Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Dessel
Feb 21, 2011



I enjoyed this show to the end and thought it was competently executed and I don't mean to be a downer or saying anyone is wrong for enjoying the show but...

I legitimately am just completely dumbfounded that this show is such a phenomena. :psyduck: Like on the level that I feel like I'm living in some sort of bizarro world. Maybe it's my exposure to stuff like, I dunno, Danganronpa or something that has made me kinda numb for the premise. Like it genuinely feels like lack of current prestige TV show in combination with Netflix's algorithms made this show so popular by a happy coincidence.

Like the show doesn't feel like it has any real good hook. No real character development. Nothing that hooks you real good. I admit I'm not a smart watcher since I did not catch the Front Man's identity. The entire cop plot and its conclusion was a whole load of nothing and obvious from the start and feels like the conclusion serves absolutely no purpose unless there's a season 2. No character felt genuinely interesting apart from the North Korean woman I guess, because I wanted to hear more about her history and how she handles things.

I...like, I'd consider Extracurricular, Live (yes it's a show that portrays cops in a decent light and probably whitewashes things and starts slow but I felt way more interested about the characters and their internal processes than in this show) way more interesting pieces of Korean entertainment on Netflix than this piece. Hell, I'd say the same for Itaewon Class which becomes pretty comical/tropey occasionally or, hell, the Korean version of Designated Survivor.

Like, I want to underline again, the show is...competent and entertaining but nothing about it felt like it would be a hit. I can't be the only person thinking it feels bizarre.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

MiddleOne
Feb 17, 2011



I think it perfectly hits into people's nostalgia for The Hunger Games (which they've forgotten all about but their brains remember) and the anti-capitalism of Parasite. It just hits a lot of mainstream notes.

Khanstant
Apr 5, 2007

by Azathoth


withak posted:

The dub isn't that good, but also isn't awful if you hate reading subtitles for some reason.

Hard to read subtitles if you're not looking at the screen. The english dub is good but unfortunately audio description is only available for korean and the audio description is in korean

Adder Moray
Nov 18, 2010


Weldon Pemberton posted:

The first two episodes are the best. If you removed a couple of elements like the beginning of the cop side plot and everything with Oh Il-nam then they could just be a feature film by themselves about how poverty leads people down horrible paths because they feel they have no other choice.

The rest is good as well, just in a different way that isn't as unique.

I think Steve Yun is correct to point out that it's a different context in Korea as opposed to the West, and the writers were clearly trying to portray Ali sympathetically. But I still have mixed thoughts because I felt they struggled to achieve what they were trying to do. They avoided making him at all morally ambiguous to the point he comes off a bit flat compared to the other characters who are given similar screentime. Another fundamentally good character like Gi-hun has a lot more complexity because he is shown to not be completely saintly when he's in a weak position (e.g.: the effects of his gambling addiction on those in his life and the whole of episode 6). The closest it got to Ali seeming multi-faceted was when he clapped back at the player who started being racist towards him. IDK I don't want to be too harsh on the writers due to their good intentions and the fact that the situation may be so bad that he has to be portrayed that way for some Korean viewers to sympathize with him, but it was something that didn't really work for me either.
I would argue it's less of a matter of lacking any moral ambiguity so much as it is that he is the most moral of the characters we got to know. His actions outside of the game from a Kantian moral view were unquestionably wrong. His boss cheated him out of his money, yes. But a strict deontologist would tell you that that still didn't justify Ali attacking him or stealing the money he felt he was owed. Now, I don't suspect most folks here are strict adherents to deontological ethics of any stripe, so a lot of us (myself included) feel that he was right to take the money and the accident was just an accident. But that goes to my point that Ali was simply the most moral of everyone competing in the same way Sang-Woo and Deok-Su were at the other extreme.

(Well, Oh Il-Nam was the least moral, but we didn't know that until the end)

Chas McGill
Oct 29, 2010

loves Fat Philippe

On a shallow level, I first checked the show out because Netflix showed a thumbnail of the escheresque main hall and the guards in their visually striking uniforms. That got me to read the premise, and then I was into it. I was chatting with my boss about it the other day and he found it in a similar way.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat

Regarding Ali

Ali bring the most moral of all characters also emphasizes that being a Model Minority will not save you

Meanwhile fraudulent financial advisor Sangwoo is millions of dollars in debt and can rent nice hotels and throw money around to keep up appearances

punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

A shitty post? This calls for a dance of deduction.


