‘Bargain’ Isn’t The Next ‘Squid Game’ – But It Isn’t An Inappropriate Comparison
It’s inevitable that comparisons will be made between the new Korean drama ‘Bargain’ and the all-conquering ‘Squid Game’ that racked up 1.65 billion viewing hours in its first 28 days on Netflix, becoming the most watched show in the platform’s history.
Part survival battle, part disaster movie and part horrifying satire on capitalism, the new series on Paramount+ is innovative and fascinating. Watch even one minute and you’ll be hooked. Bargain is being released at once, so it is technically bingeable.
Bargain Review: It’s Clever And Addictive
It’s time to note down their savage similarities. Both Bargain and Squid Game are an addictive blend of relentless tension and escalating depravity. Both are great at making viewers think “things can’t possibly get any worse” before proving them wrong in another scene.
Nonetheless, Bargain isn’t the next Squid Game. Nothing is. But it isn’t an entirely inappropriate comparison, especially in thematic terms. Both shows use an elaborate genre exercise for a class critique in which the elite are literally preying on the economically disadvantaged.
The new Korean drama begins with a horrible negotiation between Park Joo Young (Jun Jong-seo) offering to sell her virginity to Noh Hyung Soo (Jin Sun-kyu) in an isolated hotel for $1,000. Hyung Soo expresses pleasure that the young woman looks like her picture.
But he doubts her virginity and demands to see blood. Then he tries to bargain down the agreed-upon price, one of several ways in which the title of the series is literal. The whole situation is gross. But things are going to get worse, don’t worry!
Bargain Is More Complex – Why?
Joo Young is not an 18-year-old high school junior. She is an operator in an organ trafficking ring and Hyung Soo is also not who he claims to be. He is soon subjected to an auction, selling off bits and pieces to the highest bidders.
Exacerbating things even more, the hotel is soon rocked by an earthquake and then a landslide. Bargain has grown out of an award-winning 2015 short film of the same name. The television version is directed by Jeon Woo-sung, who was involved in making the original.