Fans of Netflix's 'Physical: 100' can expect an underground mine setting and these 3 notable contestants in season 2

Man on the set of  "Physical: 100 Season 2 — Underground"
The set of "Physical: 100 Season 2 — Underground" was inspired by underground mines in the mid-1900s.Netflix
  • "Physical: 100" was the first unscripted show to top Netflix's non-English TV chart.

  • "Physical: 100 Season 2 — Underground" premieres on March 19.

  • "We got an even more attractive and more compelling batch of contestants this time round," the director told Business Insider.

"Physical: 100" was the first unscripted show to top Netflix's non-English TV chart. And on March 19, it's back with"Physical: 100 Season 2 — Underground."

Previously dubbed as the real-life "Squid Game," the South Korean reality survival show features 100 contestants from a variety of backgrounds — think national athletes, FBI diplomats, and even arborists — fighting to claim the prize of 300 million Korean won, or $225,518, and the honor of having the "perfect physique."

With both pride and prize on the line, the stakes are high for the contestants. The scale of this season's set is also 1.5 times as big as what was used for season one, director Jang Ho-gi told Business Insider. He said the set spanned three football fields, and it took 60 dump trucks to fill the arena with sand. The goal was to create a lifelike quarry inspired by underground mines in the mid-1900s.

"I know that scale isn't everything, but we wanted to make sure that the contestants can really immerse themselves and feel like they are in an underground mine," said Jang.

Two men battling on the set of "Physical: 100" season 2
Two contestants battling it out on the second season of "Physical: 100."sangwoo/Netlix

This is why the team went as far as to put up fake spider webs in corners that weren't even visible on camera to make the set as realistic as possible, Jang said. He also added that it was important to him that season two felt more like a movie than an unscripted show to viewers.

"When you think about underground mines back then, the line between collaboration and competition kind of blurs, and there's that fine line between life and death," Jang said. He said it was the various juxtapositions in an underground mine that prompted him to choose this as the theme.

Season one was heavily inspired by ancient Greece, but contrasting themes aside, the crux of "Physical: 100" remains the same. Contestants are challenged on five different aspects of physical prowess — muscular strength, balance, endurance, agility, and willpower.

View from above of "Physical: 100 Season 2 — Underground" set.
Part of the "Physical: 100 Season 2 — Underground" set.ZOOYOUNG/Netflix

The first season of "Physical: 100" was a huge hit with viewers around the world. The show had 192 million viewing hours in its first four months and was Netflix's top 10 in 80 countries, according to Variety.

Following this success, the team felt pressured to come up with compelling quests that would surprise both well-prepared contestants and dedicated fans of the show. "That in itself was a challenge for me, but looking back, I think there was positive pressure that worked for us," Jang said.

Fans are excited about these three contestants

1. Kim Dong-hyun

With 22 victories under his belt, Kim Dong-hyun is an MMA fighter with the highest number of wins in South Korea, according to South Korean outlet Aju Korea Daily. Nicknamed "Stun Gun," the 42-year-old has long been revered as one of the most formidable welterweights in the UFC scene.

Beyond his achievements in the cage, Kim is also popular in the Korean variety show industry. Since 2010, Kim has appeared on various TV programs. He has also been a regular cast member on several prominent K-variety shows, including "Master in the House," "Amazing Saturday," and "The Return of Superman."

Kim has won the hearts of fans all over the world. "So excited for our comedian athlete Kim Donghyun," read a comment on a YouTube preview video.

2. Kang So-yeon

Kang So-yeon from Netflix's "Single's Inferno" should make for a formidable competitor, as she's already become the all-rounded It girl. A familiar face to fans of the popular South Korean reality dating series, Kang left a lasting impression on many with her charming personality and sporty persona.

"YYYYEEESSS!!! This is my show! I'm so stanning for Kang So-Yeon," read a comment on a YouTube preview video.

Kang, 35, debuted as a K-pop idol after five years of training in 2011. But her idol stint didn't last long due to issues with her agency, Kang told Cosmopolitan in January 2022. She now runs her own boxing gym HitFit Boxing.

Since her appearance on "Single's Inferno" in 2022, Kang has been busy with magazine cover photoshoots, filming YouTube videos, and even releasing her own music.

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3. Noh Sung-yul

The third on this list is Noh Sung-yul, who boasts over 10 million followers on his YouTube channel and TikTok account. He's the captain of a leading acrobatics tricking team "Team 1llusion." Noh uses his channels to document stunt challenges with his team, travel vlogs, and vocal training sessions with famous K-pop singers.

"I was so excited to see Noh Sung-yul from Team 1llusion!! Looking forward to the new season. Go get'em Captain!" read one of the top-liked comments on a teaser video.

Noh has appeared on various K-variety TV shows where he displayed his trick techniques. In 2013, started an academy where he teaches various skills, including martial arts tricking and acrobatics, per Noh's website.

"Thanks to the love that all the fans have shown for season one, we got an even more attractive and more compelling batch of contestants this time round," Jang told BI.

"If there were any missing pieces in the show, they were the ones that complemented and filled it," Jang said.

Read the original article on Business Insider