Running Man Gets Animated Series

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted here. I just got very busy with my job (and sort of forgot about blogging). But I came back to tell you about a new Running Man series seemingly in the works.

Here is the teaser video:

According to the intro, the series will be animated and (I assume) will air on that channel.

The title is “JiHyo’s Running Men,” which makes me guess that the show isn’t being produced by Running Man and the name is meant to avoid copyrights. Actually, having said that, I’m not sure “Running Man” is copyrightable. After all, there were never any suits against the show for blatantly borrowing the name from the popular movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. They simply dropped the word “The” from the name and carried on.

Anyway, I’m very curious to see what this show is about. I don’t see how it could possibly recreate the interactions between the members of the real show, so I suspect it will be something different entirely.

I’ll just have to wait and see. There’s no release date, so I’ll have to remember to check back.

 

What I thought of Song Ji Hyo in Running Man Episode 48

I’ve recently noticed that in earlier years up to around 2012, Ji Hyo was much more feisty and competitive than her character is today. She was more like the perpetual guest star with a craving to win. I think that had a lot to do with her enjoying the games, but also Running Man was a little different back then. It really focused on the missions as being the main entertainment, and so a lot of effort seems to have gone into making them interesting.

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Today, the focus is mainly on making us laugh, and the Running Men are simply tossed into any situation to see what they make of it. (To me, the show is more fun today, but I wouldn’t mind them trying to make the games a little more interesting.)

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But I’m only bringing that up to make a point about Ji Hyo’s character in episode 48.

When I didn’t know much about Running Man or the individual personalities of the cast, I remember being downright irritated with Ji Hyo in that episode because she was so focused on winning, and stealing, that she was just sucking the fun out of the game for me. Keep in mind that at that time I was still rooting for people (as if I were watching an America reality show), and I wanted the MC to win. And so I wasn’t real happy about how it turned out.

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Now, I have a completely different take on that episode. Ji Hyo was not only entertaining but her antics kept the show moving forward. If you haven’t seen that episode in a while, there’s a point when the show slows to a crawl. I blame that on the writers. The writers did not give the cast an interesting enough place to do their mission. It looked like they were hanging out in a warehouse basement. There was just nothing interesting about the location.

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But looking back, I don’t know why I was even slightly annoyed with Ji Hyo. I know she stole Gary’s bag, but Kwang Soo was trying to steal her insoles down to the last gasp!

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What I’m grateful for is that I kept watching. And in doing so I grew to appreciate her individual quirks and craziness as well as the entire cast, without which Running Man would just be another type of game show that few would remember.

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By the way, I do want to mention that I have never before or after that episode been the least bit irritated with Song Ji Hyo.

Running Man vs 2PM

No complaints here. The guys of 2PM are some of Running Man’s top guests. They work well with the cast. I think it’s because they’re on the show to have fun and not simply to win.

running man 256 - 2PM

I remember thinking back in episode 40 that Nichkhun was going to be another stuffed shirt idol with very little to add to the show, except perhaps some arrogant flare. I’m not sure why I thought that. It might have been the editor captions, which tend to boast idols as the toughest, strongest, god-like creatures on the planet. But Nic (if I can call him that) probably gave off some He-Man vibes during the opening mission that made think he was going to be self-centered.

Running Man Nichkhun

But the truth of the matter, after the idol opening, there was nothing for me to complain about. Nichkhun has since become something of a regular on the show. In fact, 2PM members seem to appear quite often – Chansung, Junho, Wooyoung. I’m inclined to think that as long as they have nothing else to do, they’d rather hang out on Running Man.

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Running Man vs The Wannabes

I’ve sort of been ranting a bit since my last couple of posts about the guests on Running Man, so I thought I might as well take the opportunity to voice my biggest complaint. Yes, some guests can be irritating, but no idol, group, or star compares with the ultimate disdain I have for Run Brother.

I’m referring to that “special” episode in 2014 when we were painfully introduced to those rival, carbon-copied wannabes from Running Man China.

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What the hell!

Have there ever been guests so full of themselves that you just wanted to see one of them get punched? I swear the real Running Men could have finished them off in less than 5 minutes if they weren’t trying to make a show of it.

The only thing entertaining about the episode (or the mission as it was) came from what the Running Man cast made of it. Run Brother was so hung up on winning that Yoo Jae Suk actually had to fill in as MC even though technically he was the guest.

runbro-special-mc

And do they really have to subject us to the parade of pretentious prattle over Angela Baby? Does the girl have any attractive qualities? They laud her as something of an Ace, as if she’s supposed to be the second coming of Song Ji Hyo. Please! The only reason “Baby” survives is because of her infantile attitude that no one wants to deal with.

