The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.

Cash, chaos and controversy

‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ mixes feelings with hits and misses
The 7 different contestants featured in this picture have various emotions, from determination to despair. It shows the intensity of the show as participants are competing for a $4.56 million prize. Beyond the cash, there are also many friendships forming and emotions escalate as the competition gets near the end.

One of Netflix’s latest sensations, “Squid Game: The Challenge,” isn’t just a copy-paste of the iconic survival drama. It’s a thrilling remix that turns the original show into reality television. Imagine the intense games from the original but without the life-or-death drama. Now, it’s all about winning a whopping $4.56 million.

Netflix created this show after the big success of its predecessor. In this version, 456 players take on iconic games for cash, minus the deadly consequences. Unlike the serious content in the original, these players are more interested in selfies and self-improvement than deep societal messages.

As the games go on, contestants drop, and personalities shine. The show includes a lot of the characters’ backstories, creating a connection between the players and viewers. There’s a mix of seasoned reality stars and regular folks. Some bring humor; others add high stakes. When eliminations hit, it’s not just about losing—it’s about feeling the humanity behind the competition. The big question: Is the game messing with people’s morals?

Some love the chaos, while others say it’s missing the deeper meaning of the original. Netflix wants to turn hits into gold mines, but it seems they’ve missed the mark a bit. They poured serious cash into the production, crafting a narrative where alliances shift like quicksand. Unlike the original, “Squid Game: The Challenge” adds social tests to the mix. It’s not just about winning games; players create alliances and dodge drama.

Reviews are all over the place. People find it entertaining, but there’s this nagging feeling that maybe reality television isn’t all fun and games. Personally, I didn’t enjoy watching it more than the original. “Squid Game: The Challenge” is a lot about social dynamics, but loses some of the raw intensity. Reports of contestants collapsing and game rigging also dampen the excitement.

The show keeps you guessing. Mai Whelan, the 55-year-old Navy Seal from Fairfax County who went from changing diapers as a neglected mother at 19, to cashing in big and being the winner of this TV show. This retired mom went through all the challenges, proving that age is just a number. Her story reflects the diverse journeys of all participants, each with a unique reason to play. 

One contestant, player number 432, is like the reality show villain. Although arrogant and annoying, he adds drama, which is precisely what a show like this needs. Early in the game, he steps up as a bossy leader, rounding up others for a friend group. He bullies others, from disputes on bunk arrangements to threatening players. He acts like he knows everything in a game no one fully understands. The editors make sure we see every moment of this overly confident former college football player at his most unbearable.

Then there’s a Battleship challenge, and guess what? Player 432 thinks he’s a Battleship genius. Now, how someone becomes a pro at a game based on lucky guesses is beyond me, but 432 is dead sure he’s the best at it. 

While the show hints that money makes people act badly, I get a vibe that 432 would act like this even for free. But I started feeling a tiny bit sorry for 432 and his buddies when I heard about the show possibly crossing some lines with human rights during filming.

The chilly conditions during the recreation of the infamous Red Light, Green Light game led to medics being summoned, exposing contestants to freezing temperatures as low as -3 degrees Celsius. The freezing conditions, as well as the demand for contestants to remain motionless, resulted in some experiencing what they described as “frostbite-like” conditions. Despite the evidence from players, Netflix and the producers deny these allegations of unsafe conditions, saying they prioritized safety. Contestants were equipped with minimal clothing and ‘blood vests” for dramatic effect, blurring the fine line between entertainment and ethical concerns. 

“Squid Game: The Challenge” is a wild reality ride, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Whether you’re in for the cash drama or questioning the ethics behind the scenes, it leaves you wondering if reality television is more tricky than the games themselves.

The burning question – is another season in the cards? Yes, there is another season coming out, and there is a casting sign up out. Buckle up, and play some intense games for a big prize.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

Information about our comments policy can be found here:
All tjTODAY Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *