Netflix has finally delivered a ridiculous science show that honestly holds little merit in the way of scientific importance but a fair abundance in comedy.
100 Humans (Netflix) is a series based upon the idea that a decently adverse group of individuals from differing backgrounds, ages and body types can paint a broad picture of the human race. During the series, the 100 participants volunteer to be under constant scrutiny in order to answer some of life’s silliest questions. Audiences will finally know whether having a high sperm count will make them a better dancer or the more urgent answer to the question, if I look pretty in court will I serve a smaller sentence? These questions and many more are in store for curious audiences looking to learn a little about life without taking things too seriously.
Now, let’s just say now, there really isn’t too much scientific merit in 100 Humans and scientists would advise there are simply too many variables to make any of the results meaningful. These experiments are a rough, estimated way of playing with theory and hypothesis to offer audiences a generalisation of an experimental result. This being said, some of the experiences really are intriguing and often quite shocking, some results may even lead audiences to lose a little faith in humanity. Some hard-hitting questions regarding attraction and appearance are amongst the most surprising as human prejudice comes into speculation. The abhorrent stigmatisation that is revealed comes at the expense of the participants whose naivety and ignorance saves them from immediate repercussion that may not last once the show is aired. This being said, these experiments are executed to shed light on the subconscious nature of the human condition and not to highlight the stereotypes of an individual.
Nevertheless, 100 Humans is intriguingly American; at the heart of it, the show is about 100 average people from all over America who come together for a greater purpose. The participants are mainly down to earth and act to highlight the finest qualities the American population has to offer. The guinea pigs are eager (most of the time), friendly, outgoing and hardworking, throughout the season we see how certain individuals thrive. Participants make friends with people they would never approach in everyday life, offering audiences heartwarming interactions and genuine human moments of joy throughout the episodes.
Furthermore, as time goes on, the hosts of the show also become more visibly comfortable and engaging with each other and with the 100 members. The fun and playfulness of the cast are highlighted through lunchtime cutaways and free time breaks when we get to watch naturally occurring moments of interaction between unlikely pairings and new-found friends making the entire show seem like a summer camp vacation. This level of camaraderie and lightheartedness makes the show a pleasant watch and reassures any doubts audiences may have about the questionable test results. 100 Humans is ultimately about people, a show that brings individuals together and crosses man-made barriers created by age, appearance and culture.
Overall, 100 Humans is an enjoyable watch, think Brainiac: Science Abuse humour but this time with a consistent group of people that become familiar faces and welcomed participants. Results in the show should be taken with a pinch of salt, the experiments will never quite go down in the science books but they do offer an intriguing insight into societal norms. Also, be aware, this ‘science’ show is strictly for adults with adult humour and mature themes throughout. 100 Humans is often crude and frank in a way that is refreshing and surprisingly funny as no one takes anything too seriously. Although some test results do offer moments of sincere pessimism as audiences reflect on how things like subconscious racism and superficial judgement have real-life consequences. Regardless, these sobering moments are soon swept away by the more playful nature of the show as participants joke and offer anything but stern opinions. Certainly, give 100 Humans a watch as during these uncertain times there is nothing more palatable than a TV show that doesn’t really understand the meaning of the word serious or just politely and ungracefully chooses to ignore its existence.
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Maggie has been a film critic for Ready Steady Cut since 2018. Maggie gained a BSc in Film Production and Technology leading to her most notable credit for the production designer for a short film screened as part of the London Film Festival line up.