Netflix’s violent, survivalist drama Squid Game has become a cultural phenomenon, captivating viewers and igniting global conversations. While the Korean miniseries is only 9 episodes long and filled with gruesome scenes, people can’t seem to turn away from the storyline, weighty themes, and commentaries on issues like debt.
Created by filmmaker Hwang Dong-Hyuk, the show tells a compelling narrative of people who have fallen into economic hardships, as the episodes follow a group of people lured to compete in a gameshow with a cash prize for the winner. If players are eliminated from the round, they are killed.
Podsauce has rounded up some Squid Game podcast episodes filled with analysis, episode recaps, and show reviews in case you already finished the show and need more content to grasp with your tentacles. Or if you’re looking for companion listens, check out the following list.
Pop Culture Happy Hour
In this episode of NPR’s “Pop Culture Happy Hour,” Steven Thompson speaks with writer Amil Niazi and columnist Jae-Hwa Kim on Squid Game. They talk about Squid Game’s success in over 90 countries, the plot, the character-driven narrative, and tense thematics. The three co-hosts also unpack the show’s acting performances, casting decisions, and how Netflix gets viewers to binge the show with extreme cliffhangers at the end of each episode. They explored additional Korean dramas that have similar elements which aren’t as graphically presented as in Squid Game. For example, they mentioned TV shows Taxi Driver and Move to Heaven. The hosts also explored similarities with films like Parasite, Hostel, and Escape Room. FYI, it’s filled with spoilers, so listen at your own risk.
The Ringer’s “The Watch” is hosted by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan to discuss films, TV, and pop culture in their weekly episodes. They get into the Squid Game‘s specifics, compare and contrast the first and second half of the season, and explain how this show was originally pitched as a film over ten years ago. Andy and Chris both love the show and are eager for more episodes. They believe episode 6 “Marbles” is the best episode which is followed by the weakest episode, Episode 7, in their opinion. A must-listen if you’ve already watched the show and/or are looking for spoilers.
Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang host “Las Culturistas,” a Big Money Players Network and iHeartRadio presentation. In this episode, we learn that Bowen liked Squid Game while it’s panic-inducing for Matt, and he could not watch past the first episode. Bowen believed Matt was missing out, but knows his reaction to Squid Game is valid, and says to avoid future episodes since he had such a strong, negative reaction to it. They compared the show to the video game, Breath of the Wild. In this episode, among other topics like Vanessa Carlton, soda machines, and art, the hosts explore fear as a concept and emotion. Matt and Bowen get into Squid Game around the 11-minute mark. They’ve deemed this one of their “smartest episodes of all time,” and the hosts analyze violence in cartoons and violent person-to-person scenes in TV and film. Bowen and Matt discussed the different portrayals of American media violence vs. Asian media violence. Later in this episode, they get into spooky season discussions such as haunted house culture and Kyle Richards’ role in the film, Halloween Kills.
Squid Game Podcast: A You Don’t Know Jackie View
Looking for some episode recaps? “Squid Game Podcast: A You Don’t Know Jackie View” has you covered. Listen in for play-by-play takes of Squid Game’s episodes. This series is hosted by Jackie from the “You Don’t Know Jackie” film review podcast and his Squid Gang. The average episode length is an hour.
Fun with Dumb
This episode of “Fun with Dumb” is loaded with Squid Game spoilers and hosted by rapper Dumbfoundead, Steffie Baik, and their producer Alex. The co-hosts unpack the Games and wondered how this kind of contest could really happen if times got desperate enough. Steffie discussed the show’s similarities to films like Battle Royale and Hunger Games but with more colorful set designs and complex characters. They discussed their favorite characters, why some characters were the worst, their deaths, and what their actors post on social media. In terms of the games, Dumbfoundead had only previously heard of the paper, pog-like game. Steffie said she was familiar with all the games from her Korean family, and played some of them when she lived with her grandparents growing up. The hosts debate who, out of the three hosts, would win the Games. For more with Dumbfoundead, tune in to his live Twitch on Tuesdays at 1PM and new episodes of “Fun with Dumb” are posted biweekly.