Running Man ep 192 – Cross Country Camping Trip
The members each pair off with a guest, and race to the camping site by plane, train and bus – playing games along the way.
Planning and Direction: 6
Even though the concept was largely “borrowed” from other variety shows, it was executed with aplomb by the RM staff. The games were simple and many, but were set up in a rapid-fire manner that rotated the type of game so that things did not become too boring. The guest – member pairing also seemed to be quite well thought out, and worked well for the most part. Finally, the nature of the shoot allowed for a lot of footage, and the selection and editing was tight and well done – something common for RM in the past but in short supply so far this year.
A notable improvement this week, as the graphics were basic but fun, and the sound and music actually seemed to have some care put into it as opposed to just random songs.
SNSD – Gee
Tae Jin Ah – Companion
ZE:A – The Ghost of Wind
Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
Leessang – Tears
Kim Gwang Jin – The Letter
Jessica Jay – Chilly Cha Cha
Robert Randolph & the Family Band – Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That
Alan Menken – Under the Sea
Vangelis – Chariots of Fire
Choco Boys – That’s Very Hot
Bill Conti – Gonna Fly Now (Rocky OST)
Sting – Shape of My Heart
Cody Chestnutt – 5 On a Joyride
Yoo Jae Suk: 7
Another very strong episode from Jae Suk, who again managed to get the utmost out of his variety newbie partner Ryu Seung Soo, while still getting in some good gags of his own (the flag samba was a highlight).
Kim Jong Kook: 4
One of the week’s major cut victims, Jong Kook didn’t appear much and was just average when he did make it onscreen.
Ha Ha: 5
HaHa was very solid, and took the lead for the “bus” team of him and Kwang Soo and their partners. HaHa also established good chemistry with his partner Oh Man Suk and kept the energy levels high for their segments.
Ji Suk Jin: 4
Alongside Jong Kook as the airplane team, Suk Jin was also heavily cut. However, he managed to make the most of his brief appearances, and got a few decent jokes when he got the chance. He was also stuck with the weakest guest partner, which didn’t help matters.
Lee Kwang Soo: 5
Nice solid work by Kwang Soo, who guided he somewhat tentative partner well and had some good interactions with HaHa.
Gary benefited a bit from the “Jae Suk Effect”, as his team was on the train alongside Nal Yoo’s team. Still, Gary was energetic and put in some good reactions and comments, and worked reasonably well with his non-entertainer partner, speed skater Lee Sang Hwa.
Song Ji Hyo: 6
Ji Hyo had her best performance in a very long time, as she not only had the advantage of being alongside Jae Suk’s team, but also having an energetic partner that she knew already from a drama they worked on. This seemed to free Ji Hyo up a bit to let loose, and she did a very nice job, even busting out several funny adlibs and plenty of physical comedy while suffering from “post ddeokbokki delirium”.
Ryu Seung Soo, Kim Dong Jun, Kim Jung Nan, Im Joo Hwan, Oh Man Suk, Kim Min Jong, Lee Sang Hwa
This week’s episode was one of the very, very rare cases where all of the guests of a guest-heavy episode were good (other than Jung Nan, who just took up space). The obvious standout was Ryu Seung Soo, who probably had the most outstanding variety guest performance thus far in 2014. Opposite to his appearance on Infinite Challenge’s “lonely friends” special, where he was practically invisible, he really stole the show here, mixing his natural quirky personality with occasional body gags, wild schemes, and meong moments – assisted by Jae Suk of course. ZE:A’s Dong Jun was also very good, energetic and comically inept, and Oh Man Suk meshed very with HaHa and was energetic and genuinely enjoying the shoot. Sang Hwa also did very considering she’s not even an entertainer, being a good sport and showing good reactions. The rest were also decent, if not especially notable.
Episode MVP: Yoo Jae Suk
Although guest Ryu Seung Soo really stole the show, it was at least partially the result of Jae Suk’s guidance in leading him to be funny. This, combined with the fact that Jae Suk was entertaining on his own as well, resulted in a very good overall effort.
Final Score: 7
A very fast paced, well organized and directed episode with strong cast and guest performances made for the best Running Man episode thus far in 2014. It will be interesting to see how next week’s episode turns out, as it features the same lineup that made this week’s show work so well.