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Physical 100: 8 Facts About The New Korean Reality TV Show That Reminds Us Of Squid Game

Physical 100 facts

The title says it all: everything gets physical among 100 contestants in the latest Netflix hit. Reminiscent of the epoch-making series Squid Game, the survival reality show awards the winner with prize money of KRW300,000,000 (~USD244,053). Here are 8 facts about Physical 100 that will 100% convince you to watch the series ASAP.

1. Spearheaded by the writer of Korean TV show Steel Troops 

Physical 100 - steel troops 2 poster
Image credit: Namu Wiki

Kang Sook Kyung, the mastermind behind the military survival show Steel Troops, also spearheaded Physical 100. These 2 shows are fundamentally based on the idea of survival, and ultimately emerging victorious by taking first place. 

Steel Troops was the talk of the town in 2021 with many fans simping for the contestants, who hailed from different special forces units in the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. Hot bod, drama mama, and intense competition – showrunner Kang seems to know exactly what the audience wants when it comes to survival shows. 

2. Choo Sung Hoon is the oldest contestant 

Physical 100 - choo sung hoon
Image credit: @akiyamachoo

OG fans of Korean variety shows will recognise Choo Sung Hoon from The Return of Superman, a reality show that focuses on the relationship between fathers and their children. 

In 2013, Choo Sung Hoon made his 1st appearance on The Return of Superman with his one and only daughter, Choo Sarang. Their chemistry was well-loved locally and globally, and to this day, people still talk about the duo.

Physical 100 - choo sung hoon
Image credit: @akiyamachoo

It turns out that daddy Choo is the oldest contestant among the 100. He turns 48 in 2023, but don’t let his age fool you – the MMA and Asian Games gold medalist’s aura is impossible to emulate, and his presence in the 1st episode intimidated several contestants. 

3. The composer participated in the music production of Squid Game

Physical 100 - promotional poster
Image credit: Netflix 

The success of Physical 100 is all thanks to the sweat and tears of a solid production crew comprising more than 400 individuals, and a stellar cast of writers and producers. This includes a star-studded music production team, with Kim Sung Soo being the main composer. 

Physical 100 is not the composer’s 1st collaboration with Netflix. In fact, he participated in the music production for Squid Game. 

4. The most popular Korean reality show since Single’s Inferno season 1

Physical 100 - promotional poster
Image credit: @netflixkr

Korean dramas ranking on Netflix’s Global Top 10 list is no surprise, but Single’s Inferno season 1 in 2021 took the internet by storm as it was the 1st Korean reality show to garner such brilliant results on the streaming giant.

It looks like Physical 100 is set to be the next reality show to match the success of Single’s Inferno season 1. With only 2 episodes out so far, the survival show has already ranked 2nd in England, 5th in the US, and 5th globally as of 29th January 2023. 

5. Cha Hyun Seung appeared in several reality shows

Physical 100 - cha hyun seung
Image credit: @502bright

Cha Hyun Seung may be a familiar face to many as this is not his first rodeo with Netflix. From working as Sunmi’s backup dancer to showing off great chemistry with Song Ji A in season 1 of Single’s Inferno, the heartthrob has been keeping busy. More recently, he appeared on the dancing competition show Street Man Fighter (SMF).

Dancer, TV personality, and now a YouTuber, Hyun Seung’s hustle never stops.

6. Contestants from all walks of life, including a farmer 

Physical 100 - contestants
Image credit: @netflixkr

You’d expect bodybuilders and athletes to participate in a physically straining show like Physical 100. But a chef and farmer? Now we’re talking.

One of the most interesting elements of Physical 100 is the diversity of the contestants, with individuals such as a car dealer (contestant #37) and rapper (contestant #70) signing up for the challenge. 

7. The costume director worked for the movie Parasite 

Physical 100 - parasite poster
Image credit: Namu Wiki

Costumes play a significant role in shaping the identity of a show, as seen in the series Squid Game and Money Heist. Choi Se Yeon, the costume designer for Physical 100, worked for the 2019 Korean film Parasite. It was the first Korean film to win the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival and made waves internationally that year.

8. Several contestants hail from the national team 

Physical 100 - yun sung bin
Image credit: Namu Wiki

It took the viewers by surprise when the contestants were revealed in the first episode of Physical 100 as there were several from the national sports teams. 

From gymnastics (contestant #3) to rugby (contestant #27), wrestling (contestant #32) to taekwondo (contestant #55), the sheer diversity of the background of these contestants left us in awe of the casting team’s ability to land these national athletes.

In particular, Yun Sung Bin caught the attention of many. Dubbed the “Ironman” in Korea, he brought home the gold medal in the men’s skeleton race at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. 

Physical 100 facts that explain why it’s the talk of the town

2023 is off to a great start with the release of Physical 100, and we can’t wait for the remaining episodes. There are a total of 9 episodes, and the finale will air on 21st February 2023. If you’ve yet to catch the heart-racing survival show, we hope these 8 facts will convince you to wait no further. 

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Cover image adapted from: Namu Wiki, @502bright, @akiyamachoo