I am currently obsessed with a show that I never would have believed I’d be obsessed with. And it’s starting to pick up some buzz on social media as more and more people are finding it. Physical: 100 is a competition reality series produced in Korea featuring a hundred very fit human beings put through a series of battles against each other until one person is left to win 300 million KRW, the equivalent of about $250K USD.
It's being compared to Squid Game, only real. Like nobody dies but these are intense physical challenges requiring not just physical ability but mental strategy and, sometimes, emotional manipulation. Everyone is numbered, there’s no host, just a disembodied voice coming through the speakers ordering the players around while masked guards lurk in the corners. The production value is insane – huge, elaborate sets housing the game venues that range from mud pits to jungle gyms to hydraulic cages that rise and fall over shallow pools.
But of course what makes the show are the contenders. There are several Olympic gold medallists, several champion boxers and MMA legends, social media stars, celebrities, military veterans, I’m pretty sure one dude used to be a spy so, like, we’re talking some kind of real life James Bond. Also a cheerleader, a few fitness influencers, bodybuilders, wrestlers, models, professional dancers…
And the challenges are exceedingly difficult for all of them so that it’s not automatic that the most muscular person, for example, will come through the battles.
What makes the show so compelling though, at least so far, is that while you’re watching them go full aggro on each other during their battles, the competition doesn’t feel toxic. In fact, at times it’s downright… heartwarming?! And funny? And weird? But also not corny!
Sorry, it’s hard to explain. You just have to experience it for yourself. Physical: 100 is currently the #1 show on Netflix in Canada. It’s ranking in the top 5 around the world and given the early reaction to it on social media, I’m curious to see whether or not it’s going to take off.
Yours in gossip,