Running Man ep 186 – Seoul Mission
The runners earn medals thru a series of games, then wager them to determine the final winner.
Planning and Direction: 5
This was a very old-school Running Man episode, with a series of light-hearted games, and the ‘medals’ being used in place of ‘running balls’. The games were mostly very basic, but proven and fundamentally sound. The public interactions were well done as well, as were the location choices around Jangchoong and Jongno. The only issue was that the final marble balancing game went on too long, as it was played twice and shown in detail despite being the most boring game of the ones shown. Overall, it was solid work without any of the editing mishaps that have plagued recent episodes.
Seemed a bit cheap again this week. Running Man is a bit strange…in some episodes they have advanced graphics and tons of licensed songs, while other episodes have just a few tags and only canned TV music.
Cho Yong Pil “Bobbed Hair”
Sesaem Trio “Go To Los Angeles” (cover)
CN Blue “I’m Sorry”
Yoo Jae Suk: 5
Jae Suk did pretty well this ep, even though he didn’t need to MC much since the group was split into three teams. He was still good during the times he was on screen, however, and was very tactful in his interactions with the public.
Kim Jong Kook: 5
Jong Sook returns, and does a solid job in his nagging role, while also providing a few good moments while being chased by CN Blue.
Ha Ha: 4
HaHa was probably the least involved member this week, as he was crowded out a bit and thus didn’t add a great deal to the episode.
Ji Suk Jin: 5
Suk Jin was quite good in his limited role, keeping up the energy and dialogue at several points.
Lee Kwang Soo: 6
Appearing again as Kwang Ja, Kwang Soo was working hard throughout the entire episode. He led the interactions with the Jae Suk team, and also showed some variety maturity by giving the guest on his team plenty of chances to be funny.
Similar to Ha Ha, Gary had a few decent lines but mostly got crowded out by the large cast, as well as having to compete for talking time in a group with Jae Suk, Suk Jin, and Ha Ha – not an easy task.
Song Ji Hyo: 5
This episode was one of Ji Hyo’s better performances in quite awhile, as she not only appeared on screen, but even created some funny moments of her own for the first time in awhile.
Shim Eun Kyung, CNBlue
I had no idea who Eun Kyung was (a child actor, apparently), and was shocked when I looked her up and saw that she’s only 19 – she looks and acts like she’s in her early thirties. She started off seeming like she would be a weak guest, but showed some oddball humor with her comically out of shape antics. CNBlue are usually among the better ‘idol’ variety guests, and were solid this episode as well. They don’t really contribute anything special on their own, but they are usually energetic and generally adapt well to the show’s spirit, which means they rarely have a negative impact either.
Episode MVP: Lee Kwang Soo
Kwang Soo was in a difficult group, with both Ji Hyo and Eun Kyung, neither of which are what could be called variety mavericks. Nevertheless, he worked hard and was funny both within his group and when interacting with other groups.
Final Score: 5
This was a very, very old school style Running Man episode, and turned out decently. The ending was a bit anticlimactic, but the cast and guests all put forth solid performances and the games were decent, if a bit simple.