If you’re watching Squid Game, please put on the subtitles | Emma Kay

Squid Game is now officially Netflix’s most watched series.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 1:28 pm
Updated Friday, 12th November 2021, 1:28 pm
A still from Squid Game. Picture by Noh Juhan/Netflix

Considered a very unlikely contender in the online streaming ladder, but it has risen above the rest.

It is a heart-racing Korean dystopian drama, where people are pitted against one another in a desperate bid to survive, and boasts more than 11m viewers.

The story has a macabre and dark content where desperate contestants risk their lives to escape debt. The nail-biting, heartfelt action keeps you on your toes but the show brings something else as well, an inescapable razor-sharp mirror about the very real economic exploitation in contemporary Korea.

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Oh, and there is a great deal of gore too, set against a cheery pastel placed aesthetic, so not really the best viewing for children.

Not only that but Squid Game carries echoes of popular suspenseful shows like Lost and Battle Royale. Squid Game is no different because it hits a powerful chord with so many all around the world. That kind of desperation resonates with a lot of people despite the language barrier. The unashamedly harsh critique of capitalism and portrayal of class anxiety are very real in the series.

Never before has something from another part of the world reached such high acclaim on Netflix and considered to be a tremendous achievement. As a lifelong fan of K-drama television shows like Liar’s Game and Korean comics (Manhwa) such as Sweet and Sensitive, it brings me great joy to see shows that would not usually get a look in in the normal blockbuster spotlight. However, the majority of viewers have watched the dubbed version without subtitles.

Being exposed to other cultures and other countries’ own eccentricities, language and culture can put you on a stepping stone to opening your views on the world around you and it is always for the better. Facial expression, tone and emotion carry important messages that translate regardless of any language barrier.

However, critics have argued that cultural references and overall tone are snipped out in favour of neatly sandwiching the language into more easily recognisable English, and well, t he y are not wrong about that.

Watching media in the intended language provides the raw copy with no shortcuts. No easy washed-out version that has been subdued for a non-Korean audience. It gives you the version the director wanted you to see. Even if you are only able to watch the dubbed version I urge you to put on the subtitles as well so that you get the best of both worlds. Swallow your aversion to subtitles and give it a chance.

You’ll get so much more from your viewing.

A Christmas cracker

People do not really give enough credit to Keydell Nurseries in Horndean.

They have been going above and beyond for many years and have a well-earned reputation as one of the calendar-marked Christmas events, so why are so few people talking about it?

Walking into the garden centre is a proper critically acclaimed Christmas cracker.

The Christmas aisle alone is such a vast array of twinkling rainbow lights you feel as though you have walked through a fairyland of multi-coloured penguins, polar bears and darling little elves. Sure, there is the sweet gamey scent of reindeer to contend with as our hooved friends are trotted out every year, but it is all part of the holiday experience.

The miniature Christmas village with its twinkling lights is so adorable the youngsters stare wide eyed at the spectacle.

You are transported to a winter wonderland with relative ease. If you have never been, start early.

My new favourite treat

I discovered something new for the taste buds the other day. A brilliant buttery American creation that I was woefully ignorant of until recently.

A swirly sweetmeat of yellow that is super easy to make and good for a quick snack on cold winter days. Move over hot soup and say ‘hello’ to butter noodles.

Although they didn’t take off in Italy, the traditional ‘home’ of pasta, it was in San Francisco where they came to the forefront of quick snacks in the 1970s. Butter noodles are now a likely contender to becoming one of my new relished dishes.

Probably not the healthiest of my new found obsessions, but remarkably tasty. The strange melding of flavours works exceedingly well. Simply boil some egg noodles adding a smattering of salt to the water. Then drain and mix in some golden butter.

It sounds strange but the taste is rather unique and delish.