Dessel posted:

I enjoyed this show to the end and thought it was competently executed and I don't mean to be a downer or saying anyone is wrong for enjoying the show but...

I legitimately am just completely dumbfounded that this show is such a phenomena. :psyduck: Like on the level that I feel like I'm living in some sort of bizarro world. Maybe it's my exposure to stuff like, I dunno, Danganronpa or something that has made me kinda numb for the premise. Like it genuinely feels like lack of current prestige TV show in combination with Netflix's algorithms made this show so popular by a happy coincidence.

Like the show doesn't feel like it has any real good hook. No real character development. Nothing that hooks you real good. I admit I'm not a smart watcher since I did not catch the Front Man's identity. The entire cop plot and its conclusion was a whole load of nothing and obvious from the start and feels like the conclusion serves absolutely no purpose unless there's a season 2. No character felt genuinely interesting apart from the North Korean woman I guess, because I wanted to hear more about her history and how she handles things.

I...like, I'd consider Extracurricular, Live (yes it's a show that portrays cops in a decent light and probably whitewashes things and starts slow but I felt way more interested about the characters and their internal processes than in this show) way more interesting pieces of Korean entertainment on Netflix than this piece. Hell, I'd say the same for Itaewon Class which becomes pretty comical/tropey occasionally or, hell, the Korean version of Designated Survivor.

Like, I want to underline again, the show is...competent and entertaining but nothing about it felt like it would be a hit. I can't be the only person thinking it feels bizarre.

There are a few things of how Squid Games became "The Final Fantasy VII of Korean Dramas".

#1: The show is an allegory for neoliberal capitalism.

This post expands on it more: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3980957&userid=170791#post518210146

But the show's core premise is people who have been swallowed up by the system trying to undergo a game to escape it. But the game is every bit as unfair as the system.

Sure the show is Korean, but I the issues it tackle are as relevant to someone living in Seoul as they are to someone living in Seattle. The main character's primary reason for joining the game is to pay for his mother's healthcare costs. How is that not relatable?

#2 The entire cast of characters is very relatable period:

To expand in the previous sentence, the main character, Gi-hun, lost his job ten years ago due to outsourcing, he soon divorced his wife and became an all but estranged father from his daughter. He has an addiction and his mom works all day. Her work is killing her as she needs to cover her healthcare costs but can't afford so. To save his mother and be closer to his daughter he joins the game. If you changed "Seong Gi-hun" to "Sean Gideon" you would never know that this character premise belonged to a Korean film. It's like it's ripped straight out of American life.

But let's explore further.

You also have Ali Abdul. A Pakistani immigrant who has trouble getting proper immigration and is taken advantage of at a dangerous low wage job. Due to his race he is in general looked down upon by most in society, but despite this does his best to fit in, at least for the time being. He takes a liking to Sang-woo who shows him kindness. Only for him to later get taken advantage of again. Again, how is this not something that Americans can't even passively relate to?

You can add something similar to Kang Sae-byeok. She's a refugee who is doing her best to hide from the government and reunite her family. Now to be fair, there is a bit of difference in nuance as she is more of a political refugee. But even that is up to the point as she even refuses to say that South Korea is better than the North. She is a refugee, a very intriguing and relatable plotline to many Americans.

The list goes on and on. But both the plot and cast are very relatable to Americans.

#3 The cast in general is very fun and leaves an impression:

The stereotype Americans have of Korean shows is that they are overly serious with very stoic characters and just lost in translation over the topness.

With Squid Games the characters are very fun to watch and are unique.

Sae-byeok - The street smart badass femme fatale
Deok-Su - The gangster who gets under your skin
Mi-Nyeo - The manipulative and fun crazy character
Oh Il-nam - The caring "grandfather" stand in that you can't help but love (until the reveal)

I mean heck, Ji-yeong was really only in the show for an episode and a half and left a huge impression with fanart everywhere.

Sure they may not be the deepest characters in the world, but they are very appealing and fun.


#4 The show has an interesting high concept premise:

It's a glamorous death game with a mega budget to back it up. I haven't watched Itawon Class but just reading the premise that's going to be a hard sell to people not used to watching foreign media. Not to say the premise of that show is poor at all, but blockbusters are blockbusters for a reason. They typically involve a simple premise that at the core is easy to understand and wow the audience with visuals and intense scenes. Telling someone that the main character of the show I'm watching is struggling to run a business and fight gangs might raise an eyebrow of intrigue but not much else. If I told the same person the main character of the show I'm watching is stuck in a hellscape playing pre-school playground games while all the other participants are getting their heads exploded by machine guns, then that might turn that person's head.


