Given the popularity of Korean-language content on Netflix, it was inevitable that creators would start to explore different formats within this genre on the platform. We’ve had, for example, Korean-language horror, action, and crime stories. Also, thanks to the just-ended weekly release reality show Single’s Inferno, now a Korean dating show on Netflix. The final episode of this title’s inaugural season just dropped on Netflix over the weekend, bringing to a close this competition that featured a bunch of ridiculously good-looking young men and women ensconced amid the picturesque Korean island of Saseungbong-do.
According to Netflix’s latest global viewership data, almost 26 million people around the world checked out the show from January 3-9. This makes Single’s Inferno, now in its second week on a Netflix Top 10 list, the #4 non-English show worldwide on the streamer.
Single’s Inferno Netflix
If you have any interest in Korea at all? This 8-episode series is actually a fascinating look at how young people from Korea interact within a romantic context. And here’s one marked difference from the US. Notwithstanding the way this show came off in the marketing of it, it was way less sexualized than a Western counterpart. One like, say, Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle.
Across the entire series, there was only one kiss shown. And it was literally a peck on the cheek — one that made the male recipient swoon, nonetheless. Hand-holding, I realized, is also a super big deal to Koreans. They call it, as I understand it, “skinship.” It’s an apples-to-oranges comparison, really. But that’s a reference to hand-holding being on par with more of the physical intimacy a couple in the US might expect. And this is not to say Single’s Inferno was prudish or overly chaste. Just different, in a refreshing way.
Meanwhile, here’s how the show unfolded. All of the contestants start off living on an island called “inferno.” That basically just means they’re living close to the elements — minus the creature comforts we’re all used to. After a series of games and challenges each day? Contestants then get to either pair up or take someone they want on a date. To an island called “paradise,” where there’s a sumptuous, amenity-laden resort.
Landing on the Global Netflix Top 10
On “Paradise,” and only there, can the contestants reveal certain details about themselves. Like their age, and what they do for a living.
For someone like me who’s part of the show’s Western audience? Single’s Inferno certainly scratched a kind of travel-related itch to see more of the world than is really practical right now. There was also much more heartfelt emotion and a craving for connection in this show than I’d have expected to see in a dating series. Which has led many people online, myself included, to hope that Netflix puts together a follow-up episode. Maybe some kind of where are they now special.
Or, even better, a season two.