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It sad to say that even the Running Man cast irritated me in this episode simply from how nice they were to those clowns. I was totally expecting them to hand them the win. I know it’s only a show, but if they would have let those losers win, I would have headed down to the SBS building to picket some stern words of dissatisfaction.

Running Man Episode 255 – The Most Annoying Guests

It was another couple race on Running Man (episode 255). The guys always have high hopes when the director mentions the word couple. And though the pairings are never guaranteed to go over well, everyone still tends to enjoy themselves.

But this couple race was not one for the books. I think this is the first time I actually ended up disliking all the guests by the time the show was done (as opposed to disliking them from start to finish: see girls generation).

First off, why do they even consider inviting Lee Gook Joo to the show? She was seriously annoying the first time around. It seems every time she opens her mouth it’s just to insult someone. I mean, why did she think it was funny to point out Kwang Soo’s toenails and to publicly call him out for not taking care of his feet? Has she looked at herself? Would she find it funny or humiliating if someone publicly shamed her for her weight? She’s just obnoxious and rude.

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By the first game I was already seriously annoyed that I don’t even remember what the challenge was. All I remember is the food reward at the end. The purpose was for the “queen of the team” to serve out a portion of food to the rest. But Bora (hate her) ate most of it and Gook Joo ate the rest. Why did these girls think it was funny to stuff their faces without considering the fact they were eating everything! I don’t find it the least bit amusing to watch a couple girls shovel food in their mouths like their pride was on the line.

running man eat

And what’s up with all the dancing! Someone fire the editor! When the dance routines add no value to the show, cut them out! Why is it we have to sit through so many lame idol dance moves? Fine, they can dance (mostly), so what? Has Running Man become the only advertising venue these idols get?

running man dance

Now, I don’t mind dance routines, but they should be fun, not tiresome. In episode 253, the girls put on a great show. Each one came up with a different style of dance that was fun to watch, not just a lot of shaking around. And in episode 237, the “greatest love” dancing was some of the best. But the dry heaves I had to sit through in this latest episode were simply a strain on my eyes.

I’m beginning to think a petition needs to be started to replace the writers.

Anyway, one last thing: I have noticed in these “couple” games that Ji Hyo tends to take a backseat. All the fuss is made over the idols-of-the-week and Ji Hyo is sort of forgotten. She handles it well, but I think the guys too quickly forget that she is every bit an idol, too.

song ji hyo smiles

Running Man 254-Girls Generation

Running Man Episode 254 – Return of Girls Generation

Well, I thought I should voice my opinion about Running Man episode 254, which saw the return of Girls Generation.

All I can say is I’m glad it’s over.

I haven’t cared for the group since they kicked out Jessica without so much as a farewell concert. Still, I like Running Man, so I tuned in, and hoped against hope that the show would help me forget about my disdain for the guests.

It started out ok (not the opening, which was juvenile, but the first game). The mud flat race was everything I’ve come to expect from that oft-visited pool of mud. It was gritty and fun, and quickly zapped the energy from everyone involved. I particularly like whenever the Running Men start wearing down and still keep trying to make us laugh.

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Of course, while the trip to the mud was fun, it must be noted I am not a fan of striping off everyone’s clothes. I don’t find that funny. And I particularly didn’t find any amusement in having the MC stripped down to his underwear.

But moving on, well, there’s really not much to move on to. The rest of the show wasn’t worth watching. They tried to get things moving by starting up a giant Tetris game, but it quickly devolved into dance practice.

Why so much dancing? In some of the recent episodes, the dancing routines have been great because the guests were fun to watch. But with Girls Generation I felt like I was watching a bunch of wannabes on amateur hour.

The robot moves were horrendous! And whatever Sunny was doing was just plain awful. (Does that girl have any rhythm?)

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Yes, there were some things I liked in the episode: Ji Hyo’s mud-caked face, Gary’s awesome dance move!, and even  Soo Young’s desperate negotiations to save herself.

mong ji mud face

But there were too many dislikes to save the episode. All I can say is if Girls Generation visits again, I’m not watching – Well, it’s Running Man so I have to watch, but I won’t like it.

What I Like Most about Running Man

To me, Running Man is South Korea’s best variety show simply because of the main stars. For the most part, the games or missions are mostly trivial, and by themselves would never be interesting enough to keep me tuning in. But because of the cast, the show is always entertaining.

