Physical 100

By | January 25, 2023

The first two eps “dropped” on Netflix yesterday and it looks like we’re getting two eps a week, nine total.

Physical 100 is the latest in the popular “Korean reality gameshow where the whole thing is marshalled by a mysterious voice” genre. The premise of this one: 100 fit people do eliminatory “quests” to determine whose physique is the ultimate one, that person will win 300m Won, which is just shy of £200,000 so not small beer.

The first full half an hour of the first episode is the 100 coming in and admiring each other and going “goodness, you look fit!” “Yes, you too!”. Everyone has had a plaster cast of their torsos made, which they will have to smash as they get eliminated.

The first game is actually more of a qualifying round – all 100 contestants will hang from a grid for as long as possible in two heats. It is important to do well, because the higher up the pecking order you are the bigger your advantage in the first quest proper. In typical Korean style, the editing, direction and the set-up here is super slick, even if endurance is not your thing there is still a kind of visceral thrill in watching 16 stone people rain down into a swimming pool from 15ft, and it’s interesting to see the different tactics and approaches of the people who do do well.

Pecking order decided, the first Quest is revealed proper and it’s… Murderball from Celebrity Wrestling. Starting with the winner, they’ll pick any of the remaining contestants to challenge. They’ll also get to pick from two arenas – one based on a kids playground which favours agility, the other like a mud pit favouring raw strength. The game? Wrestle, dodge and be the one holding onto the medicine ball at the end of a three minute period. The winner goes through, the loser goes home after smashing their plaster cast torso, a failure. Again, a surprising amount of possible approaches to this, strategies in choosing your opponent and so on.

However fun as it was to have most of the second episode based around it, I hope they move on with the other 40-odd matches in a montage next week – I’ve seen the game, I think I’ve seen most of what it’s got to offer, I’m not sure I need to see another hour of it, I want to see what else you’ve got.

It’s deffo worth a watch if you quite enjoy physical competition.

3 thoughts on “Physical 100

  1. Greg

    The Challenge international is starting on Paramount plus on March 16. There is still no word on when the UK series will air, surely they are not going to put out the international version spoiling the result of the UK series first?

  2. Tom F

    After 5 episodes…

    Right, there’s plenty that could be improved but I’m really loving this. The ball game was fun, and looked amazing, but with 50 matches going on, you got a lot of diminishing returns after you’d seen 3 or 4 games spanning the possibility space. The dangling, pretty much the same thoughts. But for me, the bridge game was much better: heroes and zeroes, a real range of possibilities for things that could happen, just enough variance to produce some shock results, and the perfect number of games to leave me satisfied. Also, giving the teams colours made it much easier to follow who was who and who was talking at the various points. On that note, I really wish they’d get bachu in to translate all the on-screen-text properly. It’s kinda a bit telling that one of the most entertaining bits so far has basically been them playing a bar game in their free time, but I’m crucially hooked now and want to see what else they come up with.


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