TV Show: Escape Room Challenge on Level MAX

by Isabel Bang

I’ve been counting down for July 11th for quite some time now, and those who enjoy watching Korean TV shows would have been counting with me. The most sensational variety show ever, Great Escape is back with season 4!!


As an ‘adventure variety’ genre, the show is basically formatted as an 'escape room' game but much MUCH more largely scaled. The shooting crew leaves the blindfolded cast in a room and never interacts or intervenes with them from the moment they start the game. Starting in a tiny room, the show's cast searches for clues to get the picture of the fictional story they are in, and to find a way to escape the set. They shoot each episode (which airs for 2 weeks) for 12 hours straight with no cuts to make the escape more realistic. The set usually takes place in a whole house or a building, but as the show progresses it became the largest scaled TV show in the whole country - I don’t want to spoil anything but I swear, the budget for this show is insane. Because for each episode the storyline, the props and the set is amazingly high-quality and solid, fans say that it feels like they’re watching a blockbuster film.


The show consists of six members, each with their own strong characters - (from top left) Kang Ho-Dong, Kim Jong-Min, Kim Dong-Hyun, Shin Dong, Yoo Byung-Jae, and P.O. The brains of the team would be Shin Dong and Yoo Byun-Jae, but every single member always plays an important role. For me, this show got me loving Kim Dong-Hyun (formerly a UFC fighter) so much with all his jumps and panicky moments 😂 If you don’t mind spoilers watch this Kim Dong-Hyun scare compilation video from the Zombie Factory episode in season 1. Why would you be genuinely scared during an escape room game? Told you that these guys don’t play around with the tightness of their plots. 


Starting from a gambling house in the first episode of season 1, the show built astonishing sets for scenarios in an abandoned hospital, a jail, psychiatric hospitals, zombie cages, and they even travel across time! With incredible detail put into the art aspect of the show, the art director of Great Escape (Jang Yeon-Ok) won the 'Best Technical Achievement in Television Award' in the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards - which she deserves 👏 I reckon that people should all appreciate the amount of effort that the shooting crew puts in to make each story realistic to not only the audience but to the cast as well. For example, in an episode where the members came across a series of dead bodies, rotten bulks of meat were placed inside the dummies to make them smell like actual dead people 🤭


Here’s a heads up for those not good with jump scares or horror movies. I don’t think you should watch this show by yourself 😣 Although the show also has relatively mild plots, Great Escape gets more interesting when it deals with zombies, ghosts, and spooky mysteries. Plus, their storylines of episodes in between different seasons tend to relate to each other - meaning the scary episodes in the season before will most likely be repeated in the next 🤐 Teasers say that the first episode of Great Escape season 4 will be continuing from the time machine episode of season 3; Which is why I STRONGLY recommend that you watch the whole three seasons from ep 1 before the 11th of July.

I can’t tell you much because I don’t want to spoil the essence of this show, so I need you to just watch it and watch it now (please). I’ll leave a teaser video for the first episode of season 4 here. You’ll see how the  production is on an even higher level with an even larger scale - I did not know this was possible 😱

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