Running Man ep 187 – 2014 University Festival
The members form teams with students from various universities in Seoul, build boats, and cross the Han River.
Planning and Direction: 6
While re-doing a concept they did only a few months ago is a bit cheesy, the idea of adding citizens to the mix was a good one. They also made a good decision to minimize the amount of boring games played, instead focusing on the interactions between the cast and guests. Finally, the final mission was given just about the right amount of time, as watching people paddle in makeshift boats is not all that interesting in itself – however, the editing was well done and the segment ended just as it started to become boring.
A bit weak again this episode, the graphics were generic and while the soundtrack featured some interesting 80s songs, it also relied heavily on the soundboard and inexplicably played “Butterfly” twice, for around 6 or 7 minutes in total. The captions were pretty good for RM, though.
Kim Soo Chul – You Are Young
Kim Hye Rim – Farewell For Myself
Robert Randolph & the Family Band – Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That
Loveholics – Butterfly
Shin Hae Chul – To Her
Yoo Jae Suk: 7
Jae Suk really saved the day, providing the bulk of the good footage in the first half of the episode. In his interactions with Young Taek, he really showed his ability to quickly find out what’s funny about a person and then lead them into exploring it. It’s really interesting that he said he wanted someone like Kwang Soo, because Jae Suk led the guest in a very similar manner to how he used to lead Kwang Soo in comedy bits. The subtle things Jae Suk picks up on in people and situations is what sets him in a class above most others, and he displayed that very well this week.
Kim Jong Kook: 4
Jong Kook was among the least featured members, and also among the most boring. Didn’t seem to have many ideas about how to make his segments interesting or fun.
Ha Ha: 5
HaHa was solid in the ‘recruitment’ segment, keeping it simple but effective for the most part. He wasn’t seen much from the boat-building onward, though.
Ji Suk Jin: 5
Suk Jin was decent this week, if limited in his performance. His recruitment segment was a bit bland, but he was among the better members during the mini-game and boat building segments.
Lee Kwang Soo: 6
Kwang Soo took it upon himself to provide most of the comedy in this episode, from his ‘fantasy’ re-enactment at the university to his attempted swim to the finish. His gags were a bit hit or miss, but at least he was actively trying to do things.
Gary showed good reactions throughout this episode, from the university until the final mission. While he didn’t provide much in the way of jokes or character, his energy helped the episode.
Song Ji Hyo: 4
Ji Hyo was massively cut, and only saved by getting some screen time towards the end, even though she didn’t do much with it.
Various university students from Seoul
Most of the students were forgettable, but Jae Suk’s partner Young Taek was one of the highlights of the show, as Jae Suk highlighted his personality and led him into a decent variety performance of his own.
Episode MVP: Yoo Jae Suk
If Jae Suk hadn’t been on this episode, it would have been painfully boring, as he was responsible for the vast majority of the fun moments.
Final Score: 6
Good episode this week, with solid planning and editing, and a very strong performance from Jae Suk.