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The Genius

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To get things started, how about a list of the all-star contestants?

 

  • Kim Kyungran
  • Choi Jungmoon
  • Lim Yoonsun
  • Lee Sangmin
  • Hong Jinho
  • Oh Hyunmin
  • Jang Dongmin
  • Yoo Junghyun
  • Lim Yohwan
  • Lee Junseok
  • Kim Kyunghoon
  • Kim Yoohyun
  • Choi Yeonseung

 

And here's a subtitled preview "interview" with the 3 winners/all-stars, talking about each other.

 

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It's a pretty good mix, considering the options.

 

Based on how Wie is de Mol? (which has pretty much the same "obscure foreign show with covertly-sourced subtitles" thing going on) worked earlier this year, I'm thinking we'll probably just use this thread for the whole season? Any objections?

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Considering the number of us that are likely to be in this thread...no objections here.

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A couple more videos.

 

First, an interview with the band Idiotape.  They provide a majority of the soundtrack, including the theme (which rocks so very hard).

 

 

Second, a preview of the first episode, focusing Dongmin and Hyunmin.

 

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Rooting for Kyungran and Hyunmin. Everyone else I've either grown tired of seeing (Sangmin, Jinho, Dongmin), have always found overrated and uninteresting (Yohwan, Yoohyun) or am wondering why they're even there (Junseok, Kyunghoon, Jungmoon - although she was pretty entertaining during the Firing Game).

I have an odd fascination with Junghyun, and Yunsoon went home disappointingly early, so they can stay. But I am sad not to see Jiwon and Yooyoung, and I would've been fine with a third season of Hweejong because I think he's hot.

Cautiously excited about the season but fearing a Sangmin/Dongmin overload.

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I've played this board game (blanking on the name) where you're a bank robber and each round you choose to point your gun at another bank robber after secretly selecting to use a Blank or a Bullet. Players can then opt out of the round, the reason for doing so is that if you're shot with a real bullet, you lose a life. The downside is, you don't get a share of the "loot" available for the round. Whoever amasses the most wealth after a number of rounds (and without being shot 3 times) wins.

I've always thought this would make an interesting Genius game with some modifications.

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Some more preview stuff.
 
First off, the interview with the 3 winners I posted above apparently came from a photo shoot that the cast were doing.  It looks like for the shoot, they paired up different contestants (with the 3 winners all together) for a concept within the shoot.  The end results, and the composite final shot can be seen on the Genius's Facebook page.  And since it is the Genius, there is a hidden message in those posters.

 

So that one interview came from that shoot, as did this interview with everyone in their pairings. 

 

There was a preview clip with Dongmin already, so how about one with Jinho:

 

And one with Sangmin:

 

And finally, a general teaser for the first episode:

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Ca$h 'n Guns.  Good game.  The Game Grumps  (and guests) played it on their tabletop show Table Flip.

 

After looking at the rules for the second edition of the game, that would be the better version for a Genius game.  Although the real best version would be a combination of the two.

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Two final preview clips.

First, some behind-the-scenes fun at the official Genius 4 press conference with the whole cast.

And lastly, some thoughts from 4 non-returning contestants: Doohee from Season 2, and Ahyoung, Sujin, and Yongsuk from Season 3.

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And it's a pretty good start. The intro sequence was a little weird at first, and didn't seem to fit the Genius premise. But it won't show up again, so I'm letting it go.

The 3 Min "alliance" was cute, and all 3 returned to form spectacularly.

Great first Main Match. And the new Death Match rules are a good touch for an all-star season.

Kinda wanted the Death Match to go the other way.

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I agree about the potential for Sangmin/Dongmin overload.  Would love it if Dongmin in particular goes home early, since his personality tends to overwhelm many of the others.  I still like Jinho, though, and hope he does well again.

 

Love the way the death matches are being chosen this year.

 

Also enjoyed that Jinho's entrance was to what I think of as the definitive Genius musical snippet; I don't recall its name, but I mentally call it "That Damn Moby Song".

Edited by Trip

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Solid opening episode.

 

As much as I'm still fearing a Sangmn overload, I appreciate that he often throws a monkey wrench in the majority's plans and keeps the episodes interesting. However, I'm not sure how long he'll last without A) the Token of Immortality in his back pocket and B) a comparatively weak field of players like we had in Season 2.

 

Nice to see that Kyunghoon and Junseok are still total disasters when it comes to the social element of the game. Strong showing from Jungmoon, keeping her composure when she pulled the Convict card.

 

Still rooting for Hyunmin and Kyungran, who I have always found to be the most well-balanced players.

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Thanks!

 

I too love the way the Death Matches are being picked this year, and my only real complaint is that they're games we've seen before, many of them multiple times, rather than being new ideas players have to reject based solely on the titles. (But I am pleasantly surprised we only got two of the poker variants instead of all three. And that Monorail will be back.)

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Loved Ep 1, though not the outcome.

 

Who knew I would be so happy to see a South Korean show, with subtitles, no romance or special effects, back on my computer screen again?

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Not sure exactly how I found this (I think from Twitter), but I just did today.

