When we saw Episodes 1 and 2 of “Physical 100”, we questioned why the editors had made the trailer so boring when the show had such potential. We got the answer with Episodes 3 and 4. While the former was just more one-on-one fights in the arenas, Episode 4 did not fare any better. To be completely fair, some sharper editing could have made a difference. We did not need to see each and every fight, especially when the contestants kept coming up with similar strategies that resulted in pretty much the same kind of tussles. As for Episode 4, shouldn’t the resting time have been a bit more entertaining? After watching an hour full of very unentertaining fights, we did not find it amusing that everyone was excited by the variety of protein supplements.
We had always been skeptical of “Physical 100” as a show simply because this was about testing the limits of the physical strength of its contestants. As regular gym “not-goer,” we wondered whether we or others like us, who are going to make up the bulk of the audience, would really find this engaging. Nevertheless, curiosity got the better of us, and we committed to it. We genuinely enjoyed the first two episodes, but the other two just did not make the cut. More than the display of strength, it needed to be about the fun of it, which just wasn’t there. Also, why do all the contestants make such bad decisions? Watching a reality show is different from watching a fictional series because, despite the knowledge that both are scripted, we can buy into a sort of self-aware delusion that the people of the former are not bound by the pen of the writer. This gives us the freedom to judge their actions and personalities on a level we don’t with fictional characters, which is also the point of any reality show—an outlet for our petty, voyeuristic side that we keep under wraps at other times. “Physical 100” doesn’t give us much leeway for that. It is more of a contest than a show, and we are unable to attach any excitement to that.
Continuing from the fight in episode 2, Ki Kwan is the winner between him and Agent H. We believe he was the guy who made the dig about chicken breasts. That was one of the better quips of the last episode, really. While we were not greatly invested in their fight, we always feel sad when we see someone with dimples lose, and that is why Agent H having to break his torso broke our hearts. As much as we cringe at the practice of trash-talking your opponent before a match, we wish they had done more of it in Episode 3 because it was boring otherwise. It was a bit of a moment when Lee Dae Won gave a Brazilian kick in the air as a way to intimidate his opponent, a move that made us dislike him instantly. Yun Sung Bin was clearly as irritated as us, and that is why his victory felt sweet. There was another fight between Hong Beom Seok and Jo Jin Hyung, which had us asking a few questions. Proving their strength does not go hand in hand with winning the game when everyone present has different skill sets. Why did so few people realize it? What is the point of taking on an opponent far stronger than you just to show that you can be better than them on an uneven playing field? Arena B set up a fight of strength, while Arena A was more about agility and speed. However, even we could tell that these weren’t absolute criteria, so why couldn’t the contestants? It was so obvious that Jo Jin Hyug wanted to prove how good he was, and the desire to do so overruled everything else. What should have been an easy win turned into an unnecessary loss. It might be mean, but it won’t be untrue to say that this is what happens when protein shakes and chicken breasts are used to build your ego as much as your muscles—common sense gets pushed out.
Either way, the matches continue with some random hearts and cheekiness thrown in once in a while. There should have been more of this. We particularly enjoyed it when Bbulkup lost, maybe because we have a special preference for people who handle the pre-match talk with grace rather than sass. There were also a few fights between men and women. Again, aim for the prize money rather than proving a point. It was the fight between Hyung Geum and Chun Ri that had us seething. The former was out of line quite a few times, but the worst part was him doing the “close your mouth” sign to the people in the audience. He is certainly going to be one of the hated contestants in the coming episodes. Finally came the fight between Choo Sung Hoon and Shin Dong Guk. Somebody yelled “Sexy Yama” when they were entering the arena, which actually made us laugh; also because the volume of the cheers when Sung Hoon sunbaenim did away with his shirt was astounding. It was a good fight, but it should have been presented sooner.
Once the fights were done, people moved on to the rest area, where, as we said before, there were lots of protein supplements. The number of contestants had been halved, and they now move on to the next task, which is a group activity. The meanness of “Physical 100” continues, this time with the losing team captain falling off a bridge. We will learn next week who among Kyung Jin and Eun Sil will have their backs on the floor. We truly hope it is more interesting than what was offered this week.