Perhaps my most anticipated TV event recently has not been the new series of Doctor Who, nor the World Cup. Instead it was the new series of a game show on Korean TV which has bewitched me ever since I luckily found out about it while surfing various TV forums.
The Genius pits thirteen contestants against each other in a variety of games that require a mix of game theory, probabilities and social skills in order to understand the game and then build an alliance that might help you win the game.
The new element to the game this season is The Black Garnet – a gem that, if you have three of them, allows you to take part in a one-off solo game instead of being nominated for the Death Match and therefore possible elimination. The benefit being that you can chose what kind of solo match you take part in.
This new rule – a bit like the Hyperspace option in old arcade games, which would get you out of a tricky situation, but with a 20% chance of dying on re-entry – is the main difference in this new series. The rest is much as before.
The production team have been more careful in their selection of contestants. Apparently in season two there was a tendancy for the showbiz types to form an alliance against the non-showbiz competitors. This time, the contestants have been drawn from a wider range of lifestyles.
It’s very early days for season three, but the first episode seems to be a smooth transition, with the same amount of tension and sabotage as in previous seasons. This looks like another winner for The Genius brand, and I’m going to be clicking on the link to Bumbdidlyumptious' tumblr far more than is necessary in the vain hope that something new has been posted. Perhaps an advert or a little extra scene. Anything to satisfy my hunger for this show.
It’s going to be a rollercoaster made out of emotions, friendships, betrayal and mathematics. Surely, with those ingredients, nothing can go wrong.