 

There's a podcast with the working name of "The Dom and Colin Podcast", hosted by a couple guys named Dom and Colin.  They normally talk about American reality shows (Dom is from the UK, Colin sounds American) like Survivor and Big Brother.  But earlier this year, via Reddit, they were recommended The Genius.  And they got quickly hooked, apparently peppering their episodes about other shows with Genius references and/or comparisons immediately.  And now they're covering Genius too.

 

They've done lengthy recap episodes for the first 2 seasons.  And I do mean lengthy.  The coverage of season 1 is split into 2 podcasts of over 2 hours long.  And season 2 is in 3 parts; parts 1 and 2 are 2 hours, while part 3 is almost 3 hours long!  Lots of the length comes from analyzing the games and trying to figure out optimal and/or alternate strategies to what was presented.  A good portion of the first part of their season 2 coverage was just about the first game of Food Chain.

 

They were trying to get season 3 covered before season 4 started, but it doesn't look like they were able to.  Their season 4 coverage is up to date, meaning they're waiting for the subtitled episode 2 also.  But it appears (I haven't listened to anything from this season yet) that they started season 4 with a fantasy draft of some sort.  I'll need to listen to that to understand exactly what's going on there.

 

It sounds like a great companion piece to the show and our discussions.  And at the very least, if you don't think you have the time to add this to your schedule, read their op/ed piece on why everyone should be watching the show.

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Episode 2 is up now.

 

And having now watched it, it's another good episode.  I really liked how the voice-over explained where each alliance went wrong in the Main Match.

 

And that Death Match. Woo-boy.  Talk about a demonstration of absolute control.  That was pure domination.  The cast should feel lucky that that game is out of the rotation now, because if it came up again, it'd be a repeat of the slaughter.

Edited by SVNBob

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Episode 2 is up now.

And having now watched it, it's another good episode. I really liked how the voice-over explained where each alliance went wrong in the Main Match.

And that Death Match. Woo-boy. Talk about a demonstration of absolute control. That was pure domination. The cast should feel lucky that that game is out of the rotation now, because if it came up again, it'd be a repeat of the slaughter.

High on my wish list is a betting Death Match between Sangmin and Dongmin. I bet it would be either fascinating or completely insane.

I, too, enjoyed the episode and thought somehow Yoonsun might benefit from being unaligned and pull out a win. I really like the Sangmin/Jungmoon/Hyunmin/Kyungran alliance and am glad they recovered from their bumble.

I don't know what it is about Yoohyun, but I can just never bring myself to root for him. I hope he's out soon along with Junseok. Kyunghoon can stay for a bit because he is so bad it's good.

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Top 10 Death Matches. Because I can.

10. Yoonsun v. Yohwan: Laser Chess (Season 2).

Something about it didn't quiiiiiite translate to TV, but the setup and pieces were beautiful and it was one of the more experimental death matches they've had. It gets a slot for novelty alone.

9. Jinho v. Gura: Indian Hold 'Em (Season 1)

Let's face it, Gura had already kinda given up by this point. But the idea of having such two big forces going head to head, especially in an arena that Gura is supposed to excel at, was exciting nevertheless. Especially coming off the Robber Game where these two had gotten into it.

8. Junghyun v. Yohwan: Black and White (Season 2)

After watching Junghyun and Yooyoung stalemate at this game I thought it had kinda run it's course. Yet, Yohwan was able to use Junghyun's textbook strategy against him and it was quite impressive.

7. Hyunmin v. Jongbum: Twelve Janggi (Season 3)

Another game that took a while before it fully translated to TV, but I love Hyunmin and enjoyed watching him completely thrash his opponent, especially after the way the majority manipulated the Constellation Game to ensure his loss.

6. Kyunghoon v. Sangmin: Betting Rock Paper Scissors (Season 4)

Resultswise, this was a travesty. But theoretically, it was such an unexpected upset that it's hard not to find it interesting. Sangmin normally has amazing instincts, so to see him floundering against somebody so insane was bizarre and entertaining. I also loved the last minute twist that Kyungran lied, because people are usually infuriatingly honest during these sorts of games.

5. Junghyun v. Hongcheol: Same Picture Hunt (Season 2)

It wasn't actually interesting to watch at all, but after screaming at my TV in season 1 for Kyungran or Sangmin to use this strategy, it was cool to see it actually play out. It's maybe a bit cruel, but it has it's own risks and the way Junghyun smugly pretended he was "checking" the letters again was hilarious.

4. Jiwon v. Jinho: Indian Hold 'Em (Season 2)

Not only was this an awesome upset, but the card flip, followed by a draw, and then another showdown, was INTENSE. It was also nice to see Jinho knocked down from his pedestal a bit.

3. Yeongseung v. Yohwan: Tactical Yutnori (Season 4)

I normally dislike watching Yutnori matches (my boyfriend calls it Yutsnori) but having seen it a few times I'm starting to understand, and this was just a lesson in total and complete annihilation. Watching Dongmin completely read the other team was hilarious and incredibly satisfying.

2. Yeonjoo v. Yoohyun: Invisible Maze (Season 3)

This one had so many layers of awesomeness that I don't even know where to begin. Not only was Yeonjoo's completely hairbrained strategy to use Yoohyun's path fascinating, but the way it freaked him out was like sweet sweet revenge for the way he treated Ahyoung the week before in the same game. He was so cocky, so to watch him be thoroughly trashed by somebody everybody underestimated was very satisfying.

