Running Man ep 193 – Mafia Game
The guests from last week return, and a Running Man style “mafia game” begins.
Planning and Direction: 4
In the world of Korean variety shows, there’s three types of segments that are usually filmed when the staff wants footage, but doesn’t want to think of something fun or interesting to do – cooking segments, mudflat segments, and boat/fishing segments. This episode featured two of the “unholy three”, and it could be argued that the opening barbecue segment counts and .5 of a cooking segment. While these types of segments are usually paint-peelingly boring, they weren’t that bad this week, since super-boring concepts are one of the few types that are actually helped by having a huge cast, since the camera can move around a lot and usually catch enough dialogue footage to put something watchable together. The mafia game is a basic, but solid idea, although it’s not fully clear what’s going on since most of the actual mafia game rules seem to not apply (mafia don’t know each other, mafia can’t eliminate anyone, etc). The minigames also had nothing whatsoever to do with the main game concept, which was a bit weird. Still, while the games were really uninspired, the debate segments were pretty decent and the fishing segment turned out about as good as a fishing segment could. The “cliffhanger” ending was pretty lame though, since it wasn’t exactly a moment of high drama or anything special at all (i doubt anyone is going to be holding their breath all week to see if anyone is out in the second round), so it’s just mildly annoying instead.
Nothing really good or bad, both visuals and sound were average.
A Gentleman’s Dignity OST – 공격형 엉덩이
Robert Randolph & the Family Band – Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That
Leessang – You’re the Answer to a Guy Like Me
Leessang – Girl Who Can’t Break Up, Boy Who Can’t Leave
Reel 2 Reel – I Like to Move It
Sting – Shape of My Heart
Suk Mi Kyung – Mist
Treble Clef – Lying on the Sea
Nogoziri – A Cup of Tea
Nicola Piavani – La Vita E Bella (La Vite E Bella OST)
Beethoven – Ode to Joy
Yoo Jae Suk: 5
Jae Suk mentioned he hadn’t slept the night before, and it showed a bit in his performance as he was a bit slower with the wit than usual, and seemed…well, tired. Still, he managed to keep up the chatter on his boat and during the debate segments.
Kim Jong Kook: 4
Jong Kook’s only real moment was listening to Jung Nan give him fishing tips. He didn’t really seem comfortable on his boat group as he was the youngest by a fair bit, and mostly just kept to himself, which isn’t really a good thing on a variety show.
Ha Ha: 5
Ha Ha and his partner Man Suk were out after the first game, which is a bit too bad since he was one of the best in the group during the first ‘debate’ sequence. They were completed cut from the remainder of the ep as well.
Ji Suk Jin: 6
Suk Jin was good this week, keeping up the chatter and jokes, and showing a surprising amount of energy across most of the segments.
Lee Kwang Soo: 4
Not sure what was up with Kwang Soo this episode, he wasn’t bad but he just never seemed to get anything going. He’s usually not one to be drowned out by large guest casts, but seemed to be having some trouble finding his role in this week’s episode. Also seemed a bit tired from the previous night, as well.
Another decent solid performance from Gary, who actually managed to get some decent moments in during the opening and boat segments.
Song Ji Hyo: 4
Caught a fish, and not much else. The energetic funny Ji Hyo from last week was nowhere to be found this time around, she didn’t say much during the debates and didn’t really do anything other than stand there fishing during the boat segment.
Ryu Seung Soo, Kim Dong Jun, Kim Jung Nan, Im Joo Hwan, Oh Man Suk, Kim Min Jong, Lee Sang Hwa
Although he was much more subdued than last week, Seung Soo was still probably the best of the guests. Min Jong had his moment of glory at the end, but until then he really didn’t add much to the shoot. Jung Nan was actually pretty funny as well this week, once her motormouth started going. The rest were just sort of there, but not bad or anything.
Episode MVP: Ji Suk Jin
This week marks one of those ultra-rare occasions where the best member was….Ji Suk Jin?! Truthfully, nobody really stood out much this week, but Suk Jin actually did a really good job during his group’s boat shoot – Jong Kook was taciturn, and the two actors were the quietest guests from last week, but Suk Jin kept the conversation going constantly and his group ended up getting a large share of the air time as a result. It was not an easy situation, but his success highlights the type of valuable “MC #2” work Suk Jin often does on Running Man.
Final Score: 4
Not sure what to make of this episode, as the mudflat/crab segment was pretty bad, but the boat/fishing segment was surprisingly OK and the debates were pretty good. The episode was in many ways better than expected, but the lack of clarity about the game rules and the really pointless ending left a bit of a sour taste as well. Finally, since none of the members or guests -really- stood out with their performances, the overall result was a slightly weak episode.