Creative Sensemaker: What to read, watch and listen to this weekend

Creative Sensemaker Soho House

A rundown of the books, films, music and more by Tortoise Media, the slow news agency

By Matt d'Ancona

Welcome to the latest Creative Sensemaker from Tortoise Media.

Warning: contains spoilers
‘There’s been so much pressure, so much demand and so much love for a second season. So I almost feel like you leave us no choice!’ So said Hwang Dong-hyuk, the creator of Squid Game, on Monday, sending waves of excitement through social media, news channels and fan sites. Like a ravenous cephalopod rising from the ocean depths, the streaming sensation of 2021 – which has become Netflix’s most-viewed title in more than 90 countries – will be back for more.
 
It’s quite something for a South Korean dystopian drama that was initially expected to achieve a cult following at best. Yet the often brutal saga of 456 contestants, spirited away to a remote island, fighting for their lives and a cash prize of $40m in a series of do-or-die games, struck a raw cultural nerve around the world.
 
Squid Game – the story of Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), a hard-luck case on the run from loan sharks and the bank, wooed into a mysterious game that may transform his fortunes – is ultimately an essay on human nature, its darkness and its capacity for redemption. What truly gives the series its serrated edge is the centrality of debt to the story: all the contestants are facing financial disaster of one sort or another, and are willing to die for the (remote) chance of a life-changing cash bonanza. 
 
Indebtedness, of course, i