In essence, this reality variety programme from Korea tests the intelligence, sociability and survival instincts of players through gameplay. Strategies formulated through alliances and broken by betrayals; benefits of allies gingerly balanced with self-interests; dramatic moments and unexpected last minute twists; together with the superb choice of background music (Idiotape’s “Melodie” and Moby’s “Extreme Ways” get me pumped up every time) and sleek post-production make every episode a compelling watch.
Despite garnering rave reviews from critics and viewers alike for the first season of “The Genius”, the production team was coy about the possibility of a second season. Confirmation for Season 2 finally came at the end of the first season after the winner was crowned, in the form of a teaser video unveiling the first player for Season 2: popular Korean entertainer Noh Hong-chul (aka the Elevator Guy in the “Gangnam Style” MV).
Other players were revealed in subsequent teaser videos leading up to the start of the new season, building up even more hype this time around compared to the rather low-key introduction to its first season. The new line-up comprises TV entertainers, singers, professional gamers, newscasters, lawyer, lecturer, hacker, magician, and Go player. Two popular players from Season 1 were also invited to join the new season, adding a touch of familiarity.
* Updated May 2014:
“The Genius” production team had just opened its player selection for Season 3 to the public through an open casting call. At this point of time, it is not revealed how many players will be chosen from the open casting call. The new season is expected to begin its broadcast around autumn 2014.
* Updated Dec 2014:
Season 3 is well under way! You can read more about it in my post.
(all image credit: tvN)