Running Man ep 183 – Fortune Telling
Overview: The members perform a series of missions to earn clues as to which couples were chosen as the best matches by a fortune teller.
Planning and Direction: 3
Kind of a strange episode this week, with some very good and very bad aspects of the staff’s work. The main game concept (ie a mystery puzzle game) and both the train station and celebrity calling mini-games were fundamentally sound, although the requirements for success may have been a bit too difficult in some cases. The only completely weak segment was the fortune telling itself, which dragged on a bit too long without being much fun, although the celebrity calling was a bit hit and miss as well. I suppose they had to leave in So Ri’s crying and Jung Hwa’s clues, but as a whole the segment was very boring. Also, there was a really strange editing choice at the end, where an entire segment was cut from the show, but then shown in flashbacks while setting up the ending. While it wasn’t a major problem, it was distracting and messed up the flow of the show a bit.
Usual good Running Man postproduction, with helpful and colorful graphics that helped keep the viewer informed on what was happening. The music was also typical boring Running Man stuff.
Songs Featured: Beyonce “Dreamgirls”, “Flower Day (Hwang Jini OST)”, John Williams “The Imperial March”, Kim Jang Hoon “Couples”, Tony Britten “Champions League”
Yoo Jae Suk: 5
Solid work from Jae Suk, who didn’t have to do a lot of MCing due to the strict structure of the segments. He mostly blended in with the crowd this episode, but did his part to keep the mood light.
Kim Jong Kook: 4
Jong Kook wasn’t bad, but was the only RM member who didn’t have at least 1-2 decent moments in the episode.
Ha Ha: 5
Ha Ha was fine, and showed good energy in the train and phone calling segments.
Ji Suk Jin: 5
Suk Jin was quite solid this week, he had the only funny fortune telling segment, and was active in both of the mission segments as well.
Lee Kwang Soo: 5
Solid performance from Kwang Soo as well. While he wasn’t great, he probably had more funny moments than anyone else this week.
Gary was fine, he didn’t do a great deal of entertaining but he was active and engaged for most of the episode.
Song Ji Hyo: 5
Similar to the others, Ji Hyo didn’t have any real stand-out moments, but was energetic and also did a bit more talking than usual. She even busted out a body gag for the first time in awhile, during the ice cream eating mission.
Uhm Jung Hwa, Jo Min Soo, Moon So Ri
Not much to say about this group, they were quite dull but didn’t take up a lot of screen time, so it wasn’t a huge problem. Jung Hwa’s plastic surgery disaster monster face was not fun to look at, though.
Episode MVP: Lee Kwang Soo
Hard to pick an MVP this week, since almost every member performed at around the same level. However, Kwang Soo benefited from being paired with other Running Man members in both missions, having been coupled with Suk Jin and Jae Suk instead of with one of the guests. This allowed Kwang Soo a bit more freedom to be funny, and he likely was the best member of the week as a result.
Final Score: 4
Not terrible, but not good either. The episode was a bit unusual as the concept and missions held a lot of potential, but the editing and somewhat bland performances from the cast and guests created a final result that was quite mediocre. The editing in particular was almost on the level of ’embarrassment’. There’s nothing wrong with cutting a segment if it’s no good, but they also left in a lot of boring fortune telling and celebrity phone calling bits. Since January, Running Man has been having a lot of issues with show structure, and it will be interesting to see if they can sort it out.