1. Yeonjoo v. Dongmin: Monorail (Season 3)

What a roller coaster of emotions! First you think Dongmin has it in the bag and that last week was a fluke for Yeonjoo... And then: what the fuck, she beat Dongmin too!? The calmness he displays in these next few seconds is both impressive and crucial. He barely indicates that he knows he's fucked and throws a total hailmary to try and get back in it. It NEVER should have worked, but Yeonjoo's biggest weakness (despite actually being deceptively strong) throughout the season was poor listening skills... She constantly needed reminders of the rules. Dongmin preyed on this and delivered probably the most impressive Death Match win this far.

Honourable mentions go to Kyungran v. Sangmin, as it was the first for both of them so late in the season and thus very dramatic, and Doohee v. Yooyoung, because the way he misplayed his hand and acted like a child all day made it very satisfying.

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Top 10 Death Matches. Because I can.

I would have to concur with this list.

 

The only part I differ with is Yeonjoo's weakness in Monorail.  It wasn't just a rule comprehension issue.  There was also the stated reason of her having a lack of self-confidence.  When Dongmin played his "hail mary", she should have called him on it.  Instead, she thought he'd seen something she didn't.  Granted, that might have been exacerbated by self-awareness of her comprehension issue.  But she underestimated herself. And I don't think that Dongmin underestimated her at all during that Death Match.

 

Also, much credit to the PDs on that episode.  They put together a whole retrospective of Dongmin's game throughout season 3, as they'd done for Ahyoung and Yoohyun the previous two weeks, complete with ballad...then hit the rewind and he made his play.  Cue Moby.  Total fakeout in the best Genius way.

 

This latest Death Match (Season 4 Ep 4), is also a high contender.  Very close and evenly matched for most of it, making things very tense and the results up in the air.  Until the momentum killing critical mistake, of course.

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Episode 5 is another really good one.  This season is really on a roll right now.  I loved the main match -- one of those games where you can think a lot about what the proper strategies would be for each team; I'd be interested in playing this in real life sometime.  And the death match was exciting to watch.

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Yes!! Episode 5's DM was amazing, and not only because my absolute favorite crushed somebody I've never been a fan of in a huge upset victory. Amazing. At this point, only Dongmin, Hyunmin and Kyungran are undefeated in DMs.

My one slight issue with the episode is that Dongmin can sometimes be like a weed and suck up all the fun for himself. The rebels barely stood a chance after Yoohyun outed himself because he had Kyungran and Jungmoon so thoroughly pegged. I thought Kyungran's acting was phenomenal, and it's a testament to Dongmin's abilities that everybody fell for it except him.

Jungmoon continues to be a strong theoretical player but a poor social player. Remembering 70 digits of Pi is exceptional... But why would she admit that upfront? She could have claimed to remember 30 or 40 and use additional information as leverage later to hopefully be voted Final King. Furthermore, she was just as clumsy and willing to offer information as she was in the Zombie game. Personally, I would have Jailed her instead of Kyungran for being so quick to jump ship. At least Kyungran worked for her team.

I take your point on Yeonjoo, SVNBob - I do think she underestimated herself and thus believed that Dongmin must see something she couldnt. But I do also think that Dongmin knew his hailmary had a chance specifically because she often required clarification on the rules. To me it seemed that she forgot she could tell him it's impossible and win as a result, but I could be misreading it.

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Yes!! Episode 5's DM was amazing, and not only because my absolute favorite crushed somebody I've never been a fan of in a huge upset victory. Amazing. At this point, only Dongmin, Hyunmin and Kyungran are undefeated in DMs.

My one slight issue with the episode is that Dongmin can sometimes be like a weed and suck up all the fun for himself. The rebels barely stood a chance after Yoohyun outed himself because he had Kyungran and Jungmoon so thoroughly pegged. I thought Kyungran's acting was phenomenal, and it's a testament to Dongmin's abilities that everybody fell for it except him.

I can see why that might not be fun for everyone.  On the other hand, watching Dongmin pull off those amazing soul reads can also be fun.  Plus he's had lots of experience in similar games.  In the first episode of Crime Scene 2 (another great variety show; watch if you haven't already), Dongmin made the claim that he'd played over 1000 games of Mafia.  That much of that game hones your skills to read people. 

 

It didn't help that Jungmoon is pretty easy to read, and that Kyungran was acting out of character until she got jailed twice.  Only Yoohyun wasn't initially on Dongmin's radar.  And I think we can attribute that to him being a pro poker player.

 

Jungmoon continues to be a strong theoretical player but a poor social player. Remembering 70 digits of Pi is exceptional... But why would she admit that upfront? She could have claimed to remember 30 or 40 and use additional information as leverage later to hopefully be voted Final King. Furthermore, she was just as clumsy and willing to offer information as she was in the Zombie game. Personally, I would have Jailed her instead of Kyungran for being so quick to jump ship. At least Kyungran worked for her team.

