‘The 8 Show’ Character Guide

The brand-new Korean drama on Netflix is all about a satirical take on the reality television shows audiences watch on all kinds of small screens.  It is a genre of television that brings out the voyeuristic side of people who find fun in peeping into the lives of the contestants who take part in these shows. The whole point of a reality show is to have cameras around the contestant that record their daily shenanigans. The 8 Show is a satirical take on it, and the makers bring in characters with several traits that are ideal for the reality show they had seemingly joined to gain money.

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Jin-Su (Third Floor)

Ryu Jun-yeol, as Bae Jin-su, is the central character of The 8 Show. This show begins with his plight of lacking the financial means to close a debt. Bae Jin-Su is a typical young man with no prospects of living a lavish life. As his life was on the brink of ending and a SMS saved him. The text mentioned he had received a huge amount and was given a chance to receive more on entering what looked like an abandoned house. He chose money over everything and realized the stay at the house was not going to be as easy as expected. 

Jin-Su is joined by several people who entered the house with the motive of making money and surviving. His voiceover allows the audience to watch the show from his perspective, and there are many who are willing to do anything. Jin-Su eventually turns out to be the one with a conscience and figures out a way to save himself and the others. 

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Sera (Eighth Floor)

Chun Woo-hee, as Sera, joins the house and chooses the 8th Floor. The woman seems like someone with a lot of financial backing, and hence, she never has any regard for the unwritten rules of the place. She also chooses the 8th Floor for her own selfish reasons and slowly begins to act like a friend who turns into a tyrant. Sera has the ability to mend and bend the rules of the house as per her whims. Sera has no regard for anyone and has a manipulative nature that could get anyone on her side. Sera, who pretends to be helpful initially, slowly begins to dig her claws in to make sure the show is run as per her demands. Sera turns out to be a lot worse than everyone anticipated, and it begins to affect the others.


Philip (Seventh Floor)

Park Jeong-min as Philip comes across as a person who is fantastic with numbers. A geek who can provide some pragmatic solutions. He is the first person to figure out that the higher up the contestant’s floor, the more they received. The person who chose the first floor received the least amount, and the person living on the top floor received the maximum amount. As the show progresses, he quickly understands everyone’s position in the hierarchy, and gets to know who is earning more money and making all the major decisions. The whole point of being at the house is to increase the time, which is bound to increase the amount they are allotted per minute. One of the ways to increase the time is to get engrossed in activities. Philip ends up having to play the flute, to everyone’s amusement. As The 8 Show progresses, he soon begins to untie all the knots and understand the real nature of the game thrust upon them. He turns out to be the most unexpected and unusual one, and he probably wants to break the clutter.

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Sang-Guk (First Floor)

Bae Sung-woo as Sang-Guk is the poorest of the eight, and as the show progresses, the audience witnesses that he could be the one who requires the most money from all of the above. But as luck would have it, Sang-Guk chose the first floor, and things have not been normal for him ever since. As the 8th floor’s powers keep increasing after every activity, it is Sang-Guk’s ability to stay smart that helps him stay put. Sadly, things went out of hand very quickly as the people who were in the upper strata of society made many decisions, which further triggered Sang-Guk. Sang-Guk could be a dangerous man, but this side of him is yet to be judged based on how he reacts to people around him. 


Mun-Jeong (Fifth Floor)

Moon Jeong-hee as Mun-Jeong, is the motherly figure who is all about protecting the rest of the seven from fighting against each other. She is the quintessential rule-follower of the house all of them are living in. She notices the disparity as well, which makes her confused about what needs to be done. Just like the others, she is in desperate need of money as well and will do anything to keep the time they have in reserve going up. She is also keen on getting out of the game as soon as possible, but fate has other plans for her as the remaining contestants come up with their agenda to make more money. 

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Kim-Yang (Fourth Floor)

Yul-Eum Lee, as Kim-Yang, is the person who is the most indecisive in the group, starting from choosing the 8th floor to changing it to another one. Imagine how her luck would have changed if she had chosen the 8th floor, but fate had other plans for her. As the show progressed, the girl progressively started siding with Sera, who was running the place simply based on the amount of money she had brought in. The people in the house began to choose sides, and the young girl did not take time in establishing where her allegiance lied. Kim-Yang is an impressionable woman, and she became a part of the circle that began to dominate the people with less money. Sera is the leader here, and Kim-Yang is sucked into her narrative. 


Chun Ja (Second Floor)

Lee Zoo-young as Chun Ja is someone who has a tendency to fight for herself and the people she cares for. As The 8 Show progresses, there is clearly a divide between the contestants based on the money that is earned by the minute. Chun Ja is the one who chooses to side with the people from the lower strata. She essentially catches onto the real game. As the friction increases, it is Chun Ja who comes forward with an instinct to fight for the lower strata and finds reason to back Bae Jin-su.

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Tae-Seok (Sixth Floor)

Park Hae-joon, or Tae-Seok by the looks of it, comes from an affluent working class and chose the sixth floor randomly. In the beginning, just like everyone else, he is equally clueless about the rules of housework. Since he is allotted money, he believes in saving it too, only to come across the mind games building up and some sort of friction developing between each contestant. The show is all about time and money, and he finds a way to make use of it. He chooses to side with Sera, the girl from the 8th floor, who has her way with men. There is an indication toward the possibility of a sexual relationship between the two, and both begin to find ways to arm-twist the rest of the people to their whims and fancies. There is a clear class disparity, and Tae-sook adds to this. 


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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