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The 8 Show, it’s absurd(ly great).

What describes The 8 Show? Gamification. Absurd. Intense. Insidious. Executions. Crazy. I will do my best to not spoil too much and my worst to make this as short as it can possibly be (no I won’t).

Gamification. The main premise of The 8 Show is to gather eight characters and give them a chance to earn money by confining them into a built up studio, where a gigantic digital clock ticks down ominously while 24/7 cameras point at every inch of the estate. If time runs out, the show ends. For the players to earn more money they only need to do two things: not die or earn more time. However we never know where the money comes from or who the show producers are, but how cheery of them indeed to add a titanic animated screen of an analog clock to tell the time! Oh, and 1-way phonelines that delivers, via a interconnected chute, whatever it’s asked of – for a special price!

Absurd. This is a show in full, well iykyk. But this, imho, is what makes it an intense, engaging and fluidly paced 8-episode shock/horror Korean drama. The cinematography is zany yet watchable. The setup and the sets may remind you of a certain Squid Game, but the similarity ends there. Here the participants concoct their own games and play by their own rules. There may be niggly silly details to pick on but it was easy for me to not get bogged down on them and focus on the creme de la creme: the cast, who are very..

Intense. The ensemble cast are well-fleshed and their characters continue to tease us all the way till the final moments. In abundance they share chemistry (at one point, literally during ep6), food, money, time and poop. There is not a lack of poop-related scenes, mind you, not for comic brevity but rather integral to the show’s guts, pun intended. What’s not lacking, thankfully, are the very strong acting chops where noone pulled their punches, again, pun intended. Each episode breezes past you provokingly and you will inevitably inch closer to the edges of your seat. It is gripping. It is shocking. It is..

Insidious. In Act 1, a homogenously dressed party of clueless individuals, from desperate backgrounds, are all trying to make sense of this mini voyeur world they are now in. They struggle to earn more time to continue earning money while resisting hard from getting anyone injured. We see conflicts and predicaments fly over each other as they constantly jostle to come to a decision. There’s even a poop-related election! Bit by bit each participant’s reveal their hidden stripes, some more impressive than others. Everyone begins strategizing and galvanizing. You will be forgiven for sharing a mea culpa with the show’s creator if you felt like the action could shift up a gear or two. In the early days, it’s all fun and games until it eventually becomes no longer fun and games, leading us to..

Executions. Act 2! You get an inter-gender fist fight, people getting tased and peeing uncontrollably after, a glimmer of sexual innuendos, plenty of righteous bravado (such as resisting a poop-sharing agenda), more people getting tased and peeing uncontrollably after, a formation of a dark government that reeks of high society shenanigans, a manic hide and seek chase, and a chain of celebratory sequences of a mutiny (what a brilliantly executed mutiny!) that gently lulls us into..

Crazy. Act 3!!! A diabetic induced act of altruism kickstarts a series of topsy turvy events, where we are treated to a whole load of crazy after crazy. I digress, but is it crazy now that poop no longer matter during this arc? The show gets grimy but never too dark, it gets fancy but never too light, and a matrix of schemes uncover relentlessly, where might I say, to an extent, delightfully. You can’t help but wonder if these 8 participants have accepted fate or are tempting fate. The show flies into its final moments and the zaniness crescendoes into a scintillating spectacle of circus acts, ushering us towards a morbid ending. As the group approaches closer and closer to its exit bit, towards humanity, towards normalcy..

The 8 show is a show about eight people where there are zero laws. It is absurd, intense and a lot of crazy. And poop too.