 

Dongmin was really caught on the horns of that dilemma.  And I can see why he was.  Dongmin's greatest strength in The Genius is his ability to gain allies.  If you're on his side, he'll do everything he can to try and save you.  (See his attempt to save Jinho in Fish Shop, or just ask Hyunmin.)  And he forms these alliances using one thing: his word.  That's his character in the game.  He's the Trustworthy one.  (The anti- Kyunghoon if you like.)

 

So at the end, he was caught.  He'd promised he'd save Jungmoon.  He said that in front of everyone (except Kyungran and Yoohyun).  He gave his word.  He couldn't go back on it, even if they all asked him to.  He'd lose the trust of everyone in the game.

 

Could this come back to bite him, like saving Kyunghoon did to Sangmin?  Possibly.  If it comes to a Deathmatch between Dongmin and Jungmoon, and Gyul!Hap! gets selected, then definitely.  But he stayed true to his word.  That counts as a victory to Dongmin.

 

 

I take your point on Yeonjoo, SVNBob - I do think she underestimated herself and thus believed that Dongmin must see something she couldnt. But I do also think that Dongmin knew his hailmary had a chance specifically because she often required clarification on the rules. To me it seemed that she forgot she could tell him it's impossible and win as a result, but I could be misreading it.

I can see that too. She did react at the moment he called the impossibility as if she'd forgotten that rule. But she seemed to have a better grasp on Death Match rules than Main Match rules.  Granted, the sample size makes this hard to measure scientifically.  She only had the 2 Death Matches, versus 10 Main Matches.  And she seemed to understand the rules of the Invisible Maze pretty well.

 

Regardless of the actual factor, it is absolutely true that Dongmin's hailmary play would only have worked on Yeonjoo.   It goes back to his ability to read people.  He could tell that it was worth a try.  And if she called him on it, he'd have gone down fighting and she would have earned a huge win (and a boost that she could have used for the final games).

 

Plus the other two in that final 4 were Hyunmin and Yeonseung.  And if either of them had been playing that Deathmatch against Dongmin, they would have called him on it; Hyunmin instantly, Yeonseung after some thought.  And he would be able to tell that, so he probably wouldn't have even tried.

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So next week's Main Match is apparently some kind of poker. At least we had Indian Poker last week so there's less chance we'll get a poker Death Match as well.

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Only if one of the people in the Death Match can and does eliminate Double Sided Poker as an option.  That's the only poker Death Match left.  But with so few Death Matches left, they might not be able to eliminate any as of the next episode.

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Even so, we've still got a 20% chance both games will involve poker next week. I don't get why they'd even pick two poker-based Death Matches knowing that there was going to be a poker Main Match and that so many players hate the poker games.

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Despite accidentally being spoiled, I almost wet myself when the 5-person joint win was revealed. And then the sick flashback to how it all happened and I was just living for it. I take back my admonishment of Dongmin being too controlling, because that was masterful.

If Jungmoon goes to the DM next week then we know one of the two options removed will be Gyul! Hap! If it's Dongmin or Hyunmin, they will remove Twelve Janggi. If it's Kyungran then probably Same Picture Hunt. I think there's a huge chance we are getting a double poker episode (although I wouldn't want to face Jinho in poker). Which is fine, because although I didn't see the preview, I assume the main match won't be too straight forward.

Sad to see Yeonseung go. He's never been one of my absolute favorites, but I like him and was hoping to get rid of socially inept Junseok.

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If episode 6 is about control, episode 7 is about a lack of control and the chaos that can bring.  Dongmin lost control of part of his alliance (Hyunmin remained on his side...rather telling, that.), but he was able to rein in the other side and regain control amidst the chaos masterfully.  Jungmoon couldn't control herself, which led to the chaos in the first place, and then her downfall.

 

If you'd told me around episode 1 that Kyunghoon would still be in the game at the halfway point, on merit no less, I would have laughed my head off.  But he's proven himself to be a decent player; better than his placement in Season 3 would have indicated.

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Episode 7 has me back on the "send Dongmin home" train. I don't mind that he controls everything, and I don't mind that he LIKES controlling everything, but he was acting like a giant baby that Jinho/Kyungran weren't blindly following what he wanted. He even had tears in his eyes at one point and it was the exact same entitlement that he showed when he was opposed in the Constellation Game.

Now that it's down to 6 Hyunmin needs to start distancing himself or he's looking at Season 3 redux. If I were him I would try to repair the alliance next week and then try and use Kyunghoon and Junseok to eliminate Dongmin and Jinho while remaining nominally aligned with them. His safest bet would be to face Kyungran in the finals because their skill sets are different and the final games would likely favor Hyunmin.

Jungmoon is a total disaster. Considering Jinho torpedoed his own safety to give her a chance, you'd think she would follow through, but this wishy washy play has been a consistent theme. She's actually replaced Kyunghoon has the source of chaos.

She's also been a total nonentity. I have a pool with my boyfriend and Jungmoon was on my team. After 7 episodes she only managed to get me 29 points, compared with Yoohyun who also sucked and went home 2 weeks sooner but still got me 23 points. The other players all have over 68.

Interestingly, Kyunghoon would have the highest point value at the moment... But he was not selected by either of us for our pool. Ha!

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I knew I hated Gyul! Hap!.

