Love fires up for Single’s Inferno


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Singer Kyuhyun is one of the commentators of the show.

The possibility of one blissful day in paradise at a luxury hotel with a partner of your choice depends on your ability to charm any of six extremely attractive strangers in just one week. 

But what happens to those who are not able to catch the eye of any stranger? They are trapped in a hell where water is rare, food must be made from scratch, and tensions stretch tight between competitors. 

“Single’s Inferno”, a South Korean dating reality show on Netflix, is crossing national borders to gain international attention. The show features 12 single competitors: six women and six men looking for love on a deserted island. Within the span of one week, competitors must capture the hearts of a partner in order to escape the deserted island and travel to a luxury resort where they will enjoy a date with their chosen partner.  

The show, which was released in December, begins with the arrival of the contestants on Inferno, and the incredibly slow-paced and dramatic entrances of the contestants set the stage for the show’s focus on visuals and body language. Introductions are uncomfortable and awkward, as are many of the initial conversations, and gaps of silence are much too common. 

With singer Kyuhyun, actor and model Lee Da-Hee, comedian Hong Jin-Kyung, and rapper Hanhae, the diverse group of commentators already hints at a successful show. But the commentators’ introduction to the show seems quite unrehearsed, and it seems that they do not have a clear understanding of how the show will function. As this format of broadcasting with commentary is not as common in foreign countries, viewers who are not familiar with Korean television may find this commentary disrupting or confusing. 

As the contestants get to know each other and slow attractions begin to form, the contrasting charms of each individual are enticing to watch. Unlike other dating shows such as  “The Bachelor”, which has 30-40 contestants, the relatively small number of 12 contestants on “Single Inferno” provides the viewer with an opportunity to get to know each contestant on a deeper emotional level. 

But the uneven split of screen time between contestants became evident when three members were added just three days before the show ended. Favored contestants already received a disproportionate amount of screen time, and with the addition of the new contestants, the spotlight on certain members became all too clear. 

Though one week may seem much too short, the eight episodes of the show were interminable. Of course the first three days or so, the introduction to Inferno and Paradise felt new and exciting, as well as the introduction to the contestants. But for the rest of the week, the schedule became increasingly repetitive and predictable, and the show slowly lost some of its excitement and anticipation. 

“Single’s Inferno” is definitely not a must-watch, but it does not fail to entertain and keep viewers on their toes as they observe the relationships being formed.