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One of Neflix's most controversial shows is getting another season

Fans will be happy, naysayers will not...

One of Neflix's most controversial shows is getting another season
Marc Chacksfield
07 December 2023

Netflix has had its fair share of controversy but its latest reality show is perhaps one of its most controversial yet - and it is doubling down on it, announcing that there will be a second series.

Squid Game: The Challengers is a reality version of Squid Game - which is high up in our best Netflix shows list.

The original Korean drama series was a searing ant-capitalist indictment of the Korean economy, channeling the country's on-going debt crisis into a dystopian story, where those on the brink of losing everything get the chance to win big money by partaking in a number of childhood games. The kicker: if you lose, you die.

Now, the reality series version of Squid Game dilutes this theme somewhat. Thankfully the idea of death has been taken out of the equation - although shots are fired, they are blanks and contestants have to feign their own death.

It's not really subverting the idea of how debt brings you to extremes, either, more focusing on regular folks who just want to win a boatload of cash. Couple this with news of some of the contestants suffering injuries while taking part and it's all a little uneasy.

One of Neflix's most controversial shows is getting another season
Image Credit: Netflix

Is it exploitative? Well, some reviewers think so.

Collider notes that: “The reality show is cruel, exploitative, and handles everything with a distasteful approach, revelling in the contestants' breakdowns for entertainment."

Slant reckons the show is a “morally bankrupt drag,” and that “some of the original show’s rounds simply aren’t that entertaining when actual lives aren’t at stake.”

The Evening Standard explains: “Without the fear of imminent execution or the powerful and engaging back stories of the original, The Challenge becomes just another reality show featuring personalities you feel might benefit from exposure to high calibre ballistics.”

The Independent is a little less harsh, saying in its review: “The fear of death and anti-capitalist themes may have been replaced by a rabid consumerism (an apt metaphor for modern America, if not an intentional one), but Squid Game: The Challenge is obviously an epic of its genre."

While The Daily Beast says: “It still manages to stand up to the original show, with new twists that match up to Squid Game’s intrigue—which is saying a lot, considering how thrilling the original was. While the controversies around its treatment of players are valid concerns, and pushback against its premise is warranted, so too is the popularity this masterful reality series will likely garner."

Whatever your take, Netflix has revealed that a second season is confirmed and did it on the day it streamed the S1 finale, which is a pretty decent stunt if you ask us.

Oh, and if you thought that the reality series was a step away from the original show's intentions then it's also released a mock poster of its latest animation, Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget, where it apes Squid Game.

Good luck explaining that joke to your children.