THE 8 SHOW on Netflix is a new thriller-mystery series from South Korea (org. title: Deo Eiteu Syo). It’s a twisted hybrid of Squid Game and The Platform. A definite must-watch. Read our The 8 Show series review here!

THE 8 SHOW is a new Netflix series from South Korea (org. title: Deo Eiteu Syo). As always, I’m intrigued as soon as a new South Korean production is released on Netflix, but as this one was labeled a comedy, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Well, The 8 Show is no comedy. If anything this South Korean mystery thriller series is a very dark comedy in its social commentary about inequality and the distribution of wealth. Think Squid Game meets The Platform and amps up the mind games. The series appropriately has eight episodes.

Continue reading our The 8 Show series review below. Find it on Netflix from May 17, 2024.

Give us your time, we give you money!

In The 8 Show, we meet eight strangers, who all seem to be down on their luck in one way or another. In fact, it begins with one main character about to jump off a bridge to get away from the loansharks chasing him. It’s a bold way to open this series as it looks almost like an amateur smartphone-recorded story.

However, the split-second before he jumps, his phone pings with a message that money is deposited into his account. Along with it comes a message about giving the time, he was about to give up anyway, to a competition. A white stretch limo pulls up and he figures: Why not?!

He then arrives at a huge building with the red carpet rolled out for him. After one final initial question, he enters the game show arena.

Along with eight other willing contestants, he is now locked in a building. Rules are sparse but consequences are also outlined. There is nothing there for them except for eight rooms distributed at random which have no furniture.

A uniform is handed out and a scoreboard shows how much money each contestant has accumulated. With each passing minute, the amount increases. In other words: The longer they stay, the more money they make.

Squid Game + The Platform = Social satire galore

The twist – and what makes this a hybrid of Squid Game and The Platform – is that the amount each contestant makes differs. The building has eight floors, each with a room. And the higher up you live, the bigger your room is and the more money you earn per minute in the game.

Each contestant has chosen their own number as they arrived. Of course, the later you arrived into the game, the fewer numbers you could choose between. In that sense, the random aspect comes into play. Much like whether you are born into riches and freedom or poverty and oppression.

In the common area of the game show building (or arena, if you will), a massive countdown clock ticks. As time is very literally money in The 8 Show, they have to increase the time on the clock to stay as long as possible.

The 8 Show – Review | Netflix Thriller Mystery Series

What are the rules?

The rules of The 8 Show aren’t exactly clear. Only a few main rules and guidelines are provided. The rest is “learning by doing” or being able to figure out things logically. Often, elements of the game are discovered by chance.

So, in order to stay as long as possible, they have to figure out all the hidden rules of the game.

At the same time, you have to pay for anything and everything you could need. And obviously, the price for items may be the same, but the contestants earn widely different sums, so inequality is shown in full force.

The main purpose of the show is to create social disparities among them. With the sole purpose of seeing how they deal with this. All while increasing the pressure constantly. All in the name of entertainment.

Oh yeah, and one of the main rules: If anyone dies (or is murdered) everyone loses the big bucks. It’s a twisted mind game that only gets even crazier due to the contestants. Especially one very thug-like man. Maybe even more so, the young woman who seems like quite the sociopath from the get-go.

The 8 Show contestants cast

I’m not sure how many of the cast members will be familiar to audiences outside South Korea, but having watched quite a lot of South Korean productions, I recognized a few.

The lead character Bae Jin-su/Number 3, a former part-time convenience store worker, is portrayed by Ryu Jun-yeol (The Night Owl, The King). Park Jeong-min (Time to Hunt, Deliver Us From Evil) is Number 7, and Chun Woo-hee (Unlocked, The Wailing) plays Number 8.

The remaining contestants are portrayed by Bae Seong-woo (The Swindlers, The King) as Number 1, Lee Zoo-young (Believer 2) as Number 2. Finally, Lee Yul-eum (Nevertheless) is Number 4, Moon Jeong-hee (The Limit) is Number 5, and Park Hae-joon (12.12: The Day) portrays Number 6.

Watch The 8 Show on Netflix now!

The new South Korean Netflix series The 8 Show is based on the Naver webtoons “Money Game” and its sequel “Pie Game” which was written by Bae Jin-soo. It’s directed and written by Han Jae-rim (The Face Reader, The King, Emergency Declaration).

It’s a brilliant way to show how vulnerable we humans are when faced with the dark and sinister aspects of a hyper-capitalist society. People want to get rich fast. When push comes to shove, many are willing to do more than they would ever expect of themselves.

This new Netflix social satire series is a scripted drama like Squid Game. However, it seems entirely possible that Netflix could consider making an actual game show out of it as well. Just like they did with Squid Game: The Challenge.

Whether that happens or not, remains to be seen, but this series is as good as that series and the Spanish movie The Platform.

If you enjoyed either, you should love The 8 Show which is one sick and twisted game… all for our entertainment!

The 8 Show series is on Netflix globally from May 17, 2024. 


Creator: Han Jae-rim
Cast: Ryu Jun-yeol, Park Jeong-min, Lee Zoo-young, Chun Woo-hee, Park Hae-joon, Bae Seong-woo, Lee Yul-eum, Moon Jeong-hee


Eight individuals trapped in a mysterious 8-story building participate in a tempting but dangerous show where they earn money as time passes.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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