We knew Netflix’s Squid Game reality show was coming sometime in November, and now we have an exact premiere date of November 22. This puts the release just in time for Thanksgiving, so you can celebrate the holiday by watching a reality show adaptation of a dystopian drama that shined a light on the brutal horrors of late-stage capitalism. Heartwarming fun!
Squid Game: The Challenge is a 10-episode series that features over 450 contestants competing in events inspired by the TV show, in addition to some brand-new challenges. There’s no bloodshed, of course, but there is a $4.56 million prize for the winner, which Netflix says is the largest reality show payout of all time.
There are also plenty of other nods to the source material here, including that terrifying “red light, green light” doll and contestant costumes straight from the show. The shot and framing choices also call to mind the dystopian drama.
We don’t yet live in the kind of capitalist hellscape the Korean series depicted, but we’re getting there. To that end, the filming of this reality show made headlines when players faced health emergencies after being exposed to brutally cold temperatures during one of the contests. One producer told The Sun that “even if hypothermia kicked in, people were willing to stay for as long as possible because a lot of money was on the line,” going on to add that “there were people arriving thinking they were going to be millionaires but they left in tears.”
In just over a month, we can all watch actual humans suffer for a potential payout that they only have a 1 in 456 chance of snagging. What a glorious time to be alive. To be fair, other grueling reality shows like Naked and Afraid don’t even offer a cash prize, so that’s something.
The original Squid Game is Netflix’s most popular series of all time, by hours viewed, besting Stranger Things, Wednesday, The Witcher and even the universally beloved Real Rob (sarcasm.) So The Challenge was something of a foregone conclusion, considering the runaway success of the source material. It’s also worth noting that Squid Game season 2 is also coming, but there’s no release date yet.