As I continue to experiment with the new updates to the blog and try some new things, I thought that I’d provide recaps on current Korean variety shows that I’m watching. There aren’t that many blogs or website that provide recaps of Korean variety shows (that I know of) so I thought.. why not try it especially since I watch them anyways?
Of course, my first Korean variety show recap would be of ‘Running Man’ which I’ve been following for a few years now and heavily enjoy every time (it’s the first show I watch out of all the variety shows). The show has had a very long, difficult, wonderful, and complicated history and has had its fair shares of up’s and down’s. While it was thisclose to being cancelled and taken off air, the show was able to be revived with the addition of two new members Jeon So-min and Yang Se-chan. After the departure of Gary, the show fell a little flat, mundane, and boring, but has gone back to being lively again thanks to our two new additions. As usual, I catch the new episodes of Running Man every weekend and wanted to start off my first K-variety show recap with the latest episode that aired.
Running Man episode 377: Family Crisis – the Heiresses Have Returned!
Episode 377 (are we really already 300 episodes in? :O) takes place at the new airport terminal just created at Incheon International Airport. We have only 5 guys present: Yoo Jae-suk, Lee Kwang-soo, Ji Suk-jin, Yang Se-chan, and Haha. Kim Jong-kook is returning from a flight from the U.S. while our two female members Song Ji-hyo and Jeon So-min are to appear in the show later on.
After congratulating Ji Suk-jin on getting tattooed eyebrows (“they don’t look natural at all” – Kwangsoo), the guys move on to talk about the new airport terminal they’re recording at since it was just newly created. Ji Suk-jin’s spontaneous comment ‘Welcome to Korea!’ creates confusion and the boys recommend that he not say it again. LOL.
The concept of the episode includes our male cast members as the chairmen of Running Airlines (since they’re filming at an airport terminal). Whoever is ranked the highest out of the group at the end of the show will be the final heir and receive inheritance. They must conceal and hide their ranks from the other members while also being careful about who to eliminate. After choosing their ranks randomly, the order of the ranks is as follows: 1) Haha, 2) Ji Suk-jin, 3) Kim Jong Kook, 4) Yoo Jae-suk, 5) Lee Kwang-soo, and 6) Yang Se-chan.
Of course, Running Man wouldn’t be Running Man without guests (even when they’re unnecessary and the cast members are already funny as is without any guests). The first two guests aren’t really guests as they’re fixed cast members, but Song Ji-hyo and Jeon So-min come down the escalator of the terminal side by side in dresses. As expected, the guys aren’t excited or elated; they rather stand in fear commenting on how scary and ghost-like the girls look (“They’re Annabelle and virgin ghosts!”). LOL. The boys quickly move on to the next guest. It’s none other than actress Go Sung-hee who’s been most known for her recent work in ‘While You Were Sleeping.’ The other guests include Gugudan’s Kim Se-jeong, comedian Kim Jimin, and actress Lim Se-mi from dramas like ‘Shopping King Louis’ and ‘Goodbye Mr. Black.’ All 6 ladies are to be the heiresses for the six guys and help them become the final heir.
Yoo Jae-suk quickly interviews each of the six heiresses since they’re short on time. While each interview is packed with comedic moments and comments, stand-outs include Ji-hyo’s honesty about being less angry and snappy when she’s not as busy and therefore the guys celebrating, Se-jeong’s sudden change in expression right before she dances, and Ji Suk-jin mistaking Go Sung-hee’s appearance in Korean drama ‘Miss Korea’ to her actually running for the pageant and asking if she won or not. OMG HAHAHA. Ji Suk-jin please! (And also Lee Kwang-soo finding out he’s Yang Se-chan’s hoobae because he debuted 2 years after Yang Se-chan did. Awkwarddd. LOLOL).
Rules to the game are explained. Whichever couple wins in the end will receive inheritance. However, there’s a twist. One of the heiresses is the chairman’s long-lost youngest daughter and therefore may eliminate any of the guys. If she manages to keep her identity a secret and also wins the final race with her partner, she is the sole winner in the end. Of course, this gets everybody on their toes and they remain cautious. Who’s the spy? As for the losers, they’ll be penalized by wearing ridiculous airport fashion and clothing while walking through the airport. Ahhh, totally not embarrassing at all!
It’s finally time for the couples to be formed since there are 6 heirs and 6 heiresses! To decide on the couples, a wall separates the heirs from the heiresses so they’re unable to see who is on the other side of the wall. As a song is played, the first two in each line is to come forward, reveal their faces to each other, and dance to the song. Afterwards, they return back to standing behind the wall and have to match the same direction that the other person is facing to become partners. First up is Haha and Song Ji-hyo. While Song Ji-hyo confidently dances with Haha, Haha can only scream internally. (And then you have the other guys content with the results and dancing on the sideline. Hahaha). After a few seconds of dancing, Haha and Song Ji-hyo end up both facing to the left of the wall and therefore become partners.
