Last year, we shared about a Chinese blogger poking fun of Luckin Coffee, once the promising star to convert the nation of 1.4 billion non-coffee drinkers into coffee drinkers. 

The prolific blogger, Banfo Xianren, just posted something about the globally popular Netflix series Squid Game. We thought some of the viewpoints were quite interesting: 

  1. The article’s title is “Squid Game is deep, because it is sufficiently shallow”;

  2. While the show has good industrial production, it is neither new (the Japanese had made a number of shows on the topic) nor deep (again the crown goes to the Japanese here);

  3. The key to Squid Game’s success is: it is shallow enough that everyone understands, but it has a bit of depth to set people thinking;

  4. It is shallow in the following ways: 
    1. The children’s games are so simple that everyone, no matter which culture you are in, understands;
    2. The whole show, structured in six games, is easy to follow – just think about computer games; 
    3. The allusions are simple and easy to resonate: e.g. the rich and the powerful abuse the rest of the world; 
    4. In a word, everyone can understand, follow and discuss (many Japanese shows are too deep to achieve this); 
  5. Yet it provokes people to think/reflect: 
    1. The viewers can feel the emotions of the protagonists: most people will have had similar but not so drastic experiences in life, which means they can relate (with the protagonists), and judge (the protagonists) at the same time
    2. Such simplicity allows the viewers to effectively reflect, and discuss in a way others around they could understand as well – just look at the number of reflections posted online. 

In a way, it refines the ideas pioneered in Japan, and broadcast it to a much wider audience globally, in a language that everyone understand, and can relate to.


Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at