Netflix’s 100 lack of integrity and morality

Netflix’s 100 lack of integrity and morality

Netflix’s new South Korean reality series Physical: 100, produced by MBC, invites 100 of South Korea’s top athletes to compete for a cash prize of 300 million won (US$229,860) and the title of “perfect physique.”

While the show aims to highlight the human physical extremism and sportsmanship of the contestants, the producers overshadow the competition by adding elements of fear and cruelty that must have made the athletes deeply unhappy, calling into question the producers’ morale.

Woo Jinyong Physical 100 netflix

Physical 100 creates a space for athletes to compete in less conventional ways. For example, a professional dancer competed against a pawn in a wrestling match.

The games weren’t as technical as official sporting events, making them easier to spot for the untrained eye. While these games weren’t very technical, viewers still saw Olympic gold medalists being pushed to the limits of their abilities and competitors putting on amazing feats.

Physical: The Netflix 100 lacks integrity and morale K-Selection

The overall theme of the show was inspired by Greek and Roman mythology for game design and aesthetics. Statues were cast on each contestant’s torso to mimic ancient sculptures that celebrated the ideal human body.

This action set a much darker tone for the show: celebration of human ability juxtaposed with destruction of the human body and fantasy of violence.

A Physical - 100 participant who has faced criticism from the Korean feminist community

The producers also drew inspiration from elements from “Squid Game,” a South Korean drama released in September 2021 to instill fear and anxiety in players. In this fictional show, the characters play games to win a cash prize, just like the contestants in Physical 100.

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However, unlike “Squid Game”, the losers are not killed. Since the series was a sensational success, the creators of “Physical 100” no doubt had the idea to imitate the television series with real people. The two series are conceptually very similar, and the setting of Physical 100 is very close to the art style of Squid Games.

Physical: The Netflix 100 lacks integrity and morale K-Selection

However, in the first pre-attack mission, the producers went too far in their attempt to emulate “Squid Game”. As the participants hung from a truss structure about 20 feet tall, the floor opened up to reveal mist and water. The players found themselves in an extremely vulnerable position and didn’t know what they were about to fall into.

Physical: The Netflix 100 lacks integrity and morale K-Selection

Comparing this scene to the first part of The Squid Game, where the players were unaware that their lives were at stake, the hanging becomes psychologically overwhelming. Player voiceovers were added to emphasize the drama, but the effect confirmed that they were genuinely scared. A man says: “We couldn’t judge the depth, so it was really scary”. Another asks: Will I die if I fall? ». This kind of fear is unsportsmanlike and borders on cruelty.

Physical: The Netflix 100 lacks integrity and morale K-Selection

In the midst of competitions, “Physical 100” always showed the unwavering camaraderie among the contestants. The environment was always positive and supportive, and competitors encouraged each other during the most difficult times.

The show has also helped top athletes gain more recognition for their achievements. Many contestants expressed their feeling that no one but their direct audience really cared about their efforts to master their chosen sport. It’s a new way to recognize Olympic athletes who ride bikes, sleds, ice climbers and CrossFitters after their competitions are over.

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Physical: The Netflix 100 lacks integrity and morale K-Selection

The main problem, however, is that “Physical 100” wasn’t an officially regulated competition, so its producers appeared to be driven more by ratings than sporting prestige, damaging the show’s integrity.

The producers of “Physical 100” have also been accused of falsifying the results of the final tug-of-war between the two top competitors, crossfitter Woo Jin-yong and cyclist Jung Hae-min.

Originally, Jung shot “about three times faster” than Woo, but the two competitors made it to the end of the rope surprisingly close together. Woo’s rope seemed much easier to pull at the end of the quest while Jungs seemed fixed. The results are surprising as Jung seemed to outperform the other contestants in strength and endurance in previous episodes, while Woo seemed to need a bit more luck to get that far.

Physical: The Netflix 100 lacks integrity and morale K-Selection

Jung broke his silence on the issue in a public statement to the Sunday newspaper after facing criticism from the cycling community. He said the final was filmed three times on the same day.

In the first two shots he was ready to win the challenge. By the third shoot, he had used up all his energy, but the producers urged him to keep shooting. If they had stopped at that point, the cast and crew of more than 100 people would have had to return the next day to complete filming.

Jung shared: “The producers said they would cut the rope as far as I had already taken it out, but I don’t know if they actually cut it or not. They also talked about an equipment problem, but I’m not even sure if there really was an equipment problem. Maybe it was because I didn’t have any strength left, but when I tried to pull it didn’t move.”

MBC, the production company, denied these claims, saying the final quest was only filmed once. However, the cyclist’s silence on Instagram about the show only added to the controversy.

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Physical: The Netflix 100 lacks integrity and morale K-Selection

Other contestants have relentlessly posted on social media about their appearances on the show, but Jung’s profile makes no reference to his exploits on “Physical 100.”

However, the allegations alone call into question the authenticity and validity of the competition. Combined with the gruesome environment created by the filming, it seems like the producers pushed their ethics aside in order to create something entertaining. Frankly, it’s frustrating that a competition with so much potential has been wasted.

Physical: The Netflix 100 lacks integrity and morale K-Selection

“Physical 100” had a lot of potential to highlight the value of human athleticism. The strength and camaraderie of the contestants was inspiring, but the producers distorted their exploits by dramatizing them and lacking in integrity. The idea was enough to attract viewers from all over the world, but not enough to make Physical 100 worth watching.