Television Review: The Devil’s Plan

All of the different movie/tv subscription plans I subscribe to are always suggesting different things for me to watch. Generally, I just ignore them, because I’ve got plenty of things I want to watch on my own. That said, every now and then something catches my eye, and I end up giving it a shot. The Devil’s Plan is one of those few exceptions. Netflix made it pop up on my radar, so I tried it. In the end, I really enjoyed the show.

It’s another South Korean game show, and so far I’ve had a lot of fun with those. This one is focused on smart people. They brought together 12 very bright individuals to live in a shared space for about a week. During that week, they competed against each other and with each other in an effort to both add money to the ultimate prize pool and then also be the one person to win that prize. That created a great tension between the players.

It’s different from other game shows in that it really placed an emphasis on smarts. The challenges were all very difficult, whether it was solving tangrams in a short amount of time or playing a sort of “blind Othello” game (where all the chips are the same color, and you just need to remember which ones are which.) That’s actually the biggest strength and weakness of the game, because since it’s in a different language, trying to learn the rules of what they were supposed to be doing was very challenging at times. (Daniela and Denisa didn’t care for it at all. MC, strangely enough, thought it was fantastic, maybe because she’s more used to not understanding every little thing?)

In some ways, the show felt like a social experiment. Because they’re all cut off from everyone else for that period of time, I think it ended up being much of impactful than it might be otherwise. It was interesting to see them come into the game expecting just to stay aloof and play it like a game. When the first person was eliminated, some of the contestants were crying, and others were kind of stunned that people would be sobbing about something so silly. A few days later, those same stunned people were bawling their eyes out.

Too often in game shows, it’s all about brawn. The “puzzles” they do are pretty straightforward. Mazes or literal puzzles. Maybe a word scramble or two to shake things up. The Devil’s Plan really (really) pushed people in a way other shows have not. I found it fascinating from beginning to end, really.

If any of that sounds up your alley, you should definitely give the show a shot. I gave it a 9/10, and I’m very happy to hear it was renewed for a second season.

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