The Genius Season 1. By the Numbers.

In The Genius, one player is eliminated every episode and the last remaining player is the champion. The main match decides the winner and elimination candidate for the day and the winner receives a token of life which grants immunity from the death match.The loser chooses a player without a token of life to take part in a 1 vs 1 game called the death match. The player who loses the death match is eliminated.

Celebrity game shows are very much your standard-fare for Korean variety. The Genius has a different atmosphere: One of alliances and deceit. The show focuses more on mental and social skills of the contestants. Think of it as Survivor with tabletop gaming. To be able to pick out geniuses, the tests to do that must be on a higher level of genius. The show runners definitely accomplished that. The mechanics of the main matches were expertly crafted to test them both socially and intellectually. The show also gives very detailed info-graphics as it goes on with explanations. That level of detail is reassuring of just how much work is put into it to craft the experience even for the viewers.

Unlike most game shows though, I was surprised at how loose the restrictions were against players. There were no rules against how information is shared. Free time separates the rounds of games. This is when schemes and alliances are made. That made the show very unpredictable. A vital piece of information revealed or a sudden betrayal turns the tables in almost every episode. Couple that with the smart editing and you have a very entertaining show to follow.

And listen to that kickass soundtrack. Save it and get hyped for whatever you’ll be doing.

Spoilers after the break for Season 1. After that, I have three more seasons to catch up to.

Here’s a rundown on the final three players of the first season. In the interest of not majorly spoiling the ending, I’ll be keeping names and genders anonymous. It’ll just be an analysis on their personalities.

#3. Cunning 10. Intelligence 6. Composure 6.

Number Three proved to be the most socially cunning out of all the contestants. They were constantly being the center of alliances throughout the season. Combining their social instincts and smart analysis also enabled them to have very good senses about how the games played out. In the end, painting themselves as always a huge threat was their downfall, resulting in caving in under pressure of the death match.

#2. Cunning 9. Intelligence 8. Composure  5.

Number Two expertly made their way to the top with their great political sense. Contrary to Three, you could even say they went under the radar. I think their type is the most threatening combination: Being able to be simultaneously socially cunning and having great analytical skills. They have the guise of taking the righteous side while also having their own agenda. Under pressure, though, the anxiety got the best of them even with having some advantages in games.

#1. Cunning 7. Intelligence 8. Composure  9.

Number One played it straight the entire season. Even without making some serious social plays and betrayals they just won it out with sharper wits. There were a few clutch moments when noticing the tiniest details gave them the edge. They had good wins but also bad losses where they were sent for elimination. Under pressure, One outlasted everyone. You could even say they did better as the death matches went on. They had the ability to quickly learn the games then turn the tables against their opponents.

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