I will admit it's wild that a piece of Korean media is Netflix's biggest show ever and may be one of their most successful show's ever in the United States, but all in all it isn't too surprising as Squid Game checked a lot of boxes whether the producers/writers/director knew it or not.

punk rebel ecks fucked around with this message at 22:33 on Oct 3, 2021

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004



I thought the show was mostly really good and deserves its hype status, but was also a little uneven. I think it might be the best death game I've seen though? Having more context than usual for characters' lives outside of the game made it more compelling imo, thanks in large part to the "we have to go back to the island" twist with them leaving and coming back, which was extremely unexpected and good. On the less compelling side, I thought Front Man being the cop's brother was pretty obvious, and was disappointed that that plot line fell off a cliff. Seeing the backstage stuff was cool, but even if he survived, he obviously didn't change anything one year later.

If the show does get a second season, I don't think I'm expecting much. Gi-hun getting pulled into another game would probably suck, but him turning into a credible threat to the game outside of it would be pretty dumb too. I guess we could see how he becomes the new Front Man? Him not getting on the plane is the number one reason I think a season 2 would probably get ridiculous though, unless they mostly ignore him and do another game with him as a minimal presence somehow. Even there, they'd still have to find some kind of twist to not make it feel super repetitive/redundant and like pointless sadism.

Owlofcreamcheese
May 22, 2005
Probation
Can't post for 11 years!


Buglord

The dub is very very bad but somehow fits the show very well. It fits the weird exaggeration of the world.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat

I feel like the cop story is pretty complete if you view it through the lens of allegory

The brother won the game in 2015

Tells himself that because he won, the games (capitalism) are therefore fair

Becomes a true believer of the game, enforces fairness religiously

The only thing to do with it now is to have the Front Man battle it out ideologically with Gihun, both people who won the game but have different conclusions about it

Steve Yun fucked around with this message at 01:17 on Oct 4, 2021

Pinwiz11
Jan 26, 2009

I'm becom-, I'm becom-,
I'm becoming
Tana in, Tana in my mind.




Steve Yun posted:

I feel like the cop story is pretty complete if you view it through the lens of allegory

The brother won the game in 2015

Tells himself that because he won, the games (capitalism) are therefore fair

Becomes a true believer of the game, enforces fairness religiously

The only thing to do with it now is to have the Front Man battle it out ideologically with Gihun, both people who won the game but have different conclusions about it


That was my take as well. You could make a second season out of how the winners have chosen to spend/behave after winning. Who sides with Front Man? Who sides with 456?

I can understand how people felt let down by the ending but I'd have been sad if 456 just left after all that. LET'S HAVE VENGEANCE whenever they get around to shooting it in the future.

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004



The biggest problem is that Front Man clearly has access to unbelievably more resources than Gi-hun. It's not remotely a fair fight, and any situation where it becomes one is going to feel contrived as poo poo. He made it very clear that he knew where Gi-hun was during the call, and has no reason beyond the "fairness" thing not to just have him killed after that. (As an aside, he told the soldiers to keep an eye on the contestants who chose not to come back, but we never got any follow up on what happened with them.) I guess the cop is still alive since we never saw a body, and he could do something (???) to even the odds, or the rich freaks could decide they want to see winners compete with each other or something, but I don't have high hopes for getting a plot that makes much sense or has the same feeling of awful discovery in a follow up season.

punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

A shitty post? This calls for a dance of deduction.


I feel the best case scenario for the series continuing (which it definitely will) is that it will end up like Stranger Things. Later seasons may entertain me and not be all that bad, but it's a series that REALLY should have only had a single season.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat

Supposedly there is an interview with the director

He directed and wrote every single episode, and he had been working on the story since 2008. Back then it got rejected by everyone he shopped it to for being too wild

He said heís not even 100% sure that a second season will happen, and if it does happen, it will have to happen with an entire writers room and several directors. Iím guessing that he doesnít have solid plans for the second season, and the reason why the first season was so good was because he spent over a decade noodling with the story, kind of like how George Miller spent 10 years working on fury Road

Steve Yun fucked around with this message at 02:18 on Oct 4, 2021

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004



Am I crazy for thinking expanded universe content might sell? Like if they decided to tell the story of Front Man's game and what led to him being in the position he is now,I feel like that would be interesting, but probably not sufficient to make an entire new season. Though I guess there's no reason they couldn't make a special or something and also just throw it on Netflix. I feel like this is too successful not to continue in some way, and that filling in some backstory/showing another game might be easier/faster than immediately moving the show forward and dealing with the repercussions of this season.

