So here we go again with another idol survival show from Mnet. This show will be under some scrutiny due to the revelation of vote-rigging in the Produce series of programs. Cynical viewers have already decided that the results are predetermined, and their votes mean nothing. They are tuning in for the manufactured drama, right?
That is pretty much the boat I am riding on. It’s difficult to believe that this program will not also end up with some sort of scandal after it is over, possibly crushing the dreams of its contestants in the process.
With that in mind, I was still looking forward to this possible train wreck because I enjoy watching these types of shows. Call me a sucker for punishment.
Anyway, let’s get to episode one of Girls Planet 999.
The opening shots have an overly enthusiastic voice-over hype up the show while images of the set flash across the screen in dramatic fashion. Then, cut to clips of the performances to add to the hype before we get to the program’s start.
After the teaser and the standard “We followed COVID-19 protocols” messaging, the toned-down voice-over introduces the show’s concept while cinematic music plays in the background. Girls grouped in three, one each from China, Korea and Japan are about to meet.
A wide shot of the first three going through a spiral maze is shown. There is writing all over the walls in the various languages represented in this show with all the multiple things the contestants are looking for in a potential group mate.
The first three girls gather awkwardly at the center of the spiral, having no idea how to communicate other than through sign language or basic Korean. Once “connected,” they are instructed to go down a tunnel to the main stage area.
The Planet Master Yeo Jin Goo appears on the screen telling us 99 girls have gathered for Girls Planet 999, and the only language is K-Pop. We will witness a 3-month journey of these girls connecting towards the goal of becoming one of the nine members of a yet-to-be-named “global” girl group.
The viewers are addressed as Planet Guardians and are asked to protect the dreams of these hopefuls. You know, assuming their votes are accounted for. After all, “Only you can make their dreams come true.”
Cue the title cards, and we are off to the races.