Ugh, I know. I knew her days were numbered based on the remaining players and eligible Death Matches, but I am still crushed. I was hoping the guys would try and keep her as long as possible as a loyal ally/easy win later.

Kyungran's problem is that she spent the season deferring too much to the men in her alliance. I know that may be cultural, but after Cha went home in Season 1 Kyungran was the center of most alliances and deals, which is why she was so good in info-based games like the Zombie Game and Betting Horse Race.

She should have taken Dongmin's -20 cube and hoped Jinho could give her a Token of Life, but she wasn't cutthroat enough.

I'm looking forward to seeing Ahyoung next week, though! Her and Kyunghoon together should provide a lot of entertainment.

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I knew I hated Gyul! Hap!.

It goes against pop cultural "wisdom", but in this case I think its a matter of "Don't hate the game, hate the player."  Specifically, a player not involved directly in that game, but his actions did lead to the outcome.

 

And while I understand why they let Kyunghoon buy that power (he still had the big stack), they should have made him earn it with more than just a single garnet.  Yes, he still would have won the bids, but he'd have been at a much lower stack, making things a bit more even...

 

Can't blame Dongmin either.  He had the right strategy for the game.  Start with a background check, then build from there.

 

Kyungran should have had a pair of glasses with her, just in case.  That would have helped her a lot.  Plus I bet she'd rock the Sexy Librarian look.

 

Moving on to the "revenge" match.  Not so much with the revenge, since the rules precluded a lot of it.  But there was some.  And it was the King's Alliance that did it, with the help of a Queen.  And she succeeded in her goal for the day, so it was a win-win-win-win.

 

This version of Quattro finally gives a set of rules that allow for playing at home.  And you don't need anything special; just an ordinary deck of cards with both Jokers still included.  Discard the face cards and the 7s through 10s (or just the 10s and add 4 more virtual players), then follow the rules as presented.

 

Dongmin looks like he might be able to pull off the repeat.  It all depends on this next episode.  The optimal play for him (and Jinho really) is if both Hyunmin and Kyunghoon go to the Death Match.  Because if they both survive, they'll shut out whoever is left in the match after that, which is probably the final garnet match, and force that man into the Death Match.

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At least the first game was mixed up with the mini-puzzles.  And that was a clever way to incorporate the guests.  It felt a little like Scamming Horse Race II from season 1.

 

Possibly the craziest part?  (Other than the show going meta and dropping Moby for Kyunghoon's guest when he could have had a Moment of Awesome.)  Hyunmin ended the game with all the garnets except 1 (Dongmin still has his initial garnet.).  That made a total of 89 for Hyunmin before he was awarded the bonus prize for winning.  Those 10 garnets put him up to 99, and the total pot is now at 100 garnets, for the first time ever.  I'm pretty sure that the bonus prize was 10 garnets to make that happen, no matter how the garnets were distributed over the final 3.

 

Alas, the icon.  At least he finished better than he did in season 2.  But he got himself beat in the Main Match, by announcing his plans to go all-in.  That allowed Hyunmin to set and spring the trap.  Then Kyunghoon outplayed him in DSP.  That was a smart move on his part, purposefully losing when the shoe showed a small card up next so Jinho was forced to take it and preventing him from doubling down.  And the triple draw?!?  Jinho was having some extreme flashbacks when that started, I'm sure.

 

The final Death Match is going to be interesting.  We know exactly what it's going to be; Twelve Janggi.  The players are the interesting part.

 

I think I heard somewhere that Kyunghoon has claimed to have "solved" this game, much like he did Monorail.  At the very least, he knows that the game is solved.  He's a theoretical expert.

 

Hyunmin played twice and won both times, so he's a practical expert.

 

Dongmin taught Hyunmin how to play Janggi in the first place, and I'm sure he's been practicing ever since it was announced as a Death Match possibility in episode 1; now more than ever since it's the only possibility and there's a very real chance he'll be in that match.  But he might not even have to play, since he's the social expert.

 

Any combination of two of these three men playing this game means we're in for a very intense Death Match.  Which is perfect for leading up to the finale.  But with a Death Match that intense, it's good that we're going to get a Main Match filled with humor with the guests from SNL Korea.

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At least the first game was mixed up with the mini-puzzles.  And that was a clever way to incorporate the guests.  It felt a little like Scamming Horse Race II from season 1.

 

Possibly the craziest part?  (Other than the show going meta and dropping Moby for Kyunghoon's guest when he could have had a Moment of Awesome.)  Hyunmin ended the game with all the garnets except 1 (Dongmin still has his initial garnet.).  That made a total of 89 for Hyunmin before he was awarded the bonus prize for winning.  Those 10 garnets put him up to 99, and the total pot is now at 100 garnets, for the first time ever.  I'm pretty sure that the bonus prize was 10 garnets to make that happen, no matter how the garnets were distributed over the final 3.

 

A note to future players: select Kyunghun as your guest partner. He's 2/2 in getting his Genius player Immunity at F4.