Up next is Lee Kwang-soo. He has a great time dancing to Seventeen’s ‘Very Nice’ until he finds out that the heiress on the other side of the wall is none other than Jeon So-min. He slowly retreats back to hiding behind the wall as if he didn’t see her. LOLOL. Jeon So-min does the same after finding out Lee Kwang-soo could be her potential partner. Fortunately for the two, they don’t match the same directions and end up not becoming partners. Go Sung-hee is up next for the girls and she’s not too happy with her potential partner. It’s Ji Suk-jin! LOL. While he’s content, she remains embarrassed and loses the motivation to dance to BTS’s ‘Go Go’ (okay but I totally wasn’t expecting them to play ‘Go Go.’ I thought they would have gone with ‘DNA’ since that’s BTS’s title track so I’m so surprised but happy that they played a BTS track and that it was ‘Go Go’! Lol. Sorry I just had to comment about this because I’m such BTS trash). Go Sung-hee manages to avoid Ji Suk-jin and both head to the back of their lines for a second chance at a new potential partner. Yoo Jae-suk dances to TWICE’s ‘Likey’ and is excited to see Lim Se-mi across from him. She reciprocates his excitement and dances with him, but Haha stops them by complaining about Yoo Jae-suk’s dance moves he notes seem recycled and repetitive. As a challenge, Yoo Jae-suk and Lim Se-mi starts over again and Yoo Jae-suk this time will show new dance moves he’s never done before… except he doesn’t and he goes back to doing the same old dance moves he used to do a decade before on popular show ‘X-Man.’ Haha, gotta love Yoo Jae-suk. The two end up becoming partners.
Before moving on to the next round, Ji Suk-jin points out the trends he’s been noticing with the last few couples: those who like each other jump out to the left of the wall and those who don’t jump upwards to avoid facing the same direction as the other person. He even calls out Go Sung-hee’s name, but mispronounces it as ‘Song-yi’ which is the name of a mushroom in Korean. LOL. Oh Ji Suk-jin, what are we gonna do with you? Haha. After a freestyle round to Black Pink’s ‘As If Your Last’, the next two to become a couple is Jeon So-min and Lee Kwang-soo. LOL. So much for trying to avoid each other. WINNER’s ‘Really Really’ (AKA A BOP) does wonders for Se-chan and Se-jeong who end up becoming partners. Lastly, Go Sung-hee doesn’t have the best luck as she ends up getting partnered up with Ji Suk-jin after Ji-min and Jong-kook become partners.
It’s talent show time and each of the couples have a chance to showcase their talents as well as win clues about the ranks of the heirs. Whoever manages to win the most rounds will get a hint about the rank of a chosen member and the youngest daughter (aka the spy). First up is Lim Se-mi whose talent are jumprope double unders. She’s actually quite exceptional at it even though the last time she’s tried it was last year. She actually wins the round by completing a total of 27 double unders! Other competitors like Lee Kwang-soo is no competition for her. The only thing he gets out of the jumprope competition is a painful slap on the neck by the jumprope because of his height. LOL. Meanwhile, it’s the exact opposite for Haha whose height is perfect for the jumprope. HAHAHA. Go Sung-hee also gives it a try and actually manages to do some, but is unable to outdo Lim Se-mi. Yoo Jae-suk takes the trophy by doing 40+ double under’s. LOL. He truly is the king of double under’s. He and Lim Se-mi win that round.
Up next is Song Ji-hyo whose talent is ‘5 Second Talk’ — a game where two opponents have to ask and answer each other’s questions logically within 5 seconds. Stand-outs include Ji-hyo’s random answer of 3 books she’s read (aka words she randomly made up) which turned out to be actual books that existed, her battle against Jeon So-min where the two basically just swore at each other (gotta love these two baddies), and Se-jeong’s constant mention of Yang Dong-geun in her answers (“you seem to love Yang Dong-geun!)”. Song Ji-hyo remains undefeated until Go Sung-hee overthrows her with the question ‘name 3 proverbs’ to which Song Ji-hyo had trouble doing. LOL. Seems like she can answer just about anything except about proverbs. However, to everyone’s surprise, Lim Se-mi ends up taking the round again after defeating Go Sung-hee with the question ‘name 3 math formulas.’ Hahaha. 2 for Team Lim Se-mi and Yoo Jae-suk, 0 for the other teams.
The third round is Kim Ji-min’s talent: she can stick her nose inside her nostril (WHAAAT?). Usually we see people touch the tip of their nose with their tongue, but she can actually stick her tongue inside her nostril (that’s some new kind of talent right there). The other members try to show their strange and absurd talents that they claim no one else can do, but it’s of no use. Everyone can imitate each other’s weird talents. Ji-min ends up winning the round by being able to stick one leg behind her head sitting down while also being able to stick her nose inside her nostril. LOL. WHAT AM I WATCHING.
Since Team Se-mi and Jae-suk won two out of the three rounds, they get to discover the rank of one of the members of their choice. They decide on Jong-kook and Ji-min who they find out is ranked third while both Team Se-mi and Jae-suk as well as Jong-kook and Ji-min who won second place discover that the youngest daughter (aka the spy) has the letter ‘S’ in her name.
The third game is called ‘It Hurts Me Too.’ Each couple is given a scene from a drama to re-enact, but they ultimately get to choose how they want to end the scene. The judges will give them either positive or negative points depending on how impressive the ending to their scene is which then determines how many extra seconds they have when playing the second part of the game: the heiresses have 30 seconds to punch balloons stuck on the heir’s body. Whoever is able to punch the most amount of balloons within the given time limit they have gets to win the hints about the rank + youngest daughter.
Jong-kook and Ji-min are first and end up re-enacting a scene from ‘Temperature of Love.’ Unlike the original which ends with the two kissing, Ji-min dodges Jong-kook’s kiss by doing a few tumbles which Jong-kook also does (“She must really not want his kiss!”). LOL. She moves on to the next part of the game where she punches balloons on Jong-kook’s body and almost hits that precious body part. LOL. You gotta becareful!
Jeon So-min and Lee Kwang-soo are up next and are assigned a scene from the infamous ‘Heirs.’ Although actors in reality, the two stay true to their clumsy persona on ‘Running Man’ and end the scene with Jeon So-min throwing Lee Kwang-soo down to the ground and almost kissing each other. ADSDFJSDJ. This might be a little bit too R-rated?? They receive a high score though from one of the judges and the same conflict that Jong-kook was conflicted with Kwang-soo also faces. He almost gets his precious precious part punched by So-min lol.
Yoo Jae-suk and Lim Se-mi is third. They re-enact a scene from ‘Autumn in my Heart’, but Yoo Jae-suk changes things up by speaking in a dialect/satoori. Yoo Jae-suk manages to make everyone laugh with his comedic acting, but it’s Lim Se-mi who steals the show with her crying where she actually sheds a tear (omg watch her get all these acting deals because she was able to cry on the spot). In the original scene where Lim Se-mi begs Yoo Jae-suk for money, Yoo Jae-suk apologizes by saying that he didn’t bring money. He wasn’t expecting for Lim Se-mi to cry so suddenly. If he had known he would have brought her some money. Hahaha.
It’s Haha and Song Ji-hyo who ends up winning the game though. They discover that Ji Suk-jin and Go Sung-hee are in second place and also find out that the youngest daughter was not born in Seoul leaving out So-min since she’s the only heiress to be born in Seoul.
It’s the final race. The couples are to look around the airport and try to find either items: a walkie-talkie which will give them hints about the rank of a member or 2) envelopes with hints inside about the youngest daughter. Each couple must rip off the name tag of the couple who is ranked above them or will be eliminated themselves if they rip off the wrong couple’s nametags. However, this rule doesn’t apply for the youngest daughter who can eliminate any person’s name tag as she likes — as long as she is able to hide her identity from the others and avoids any suspicion until the very end. The couple who outlasts everyone else wins in the end, but the youngest daughter is the ultimate sole winner if she manages to eliminate everyone and still come out on top.
After some searching, Team Jae-suk and Se-mi find an envelope with a hint about the youngest daughter: her age is an even number. This leaves out Ji-min so the 3 suspects left are Se-jeong, So-min, and Sung-hee. Meanwhile, Team Kwang-soo and So-min find a walkie-talkie and ask for the couple ranked 4th which is none other than Team Jae-suk and Se-mi. Now Kwang-soo and So-min know who to go after!
And the two actors take out Yoo Jae-suk! While he is eliminated, Se-mi still remains in the game by escaping from the rest of the crew. Karma quickly catches up to So-min and Kwang-soo who are eliminated right after eliminating Yoo Jae-suk. LOL poor Kwang-soo. He can never catch a break. Se-chan and Se-jeong end up eliminating them and move up to 5th place.
