Squid Game season 1 caught audiences’ attention with its brutal children’s games, but season 2 might be wise to steer the show in a different direction. The Netflix series used its brutality to tell a story about the inequality between economic classes, and it was wildly successful. Of course, it takes more than one winning season for a show to be deemed a triumph, so Squid Game season 2 will need to follow up with something equally good (if not better)—but the shock factor may not be the way to go.
The “red light, green light” game at the start of Squid Game season 1 shocked the audience since the brutality and gore of the event were beyond what anyone had expected. This carried on throughout the rest of the season as, game after game, more players were murdered in terrible ways and added more money to the winning pot. By the end, hundreds had died, and Gi-hun was too traumatized to enjoy his winnings. These bloody games were the staple of Squid Game season 1, but season 2 must take a different angle to achieve the same success.
Why Squid Game Season 2 Can’t Match Season 1
The resounding positive feedback for Squid Game is proof that the jolting brutality in season 1 achieved precisely the reaction it had been going for. Just like the players couldn’t resist but keep playing, audiences couldn’t keep themselves from watching more and more—both disgusted and fascinated by the terrible Squid Game games. However, by the end of season 1, brutality had become the norm, and the shock value was lost. Now, Squid Game season 2 is at a disadvantage since it cannot hope to match this exact level of disturbing appeal.
If Squid Game season 2 were to return to the same formula as season 1, it would likely lose viewers’ interest. Audiences loved what they saw, but repeating the same level and type of brutality would feel like hopelessly attempting to recreate a good thing. Additionally, if season 2 continues to focus around Gi-hun, diving back into the games again would do little to propel his character arc forward since he had already been there and done that.
Squid Game Can Do More In Season 2
At the end of Squid Game season 1, Gi-hun turned away from the plane that would have taken him to his daughter in the United States and vowed to do whatever it took to end the games. There is still so much about these bloody events that Gi-hun—and audiences—still don’t understand. Therefore, instead of following the next batch of games like season 1, Squid Game season 2 must provide viewers with a different angle.
The previous games mainly took the players’ perspective, so all the bloody details were up close and personal. However, if Squid Game season 2 zooms out and reveals a broader picture of the inner workings and structure of the games, it can shock audiences in a whole new way. Sure, there can still be plenty of gruesome Squid Game character deaths. However, this should no longer be the focus of Squid Game. If the show is to continue to be successful, it needs to demonstrate that it has several effective notes to play.
MORE: Squid Game Season 2’s Story Has A Major Gi-hun Problem