Running Man ep 182 – Letter From Hong Kong
Overview: The cast compete in a three-stage game designed by a fan from Hong Kong.
Planning and Direction: 6
While it’s a bit hard to say how much of the concept was from the ‘fan’ and how much from the staff, it was generally a pretty good game. The first segment was a bit weak, but the second and third segments were strong conceptually, if perhaps almost a little bit overcomplicated (some of the members didn’t understand it even after having it explained to them). Overall, the main concept was pretty good, though. The water segment was probably the best one this week.
While not bad per se, the captions and graphics were very generic. Similarly, the sound and music was a bit dull. Running Man tends to play a LOT of background music throughout their episodes, but the music chosen was awful and the staff also seemed to be reusing the same old songs more than usual this week.
Songs Featured: Delispice “Chau Chau”, Kim Sung Kyun + Dohee “Destiny”, ZE:A “Daily Daily”, Vangelis “Conquest of Paradise”, Hans Zimmer “Hero”, Zac Efron “Ladies’ Choice”, Pitbull “Feel This Moment”, Van Halen “Jump (Glee Cover)”, Bloodhound Gang “The Bad Touch” (Dance Remix cover), Tokyo Symphony Orchestra “On the Battlefield (Red Cliff)”, Juno Reactor “Tetsuijin”
Yoo Jae Suk: 6
Jae Suk was good again this week, doing a funny comedy bit during the introduction and providing good footage during the water segment. He was also one of the funnier members during the final game, especially when paired with Suk Jin.
Kim Jong Kook: 5
Jong Kook was fine in this one, albeit unspectacular as he mostly stuck to his character for the majority of the episode. He was active in all segments of the episode, though, and his character is important to the flow of the show so simply sticking to it is not a bad thing.
Ha Ha: 5
Decent week for Ha Ha, he was good working with Jae Suk in the introduction, but seemed to fade a bit towards the end.
Ji Suk Jin: 4
Suk Jin was mostly OK, but he appeared very little during the introduction and horse race segments. He was fine in the water and final games, though.
Lee Kwang Soo: 6
Kwang Soo worked really hard this week, particularly during the horse race segment where he turned the entire game into a two-minute long body gag. Considering where Kwang Soo was in terms of comedy only a year and a half ago, seeing him lead Gary through that bit was pretty impressive. He also did well during the introduction and water segments, but wasn’t featured much in the final game.
Good work from Gary in this one, who seemed to be up for the shoot this week. While he didn’t do anything especially great, he was energetic and naturally funny, as he often was in the past.
Song Ji Hyo: 5
Ji Hyo didn’t really do much in terms of entertainment, but deserves at least a passing score for her absolutely ridiculous blob jump, which sent her spinning head over heels 8m in the air before crashing into the water at a 180 degree angle. Ji Hyo definitely put her body on the line for variety with that one, and provided one of the week’s best moments.
Yeo Jin Goo, ZE:A Siwan, Tiny-G Dohee,
While expectations may be low considering the lack of variety experience present, this group was surprisingly good as Running Man guests. Jin Goo was the biggest surprise, as actors are generally the weakest type of variety guests, but Jin Goo’s naturally good reactions and genuine excitement at being on Running Man made his segments fun to watch. Dohee didn’t get a lot of time, but seemed like she might have some variety potential due to her tiny size, weird voice, and rough attitude. Siwan was fine, but didn’t really do much of anything special in this episode.
Episode MVP: Yoo Jae Suk
Very close between Kwang Soo and Jae Suk, as Kwang Soo worked really hard in providing comedy across several segments. Jae Suk was also quite entertaining, but was almost entirely cut from the horse segment. However, Jae Suk was paired with the inexperienced Jin Goo in several scenes, and really did a good job in leading him to a good performance of his own.
Final Score: 6
Good Running Man episode this week, which was sorely needed following the past three weeks. The horse segment was the only weak link, and was cut a lot as a result. The water segment was very good in both concept and performance by the members, while the final game was clever but a bit disappointing as it seemed somewhat rushed and disorganized. This may partially be due to the setting, however, as it seemed to be fairly close quarters for a game that would benefit from a larger space. Also, the editing of who was changing whose chess pieces after the games could have been much better.