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Squid Game has rapidly risen to become one of the best-performing Korean television series available on Netflix to this day. The show has received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. In spite of the fact that all nine episodes are packed with vivid thrills, amazing sets, and fantastic soundtracks, the show's strength indeed lies in its storyline. Apart from the excellent acting skills and the drama, I bring to you some important lessons that the show teaches us:
APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEPTIVE:
We believe in what we see, but we never know what one is going through in their personal life. Gi-hun was taken aback when he found that his friend, Sang-woo, had also registered for the game. Everyone believed that he was a successful man, but he was himself in so much debt. The same applies to the real-life scenario; many people portray that they're living a "perfect" life, and it is easy for us to believe that everyone is living the best of their lives, but we never know what is going on behind the scenes.
We never know what is going on behind the scenes. | Photo by John Noonan on Unsplash
BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT WHO YOU TRUST:
The betrayal of Ali by Sang-Woo is the most painful of all betrayals in the series. Ali shows nothing but kindness to Sang-Woo throughout the journey they shared and even addressed him as his elder brother, but when Ali was about to win the game of marbles, Sang-Woo tricks him and exchanges the marbles with stone. Therefore, it is very critical that we be aware of who we can put our faith in. We should allow our knowledge to serve as a guide. It's essential to trust other people, but the world around us isn't always that sympathetic.
It's essential to trust other people, but the world around us isn't always that sympathetic. | Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash
LIFE IS UNFAIR:
The series depicts the unfairness of the world we live in. The wealthy continue to amass wealth, while the poor are forced to survive on crumbs. It digs into the subject of socio-economic divisions and the exploitation of the poor by the wealthy. Additionally, it discusses the financially impoverished class of laid-off employees via two of its characters, Gi-hun and Ali, who are both portrayed as such. The show not only represents the plight of the people of Korea but every country in general.
The show not only represents the plight of the people of Korea but every country in general. | Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash
MONEY WON'T BUY YOU PLEASURE OR CONTENTMENT:
The revelation that Il-Nam had been manipulating the game all along was a genuine shocker. It is discovered that Il-Nam created the game to entertain himself and wealthy customers, who had become bored with their lifestyles. Despite the fact that Il-Nam's act is harsh, they teach us a valuable lesson that money may be essential, but it is by no means a replacement for doing something that brings meaning to one's life.
Money may be essential, but it is by no means a replacement for doing something that brings meaning to one's life. | Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON:
In the game "Glass stepping stones," players take turns to jump over the glass to progress towards the end of the bridge. It is obvious that the one who is the last to jump will have the most advantage. Unwillingly, Gi-Hun chooses to be the last, not knowing what the game or the result will be. This game is a metaphor for how, contrary to what society has taught us, going or being last is not necessarily the worst thing in the world, and sometimes the choices that are forced on us can prove to be beneficial.
Sometimes the choices that are forced on us can prove to be beneficial. | Photo by Ruben Santos on Unsplash
NEVER LOSE FAITH IN HUMANITY:
When Gi-Hun finally wins by defeating Sang-Woo in the sixth and the final game, 'Squid Game.' Gi-Hun shows us that humanity was still alive in him in the moment of victory, as he offered Sang-Woo to vote for the games to end and spare his life. Without a second thought, he was ready to give up the huge sum of 45.6 Billion Won to save the life of his childhood friend, who had deceived him in many instances in the game.
You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
Gi-Hun shows us that humanity was still alive in him in the moment of victory. | Photo by Maria Thalassinou on Unsplash
Keywords: humanity, series, squid game, netflix, kdrama, lesson
With the accessibility to high-speed internet, affordable OTT platform subscriptions, the popularity of binge-watching culture is at its peak. Now, we get unlimited shows to watch every day. In fact, it has brought entertainment to our fingertips. Among the popular platforms, Netflix is one of the favourite names for binge-watchers.
However, if you want to have the best streaming experience, then try out these five hacks and make the most of the Netflix streaming service you use:
1. Get access to different countries' Netflix shows that aren't available in your location
There are so many incredible movies and shows on Netflix that are sometimes not available in specific locations. If you also have a show or a list of shows that you eagerly wanted to watch but couldn't, then this hack is made only for you. You can use unblockers such as smartflix, or any other unblocker that is accessible for free to change your Ip address and make the site think you belong to a different location. This way, you will be granted more Netflix shows which otherwise you would have missed. Remember that these unblockers may contain security issues; hence ensure you choose the best and reliable unblocker and access the US Netflix library with a free VPN.
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2. Get better video quality with a super Netflix extension
If you use google chrome to access Netflix, then you must use the free extension given in the browser known as Super Netflix. This extension is basically provided to give users an enhanced video quality. You just have to install the free extension and select the video streaming quality you want in place of letting Netflix do it for you. This option is convenient when you often shift between your mobile data and wifi connection.
Other advantages of Super Netflix involve:
- Automatic skipping of show intros.
- Speeding up video.
- Managing color contrast and video brightness.
Also, super Netflix keeps you from getting spoilers by blurring out the plot description and show thumbnails.
In addition, try to watch your shows early in the morning or late at night as with fewer people engaging on the platform, speed, and quality automatically improve.
You just have to install the free extension and select the video streaming quality you want in place of letting Netflix do it for you.Unsplash
ALSO READ: Tips To Stream Better On Netflix In 2021
There is no doubt that Netflix originals are way too engaging and filled with pure entertainment. However, there is no harm in watching something that is not produced by Netflix yet is something worth watching.
In case you already have a few shows in mind you would want to stream on Netflix other than Netflix originals, then use the Google Chrome extension named no Netflix original. It removes all the Netflix-produced shows from your list and introduces many other great pieces to watch.
4. Binge-Watch With Your Friends And Family
Watching any shows or movies with loved ones adds to the excitement and joy of the moment. Unfortunately, due to the current world situation, people are stuck at their homes or may live too far to hit a movie night with you. But, using a tool called Teleparty, you can virtually host binge-watching sessions along with your friends and family. This tool will let everyone on your list get engaged virtually at the same time to watch a movie together.
5. No More "Are You Still Watching?"
If you are also tired of tapping on the "next episode" option and want to binge-watch a show without any disturbance. Then here is another Google Chrome extension for you. Get an extension of Never-Ending Netflix from chrome and remove anything that comes between long hours of binging. This extension will automatically play the next episode, lets you skip the sequence, and most importantly, keeps the prompt of "are you still watching?" from popping up every now and then. You can also search shows by genre on Netflix using this extension.
When it comes to binge-watching shows and movies, Netflix indeed pops up in the mind of serial streamers. After all, Netflix has it all, from the latest seasons of money heist to all the episodes of the 90s as well as today's people's favourite show, "Friends." Hence by using the hacks and tricks mentioned above, you can go for your non-stop binge-watching mode along with better quality and convenience.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)
As Beijing cracks down on its entertainment industry, from storied stars to their fan clubs, some non-Chinese filmmakers are scaling back projects they hoped would attract audiences in what has been a lucrative market. In February 2020, Chinese authorities released "Detailed Rules for Reviewing Internet Variety Program Content." Addressing TV and internet program makers, the guidelines say they "should not inappropriately use stars from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan or foreign countries."
Some Chinese celebrities interpreted the rules to mean they had to relinquish dual citizenship and demonstrate their loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party if they wanted to continue performing in China. Actor and singer Nicholas Tse, who moved from Hong Kong to Vancouver, British Columbia, as a child, said last week in an interview on state-controlled China Central Television (CCTV) that he was renouncing his Canadian citizenship. Other celebrities in the Chinese market who hold dual citizenship are reportedly considering following his lead. For others in the entertainment business, the guidelines have prompted a decoupling with China, even as the film industry has been accused of pandering to the country that was the world's largest movie market in 2020, and China eyes the global film market.
'Netflix is not in China'
Adam Sandler, an American actor, screenwriter, and producer, changed the setting of his forthcoming Netflix comedy "Hustle" from China to Spain because, as he said last month on "The Dan Patrick Show," "Netflix is not in China."
A description of "Hustle" can be found on the entertainment industry website IMDB: "A washed-up basketball scout discovers a phenomenal streetball player while in China and sees the prospect as his opportunity to get back into the NBA." IMDB has yet to identify the film's shooting location. The movie is part of a four-film deal with Sandler that Netflix announced in January. Neither Netflix nor Sandler responded to VOA Mandarin's request for comment.
Adam Sandler, an American actor, screenwriter, and producer, changed the setting of his forthcoming Netflix comedy "Hustle" from China to Spain because, as he said last month on "The Dan Patrick Show," "Netflix is not in China. VOA
Clayton Dube, director of the University of Southern California's U.S.-China Institute, told VOA in an email, "Since Netflix is in Spain and other European or Spanish-speaking markets, it asked Sandler to change the setting of his film hoping that it might be able to use that to spark potential subscriber interest."
Like many American entertainment companies, Netflix didn't crack the Chinese market. In 2017, Netflix signed a content licensing agreement with iQiyi, a Chinese streaming platform, for a subset of Netflix's original series. Two years later, the partnership fell apart. In an interview with CNBC last September, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said the streaming company has been focusing on growth opportunities in the rest of the world but not in China. A year earlier, Hastings said the company had been spending more money on acquiring rights to Mandarin-language content and producing its own original works in Mandarin to appeal to Mandarin speakers outside China.
In an interview with CNBC last September, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said the streaming company has been focusing on growth opportunities in the rest of the world but not in China. VOA
"Netflix tried for years to enter the Chinese market, but it understands now that China's government is not going to permit foreign entertainment platforms to compete with those it controls. Further, it has tightened rules governing foreign content on Chinese platforms," Dube said. Aynne Kokas, assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, told VOA Mandarin in a phone interview that celebrities in the U.S. and China are facing different types of pressure under the crackdown.
"I think that from a financial standpoint, U.S. firms are definitely examining their exposure in China and considering how much they invest and how much they depend on the Chinese market," she said. "But there isn't a requirement from the U.S. government — or even a tacit requirement from the U.S. government — that asks them to stop operating in China in the entertainment section." On the other hand, China's laws covering entertainment can require the advancement of "China's national values, which puts a different type of pressure on Chinese celebrities," she added.
Ignoring China at a cost
But how much does the Western entertainment industry, especially Hollywood, stand to lose if it backs away from the Chinese market? It's almost impossible to estimate because some films that flop in the U.S. may turn a profit after a Chinese market release, according to Wendy Su, an associate professor and expert in Chinese media studies at the University of California-Riverside. "Dwayne Johnson's 'Rampage'  grossed $101 million in the United States but $156 million in China," she said. Some in the entertainment business, however, have already opted out of trying to appease the Chinese government to gain access to the market, according to Su.
Director Quentin Tarantino "refused to observe China's censorship requirement and believed his movie 'Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood' could earn enough profits without the Chinese market," she said. VOA
Director Quentin Tarantino "refused to observe China's censorship requirement and believed his movie 'Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood' could earn enough profits without the Chinese market," she said. Released in July 2019, the Oscar-winning film Tarantino wrote and directed earned $139 million domestically and $357.4 million worldwide by the end of October, according to Forbes.
Stanley Rosen, a political science professor at the University of Southern California, told VOA in a virtual interview that the loss for companies such as Netflix may be bearable. For the Chinese film sector, Rosen said, "you have to also take into account that there is a quota system: 34 revenue-sharing films a year, 14 of which have to be IMAX and/or 3D. So that limits the market, to begin with. Then all the studios are fighting to get their share of the quota." In the TV industry, the main Chinese streaming services once showed more than 100 foreign TV series without censorship. Now that practice has been "very severely restricted after new regulations began to be introduced in 2014 that would make it even more difficult for Netflix [to get in]," Rosen said.
Today "you have to submit the whole season in advance with subtitles when censorship occurs if they allow you to show it," Rosen continued. "So Netflix is not losing what they might have lost when they first tried to get into China when the market was much more open."
Netflix is not losing what they might have lost when they first tried to get into China when the market was much more open." Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash
What China needs from US
While many experts agree that the U.S. and China are mutually dependent in the entertainment sector, Katherine Chu, a lecturer at California State University-Dominguez Hills, whose research interests include Chinese/Asian film studies, emphasized that China, for now, needs the U.S. for its platform, established studios, talent, and technology. She said these U.S. resources could help China with its "aggressive plan to dominate the fair market in 2035."
In May 2019, Beijing called for the production of 100 movies a year that each would earn more than RMB 100 million ($15 million), according to Variety, an authoritative entertainment industry news outlet. "A country's level of film development reflects its total national strength," said Wang Xiaohui, executive deputy director of the Central Propaganda Department and director of the National Film Bureau, when announcing the movie production goal, according to the state-controlled People's Daily. The Chinese movie industry wants "maybe just a small thing, like a scriptwriter — how to write a film that you can target the world's audience," Chu said. "Because the Chinese, they try very hard to copy the Hollywood model and then to sell their Chinese films."
(Article originally Written by Adrianna Zhang) (VOA/MBI)
Keywords: China, Netflix, Entertainment, Market, Movies, US, Market
One of the trending series on Netflix, “Money Heist", is again gaining a lot of attention as its new season was released a few days back. But most importantly, netizens are once again going crazy over its theme song, “Bella Ciao".
Interestingly, this song holds a lot of significance with respect to history of Italy.
“Bella Ciao", meaning of which is “Goodbye, beautiful", is an anti-fascist resistance song, and was sung during the second world war. Since then, on every April 25, Italians celebrate Liberation Day, and gather together to chant "Bella Ciao" with their right hand kept on the heart.
It is believed that this song was sung when the fascist regime and Nazi occupation ended in the year 1945.
Interestingly, the original authors of “Bella Ciao" were the 19th-century mondine (weeders), who were female rice paddy field workers of the Po Valley, in the country's north east. They used to sing this song in order to show their harsh working conditions.
But, in the 1940s, an author whose identity is still a mystery, adapted the mondine's song for the Italian resistance movement, in which the song became the story of a young man who leaves his girlfriend or partner to join the partisan militia. Hence, for the young man for the last time says goodbye; therefore, the name of the song was put forward as “Bella Ciao".
Even today, it is interesting to see how this song has travelled all across the world calling out activists and revolutionaries.
Keywords: Bella Ciao, History, Italy, Revolution, Nazi, Money Heist