Is Physical 100 scripted? Netflix reality series explained

A still from Physical 100Netflix

Is Physical 100 scripted? The new Korean reality series has taken Netflix by storm – but is it all real?

In 2021, Squid Game took over the world. The show, revolving around a deadly competition where 456 contestants compete to the death for a huge prize pot, became a global sensation.

It’s the most-watched series in the history of Netflix, and its success planted the seeds for Physical 100. While people aren’t killed for failing their “quests”, it’s the closest thing to a real-life Squid Game right now – until the show’s actual reality show counterpart hits the streaming platform.

Over the first eight episodes, we’ve watched 100 people hang on for dear life and wrestle each other for glory – but some viewers may be asking: is it real, or is it scripted?

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Is Physical 100 scripted?

No, Physical 100 is not scripted. While it may be rather dramatic and use a lot of replays, it’s all real.

The premise of the show is simple: 100 people of varying ages, builds, and genders duke it out in a series of punishing challenges, known as “quests”, in a bid to win 300 million South Korean won ($245,000).

While outright billed as a reality series, some viewers suspected elements of it may have been scripted after the first few episodes. Specifically, eyebrows were raised over Quest 1, a one-on-one “deathmatch” where two contestants fought for possession of a ball.

Most of the fights were evenly matched, with the exception of a few Hulk-level men taking on others with gymnast physiques. On Reddit, one user wrote: “They probably got a bit scripted to not have a cheerleader fight a strongman too. Or maybe it’s Korean culture to always pick a similar contestant?”

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Another commented: “Pretty sure some of the matchups will have to be partially scripted though otherwise most of the men would just pick a woman as an opponent for a better chance.”

“Highly scripted. My general impression of Korean media is that it is heavily orchestrated. Although I believe the match ups to be real, everything else from how much screen time, conversations, and controversy is all planned,” a third wrote.

“Kinda like the pocket MMA guy. The bad guy music and the fact that they chose to show that match told me that there are powers at play trying to manipulate things. It made no sense to show that match in that they had to have had better footage of another match. So why show this boring one? Cause it will generate buzz and get people talking about the show,” they added.

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Another user speculated: “I think the competition is real but all of the bigger celebrities have already been compensated for their appearance. There is no way they are working this hard just to maybe make $240k.”

While the show does seem to revolve around a few contestants more than others, there’s no evidence to suggest any of the series is scripted.

Physical 100 Episodes 1-8 are available to stream on Netflix now. Have a look at our other content below:

All winners and eliminations | Who is the narrator? | Is it scripted? | Full list of contestants