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Netflix’s new Korean reality series Physical: 100 is like a real-life Squid Game

Published Jan 27th, 2023 3:58PM EST
Physical 100 on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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Netflix’s Korean content has increasingly proven an unstoppable force on the streaming giant, with titles like Squid Game and Extraordinary Attorney Woo going on to become some of the most popular across the world. Not surprisingly, Netflix has decided to push its investment in Korean fare even further, releasing original Korean movies like the thriller Carter as well as reality shows like Single’s Inferno and the newly debuted competition series Physical: 100.

#5 on Netflix in the US: Physical: 100

Speaking of Single’s Inferno — a Korean dating show with elements of The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise — one contestant from Season 1 of that show is among the participants of Physical: 100, Netflix’s logline for which is as follows: “One hundred contestants in top physical shape compete to claim the honor of the ultimate physique in this intense survival reality series.”

The new 9-episode series — pitting, as the title indicates, 100 of the strongest men and women from South Korea against each other — includes a cash prize: 300 won, the equivalent of a little more than $243,000. The contestants include everyone from police officers to soldiers, athletes, weightlifters, and much more.

And the novelty of the series, combined with this being yet another buzzy Netflix release from Korea, has helped make Physical: 100 the #5 show in the US as of the time of this writing.

Other top Netflix shows around the world

Meanwhile, here’s a look at two other Netflix Korean series like Physical: 100 that are among the most-watched in the world at the moment, based on the company’s global latest Top 10 data.

The Glory: Season 1

This K-drama about a woman who grows up and concocts an elaborate plan to take revenge on her high school bullies is currently the #3 non-English Netflix show in the world, according to the company’s data. For its most recent Top 10 reporting period, The Glory racked up 24.2 million hours viewed globally.

Alchemy of Souls: Part 1

Alchemy of Souls: Part 1, meanwhile, is currently the #8 non-English show in the world on Netflix, having racked up 11.5 million hours viewed for the latest reporting period — but this title has been on that Top 10 list for a staggering 18 weeks now. From Netflix’s official description of the show: “A powerful sorceress in a blind woman’s body encounters a man from a prestigious family who wants her help to change his destiny.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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