meanolmrcloud
Apr 5, 2004

rock out with your stock out



Sinteres posted:

Am I crazy for thinking expanded universe content might sell? Like if they decided to tell the story of Front Man's game and what led to him being in the position he is now,I feel like that would be interesting, but probably not sufficient to make an entire new season. Though I guess there's no reason they couldn't make a special or something and also just throw it on Netflix. I feel like this is too successful not to continue in some way, and that filling in some backstory/showing another game might be easier/faster than immediately moving the show forward and dealing with the repercussions of this season.

Yea, I could see a second season if it heavily develops out Front Manís experience with the games, giving an alternative experience through the games and a concluding perspective that is in opposition the 456ís. If they intercut that with the present story, it might have enough juice to make another 8 episodes.

punchbuggy
Feb 16, 2011
[img]https://fi.somethingawful.com/images/newbie.gif[/img
]

Clapping Larry

It was enjoyable; a mash-up of the various Japanese ďdeath gameĒ movies/series. I hated the ending, though.
Since SG is a worldwide hit, I think if there is a sequel it will be about an international version of the games. There will be Americans and other international actors who will join Gi-Hun (Lee Jung-Jae) to play kidsí games from around the world. Maybe the contestants are all winners of their countriesí versions of SG. It would suck, but I can see something along those lines happening.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat

Squid Games Copenhagen starts with the interviewer being frustrated that the social welfare policies keep people out of desperate poverty, so heís only able to recruit skinheads and neo-nazis

Booty Pageant
Apr 20, 2012


seeing how squid game popped off on roblox got me thinking...

isn't this just fall guys but kdrama???

punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

A shitty post? This calls for a dance of deduction.


It would have been best if the show ended with Gi-hun getting on that plane so the director and his team can make a new series from the ground up. I can't imagine season 2 being anywhere near as good. No I don't care about loose ends.

Donnerberg
Dec 15, 2008



Hell Gem

Booty Pageant posted:

seeing how squid game popped off on roblox got me thinking...

isn't this just fall guys but kdrama???

Yup, in many ways. Fall Guys too had an entirely unexpected explosion in popularity.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012



Steve Yun posted:

The game is also massively rigged by the old man to make sure his son wins the game, another hallmark of capitalism.

Did I miss something important? I do not remember this

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat

Professor Shark posted:

Did I miss something important? I do not remember this

Fan theory that Gihun is the old manís long lost son because in episode 6 they both said they grew up in a neighborhood like the arena was dressed up as. Also Gihun said he canít stand regular milk and the old man said he had a son like that

The theory is that the old man ran the games looking for his son

Gorman Thomas
Jul 24, 2007


Watched the first episode, enjoyed it as a piece of media, but I don't think I'll finish the show. I do enjoy the directors absolute contempt for their audience. Is there a tonal shift in the rest of series or is it all as brutal as the first episode?

Khanstant
Apr 5, 2007

by Azathoth


Contempt for the audience? What?

First episode is probably most brutal, because it's the first time you see that poo poo happening and it happens to way more people at once than ever again.

I liked the ending okay, probably more than Alice in Borderland's ending (which reading the manga spoilers eventually leads to deeply disappointing conclusion, but the show doesn't have to necessarily). If the next season of Squid Game doesn't end with a guillotine though, I'm not sure I'd continue.

Ddakji question: Is it just a hard game of chance to win, or is there a major factor in the construction of the squares to make some of them much more effective than others? I guess what I'm wondering is if the smug ddakji man was rigging the games subtly making the squares shittier, or if he just got really skilled at it because it's what he does all day for a living.

Anonymous Zebra
Oct 21, 2005
Blending in like it ain't no thang

Khanstant posted:

Ddakji question: Is it just a hard game of chance to win, or is there a major factor in the construction of the squares to make some of them much more effective than others? I guess what I'm wondering is if the smug ddakji man was rigging the games subtly making the squares shittier, or if he just got really skilled at it because it's what he does all day for a living.

Ddakji is absolutely a game of physics. It's a game I've seen televised versions of in Korea and there is a skill in using your square to hit an exact location on the opponent's square. Much like Poker, it's a game that can be won with skill, but which many people without that skill still play and lose money at. Also it is a kid's game, so most kids suck at physics.

Teek
Aug 7, 2006

I can't wait to entertain you.


Any excuse to post Running Man:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J38_xGjkEe8

Gorman Thomas
Jul 24, 2007


Khanstant posted:

Contempt for the audience? What?

Probably not the correct language to use yeah. I'm more aggrieved by the reaction in the US and how the culture had metabolized it without any introspection on its own role in maintaining the structures that would allow the game to exist. I'll take this politics poo poo to cspam.

punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

A shitty post? This calls for a dance of deduction.


How is "Sweet Home" on Netflix?

Edit - Edited the question back in since it's been responded. Would love to hear other opinions. Sorry, thought this was the Streaming Thread when I typed it.

punk rebel ecks fucked around with this message at 17:32 on Oct 4, 2021

Donnerberg
Dec 15, 2008



Hell Gem

punk rebel ecks posted:

Is "Sweet Home" on Netflix good?

I liked the first few episodes of Sweet Home, but forgot about finishing it. Think it was a mix of location fatigue and the narrative losing momentum.

#Alive is also about people stuck in a Korean apartment complex during a zombie apocalypse, and it's more exciting imo.

grate deceiver
Jul 10, 2009

Just a funny av. Not a redtext or an own ok.


punk rebel ecks posted:

How is "Sweet Home" on Netflix?

It's extremely anime nonsense, but kinda entertaining? Loses steam by the end, but overall I enjoyed it.

goblin week
Jan 26, 2019



Khanstant posted:

Ddakji question: Is it just a hard game of chance to win, or is there a major factor in the construction of the squares to make some of them much more effective than others? I guess what I'm wondering is if the smug ddakji man was rigging the games subtly making the squares shittier, or if he just got really skilled at it because it's what he does all day for a living.

It was something that made me worry about the protagonist more because it established that he loving sucks at children's games!

Combat Pretzel
Jun 23, 2004

No, seriously... what kurds?!

I just watched the first episode. I presume the games are rigged? Because during that Red Light, Green Light game, people that were standing still were getting shot. Or was that just bad editing/filming?

Teek
Aug 7, 2006

I can't wait to entertain you.


Combat Pretzel posted:

I just watched the first episode. I presume the games are rigged? Because during that Red Light, Green Light game, people that were standing still were getting shot. Or was that just bad editing/filming?

Not per se. It does seem a little loose with editing but contextually it makes sense. You usually just see people stopping and not the camera specifically looking at them in the same shot, so it's hard to judge when it catches them. It's also basically down to whether the two cameras catch you or not. I think that's one of the reasons why you constantly see the cameras darting around trying to catch people. In that sense it's like playing with a real person, as they may or may not catch you over other people playing.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat

Combat Pretzel posted:

I just watched the first episode. I presume the games are rigged? Because during that Red Light, Green Light game, people that were standing still were getting shot. Or was that just bad editing/filming?

I think they fudged it a little for audience shock value

The games are rigged but not in that way. Theyíre unfair in a way where the people running it can pretend to themselves that itís fair

LinkesAuge
Sep 7, 2011


ElectricSheep posted:

I'm halfway through, it's pretty awesome and as someone not too familiar with South Korean media outside of like Bong Joon-Ho I'm pretty much like dang, economic stratification over there must be crazy cuz it's been a running theme in like everything I've happened to see

Countries like South Korea went through the western type of development in record speed and in S. Korea's case it was even under a military regime until 1987 (people tend to forget that SK is a pretty young democracy) while having a country to the north dominated by "Communism" (quotes because there it really is just authoritarianism).
Economic inequality in South Korea is similar to most western european countries and still better than in the USA (see Gini coefficient) but it's harder to ignore the negative sides of capitalism in a society which transitioned so fast into it (less time to culturally fully assimilate certain western influences) and not even as a true democracy which is another "interesting" factor in the asian world.
In the west you often associate capitalism with "freedom" (democracy) but there are now plenty of examples in asia that successfully merged authoritarianism (or at least strong authoritarian elements) with a competetive capitalistic economy, one prime example of this is obviously Singapore (and ironically enough China though they certainly have twisted western capitalism as much as "communism").
This in my humble opinion leads to a very different approach in regards to topics like wealth inequality and the existing pressures under capitalism. It's also not as directly targeted at the pure economical theory, the critique in a lot of "asian" media seems to deeply care about the human element and how these societal systems/structures affect us. That's why media of this kind doesn't devolve into just rather superficial critique of "capatalism bad" but likes to explore how the system corrupts us while at the same time keeping us all as players in it. There are many inherent contradictions and never any easy answers/solutions . There are literally no "winners" in these stories, neither here nor in Parasite and so on => the personal tradegy of the characters is a reflection of a larger scale tragedy we can't escape though there is usually a glimmer of hope at the end so it at least suggests that change might be possible (without ever making it a statement about political ideology, it's always kept on a human/personal level).

