing edge where you might get a second or two of warning before it cracks. Instead, they all treated it like Russian roulette where you just make your choice and accept the results. Also, no one tried to grab the rails holding up the panels. I thought it would have been interesting if the gangster and the woman had fallen and it turned out to be a tempered panel, saving them.

ETA: I heard something about a 2nd season. But with no certainty. Not sure how they’d handle it since there’s only three or four cast who can come back without the use of flashbacks.