How Is ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ Different from the Hit TV Series?

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The hit TV show ‘Squid Game’ took the world by storm in 2021, and the immense popularity of the show has led to the creation of a spin-off reality TV show called ‘Squid Game: The Challenge.’ While the brutal violence of ‘Squid Game’ was part of what appealed to viewers, thankfully, the reality TV version obviously didn’t kill off the contestants. What else is different in ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’? Here are some of the biggest changes.

A Safer Experience

Not only were the contestants in ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ not at any risk of death, but there were also measures put into place to protect them from general harm. For example, in episode seven of ‘Squid Game’, the contestants were required to walk across one of two identical glass bridges. One bridge was built from sturdy glass they could walk across safely, while the other was built of brittle glass that would cause the contestants to fall to their deaths.

In ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’, the glass bridges had large airbags below them to catch anyone who fell. Even with this safety measure in place, for liability reasons, the show chose to have stunt doubles film the falls for each contestant. None of the contestants actually fell at all.

A Smaller Prize for the Winner

In the original TV series ‘Squid Game’, the winner of the competition was promised a potential cash prize of up to ₩45.6 billion for each competitor who died. ₩45.6 billion is equal to just over US$35.1 million, a hefty prize.

While the prize for ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ isn’t quite as large as the fictional show’s prize, at $4.56 million, it’s still a massive sum of money. In fact, the show boasts the largest single cash prize in reality TV history.

TV Series vs. Reality Show Production

While ‘Squid Game’ is a meticulously crafted TV series with high production values, ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ takes on the format of a reality show.

The original series is known for its stunning visuals, intricate set designs, and dramatic storytelling. However, ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ focuses more on capturing the raw emotions and reactions of the contestants, meaning it doesn’t have quite the same level of cinematic design.

Set Design Changes

While the challenges of each episode are all the same between ‘Squid Game’ and ‘Squid Game: The Challenge,’ there are some minor differences in set design between the two shows. For example, the famous first episode, which includes the game “Red Light, Green Light,” included a real tree in ‘Squid Game’ but a fake painted tree in the reality TV adaptation. Some of these decisions were most likely made for budget reasons and to make set design and building easier for the studio.

Where Can You Watch ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’?

‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ is available for viewing on Netflix along with the original show. On December 6th, the day the final episode aired, Netflix announced that the show had been renewed for a second season. A timeline for the new season hasn’t yet been revealed.