Running Man ep 189 – Adventure in Australia Part 2
The members split into teams, and compete to be the first to complete an elemental puzzle game in Melbourne, Australia.
Planning and Direction: 5
While far from perfect, this week’s episode was much more solid as a whole than the first part aired last week. The main game was fairly solid by Running Man standards, although it may have been more interesting if the teams had not been directly told about Ji Hyo’s role. This also could have given her more of a purpose than just standing around doing nothing, although the limited nature of her role may have been due to uncertainty as to whether or not she would be able to arrive in time for the shoot. The minigames were also improved this week, and were generally fun and actually made use of the expensive props (planes, jeeps, etc) in an entertaining way. On the down side, the editing this week was a bit weird, with some games being cut into ‘highlights’ while others seemed to go on a bit long, although the cuts may have been partially due to interference from the crowd in the market. The final mission was also conceptually solid, but the decision to reveal the rules along the way (instead of explaining the rules at the beginning) was a bit annoying, and the ending to the main game came off as a bit too scripted and awkward. Still, it was a pretty average RM episode on the whole.
Not sure what’s up with Running Man’s post-production recently, as it used to be one the show’s strong suits. This week, the graphics were cheap looking and the music was boring and lacked creativity. There was also massive use of stock TV incidental music, and it often did not really match with the on screen action.
Bon Jovi – Living on a Prayer
AC/DC – Shoot to Thrill
David Newman – Fighting Over the Melons (Ice Age OST)
Lee Hong Ki – I’m Saying (Heirs OST)
Rain – La Song
Yoo Jae Suk: 4
Jae Suk was OK, but seemed a bit more tired than the rest of the cast for whatever reason. One of the rare episodes where YJS became one of the ‘background’ members, as he was among the least active this week.
Kim Jong Kook: 5
Jong Kook was solid throughout the episode, working well with Rain and Kwang Soo in particular.
Ha Ha: 5
Ha Ha actually stepped into Jae Suk’s usual role somewhat, especially during the final mission, where he was important in narrating the plot of the game.
Ji Suk Jin: 5
Teamed with Jae Suk, Suk Jin was actually the more active of the two for the most part, particularly during the final mission. Nothing special, but not bad either.
Lee Kwang Soo: 6
Kwang Soo worked the hardest this week, while also toning down his overreactions a bit compared to last week. He mixed up his gags a bit more, was active across all the segments, and provided most of the funny moments.
Gary usually works well with HaHa, and this was no exception. While he didn’t do much to really stand out, Gary was energetic and remained talkative and engaged for most of the episode.
Song Ji Hyo: 4
A bit of a tough episode for Ji Hyo, who was given a poor role by the PD’s, essentially just eating some stuff then standing around for the final mission. It’s unfortunate, because although Ji Hyo often struggles in solo segments, she was actually fairly decent when on camera this week.
Rain, Kim Woo Bin
Rain was solid once again, he isn’t especially interesting or entertaining, but he’s confident and understands the variety format very well, which makes him among the more reliable singer guests. Woo Bin seemed much more comfortable on the second day of the shoot, and put it a performance that was at least average.
Episode MVP: Lee Kwang Soo
Kwang Soo was easily the hardest working member this week in terms of creativity and entertainment, and put in a good performance by limiting his overacting and varying his gags a bit more than usual. Added to the fact that he had the weakest partner in variety terms, this was a good outing from Kwang Soo.
Final Score: 5
This episode wasn’t the best or the worst Running Man. It had good energy for the most part, but lacked any real stand-out memorable moments.