Infinite Challenge 373 – Speed Racer #1
The members begin training their racing skills in preparation for an upcoming rally race in Songdo, Incheon.
Planning and Direction: 6
A very strange episode in terms of editing, as the overall result was quite good despite several glaring mistakes, including Gil and Hyungdon mysteriously disappearing for long periods of time, an entirely cut “Please Come Early Segment”, and results being shown out of order. Despite this, the training segments were all well conceived and split into bite-sized chunks that ensured the episode never lagged or became boring – which was very important as auto racing is repetitive by nature.The shoot itself likely generated a very high volume of footage that needed to be sorted through, which makes the mistakes a bit more forgivable and the final edit even more impressive.
The graphics team likewise must have had to work very hard on this episode, as graphics were consistently used to enhance and explain the driving segments. There was also quite a bit of fun creative graphic work, such as Myungsoo being nuked by the robo-camera. The sound and music was unfortunately pretty boring, consisting almost entirely of stock dubstep tracks.
Skrillex – Bangarang
Hard Rock Sofa & Swanky Tunes – Here We Go
Yoo Jae Suk : 6
Jae Suk was solid as MC, but a bit tame in terms of comedy. However, he probably had the most exciting driving sequences as he was one of the few members unafraid to test the limits of the vehicles as part of his learning process.
Park Myung Soo: 5
Myung Soo featured quite a bit in this episode, as much of the narrative focused on his failed desire to be the best driver. He had a few good Ha&Soo moments early on, but spent most of the rest of the episode being taciturn. This added somewhat to the ‘plot’ of the episode, but didn’t allow him much room to be entertaining.
Jung Jun Ha: 6
A nice episode for Jun Ha, who was good in all of the segments, from talking to practice games to racing itself. He showed good reactions and had some good interactions with other members, and was one of the top two drivers to boot.
Jung Hyung Don: 4
Hyung Don was a bit low-key this week, although his racing segment was one of the better ones. He mysteriously vanished for nearly all of the “practice” games, however.
Ha Ha: 4
Ha Ha was pretty much a background character this week.
No Hong Chul: 5
Hong Chul was pretty solid across all of the segments, but didn’t do anything particularly memorable this week.
Gil had some of his parts cut entirely, but was decent enough during the times when he was shown, such as trying to escape the vehicle, and driving like a granny, etc.
Some racers acting as instructors.
Nothing special here, the senior driver seems to have some personality but for the most part they were just instructors.
Episode MVP: Jung Jun Ha
While Myung Soo was the focus of much of the narrative and Jae Suk was the focus of much of the driving, Jun Ha was the most consistently good across all of the segments this week, and likely had the most success with his jokes and gags as well.
Final Score: 6
While the primary purpose of this week’s show was to build up for the final payoff, it was a fast-paced, engaging, and well-constructed episode in its own right, despite some gaffes in editing.