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.

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.

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

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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

Running With Superheroes

It was superhero day on Running Man. And they started out in blockbuster style swapping out the usual welcoming ceremony with star-studded credits. Of course, after the introduction, the “ceremony” got under way with the usual banter.

For the most part, they looked pretty awful in their costumes. Kwang Soo was painstakingly made-up as the Avatar character, but it wasn’t a pretty sight. Jong Kook as Wolverine looked like a Korean Elvis Presley, Ha Ha an errand boy, and Suk Jin a budget-conscience Batman wearing a mask that might have been cut from the back of a cereal box. I think Gary was some sort of space monkey. None of them seemed particularly happy about their apparel.

Of course, Ji Hyo looked good and took on the part of Wonder Woman as though she were playing a real character, and Jae Suk jumped right in (as always) as Superman.

There were more good situations than bad in this episode, which is the best way I can rate Running Man in recent months. I don’t think highly of the writers. The interaction among the members really is the show, and the writers should work hard to give them interesting things to do or games to play. Fortunately, in this episode, the good outweighed the bad (or the boring).

Watch here:
http://kshowonline.com/kshow/2522-%5Bengsub%5D-running-man-ep.216

Running Man Races On – And I Missed It

Race Start is the official fan meeting event for avid fans of Running Man. If you don’t know what Running Man is, please move on to the next post.

I missed every event last season, and now I’ve started this season off the same way. If I don’t catch the one held in Korea, then it’s pretty much over for me. Fortunately, I’ve been able to find more videos from this year’s event, but I would love to see an entire show.

Only Yoo Jae Suk and Gary are missing from the lineup this time, so we’re getting closer to seeing a full cast for one of these events. I think I might have to splurge for a plane ticket if that ever materializes.

Enjoy some of the event from this video.