 

Hyunmin getting all the garnets at F4 royally screwed me in my pool. It gave my bf a one-time boost of 99 points, which I can't possibly come back from despite having done better than him the last few weeks. My team was Dongmin, Jinho, Kyungran, Jungmoon, Yoohyun and Junghyun. He had Hyunmin, Junseok, Yeonseong, Yoonsun, Sangmin and Yohwan. By all counts I should have had an easy win, especially if Dongmin clinches the big W next week. I will have to adjust the rules for Season 5, although I can't imagine another scenario where somebody has 99 garnets at one time.

 

I really liked the How Much game, especially since the SNL cast was such a hoot. However, giving 4 points for Round 10 was problematic and put Dongmin in a no-win position despite leading the entire game.

 

I've had my beef with him throughout the season, but I am really pulling for Dongmin in the F2. Yes, our resident "Titty God" has drastically improved this season, but his strengths have been largely A) lying, B) acting (which really weren't that different from his S3 and early S4 persona) and C) Death Matches. TBH, I can't imagine him getting this far in a season where the Death Matches weren't both repeats and pre-selected. I am hoping that with 2 new games in the Finals, Kyunghoon not being able to study religiously at home should negate some of the dominance he's been demonstrating in Death Matches. But we will see!

 

Also, I should have waited before finishing my Top 10 Death Match list, because this season had a ton of real doozies. I always felt like the Matches in Seasons 1-3 were just formality and were rarely all that exciting. But this season I really enjoyed Yeonseong v. Yohwan, Kyunghoon v. Sangmin, Hyunmin v. Yoonsun, Kyungran v. Yoohyun, Kyunghoon v. Junseok and especially Dongmin v. Hyunmin. Junseok v. Yeonseong was also bizarrely interesting. I hope they cut the repetitive or overly player-influenced Matches from previous seasons going forward.

Edited by Oholibamah

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Dongmin taught Hyunmin how to play Janggi in the first place, and I'm sure he's been practicing ever since it was announced as a Death Match possibility in episode 1; now more than ever since it's the only possibility and there's a very real chance he'll be in that match.

Called it. I knew he'd been practicing.

 

A note to future players: select Kyunghun as your guest partner. He's 2/2 in getting his Genius player Immunity at F4.

If he's not already a player himself. He's got an inside track on being an actual contestant if there are future seasons.

 

I really liked the How Much game, especially since the SNL cast was such a hoot.

Agreed. That's how to choose and use pre-selected guests that aren't former players. Get people that are good TV, then have them involved in a game where their part is determined by them before they're introduced to the players. I wouldn't be surprised if we found out that they'd been tapped for this game before Episode 1 was even recorded.

And while Dongmin could have had an advantage with this crew, since they're colleagues of his (and I think he's been on the show before, from the sound of it), they played fair.

In retrospect, it was kind of obvious that Hyunmin was about to leave. We saw Dongmin's strategy throughout the Main Match, and we saw Kyunghoon's in the flashback after the Match. Hyunmin...not so much. What we saw of his strategy was "just win and don't fuck up". Not a great strategy for the F3 match. Even moreso since he did fuck up on the first round.

 

Also, I should have waited before finishing my Top 10 Death Match list, because this season had a ton of real doozies. I always felt like the Matches in Seasons 1-3 were just formality and were rarely all that exciting. But this season I really enjoyed Yeonseong v. Yohwan, Kyunghoon v. Sangmin, Hyunmin v. Yoonsun, Kyungran v. Yoohyun, Kyunghoon v. Junseok and especially Dongmin v. Hyunmin. Junseok v. Yeonseong was also bizarrely interesting. I hope they cut the repetitive or overly player-influenced Matches from previous seasons going forward.

Agreed. Lots of great Death Matches this season. I'd love to see your revised list of the Top 15.

 

I am hoping that with 2 new games in the Finals,

It looked like 3 new games to me, but 2 could be considered twists on previous games. The games are Number Janggi, Mystery Sign, and Betting Black and White.

From the preview, Number Janggi looks like it's closer to real Janggi, at least in size. But there's sure to be some sort of Genius twist, based on the Number portion. No clue as to what that could be.

Betting Black and White sounds like a twist on the format of Black and White. I'm thinking it'll be something like Betting RPS in format, just using Black and White I instead of RPS as the "game".

Mystery Sign is just that; a mystery. I'm guessing that it's the other game we see a glimpse of in the preview; the one that has the finalists at the podiums last seen in Gyul!Hap! It might be similar to Same Number Hunt, with the big board, or it could be played on the video screen. Either way, it looks to be a calculation game of some sort.

With the finals comes the advantages as distributed by the former players. Who's getting whose? I'm predicting another imbalance favoring Dongmin. Lots of people got burned by Kyunghoon; Sangmin, Jinho, Yeonseung and Kyungran in particular. I'm guessing those 4 give items to Dongmin. Jungmoon got eliminated by Kyunghoon and Dongmin kept his promises to her as best he could, so she's probably on Dongmin's side too.

Even though Junseok was eliminated by Kyunghoon, he'll give him his item. For some reason I think Kyunghoon will also get items from Junghyun, Yohwan, and Yoohyun. For the same unknown reason, I put Yoonsun on Dongmin's side.

