Series: The Genius


Spoilers for S1 note 

Spoiler for S2 note 

Spoilers for all 3 seasons note 

Beautiful defeats and ugly victories

The Genius (Korean: 더 지니어스) is a South Korean reality game show broadcast on cable channel tvN. The first season began airing on April 26, 2013. The show proved to be a hit for tvN and was subsequently, three other seasons were aired.

The Genius brings together 13 contestants from various areas to compete for the top spot in rounds involving various games. Every episode, a contestant is eliminated following a main match and a death match. The winner of the main match will gain a token of life as assurance to proceed to the next round, and in some cases, receives an additional token of life to give to another player as well as a predetermined number of garnets. The worst performer in the main match is automatically sent to the death match, and is allowed to choose their opponent. However, they cannot choose a person with a token of life. The winner of the death match gains their opponents garnets and the right to stay in the game.

For the final, the eliminated contestants are each given an item to give to the player of their choice, along with items or the specific games, there's always 1. The First pick item, The copy item, and the item blocker.

Format changes

S2: A token of life was added to the game, with clues given to main match winners Its eventually found by Sangmin

S3: The winners of the death match are given a black garnet, which when three are presented a black mission can be attempted which would save the player from the death match if completed However they become a non-factor as none of the missions are completed successfully and the remaining black garnets are traded for normal garnets at the beginning of the tenth episode

S4: Besides being an all-stars season, s4 will introduce 3 "Garnet Matches" where the person with the most and least garnets will be the winner and death match candidate of the episode. Also death matches are now chosen by lottery with contestants able to veto those they don't wish to play.

Season one was subtitled The Rules of the Game

Season two was subtitled Rule Breakers

Season three was subtitled The Black Garnet

Season four is subtitled Grand Finale and is currently airing

An English subbed version can be found here

Tropes found in the Genius include

  • Back for the Finale
  • Bittersweet Ending: Often happens when two allies or close friends are go to the deathmatch, so one ends up eliminating the other.
  • Breakout Character: Jyunghyun in series 2. Despite doing nothing for around the first 6 episodes, he ended up being one of the main characters of the series.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Token of life Twice In season 2 Once when Sangmin gives Doohee the fake token of life after the monopoly game and When he uses the token to save Yo-whan from the F4 deathmatch.
    • The Black garnets turn out to be a Red Herring since all attempts to use them fail
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Dongmin in the S3e10 deathmach. Realising that he has played himself into a corner, he manages to win by confusing Yeonjoo into copying his crazy move.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Jinho curb stomps Kyungran in S1's finals
    • And an episode earlier Kyungran curbstomps Sangmin in the Same Picture Hunt deathmatch
    • Youngseok with partner Dongmin absolutely brutalizes Yowhan and Jinho in Tactical Yutnori.
    • When Jyunghyun plays Hongchul at Same Picture Hunt in Series 2, Jyunghyun deploys a probably unbeatable strategy.
  • Deadly Hug: In the first game of series 4, Sangmin hugs Jyunghyun and whispers to him that he has the convict card.
  • Deathseeker: Dongmin in series 3 episode 7, says he wants to go to the deathmatch and tries to, but fails.
  • Eliminated From The Race
  • Flash Forward: Occasionally used, less common in later series.
  • Gambit Pileup: Happens often in the main matches.
  • Korean Honorifics
  • Mysterious Employer: Bandage Man
  • Once More with Clarity
  • Reality TV Show Mansion: The set is always styled like a mansion.
  • Reccuring Character: Every Series except the first featured some returning players.
  • Rules Spiel: Complete with neat animations.
  • Running Gag: Everyone's scared of Kyung-ran complete with {Ominous Music} She's revealed as the 5th Season one player to compete with The S2 contestants in the layoff game
  • Serious Business
  • Spiritual Successor: The Genius is inspired visually and conceptually by the Liar Game franchise (especially series 1). Indeed, some specific games appear which are near-copies of ones from Liar Game.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jinho During the Open, Pass game he uses a single colored pack of cards note  and using only the cards design, getting the highest score winning the main match