Saturday, 18 July 2015

Currently watching: The Genius The Grand Finale

* Spoilers for episodes one to three! *

* Don’t say you weren’t warned! *

There’s good and bad about this series. On the down side is the contestant Kim Kyunghoon. His character seems to be a desperate-to-please underling. A sort of Gollum to the other contestants’ Frodo and/or Sauron. I hope this will change in episode four. It's a little undignified.

But the good bit is that the games (so far) reward minority alliances. In series three, it seemed too easy to put together a reliable set of more than half the players and then steamroller the other remaining players. Not this time. In each of the first three games, it’s even been possible to survive without joining a team at all.

And this brings me to the real surprise of the series: Lee Junseok. Last time I wrote about The Genius, I said he’d probably go out early. But he has been a strong player and one who relishes the idea of a minority win. I admire that.

He’s also given us the best moment of the series so far. In episode three, the game revolves around ordering one of three types of food, and also guessing how many people ordered the same thing. In order to save a team member from coming last, he discovers his opponents plans and then goes against his own team’s plan in order to stop them. This kind of maverick thinking has made him an early favourite with me.

Another event of note is the crushing defeat of Lim Yohwan (second in season two, but notoriously bad at team games) by Yeonsung. I’m glad Yeonsung has retained his ruthless edge, and I hope he’ll go far.

Excellent subs by Bumdidlyumptious, as always.

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