Good-looking singles stranded on what viewers are made to believe is a deserted island. I know what you’re thinking—do we really need another sexy, beachy reality dating show? If you’re into said sexy, beachy reality dating shows, then the answer is probably: Yes, please!
The new South Korean series Single’s Inferno is all that—sticky love triangles and cheesy slow-mo montages included—but it’s also a really peculiar blend of spicy reality TV and wholesome Korean variety shows.
It captures the subtle tension of Terrace House (complete with a panel of zany commentators), while serving beached-while-thirsty vibes like Love Island and Too Hot to Handle. Unlike its predecessors, Single’s Inferno is low on the sex but high on the drive as the singletons scramble to secure themselves romantic dates—while steering clear of any explicit intimacy (at least so far). But for many watching, this only escalates the romantic tension. There’s already plenty of online chatter about Single’s Inferno, from couple shipping to episode commentaries, and jokes about awkward encounters. It’s even scaled its way onto Netflix’s global top 10 non-English TV shows.
If you’re wondering why your social media feed is suddenly filled with memes of a certain BLACKPINK Jennie lookalike, or still contemplating whether to go knee-deep into a new reality TV binge, here’s the lowdown.
What Is “Single’s Inferno”?
On Inferno, cast members play plenty of games, both physical and emotional. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Here’s the premise: Korean singles mingle and participate in games on an island that the show dubs “Inferno,” where life is stripped down to the bare minimum—sustenance and romance. With little resources provided on the island, the contestants have to prepare their own food and collect water for consumption. Though, to be honest, it’s more like glamping (See: Instagrammable tents and impeccable outfits).
Despite the sweltering heat, our island-bound cast members always seem to be dressed on point. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
But Inferno is hell in other ways, too. On the island, contestants can’t reveal their age and career—important factors for anyone dating, but even more so for those in South Korea. This, plus the vexing heat of beach life, provides extra incentive for the contestants to secure matches among the group. When contestants successfully pair up, they’re flown to a luxury hotel (aptly named Paradise) for an intimate date night where they can tell all, before eventually returning to the island and doing it all over again.
Like other South Korean reality shows, happenings on the island and hotel are analyzed by a panel of celebrity commentators who provide comic relief and dissect interactions among the contestants.
Who’s in the Cast of “Single’s Inferno”?
Cast members mingling on the island. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Participants come from different backgrounds, ranging from a fashion executive to a neuroscience university student and a boxing gym owner. The common denominator? They’re all young and, well, hot.
So far, the breakout star is the cold, side-eyeing Song Ji-a. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to BLACKPINK’s Jennie and sporting designer clothes—she brought a fluffy pink Prada bag to the manicured hellscape, among other things—she finds herself at the center of an escalating love triangle.
Then there’s Moon Se-hoon, who’s now been memed and GIFed for his relentless pursuit of a Day-1 crush (Episode 6 ends with a head-scratching cliffhanger). There’s also the suave Oh Jin-taek in search of what he calls a “flaming romance,” who ruffled some feathers after wooing one too many girls.
Back in the studio, the show’s celebrity panel consists of comedian Hong Jin-kyung, actor Lee Da-hee, as well as singers Kyuhyun and Hanhae.
Where Is “Single’s Inferno” filmed?
Two cast members in Paradise, the hotel where members pair up to escape the island heat. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Single’s Inferno does not reveal where the “deserted” island is located. However, when contestants successfully pair up, they are brought to Paradise City, a swanky hotel and resort near Incheon International Airport.
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