Running Man ep 158 – The Number
A combination of puzzle-solving and city racing, the teams compete for clues during games along the way.
Planning and Direction: 5
The concept of a puzzle-solving race usually makes for a solid episode, but in this case it was a bit flat. The games were mostly pretty lame, such as eating potatoes and counting people getting off the bus, but they were kept relatively short and the directors had the sense to switch back and forth between teams at different game location, which stopped it from getting too monotonous. The ending was a bit weak as well, leaving the concept’s potential somewhat unrealized. Finally, the team pairings were probably the best choices possible.
While the captions and graphics were mostly more functional than humorous, the use of graphical maps and video clips in sub-windows really assisted the program in tying things together and making sense of what was happening. The graphics are also very clean and attractive. The music and sound was generally well placed, although the laugh track gets a bit too much use.
Yoo Jae Suk : 6
Not much of note from Jae Suk this episode, although he got better as the episode went on, and had a few conversations that kept the flow going during otherwise dead moments.
Kim Jong Kook: 5
Nothing much from Jong Kook this episode, he was just sort of there.
Ha Ha : 5
Similar to Jong Kook, he didn’t have much to do outside of the opening segment.
Ji Suk Jin: 6
Was pretty solid throughout the episode, and did a good job as ‘deputy MC’ when Jae Suk wasn’t around, narrating the plots for the benefit of the viewers.
Lee Kwang Soo : 7
Strong showing from Kwang Soo, who was a bit more controlled in his over-acting this time around, while still providing much needed energy to the show. Had great chemistry with Seung Gi, and the two of them basically carried the show from beginning to end.
Was Gary even in this episode? Seemed bored with Running Man again this week, but didn’t drag the show down or anything.
Song Ji Hyo: 5
Didn’t do much, but seemed to be in a decent mood that helped out with the energy in a few segments.
Lee Seung Gi, Sistar’s Bora, Han Hye Jin
Seung Gi was very good, comfortable in the format and worked really well together with Kwang Soo. Han Hye Jin brought some good energy but not much entertainment, and Bora was practically invisible, which is unfortunate because she has some decent variety potential.
Episode MVP: Lee Kwang Soo (with assist from Lee Seung Gi)
Final Grade: 5
Pretty typical Running Man episode, nothing really great but also nothing too painfully bad. It might have been a different story had Kwang Soo and Seung Gi not been as good as they were, however, as the content of the episode was pretty flimsy.