Squid Game, a dystopian sci-fi series about people so desperate for money they’re willing to participate in a series of dangerous games for the chance of winning a grand prize at the end, remains the most successful series in Netflix history. While we wait for season 2, Netflix put together a reality show where it ran real people through the games contestants played on the original show: Squid Game: The Challenge.
In the original series, the games are a cruel, exploitative form of torture people only participate in because they’re trapped in an oppressive economic system. You might say that making a reality show based on that is in bad taste, but the numbers don’t lie: Squid Game: The Challenge has been a success for Netflix, so much so that they’re going to renew it for a second season, according to Deadline.
This news comes ahead of the season 1 finale, which drops tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST. This show had an interesting release schedule. The first five episodes dropped on November 22, the next four on November 29, and the finale tonight. Netflix continues to try to inch away from the binge model of dropping every episode of a new season all at once.
The show has been popular, but also beset by scandal. Contestants have threatened legal action after claiming they suffered hypothermia and nerve damage during filming. (“It was cold,” responded executive producer Tim Harcourt.) Other contestants have claimed that the show was rigged. For instance, they claim that during the Red Light, Green Light game, influencers whom the show wanted to advance were outfitted with real microphones while everyone else wore fake ones. They also said that the Red Light, Green Light game took hours to film, with contestants having to stand still for up to 30 minutes while medics attended to people suffering from the cold temperatures.
But all the abuse may be an afterthought tonight when someone goes home with a $4.56 million grand prize. Maybe this spinoff did understand the original show. As for Squid Game season 2, there’s no word on a release date.