Show rankings for March
1. 1 Night 2 Days
Although March was a bit hit and miss for all three shows, 1 Night 2 Days repeats last month’s victory primarily due to its having the best individual episode of the month with the first part of the “no smoking” trip. While the first and last 1N2D episodes were a bit underwhelming, the show’s direction continues to progress nicely and the cast has been among the most consistent in variety since Season 3 began.
2. Running Man
While Running Man and Infinite Challenge were more or less of equal quality in March, Running Man gains the advantage in the fact that they had two of their most solid episodes in some time occur at the beginning and end of the month. Interestingly, despite this being a month where they unveiled their huge budget Australia specials, it was the non-Australia episodes that turned out to be the best of the bunch in March, with the University Festival and Angel Eyes episodes each making for simple but enjoyable viewing.
3. Infinite Challenge
While no means bad (in fact, only one point separated all three shows in terms of total scores for the month), Infinite Challenge seemed to have a bit of trouble getting itself going in March, as it was mostly episodes dedicated to opening or closing multi-episode arcs. The mediocre Jamaica and Defend the Earth episodes were decent, but decidedly average at best, while the first installment of Speed Racer was quite good. Unfortunately, the Cheerleading project that closed the month was very straightforward and turned out a bit drab as a result.
Variety Cast Members Top 3 for March
1. Yoo Jae Suk – Running Man
While the top two finished even on points, Jae Suk gets the nod for his work during the Han Crossing and Gold Rush episodes, where he individually carried many important segments to good results. He was otherwise solid as usual this month.
2. Lee Kwang Soo – Running Man
Kwang Soo toned down his overacting a bit in March, and had a string of good performances as a result. He did especially well in interacting with other members or guests, often teaming up into duos (Rain, Woo Bin, HaHa) and creating many good moments of comedy. Kwang Soo has really matured as a variety persona over the past year or so, and is now comfortable not only working with partners, but leading them to funny moments.
3. No Hong Chul – Infinite Challenge
The final March MVP slot goes to No Hong Chul on Infinite Challenge, who narrowly beats out several 1 Night 2 Days members that also had good months. However, Hong Chul had his best performances in episodes that were somewhat weak overall, such as the Jamaica and Cheerleading #1 shows. In each, his energy and wit went a long way toward saving these episodes from being disasters and demonstrate how much Hong Chul has grown in his role. When he started he was just a bit of a manic psycho character, but his comedic timing and cleverness has really developed as he’s matured – to the point where he might now be the #2 most important member of IC.
Variety Cast Members Bottom 3 for March
1. Song Ji Hyo – Running Man
Another poor month for Ji Hyo, who not only missed an entire episode, but also remained a consistent victim of the editing room throughout most of March. Ji Hyo is not especially clever or funny by nature, but she’s also not -that- bad generally speaking, however she can’t do much to prove her value when she doesn’t appear.
2. Jung Hyung Don – Infinite Challenge
A very lacklustre month from Hyung Don, who also had a bit of a disappearing act in March’s episodes , missing half the Jamaica shoot due to illness and disappearing without mention for half of the Speed Racer episode. Unfortunately, even when he was on screen, Hyung Don didn’t do much worth mentioning either, instead being a background character for most of the month.
3. Cha Tae Hyun – 1 Night 2 Days
While he’s valuable more for his reactions and energy than his comedy skills, Tae Hyun seemed a bit more withdrawn than usual in March and his performance suffered as a result. He was also pushed to the sidelines a bit during the ‘no smoking’ episodes, as he’s a non-smoker, but he was mostly just ‘there’ for the other episodes as well.
Guests Top 3 for March
1. Skull – Infinite Challenge
While he often shows a bit of a dull personality, he actually seemed to be quite relaxed during the Jamaica episodes and fit in very well with the regular members. He even busted out a few adlibs and body gags along the way.
2. Rain – Running Man
As usual, Rain was solid if unspectacular as a variety guest on Running Man’s Australia specials.
3. Lee Sang Hwa – Infinite Challenge
She was obvious very green as a variety guest, but showed some natural personality flair and worked quite hard during her guest shoot.
Guests Bottom Three for March
1. Kim Woo Bin – Running Man
While not offensively bad, Woo Bin was extremely plain which is fine in small doses, but having the majority of the Gold Rush episode focused on him was a bit painful.
2. Park Shin Hye – 1 Night 2 Days
Her guest appearance was entirely superfluous, as I don’t think she said more than 5 lines in a 15-20 minute appearance, and mostly just standed around giggling instead.
3. Goo Hye Sun – Running Man
While most members of the large Angel Eyes team had at least 1 or 2 moments, she did nothing whatsoever.