Mini review: Produce X 101

This is a Korean (2019) talent competition, where trainees from different agencies compete to for an 11 person idol band. The trainees range from only being trained for 3 months to debuting years ago. Throughout the entire journey (4 months for the final contestants), they receive constant high quality training from firm, but kind trainers. The quick improvement in the singing and rap classes are the most exciting. (This is most clearly seen in the singing classes.) Providing one reason a fresh trainees can give an incredible performance, alongside experienced ones. The inexperienced or less talented guys are at the mercy of their other teammates—creating interesting dynamics.

The entire show is tastefully done, and there are no egos lurking (within leadership) around. Often pretentious judges, mentors or locations are distasteful and make me run for the hills, but I found here no trace of that. The stories and personality of the different trainees are a big hook. Of course there we only get to know a few, but it’s amazing to see them evolve and change as situations force them to overcome embarrassment, egos, conflict, ect.

For this show, it’s young guys, who have a position with a company, and are actively training or debuted. Which means they are already experiencing intense training and have an element of exposure to the politics and pressures entailed. They have a goal of debuting the group at the end of the show (X1) It’s kind of like they are working within their field on this show. They also need camera time to build a fan base. All these elements make this an easy watch because they really want to be there, and they really want the audience to watch them. I don’t feel like I’m intruding on someone’s personal life when I watched it.

It’s a great show to watch when you’re recovering from an amazing drama or want something engaging without investing in a story.

After the show, there was unequivocal evidence of the voting being rigged, and they released the list of trainees who unjustly missed their spot in the top 11.

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