I'll pass on the stress of Squid Game and stick with the comfort of a rewatch - Alexander Brown

Have you watched Squid Game? Because 111 million people across 80 countries have tuned into the Netflix show so far, making it the streaming giant's biggest debut hit.

What’s more, this doesn’t appear to be one of those popular things that is actually rubbish like Love Island or McDonald’s, with the dystopian South Korean drama receiving rave reviews.

Critics have labelled it a “provocative morality tale” and lauded its "social commentary" and "tender core", which all sounds rather good if you skip the rest of the review.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Because as well as all that, everyone is talking about its brutality, violence, and describing the need to watch it between their fingers, which frankly just doesn’t sound very nice.

Squid Game. Picture: Noh Juhan/Netflix

Now I am not that squeamish a person, having looked at the screen for at least 75 per cent of Kill Bill.

But I am just not interested in seeing bad things happen to people.

I’m sure it’s good. I’m sure it’s very moving. But having had a horrible 18 months I am not interested in sitting down for some critically acclaimed anxiety.

And it’s not just the violence, and not just Squid Game I am not inclined to try.

It’s the very premise of something new, something I don’t know if I’ll like and then feeling like I’ve wasted an evening.

As the days shorten, we are all going to spend more time indoors, which so often seems to involve spending ages choosing what to watch, picking something bad, giving up then deciding it’s too late to start something else.

So often I am told about a brilliant new show, the latest Netflix or BBC drama that everyone cannot stop talking about.

Having sat through Sex Education, I can say I enjoyed the memes it was almost certainly written to create far more than the seemingly endless episodes they come from.

I just don’t think I’m inclined to try new things. When my Spotify tells me one of my favourite artists has released new music, I see it more as a reminder to dip back into old favourites.

It’s the same with television and films. I believe people when they tell me something is good, but am I going to find it more comforting then yet another Sopranos rewatch? Almost certainly not.

Is that new comedy everyone is raving about going to be more nourishing then returning to Seinfeld and spending time with characters I love and miss? No.

No new on-screen couple will fill me with the same warmth as seeing Jesse and Céline miss each other’s glances in Before Sunrise.

There is comfort in a rewatch. Revisiting stories half remembered, spending time with old friends, or getting jokes you missed the first time.

And it’s even better showing someone else these favourites for the first time.

A rewatch with a friend is like taking someone to a restaurant you love, and the same joy of seeing a smile spread across their face when they take that first bite or episode.

I know the things I love, and watching them again with friends or partners only makes the memories around them even stronger.

I’m sure I’ll try Squid Game eventually. But right now I’ll stick with the stories I love to get me through as the nights draw darker.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.