Discuss Away: Running Man Ep. 409

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[NOTE: POST CONTAINS SPOILERS SO PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED!]

After a few episodes of the Global Project featuring Hong Jinyoung, Kang Hana, Lee Sang-yeob (who I actually wouldn’t mind being a regular cast member), and Lee Da-hee, we returned to the regular episodes with guests that Running Man usually does. This episode was just another regular, funny, and entertaining hour and 30 min long episodes with a few cute twists and turns and cries here and there as seen with prior episodes. Episode 409 starred BLACKPINK’s 2J: Jennie and Jisoo, former SISTAR member Bora, singer Hwang Chi-yeol, and actresses Han Eun-jung and Pyo Ye-jin. Although this episode focused on all the guests at one point, the main highlight and character of this episode was inarguably Jennie for many reasons why.

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Running Man always manages to make everything seem fun and the waterpark they went to in this episode was no exception. They filmed in the waterpark while it was raining and even with the rain and it being night time, they still made it seem fun. Seeing them in the waterpark brings back the memories of when I would visit waterparks with my family. We don’t go as often anymore, but it still brings back great memories that I cherish dearly.

I think the couple pairing worked out pretty well. You had the “cowards” and not-so-lucky people paired up with each other and then the ones with stamina and good luck as a pair. Kwangsoo and Jennie as a couple was very entertaining and funny; at first, they seemed like an odd and random match, but watching them together in the entire episode was as if they were meant to be. Jennie also has bad luck (I can so relate because my luck isn’t that great either) and she also gets scared easily just like Kwangsoo. The highlight as a couple and in this episode would definitely have to be when Jennie and Kwangsoo visited the haunted house and she ended up crying because she was so scared. The funniest thing was that she went in bluffing and assuming she would make it fine okay and even volunteered to go in first, but she broke down and couldn’t actually take it. She was way too cute for words and although I shouldn’t been laughing at her misery, everyone else’s reactions to her tears was too funny. Kwangsoo commenting that Jennie is a coward or how Haha was proud he made such a cute girl like her cry was so funny but also a little like what??. Lol.

Other highlights in this episode was basically anything Hwang Chi-yeol did with Song Ji-hyo because he was such a gentlemen as well as when Yoo Jae-suk went on the water slide by himself and was expecting Han Eun-jung to also go down the slide only to find out that she didn’t. Askdfjd. His reaction when he called out Eun-jung’s name afterwards because there was no one next to him was way too funny and awkward.

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Watching this episode confirms many of the thoughts that I had prior with earlier Running Man episodes. So-min is a very funny, entertaining, and comedic girl and she did some really humorous that not many other female guests or actresses dare to do because of their image. With her outgoing, free-spirited, and carefree personality, she’s willing to ridicule and humiliate herself which is why she’s been able to successfully brand herself on the show and impress others. There’s no question that Somin’s addition to the show has definitely brought up the energy and livelihood of Running Man which had been struggling post-Gary’s departure from the show.

However, as much as I love her acts and wittiness, there tends to be times where she takes up too much space which therefore means less time on guests. I know this isn’t her fault to blame and maybe the Running Man staff puts more screen time of her because she is funny and entertaining and that’s the whole point of a variety show, but sometimes it feels weird when only she – out of all the cast members – receive specific screentime. I feel like sometimes Running Man still treats her as a guest even though she’s been a cast member for over a year now.

For example, in this episode, she volunteered to do the random dance match challenge and while it was very fun, she was the only cast member who danced. Granted, she and Haha were the only couple consisting of cast members, but it just seemed so weird that we had a cast member dance and not another guest (like Pyo Ye-jin). Maybe Pyo Ye-jin didn’t want to dance or maybe she did but she just wasn’t entertaining enough, but I’ve noticed this specific focus on So-min for a while now. I know this long post might make me seem like I dislike Somin, but I really don’t and I enjoy her presence on the show. I think she’s smart, brilliant, cute, and funny, but there’s sometimes this odd focus on her in certain Running Man episodes that none of the other cast members receive as much. Hopefully she’ll learn to realize when to shine or when to hold back so as to let the guests shine (or even encourage the guests to go all out like the other cast members do). Regardless, she’s still very cute and funny and I like that she remains careless about what other thinks about her. As an actress, one would think she would limit herself, but she goes all out and it’s fun.

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The next episode is going to be featuring Tom Cruise which will make for a very interesting episode at the least. His guest appearance actually reminds me of Infinity Challenge and how they would invite non-Korean celebrities as well like Jack Black, Stephen Curry, and Manny Pacquiao (I honestly think Tom Cruise would have guested on Infinity Challenge had the show not been cancelled since Running Man isn’t really known to have international guests). I’m not sure how the next episode will be, but with Yoo Jae-suk as the main host who’s had experience working with international celebrities before and the rest of the cast members as comedic and outgoing as they are, I think the episode will be just fine.

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