Infinite Challenge 375 – Speed Racer #2
The members continue training, and compete to see who will be the first to win a spot in the real race.
Planning and Direction: 6
Although the “planning” aspect mostly amounted to “film the members racing”, the direction and editing was quite good – mixing up training segments with actual racing. Including an elimination style tournament between the racers was also very clever, as it provided much more drama than time trials or something would have.
Graphics were decent, being both fun and helpful, but the music was pretty dire – it seems they replaced the last installment’s “generic dubstep” soundtrack with “generic alt rock” for this episode. In addition to being generally unpleasant to listen to, the constant droning guitar music sort of made some racing segments seem a bit dreary, which is usually the opposite of the intended result when inserting incidental music.
3 Years Hollow – Hungry
Aerosmith – I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing
Coldplay – Charlie Brown
Yoo Jae Suk : 6
While he was mostly driving this episode, Jae Suk was nevertheless heavily involved from beginning to end. His driving segments were decent, and he also did well to keep the chatter going during the times he was in the garage with the other members.
Park Myung Soo: 7
Myung Soo got to be the ‘Big Star’ of this episode, although not for the reasons he would have liked. His driving segments were the best of the bunch (in entertainment terms, not quality) and he worked very hard to maintain a semblance of plot to the racing competition with his competitiveness. Throw in some old school gags and a nerve wracking crash, and it was a very good performance.
Jung Jun Ha: 5
Jun Ha was OK this episode, as he got lots of screen time due to being one of the better drivers among the members. He sort of clams up while driving though, so his segments were not the most exciting at times.
Jung Hyung Don: 5
Hyung Don had a very good racing segment with Myung Soo, and was generally more energetic than he has been in recent episodes.
Ha Ha: 5
Ha Ha is one of the “runner up” members in the racing project thus far (in terms of results and screen time), along with Hong Chul, Gil, and Hyung Don. However, Ha Ha is among the better members at keeping his mouth and expressions going while driving, so his segments are usually pretty decent to watch. He still gets drowned out a bit in the large group shoots, however.
No Hong Chul: 5
Hong Chul was OK, he had his own stick-shift practice segment that was decent and was solid if unspectacular in the group conversations this week. He seems to be getting more and more interested in the racing itself, however, and his improvement may be something to watch as the project continues.
Gil is the worst driver of the lot, and as such doesn’t get much time. Unfortunately, he was a bit awkward even when he was trying to be funny this week – although he did have one amazing unintentional chair-tripping body gag.
The same pro drivers from part 1 return, and again the senior driver is the only entertaining one.
Episode MVP: Park Myung Soo
Myung Soo was involved in many of the episodes more interesting and exciting moments (crashing, chasing hyung don, duelling with Jun ha, etc) and supplemented this with some good gags along the way.
Final Score: 6
It’s a bit difficult to score this a 6 (good), due to the fact that this is by nature some intense variety show material – they’re competing in high speed, dangerous car races as opposed to stacking coins or something commonly found in variety. Watching Myung Soo crash his car in a non-trivial way makes one feel like this episode should automatically score higher, however that’s not necessarily the case. In terms of pure variety entertainment, the episode was good but not especially notable. This is primarily due to the fact that the person everyone expected to win did, and there was a slight lack of drama as a result. Also, there’s almost too much racing at the moment, as all of the members are still involved it’s a bit of an edit-fest that makes it difficult to really focus in on any one particular race. However, the project series seems to be moving in the right direction, and as the drivers improve and less places in the real race become available the episodes have the potential to be quite thrilling.