Physical: 100: Physical: 100
February 21, 2023 1:27 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

One hundred of the most physically fit Koreans compete against each other in various individual and team elimination "quests" (challenges of strength, agility, endurance and strategy) that are dictated to them by a disembodied voice with a Squid Game aesthetic in order to find out who has the "ideal human physique". All nine episodes are currently streaming on Netflix.
posted by autopilot (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
While it is a competition-based reality TV show, everyone is so incredibly supportive of each other. The first episode is an hour of everyone complementing each other on their youtube channels, olympic medals, wrestling wins, and generally being star struck at meeting their idols. When they have to pick someone for in a head-to-head match, they always say what an honor it would be to compete against such an amazing person. And in the interviews after a team elimination, everyone says that they're personally the reason their team failed, rather than blaming anyone else.

My one complaint is that I'd prefer if more of the quests had been proportional to mass so that the lighter competitors weren't eliminated so early. If you're 50 kg you're just not going to be able to do very much with a 100 kg boulder or against a 200kg opponent.
posted by autopilot at 1:38 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]

I am really surprised that I enjoyed this so much. The last competition-style reality show I watched was Survivor maybe 15 years ago. I think the explicit Squid Game-framing was enough to pull me in, and the disarming attitudes of the contestants got me to stick around.

There is a huge amount of padding though, each episode could have been 30 minutes, but I guess that’s the nature of reality shows.

A number of the competitions looked legitimately dangerous, the one-on-one battles for starters, but especially the team ship-pushing contest.
posted by skewed at 6:07 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]

Thanks for posting this! I submitted it to Fanfare, meaning to post, but I lost my energy for the show as it went on. My heart was pinned on some specific competitors who had to go, like Eu-ddeum, who absolutely brought it when she held up her statue. I was also fond of Dustin Nippert, not because he was American but because it was kind of great to hear him speak in my accent and see him gangling up there like a custom character in a video game cutscene. I liked Miracle too, though he got a little unsportsmanlike at the end.

(Also, I had Feelings about Chun-ri, who should really have gotten either a default win or a new competitor when what's-his-fuck stood on her chest. At least he's out too.)

I have not finished the last episode, so I can't google the spelling of the name without getting spoiled, but I'm pulling for the 48-year-old.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:23 AM on February 22

I had forgotten about that awful competitor who picked someone outside his weight class and then just was a total jerk during the entire match. Chun-ri really should have been saved and that guy kicked out.

Choo Sung-hoon ("Sexyama") was one of my favorites too, especially since we're the same age. He's "48 Korean", 47 to the rest of us, although they are switching to count ages the same way we do.
posted by autopilot at 6:53 AM on February 23

For real on the body mass differential being wildly unfair. I was SO ENRAGED when the ice climber lost the n-way rope pull idiocy at the end. That had zero to do with strength and everything to do with simple body weight. In fact, several of the competitions had more to do with weight than with strength/agility/speed/endurance or anything that could be described as athleticism. I want them to redo the entire thing but switch up the order of the competitions to weed out the musclebound gym behemoths and favor my preferred body type, namely the "muscles from actual real life superheroing like being a firefighter or a mountain rescuer" people. This wouldn't really be fair, either, but whatever: IMO it would make for better TV to put that "flip the black and white squares" competition way way earlier, like on day two, and wipe out the giants. Then the women would last longer, all the superfine hotties would be around for the whole show, and, this is hardly a spoiler, adorable ice-climber would totally win.
posted by Don Pepino at 10:05 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]

Yeah, that square-flipping contest was awesome and brutal, would have been interesting to see that one earlier on. The minimalism of the shuttle-run (and the earlier myth of Ouroborous) was also pretty cool, too. They could have run this season 20 times with variations on the order of competitions and probably got 20 different winners
posted by skewed at 10:59 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]

I was absorbed by this, even though I don't usually like reality TV shows and don't speak any Korean. (I don't think it was just all the fit people wearing not much clothing, but let's be honest...) Choo Sung-hoon was one of my favorites, too, because of his age and because when everyone else was carrying around unopened tubs of whey, he found a bag of cashews and actually ate them.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:11 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]

> I want them to redo the entire thing but switch up the order of the competition

It would be interesting to see the results if they dinged them for steroids.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:14 PM on February 25

« Older Movie: The Outwaters...   |  Movie: The Last Exorcism... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments