Further reading: @Bumdidlyump on twitter
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Better Review with more pictures by Claviscryptica
|Series 1 Cast|
"Tom, you're not watching that Korean thing again, are you?"
The Genius was born from The Liar Game manga and TV series. The Liar Game is a story about an sweet, wouldn't-hurt-a-fly, ordinary girl who gets caught up in a complex series of psychological games, and has gone on the list of 'things to one day write about'.
The Genius is a Korean reality gameshow. It has the world-ubiquitous one-person-eliminated-every-week format. But, rather than being about landing a job with Siralan Sugar or in Simon Cowel's record factory, this show is about testing player's game-theory, social manipulation, and puzzle-solving skills. (Probably, in that order.)
This show is (even neglecting the fact that it's being watched in Korean with subtitles) probably one of the most geeky bits of television you'll ever see. The games are of an exceptional quality and the players are compelling. There's something magic about the 'one home each week' formula that seems to consistently generate exciting contests, but having it done against such an interesting background of games is a level above the likes of The Apprentice, (probably the closest, and by 'closest' I mean, not-at-all-close-at-all, thing you will have ever heard of)
The music also deserves a special mention for being a level above the standard offering: admittedly it only really needs to do two emotions: exciting and tense, but it does them with a certain epic flair.
Clavis cryptica has done an excellent overview which explains the format in more detail, so to avoid boringly repeating what's already been written, I'm instead going to simply say I strongly recommend checking out an episode. If you're already totally sold, you should start at s1e1 to avoid spoilers, but otherwise some options for your suggestion.
s2e6 - A very unusual but high-drama episode which might feel familiar to western reality-TV fans.
s1e5 - A gentle episode but with a great puzzle game. Good for puzzle fans.
s3e1 - A great typical episode, moreso than s1e1. Also a spoiler-light choice.
Bothers Bar will be covering series 4, which starts in late June.