What I like most is the interaction, the perpetual banter during the missions and the insightful “discussions” in-between. It’s all for comic-relief, and they are very seriously good at it.

Take for example the Music Geniuses in episode 218. Instead of simply working to play a tune correctly, they started punishing each other for messing up by stripping off the offender’s clothes.

Episode 218

Or in episode 147 when they interrupted a game to determine whether Kwang Soo should be allowed to speak to Kim Soo Hyun informally.

running man episode 147

Best of all, they are really good sports (especially when you consider the drama queens that would emerge if this were an American show). Like anyone they can express irritation but they are quick to pass it off, unless of course they seize an opportunity to “get into character.” For instance, when most recently in episode 239, Ha-Ha Dong slips into his sad, picked-on persona as he is forced to hand over his gold coins to “big kid” Jong Kook.

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It’s all for fun and we see in some of these interactions brief glimpses of their acting abilities, especially in Ji-Hyo, Kwang-Soo, and Ha-Ha.

Running Man is a show I look forward to every week. They pretty much fill up the year with new weekly episodes and I hope they are able to continue on for many more years.

It will certainly be a sad day when it all comes to an end.

 

 

 

 

Kim Jong Kook is Smart

We know he’s got brawn. If you go up against him in a mud pool, you’re going in head first. We also know he’s got quick reflexes, as so many have found out when trying to remove his name tag. But what often goes unnoticed is his intelligence. Not that we aren’t well aware of his peculiar nature to analyze everything, he is just so celebrated for his strength that we forget many of the games he wins is due to his great detective work.

On Episode 217 of Running Man, we were reminded that Jong Kook isn’t just a lot of beef. The games were fun from start to finish (make sure you check out the link below), but it was the final mission that stands out.

RM217-2It was winner-takes-all bingo. The first person to get three rows complete could run to the winner’s circle and claim the prize. Each member would act as a playing piece. To mark off a square on their bingo pad, they would need to eliminate each other. Naturally, Jong Kook was the primary target. He’s too big and fast for any one person, so it would have to be a group effort.

Of course, there were betrayals from the start. Still, they did make a concentrated effort to eliminate Jong Kook. And it didn’t go over well. I think the guest, Jo Jin Woong, lasted all of 2 seconds (why would anyone run directly into Jong Kook?). And Ha Ha forgot to take a good look around before unwittingly showing his back to the tiger. After that, just finding the man was a mission in itself.

But Jong Kook got real smart in the end. He counted the eliminations and realized that with Gary and Kwang Soo still on the loose, he might not be the primary target. He needed to eliminate the guest, Kim Sung-Kyun, to win and reasoned that the other two might need the same. So, he headed towards the winner’s circle hoping that Kwang Soo had one more betrayal up his sleeve.

He couldn’t have been more right. In fact, Gary and Kwang Soo worked together to eliminate Kim Sung-Kyun (Gary purposely let go of Kwang Soo’s hand), and then it was a mad sprint for the finish line. Kwang Soo would have won, but Jong Kook had put himself in perfect position and was just a short jog away.

Big, strong, quick, and clever. Kim Jong Kook won it with brains.
http://kshowonline.com/kshow/2559-%5Bengsub%5D-running-man-ep.217

SNSD Gets Hypocritical in Their Latest Release

SNSD just released a preview of a new song called “Divine.” Right now, I see them anything but divine. But what strikes me most are the lyrics. Here’s a sample :

We are always one
What will we say we’re capable of
Once we stand before the waves that give their loud roars?
We’ll meet this distress, with a gentle intimacy

Even though I’m not really sure of the story behind the words (probably about young lovers), it’s so hypocritical to release a song about being one and meeting distress with gentle intimacy immediately after kicking out a member of the family.

Unfortunately, the intimate marketing image just doesn’t work anymore. We know if the waves get big enough, SNSD becomes cut-throat.

Jessica gives an interview. Seems to be doing fine.

A few days ago, Jessica Jung (formerly of Girls Generation) was in Shanghai to promote her fashion line at the Lane Crawford event. During her visit, she paused for a brief interview while heading towards the main venue.

She assured fans that she has not lost her passion for the entertainment world. At this time she is focused on the launch of her fashion business, but music is not out of her life. That pretty much sums up what she had to say.

She appeared to be in high spirits, and many fans were there to support her, so it’s a good sign she may end up starting a solo music career and not just fade away.