The 8 Show: 10 Similar TV Series You Must See

Created by Han Jae-rim, ‘The 8 Show’ revolves around eight contestants who take part in a game show where they have to survive 100 days in a studio space. The winners will receive a reward of 44.8 billion won. However, the catch is that any items they purchase for daily necessities cost 1000 times more than normal.

As soon as the contest begins, it doesn’t take long for the players to figure out that even if all of them keep spending only on survival, the reward will be largely depleted at the end of 100 days. Also known as ‘Deo Eiteu Syo,’ the Korean Netflix show weaves a thrilling and darkly comedic tale of morality and greed. Here are some series curated for fans of shows like ‘The 8 Show.’

10. The Society (2019)

Netflix’s ‘The Society’ follows a group of teenagers who find themselves as the only residents of their wealthy New England town, with everyone else having mysteriously disappeared. Cut off from the rest of the world and unable to escape, they begin to forge their own society to maintain order. Allie Pressman takes up the charge to create an idyllic community but is opposed by a jock relying on physical strength. Created by Christopher Keyser, the show matches some themes of ‘The 8 Show’ as it explores a small, trapped group of people with no rules or authority figures to guide them as they form relationships and confront their darkest impulses.

9. Panic (2021)

Panic,’ created by Lauren Oliver, is a thrilling drama series set in a small town where graduating high school seniors participate in a dangerous game called Panic. The game involves a series of increasingly risky challenges, with a cash prize that promises an escape from their dead-end lives. Heather, a determined young woman seeking a better future for herself and her sister, becomes embroiled in the deadly game to secure funds for college.

As she participates in the games with her friends, Heather becomes aware of possible foul play and secrets that connect the town and the games. Like in ‘The 8 Show,’ the characters have their own compelling motivations to secure the prize winnings, and we witness just how far some of them are willing to go to win. Rivalries emerge even as new alliances are formed in a battle of wills.

8. Death Parade (2015)

Animated by Madhouse, ‘Death Parade’ transports us to the enigmatic realm of Quindecim, where the afterlife’s fate is determined through a series of high-stakes games. Upon arrival, souls find themselves greeted by arbiters, enigmatic beings tasked with judging their true nature based on their actions in these ethereal games. Each episode introduces a new pair of souls, oblivious to their past lives, as they engage in games that push them to their emotional limits.

The arbiters decide which participant’s soul is reincarnated and which is sent to the void based on their character, which shines through in the high-pressure games. As the challenges progress, buried secrets and unresolved emotions surface, forcing the participants to confront their own morality and the consequences of their actions. With slick animated sequences and elegant yet sepulchral settings, ‘Death Parade’ presents an interesting twist on game show series like ‘The 8 Show’ with literal contests of life and eternal death.

7. Physical: 100 (2023-)

Netflix’s ‘Physical: 100’ has one goal: discover the best and most well-rounded physique. The reality show gathers 100 contestants from various backgrounds with differing physical attributes. The participants include bodybuilders, Olympic athletes, servicemen, models, cross-fitters, and idols, among others. They run, climb, wrestle, and shove their way through various athletic contests to claim a grand cash prize. Much like in ‘The 8 Show,’ most of the contestants seem very polite and well-mannered, but things get intense very quickly as the stakes rise. With its nature of being an unscripted series, ‘Physical: 100’ will undoubtedly captivate fans of thrilling game shows.

6. Tomodachi Game (2022)

Brought to life by Okuruto Noboru, ‘Tomodachi Game’ centers on a group of high school students who find themselves unwitting participants in a deadly game orchestrated by a mysterious figure, Manabu-kun. Five seemingly inseparable friends are deceived into taking part in a game of trust and trickery to settle a debt of twenty million yen.

Yuuichi Katagiri’s complete trust in his comrades falters as one of them betrays the others in the first game, causing rampant mistrust and paranoia to spread. As the game unfolds, alliances are formed and broken, convictions are shattered, and each character’s true nature is put to the test. Fans of ‘The 8 Show’ will find several parallels between the two psychological thrillers exploring moral dilemmas.

5. 3% (2016-2020)

Created by Pedro Aguilera, ‘3%’ is a Brazilian dystopian thriller series set in a future where society is sharply divided between the impoverished Inland and the privileged Offshore. The show follows a group of young adults who must undergo a series of rigorous tests known as The Process to earn a chance at a better life in the Offshore.

As the candidates navigate the challenges, they face moral dilemmas, personal conflicts, and shocking revelations about the true nature of their society. Just like in ‘The 8 Show,’ betrayal, sacrifice, and ambition drive the narrative forward, highlighting the lengths people will go to for a chance at a brighter future which only 3% of them will achieve.

4. Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor (2007–2011)

Also known as ‘Gyakkyô burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor,’ the anime by studio Madhouse introduces us to Kaiji, a homeless and apathetic worker burdened with immense debt. He is lured by loan sharks onto a boat with prospects of quickly working off his debts in one night. However, Kaiji is forced to participate in high-stakes gambling matches against other players, with the losers forced into a life of servitude. Kaiji must use wit, alliances, and mind games to beat his opponents and make it out of the gambling cruise as a free man. Those who enjoyed ‘The 8 Show’ as a cerebral thriller will undoubtedly appreciate similar elements in the anime. Both shows play on the trust and betrayal dynamics between friends and seemingly innocent characters.

3. Liar Game (2007-2010)

‘Liar Game,’ created by Shinobu Kaitani, is a Japanese psychological thriller series highlighted by its intricate plots and mind-bending games. The show centers around a mysterious organization that hosts a twisted game in which contestants must outwit each other through deception and manipulation to win a large sum of money. Nao Kanzaki, a naive young woman, finds herself unwittingly drawn into the game and must navigate its treacherous waters with the help of the enigmatic Shinichi Akiyama.

Together, they unravel the secrets behind the Liar Game while facing off against cunning opponents who stop at nothing to achieve victory. As the games intensify and alliances shift, ‘Liar Game’ mirrors ‘The 8 Show’ with its exploration of themes of trust, morality, and the darker aspects of human nature.

2. Alice in Borderland (2020-)

Originally titled, ‘Imawa no Kuni no Arisu,’ the show follows Ryohei Arisu and his friends as they find themselves mysteriously transported to an alternate Tokyo where they must compete in deadly games to stay alive. Each game presents unique challenges and moral dilemmas, testing the characters’ wit, courage, and resilience. As Arisu and his companions put their minds together to figure out the games and the larger system behind them, they are met with enigmatic contestants who seem to know more about reality.

Filled with suspense, action, and unexpected twists, ‘Alice in Borderland’ is a must-watch Japanese series for enthusiasts of the genre. The show becomes even more compelling with its dark and bleak narrative and a complete lack of plot armor for its characters.

1. Squid Game (2021-)

The undisputed king of dark and thrilling game shows, ‘Squid Game,’ and its popularity have inspired many works in the genre. This includes ‘The 8 Show,’ which is often described as a combination of the game show thrills of ‘Squid Game’ and the cerebral survival of ‘The Platform.’ The Squid Game involves cash-strapped participants competing for a 45.6 billion-won prize in a series of technologically enhanced childhood games. The only catch is that failing at a game results in one’s discontinued existence. We follow an idealistic Seong Gi-hun as he struggles to hold on to his humanity through the games while uncovering the true purpose behind them.

Read More: Is The 8 Show Based on a Real Reality Series?