It seems like the two are really getting to work because they also manage to eliminate Se-mi from the game. Additionally, they find another hint, this time about who the youngest daughter could possibly be. They guess that it has to be Sung-hee since she tied her handkerchief around her ankle and therefore could be hiding the bracelet of an airplane that the youngest daughter is known to be carrying. It’s not only Se-chan and Se-jeong who are suspicious of Sung-hee though. Ji Suk-jin is also suspicious of his own partner after finding several envelopes with hints inside all including Sung-hee’s name. Lol. She reveals her identity to Suk-jin and it turns out that Sung-hee is the youngest daughter! Oh ho ho. But is she the only one? o.O
Se-chan and Se-jeong form an alliance with Ji-min and Jong-kook arter lying to them that they’re first place and therefore can’t eliminate anyone and since Ji-min and Jong-kook are in third place, it wouldn’t matter if they work together with each other or not. Se-chan and Se-jeong’s teamwork is perfect though as they manage to trick and distract Jong-kook and eliminate both him and Ji-min. Turns out that their next targets were Jong-kook and Ji-min since they were actually in 4th place. Hahaha. Niiiiice.
With only 5 minutes left and 3 couples left in the race, the possible contenders of the youngest daughter are narrowed down. The 3 couples find each other, but what the heirs don’t know that is the three remaining heiresses – Sung-hee, Se-jeong, and Ji-hyo – are actually all the younger daughters. They’re triplets! They manage to eliminate their respective partners from the race and therefore are the ultimate winners of the race (LOL I love how dumbfounded and surprised their partners are when they get eliminated).
The 3 heiresses get to decide on 3 members to wear the funny airport fashion. The 3 lucky ones end up being Haha, Jong-kook, and Lee Kwang-soo. The episode ends by showing the three wearing some beautiful airport fashion while walking through the airport terminal with the rest of the members. Hahaha. This is so great.
This episode was unexpectedly a pretty entertaining episode. I’m not the biggest fan of having guests on the show just because I think the fixed cast members already have enough of a good chemistry, comedic timing, and persona to carry episodes alone on their own and still be entertaining. At first I wasn’t really that big of a fan of the guests in this episode, but all the 4 female guests (excluding Ji-hyo and So-min because they’re fixed) were pretty cute and charming in their own and respective ways (especially cheerful Se-mi).
I also have to admit that the games this episode were pretty funny and simple. One of my complaints about this show is the complexity of the games and how complicated the PD can make them sometimes (not doing too much can be better than doing too much) so I liked how the games and concept this episode were simple and easy to follow. Each game was equally funny and entertaining in their own ways and there were plenty of times throughout the episode where I laughed my head off because it was too funny. I also liked how the three daughters was a mix of both guests and a fixed member because usually the show plays it too obvious by having the guests be a spy (which is expected) but then also having one of the male members (like Yoo Jae-suk) also be the spy and it’s not all that surprising. But I really wasn’t expecting there to be 3 + Ji-hyo being one of the spies (though I do think it was quite unfair to everyone else because the PD did say that there was only one young daughter, not 3 even though there were supposedly hints posted all over that there were three. But like how were the members supposed to know about those hints other than the ones given to them..). Overall though, well played out!
Also, I also just have to say that in the third game when each couple re-enacted a scene from a drama, the part that stood out to me the most was Kwang-soo and So-min’s turn. Their image and persona in Running Man contrasts widely from their image and career as actors so you forget about that in Running Man, but when they were re-enacting the scene from ‘Heirs’, I could see why they’re actors in the first place. They totally turned on their acting chops and even though their re-enactment was just for laughs, it seemed as if they were actually filming for a drama. I wouldn’t mind seeing them two together in a drama. Hehe.
Having been a loyal follower and viewer of this show for a few years now, my favorite moments of Running Man has to be anything involving Yoo Jae-suk or Lee Kwang-soo or the both of them combined. They are such great entertainers, both individually and when together and while I really appreciate each of the fixed cast members, them two are really saving the show for me. Yoo Jae-suk isn’t the nation’s MC for nothing and Lee Kwang-soo is actually so entertaining, silly, and ridiculous that I sometimes forget he’s an actor or that I wished he would appear on more variety shows because he’s so fit for it. Of course, I love the other members as well and they all complete one another so well. I think through this episode I’ve really come to appreciating and cherishing Ji-hyo and So-min as our female members (especially when they were going against each other during the ‘5 Second Talk’ game). I honestly wouldn’t want anyone else to be the female representatives on the show. Ji-hyo’s so badass and having done this since the beginning she has such great chemistry with the rest of the boys and I like how they’re all scared of her. Meanwhile, though So-min joined just earlier this year, she’s already really created her own identity on the show through her weird and funny comments. She truly is one of a kind which is why she’s so charming and fitting for the show. She blends right in and adapted so quickly to everything.
Having done this for a few years now with the original members and then close to a year with So-min and Se-chan, it seems like they’re all getting along well. I really love the chemistry and dynamic that the 9 fixed cast members have with one another and I really hope that the show never ends (even though I know that one day it eventually will). I just don’t want to think about it just yet.
Source: On Demand Korea