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat



Halloween plans sorted

Khanstant
Apr 5, 2007

by Azathoth


Gorman Thomas posted:

Probably not the correct language to use yeah. I'm more aggrieved by the reaction in the US and how the culture had metabolized it without any introspection on its own role in maintaining the structures that would allow the game to exist. I'll take this politics poo poo to cspam.

I guess I haven't seen anyone say anything about the show outside here and chat thread, so I just don't know what that means specifically here, but it seems to be the running theme with any anti-capitalist media, ignoring the fact that capitalism is making that media, but idk, seems like plenty of people are very well aware of how their own societies and themselves participate and enable the system and why that's bad and sucks and how it applies to literally any problem or issue in the world essentially.

I can think of countless real world events or popular media that I would've thought would be the "get the guillotines" moment for the masses, so maybe I'm just desensitized at this point.

punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

A shitty post? This calls for a dance of deduction.


LinkesAuge posted:

Countries like South Korea went through the western type of development in record speed and in S. Korea's case it was even under a military regime until 1987 (people tend to forget that SK is a pretty young democracy) while having a country to the north dominated by "Communism" (quotes because there it really is just authoritarianism).
Economic inequality in South Korea is similar to most western european countries and still better than in the USA (see Gini coefficient) but it's harder to ignore the negative sides of capitalism in a society which transitioned so fast into it (less time to culturally fully assimilate certain western influences) and not even as a true democracy which is another "interesting" factor in the asian world.
In the west you often associate capitalism with "freedom" (democracy) but there are now plenty of examples in asia that successfully merged authoritarianism (or at least strong authoritarian elements) with a competetive capitalistic economy, one prime example of this is obviously Singapore (and ironically enough China though they certainly have twisted western capitalism as much as "communism").
This in my humble opinion leads to a very different approach in regards to topics like wealth inequality and the existing pressures under capitalism. It's also not as directly targeted at the pure economical theory, the critique in a lot of "asian" media seems to deeply care about the human element and how these societal systems/structures affect us. That's why media of this kind doesn't devolve into just rather superficial critique of "capatalism bad" but likes to explore how the system corrupts us while at the same time keeping us all as players in it. There are many inherent contradictions and never any easy answers/solutions . There are literally no "winners" in these stories, neither here nor in Parasite and so on => the personal tradegy of the characters is a reflection of a larger scale tragedy we can't escape though there is usually a glimmer of hope at the end so it at least suggests that change might be possible (without ever making it a statement about political ideology, it's always kept on a human/personal level).

Pretty much. To the West, capitalism and economic freedom are lumped in as social progress. Even today people are calling for social democracy at most outside of extremely online people (e.g. CSPAM). It's also impossible, especially in the United States, to talk about income inequality and its effects without mentioning race. In Korean media the downtrodden is "your brother" (Sangwoo and Gi-hun literally have such a relationship). in the West (particularly in the United States) it's "the other". Imagine if most players in the game were like Ali, imagine if a large portion of them had relatives in the African slave trade. This leads to a mass intertangled web of tons of connections that go beyond "pay poor people more" that worries others. Imagine trying to convince Han Mi-nyeo that the people she did a quip about of not having a green card begin moving to her neighborhood. It's a much harder sell and difficult topic to discuss because when tackling income inequality she won't necessarily see the bad guys as the full on villains that they are.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004



Khanstant posted:

If the next season of Squid Game doesn't end with a guillotine though, I'm not sure I'd continue.

I feel like the most optimistic an ending for this can realistically be is that Front Man goes down somehow, but is either flat out replaced by Gi-hun (with the understanding that he can reform the game to be more moral somehow), or the game continues elsewhere under new management. Maybe some VIPs can get taken out in the crossfire, but Gi-hun ultimately triumphing over international capital is laughably corny to me.

Just as a comparison, if Parasite had ended with the dream ending being real, it would have ruined the whole movie. I just don't see any way to make art that engages with real world conditions that has that kind of happily ever after poo poo without feeling fake as hell.

Dr Kool-AIDS fucked around with this message at 20:40 on Oct 4, 2021

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply