I just found a show to fill the void while waiting for Squid Game Season 2

The cast of Alice in Borderland
(Image credit: Netflix)

The wait for the next installment in a favorite TV show can be agonizing, and that’s very much how I’m feeling about Squid Game season 2 right now. 

Sure, Netflix has confirmed the show will return for a second season (like there was ever any doubt) and might even get some spin-off shows (unnecessary in my opinion), but these are likely several years away at best, which is bumming me out.

Last year I got seriously swept up in Squid Game fever. As soon as I finished the series for the first time, I was scouring the internet for Squid Game merch and have since rewatched the entirety of season one a couple of times. Of course, there is only so many times you can rewatch the same collection of episodes before you start to crave something new, and that’s the point I reached a few weeks ago. 

After bouncing off a handful of TV shows that didn’t quite fill my Squid Games void, I have finally found another Netflix original series that is hitting the same spot: Alice in Borderland. Here’s how it's helping to make the long wait for the return to the Squid Game universe a little more bearable. (Oh, and my editor tells me All of Us Are Dead may be Netflix's next Squid Game-like show).

Alice in Borderland and Squid Game have plenty in common 

Kento Yamazaki as Ryōhei Arisu in Alice in Borderland

(Image credit: Haro Aso,Shogakukan / ROBOT)

The elevator pitches for Alice in Borderland and Squid Game are remarkably similar. The two series both focus on groups of people competing in simple, but extremely deadly, games, and are most definitely not for the squeamish.  

Based on a Japanese manga of the same name, Alice in Borderland sees three young friends mysteriously transported to a seemingly abandoned Tokyo and forced to compete in various games in order to top up their digital visas — let your visas expire and it’s game over. 

Much like in Squid Game, the games in Alice in Borderland are simplistic in nature. The first game the trio must complete involves picking between two doors, one leads to safety the other a fiery inferno, the second is a twisted version of the children’s game tag and the third is essentially hide and seek but with explosive neck collars. 

Another similarity the shows share is the conflict between comradery and survival. Squid Game saw lead character Seong Gi-hun build an alliance with other several players, which resulted in friction and difficult decisions in later episodes, the same sort of conflict be seen in Alice in Borderland. The show focuses on three friends who must simultaneously rely on each other while also being aware that their own survival might come at the cost of their friends. 

Naturally, the shows aren't identical. For starters, Alice in Borderland has some significant sci-fi elements, including laser beams that shoot from the sky to eliminated competitors, and there’s no cash prize for the victor here, just the reward of surviving long enough to face another game. Alice in Borderland also takes a pretty significant left turn in its second half. I won’t go into spoilers here, but it's been pretty divisive among viewers.  

If you enjoyed Squid Game I'd say there's a pretty strong chance you'll also appreciate Alice in Borderland. Plus, if you thought the marbles episode of Squid Game was a tough watch, watch till you see episode 3 of Alice in Borderland! 

There’s more Alice in Borderland and Squid Game to come

Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun and Park Hae-soo as Cho Sang-woo in Squid Game

(Image credit: Youngkyu Park)

Alice in Borderland actually premiered in December 2020, so I’m a little late to the party with this one. However, the show was popular enough at launch to receive a very quick renewal. Netflix greenlit a second season just two weeks after the first collection of episodes hit the platform. 

One of the biggest benefits of discovering a show a little late is that you don’t need to wait as long for more episodes! I’ve essentially done a year of waiting for Alice in Borderland season 2 without even knowing, whereas I’m going to have to endure every minute of the wait for Squid Games season 2.  

The second season of Squid Game is likely so far away, that I’m expecting Alice in Borderland to return to Netflix first, but I certainly won’t be complaining. I cannot wait to jump back into the twisted world of Squid Game, but visiting the warped Tokyo of Alice in Borderland is certainly keeping me entertained in the meantime. 

Looking for something currently running with a colder kind of drama? Check out our guide on how to watch Snowpiercer season 3 online. And if you're looking for new TV airing right now, we've got what you need to watch RuPaul's Drag Race season 14 episode 4 and the WWE Royal Rumble 2022 live stream — two sides of the same coin in our minds.

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.