Fans of The Challenge may be missing the show’s intense competition between seasons, but they’re sure to love Netflix’s Physical 100. After the recent finale of The Challenge: Ride or Dies, audiences will have to wait until March 8 for the next season of the long-running MTV series, when they can tune in to see contestants from across the globe competing on The Challenge: World Championship. Until then, Netflix has provided a brand new South Korean reality competition series entitled Physical 100, which showcases 100 different athletes of diverse backgrounds, genders, ages, and body types.
Physical 100 premiered in late January, with episodes incrementally released up until the finale released on February 21. The show is described as a search for the “perfect body” and quickly introduces viewers to a stellar line-up of competitors ranging from Olympic gold medalists to CrossFit enthusiasts. Like The Challenge‘s signature format, the show allows each contestant a shot at various games and challenges, narrowing down its cast until there is only one remaining champion. The ultimate cash prize is 300 million South Korean won, which translates to about $240,000 USD.
Physical 100 Is A Hit
According to Netflix, as of February 21, Physical 100 was “the first unscripted show to hit No. 1 on Netflix’s Non-English TV list and has remained in the Top 10 for the past month.” The combined 45.4 million hours of viewing confirms that the show is rocketing up in popularity, and MTV could take note considering The Challenge is losing viewers. Although not confirmed, it’s possible that the creators of Physical 100 took inspiration from The Challenge, as there are some striking similarities.
Physical 100 Puts A Fresh Spin On Classic Games From The Challenge
One main reason why The Challenge viewers are bound to enjoy Physical 100 is the similarly styled challenges. One classic elimination on The Challenge, “Balls In,” is adapted into a longer form game in the South Korean series. While The Challenge contestants have to get past their opponent to put their ball in a basket, Physical 100 players need to evade their opponent and keep their hands on the ball for an entire three minutes. The result is a very similar viewing experience, with Physical 100 competitors like American Dustin Nippert wrestling with conviction to win and utilizing strategies to avoid letting their adversary take the ball.
There are some key areas where Physical 100 improves on The Challenge‘s format, specifically with the production value and execution of challenges. Although The Challenge boasts intense competitions involving 18-wheelers and dangling over water, Physical 100 manages to task its contestants with truly brutal and imaginative challenges. The third quest, which was undertaken in teams, forced 10 players at a time to move a two-ton ship across a warehouse space and up an incline. It created an absolute spectacle for viewers to behold, and even The Challenge champs like Wes Bergmann or Chris “CT” Tamburello would be pushed to their limit under such conditions.
While The Challenge and Physical 100 have their own distinct aspects, both shows deliver on providing action and thrills unique in reality competition shows. The South Korean series brings some of its own ideas to the table, while also improving on formats that viewers are familiar with over on MTV. Hopefully, Physical 100 will return for season 2, and The Challenge viewers will check it out.
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The Challenge: Ride or Dies airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on MTV.