That fittingly leaves Hyunmin in the air. I guess he'll back Kyunghoon based on the above numbers. If I'm right, it's 6-4 to this point. Since Hyunmin knows what it feels like to have the odds and items stacked against you, he'll put his item with the lower stack, as an attempt to get things closer.

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If he's not already a player himself. He's got an inside track on being an actual contestant if there are future seasons.

 

Agreed. That's how to choose and use pre-selected guests that aren't former players. Get people that are good TV, then have them involved in a game where their part is determined by them before they're introduced to the players. I wouldn't be surprised if we found out that they'd been tapped for this game before Episode 1 was even recorded.

And while Dongmin could have had an advantage with this crew, since they're colleagues of his (and I think he's been on the show before, from the sound of it), they played fair.

In retrospect, it was kind of obvious that Hyunmin was about to leave. We saw Dongmin's strategy throughout the Main Match, and we saw Kyunghoon's in the flashback after the Match. Hyunmin...not so much. What we saw of his strategy was "just win and don't fuck up". Not a great strategy for the F3 match. Even moreso since he did fuck up on the first round.

 

Agreed. Lots of great Death Matches this season. I'd love to see your revised list of the Top 15.

 

It looked like 3 new games to me, but 2 could be considered twists on previous games. The games are Number Janggi, Mystery Sign, and Betting Black and White.

From the preview, Number Janggi looks like it's closer to real Janggi, at least in size. But there's sure to be some sort of Genius twist, based on the Number portion. No clue as to what that could be.

Betting Black and White sounds like a twist on the format of Black and White. I'm thinking it'll be something like Betting RPS in format, just using Black and White I instead of RPS as the "game".

Mystery Sign is just that; a mystery. I'm guessing that it's the other game we see a glimpse of in the preview; the one that has the finalists at the podiums last seen in Gyul!Hap! It might be similar to Same Number Hunt, with the big board, or it could be played on the video screen. Either way, it looks to be a calculation game of some sort.

With the finals comes the advantages as distributed by the former players. Who's getting whose? I'm predicting another imbalance favoring Dongmin. Lots of people got burned by Kyunghoon; Sangmin, Jinho, Yeonseung and Kyungran in particular. I'm guessing those 4 give items to Dongmin. Jungmoon got eliminated by Kyunghoon and Dongmin kept his promises to her as best he could, so she's probably on Dongmin's side too.

Even though Junseok was eliminated by Kyunghoon, he'll give him his item. For some reason I think Kyunghoon will also get items from Junghyun, Yohwan, and Yoohyun. For the same unknown reason, I put Yoonsun on Dongmin's side.

That fittingly leaves Hyunmin in the air. I guess he'll back Kyunghoon based on the above numbers. If I'm right, it's 6-4 to this point. Since Hyunmin knows what it feels like to have the odds and items stacked against you, he'll put his item with the lower stack, as an attempt to get things closer.

 

I would support Kyunghun as a Season 5 player. I'd be interested to see if he's talented or just lucky. I can't recall if he backed the proper horse in Season 1 on purpose or by accident, but I seem to recall he started betting on it early as a guess and then started to realize it was correct despite Kyungran protesting otherwise. And this time, he was terrible at the Minigames but listened to Hyunmin at a critical time. So he may be more a good luck charm than a true "Genius", but I'd like to find out. Other guests I'd like to see as contestants are Cordyceps and Yohwan's wife. I also loved the two female SNL members this week, but they are probably busy.

 

I also loved that the guests had already played most of their part in the pre-game. I remember being really irked that the F3 guest for the 5:5 Game screwed with Kyungran regarding her birthday and got the impression she did so because she didn't like her.

 

Snowglobe predictions:

 

Dongmin: Jinho (allied), Kyungran (allied, screwed by KH), Jungmoon (saved by Dongmin multiple times), Yoohyun (frequently butted heads with KH, identified by him as Rebel), Junghyun (potential respect due to being older than KH)

Kyunghoon: Junseok (nominally aligned, seems anti-Dongmin), Yohwan (allied), Yoonsun (didn't she leave her garnets with KH?), Yeonseong (didn't he also leave his garnets with KH?), Sangmin (I don't think he'll be bitter - he even kept saying "get to the end even if I'm gone". I also think him winning will retroactively soften the blow of being beat by KH)

 

Leaving it 5-5 with Hyunmin remaining. He appeared much less close with Dongmin this season, and I can't gauge how bitter he'd feel about losing to Dongmin twice now. But I suspect he'd give it to Dongmin to make sure he didn't appear to be a sore-loser.

