Mini-Recap: Netflix’s “Physical: 100” Season 2 – Episode 1

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 1 Recap Review

Netflix’s breakout Korean reality-competition program Physical: 100 (피지컬: 100) is back for its 2nd season. And this first episode easily showed why it had such a huge impact last year.

This series features 100 contestants in top physical shape competing to determine who has the peak human physique. I enjoyed the first season a lot, even if there were some hiccups and stumbles in its execution. The premise though is absolutely sound. And the production value of the series was and still is unprecedented.

This first episode alone reminded of how incredible the size and scope of this series truly is. Just from a production design standpoint, the cavernous sound stages filled with 100 manual treadmills or three different battle arenas are just breathtaking in their presentation. And the usual Korean drama-flair really helps to make Physical: 100 standout from anything else you’ll see on television. Korean or otherwise.

You can be sure the show will want to top the already amazing and stunning sets and competitions in season one. And they certainly got off to a strong start here.

Last season’s “Quest: 0” which aimed to rank the 100 competitors to determine advantages for the first official challenge entailed them hanging for as long as they can from a suspended platform. For many, it was a challenge that may favor the agile and/or those simply with better upper body strength.

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 1 Recap Review

This time around, the series threw all 100 competitors onto manual treadmills in a challenge of endurance and stamina of a different kind. First of all, again, the visuals of 100 people running on 100 treadmills was absolutely stunning. Seeing these confident and motivated competitors pushing themselves to the limit right at the start of the competition is really something.

Though the visuals and the surprising nature of last season’s opening Quest had its own very high points (literally!), this season’s Quest: 0 really allowed for the competitors to show different sides to themselves. Especially when it comes to the varied ways they personally train their bodies in the real world. As well as being able to highlight their various backgrounds.

And speaking of, casting is definitely on point here. An incredibly more diverse cast with national and Olympic athletes, actors and K-pop idols, legendary athletes, social media influencers and even government workers or some Korean reality show veterans.

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 1 Recap Review

The diverse line-up allowed for many interesting new dynamics between the competitors. And the way the series was able to focus on the more encouraging and mutual support-like introductions to each other allowed for the more uber competitive moments in the following episodes feel even more exciting.

As to who among the 100 has caught me eye first, I definitely have to root for Lee Jangjun. One of my biases in Golden Child, I was shocked when he posted that he was on this season on his Instagram. And it was great to see him get some solid features in this first episode.

I was also shocked to see Single’s Inferno season 1 best girl Soyeon walk in. While national swimmer Jung You In made the biggest impression amongst the rest of the competitors.

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 1 Recap Review

Overall, this first episode of Physical: 100 absolutely showed why it is such a fun and exciting and refreshing entry in the crowded reality-competition field. But as long as they keep along this track, I think they can easily match or hopefully top their first season.

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