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.
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.