Running Man ep 198 – Unbreakable Love
The members pair up with guests for a ‘couples’ competition involving rocks and stuff….
Planning and Direction: 4
Not sure what to make of this episode. “Couples’ episodes are usually among the worst, and in some ways this was the case this week as well, while there were some aspects that improved on the usual RM couples episode. The opening introduction segments were actually fairly well thought out, humorous, and well filmed, as opposed to the usual corny introductions found in these types of shows. The main theme of the hardness of rocks was a bit…weird, however. Whether it was strange enough to be interesting or not, I’m not entirely sure. The games, unfortunately, were pretty rudimentary and mostly repeats of the same old thing. The staff mostly did well to pair the least experienced guests with the most experienced members.
Another week with good production values, the graphic theme and captions were crisp and the music showed more attention to detail than usual, although there was still a lot of the same old RM music present as well.
Bruno Mars – