Netflix's new Squid Game show out this week may not live up to the original series

A tricky act to follow

Squid Game Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

How do you follow up a massive commercial and critical hit? It's a problem that's plagued bands, directors and writers for decades, but Netflix has come up with an unusual answer for its runaway smash Squid Game. A second series of the scripted show is in the works but first (November 22nd to be precise) we're invited to the first-ever Squid Game reality show. But don't worry, it's not quite as dangerous. 

Squid Game: The Challenge looks set to redefine reality TV with massive production values and a ludicrous $4.56 million prize that has to be won. Perhaps that explains all of the Netflix price hikes. In all seriousness, Netflix has clearly bet big on this show, but will it pay off?

Amongst critics, it seems like a polarising series. There isn't yet a Rotten Tomatoes score on the board but prominent reviewers have vastly different takes. 

The Guardian's Rebecca Nicholson was won over and awarded the series 4 stars, describing it as an "unapologetic spectacle". Jasper Rees of The Telegraph also was impressed and gave a 4/5 rating while The Independent's Nick Hilton was also positive with a 3-star rating.

That's the good news, but there have also been plenty of naysayers. Collider described it as a "shameless and opportunistic attempt by Netflix to capitalize on the success of the original series" and they're not alone, TV Guide branded it a "perverse misfire." Ouch. The original series has an incredible 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it doesn't sound like we can expect such a great rating on the aggregator this time. 

Interestingly, Prime Video launched a similar show last month with massive cash prizes. 007: Road to a Million was less than well received by critics with 41% on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences loved it, rewarding it with 88% on the same site. 

Of course that doesn't mean you won't enjoy watching, and I am absolutely going to get my green jumpsuit ready and tune in. It is a piece of television history after all. 

Even if reality TV isn't your thing, Netflix has a lot in the pipeline, including a Natalie Portman gem that's only just been in the cinema.

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.