 

Revised List (only small commentary on new additions because I should be doing homework):

 

15. Yooyoung v. Doohee (Blackout Game) (so fucking satisfying)

14. Yohwan v. Yoonsun (Laser Chess)

13. Jinho v. Gura (Indian Hold 'Em)

12. Yohwan v. Junghyun (Black and White)

11. Hyunmin v. Jongbum (Twelve Janggi)

10. Hyunmin v. Yoonsun (Same Number Hunt) (close match, and Yoonsun calling out Lady Dealer was hilarious)

9. Kyunghoon v. Sangmin (Betting Rock Paper Scissors)

8. Junghyun v. Hongcheol (Same Picture Hunt)

7. Kyunghoon v. Jinho (Double-Sided Poker) (disappointing, but I have to give props to Kyunghoon's hacks)

6. Yeonseong v. Yohwan (Tactical Yutnori) (lost a bit of novelty on the rewatch)

5. Jiwon v. Jinho (Indian Poker)

4. Yeonjoo v. Yoohyun (Invisible Maze)

3. Kyungran v. Yoohyun (Indian Poker) (greatest upset EVER. And clearly I like to see Yoohyun lose)

2. Dongmin v. Hyunmin (Twelve Janggi) (epic showdown, and love to see Dongmin rebound from S3 loss)

1. Dongmin v. Yeonjoo (Monorail) (forever and always)

Edited by Oholibamah

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Yoonsun (didn't she leave her garnets with KH?),

After checking, she did leave a couple with him out of kindness/flirting, so she might be on his side.  I'll concede that one.

 

 

Yeonseong (didn't he also leave his garnets with KH?),

He did, but that was because he thought that Kyunghoon had accidentally screwed up in Garnet Thief.  But that episode aired before the finals was recorded.  So Yeonseong (and Junseok) know that Kyunghoon was really a spy then going into their snowglobe selection; even somewhat jokingly calling him a bastard for that move on Facebook.

 

I'd still put Junseok on Kyunghoon's side, but Yeonseong not so much.

 

That changes your pre-Hyunmin count to 6 Dongmin to 4 Kyunghoon, and mine to 5 each.  (In essence, switching our first guess numbers).  In the 6:4 case, I put Hyunmin squarely with Kyunghoon, to even things up as best as possible.  In a 5:5 case...coin flip.  I can see the logic of not wanting to appear a sore loser and going with Dongmin for that reason.

 

Which would seem that we agree that, whatever the actual path, it'll be 6 globes for Dongmin and 5 for Kyunghoon.  Close to balance, but still seemingly in Dongmin's favor.  Of course, it all depends on what the actual items are and for which games they are.

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Very pleased with the winner. Kyunghoon showed a lot of improvement this season, but I still don't think he is well rounded enough to deserve the big win.

The two new games were amazing. My eyes were like saucers the entire time during Mystery Symbol. Dongmin earned my respect forever when he figured out the 8-billion number. I also loved Number Janggi, but feel even I would have performed better than Kyunghoon. The number one rule in Chess-like games is to not sacrifice momentum to your opponent by making nothing moves. He only gave Dongmin time to set up his offense.

We did pretty well with the Snowglobes. I misinterpreted Yoohyun's love/hate relationship with Kyunghoon, though.

The way they were acting at the end like this is the last season had me shitting bricks. But then Bandageman said "see you next time" and all was right with the world. (Although I've heard the producer might be leaving, so I hope the show is still as good!)

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Very pleased with the winner. Kyunghoon showed a lot of improvement this season, but I still don't think he is well rounded enough to deserve the big win.

Agreed.  Kyunghoon would have been a worthy winner if he had bested all the kings in individual matches, and I would have been satisfied with that.  But Dongmin pulling off the repeat was more satisfying.

 

And speaking of that, Dongmin did put partial lie to the tagline of the season.  He basically did win the same way twice.  He relied on his social skills to avoid the Death Match as long as possible, won what Death Matches he did enter in spectacular fashion, and allied with Hyunmin for as long as he could.  Key difference here was Hyunmin breaking the alliance before the finals, so Dongmin had to rely on himself and/or other allies like Jinho more.

 

Dongmin earned my respect forever when he figured out the 8-billion number.

Ironically, Kyunghoon picking that number for that operation (that was the actual term that should have been used, not "sign") was his downfall there, and the beginning of the end.  With that operation, there was an overload of information with a number of that size.  If he'd picked a smaller number, say something with 3 or 4 digits, then things might have been different.

 

Props to both of them for continuing to play the game after it had mathematically become Dongmin's victory.  Kyunghoon was playing for pride at that point, and he earned it by playing on.  And Dongmin could have said nothing and guaranteed his victory, but he played on too, even gambling losing while doing so.

 

The way they were acting at the end like this is the last season had me shitting bricks. But then Bandageman said "see you next time" and all was right with the world. (Although I've heard the producer might be leaving, so I hope the show is still as good!)

Well, the conceit of this season was always that it was the Grand Final, hence the name and it being All Stars.  And the "hidden message" in the cast posters for this season was "Farewell".  So I wasn't surprised that they ended it as if it could truly be the end of the Genius.

 

But from the beginning, word was that if the ratings were good enough, there would be a season 5.  (I think Ahyoung and Lawyer Yongsuk mentioned that in the pre-season video I linked to way upthread.)   And from what I can tell, the ratings were pretty good. 

 

So, we'll just have to wait until next summer to see if any starter garnets are mailed out throughout Korea.

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Another postscript.

Hyunmin has a Twitch channel and he recently did a livestream where he answered questions from his viewers.  Naturally, there were a lot a questions about the Genius.  The parts about the Genius have been subtitled and posted for viewing on YouTube.

Here's Part 1 (of 3)...and no, I do not know why he's wearing that.

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So, the 26th of April is the anniversary of the airing of the first ever episode of the Genius.  Anyone up for doing a re-watch and/or first watch starting that week?

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