Running Man ep 181 – Secret Love
Overview: A hidden couple must remain undetected while performing secret tasks during the games.
Planning and Direction: 4
Very simple and boring main plot that has been done a lot in the past, and was never really all that fun. For some reason, when doing these types of episodes the PDs seem to make the games extra simple, as if they don’t count because they aren’t the ‘real’ games of the main plot. The first two games were simple but not too bad, although the rice paddy one went on a bit too long, but the last few were really really lazy. On the plus side, the direction of the shoots themselves was quite good, allowing the members to get the most comedy possible out of the lackluster segments.
The postproduction was quite solid this week, with very sharp use of sound effects and music to help inject some energy into the somewhat weak segments. The graphics and visuals were fine, but the episode’s format was not one that required a lot of fancy graphics to narrate the ‘action’.
Songs Featured: Nino Rota “What Is A Youth?”, The Cardigans “Lovefool”, Park Bo Young “My Prince”, Des’Ree “Kissing You”, Richard Sanderson “Reality”, Geri Halliwell “It’s Raining Men”, Sunny Hill “Pit-a-Pat”, Lyn “My Destiny”,
Yoo Jae Suk: 6
Although he wasn’t brilliantly funny, Jae Suk was the most consistent member this week in terms of providing entertaining footage. His ability to create comedy out of nothing is unparalleled, and he had to provide a lot of situational jokes this week in order to keep the show going. He played a key role in carrying nearly every segment, other than the rice paddy shoot.
Kim Jong Kook: 5
Jong Kook was naturally funny as Jong Sook, and did well at following Jae Suk’s comedic lead throughout the episode. Not great, but definitely worked hard.
Ha Ha: 5
Ha Ha was pretty good this week, but was a bit inconsistent. At times he was the funniest member, but he also tended to disappear from time to time.
Ji Suk Jin: 4
Suk Jin started out well, being one of the better members during the rice paddy shoot, showing off his body gags, but all but vanished as the episode went on.
Lee Kwang Soo: 5
Kwang Soo was pretty good as Kwang Ja, working especially well with Jong Kook and Jae Suk, as usual. He also worked fairly hard with physical comedy in the early segments, but had a lot less to do later in the show as the segments became more subdued in nature.
Gary was a lot more active and visible than usual this week, especially in the second half of the episode. However, he still faded into the background a lot, and relied heavily on reacting to other people’s jokes when getting his own lines in.
Song Ji Hyo: 5
Ji Hyo was one of the ‘main’ characters, and did pretty well for herself even though she didn’t add anything special to the episode. She had good reactions and a few sharp comments though, and seemed lively for the entire episode.
Lee Jong Suk, Park Bo Young, Lee Sae Young
Park Bo Young seemed energetic and ready to be funny, but got crowded out by the amount of bodies present on set. On the other hand, Jong Suk seemed nervous and was very awkward, and didn’t provide a single decent moment in the entire shoot despite being a ‘main’ character. Lee Sae Young was OK, but barely noticeable.
Episode MVP: Yoo Jae Suk
Jae Suk was the connecting figure in providing entertainment this week, as his interactions with Ha Ha, Jong Kook and Kwang Soo were the best parts of the episode.
Final Score: 4
The cast actually seemed energetic and worked hard, but the weak main plot, quiet guests, and very lazy sub-games made it a difficult task for the members.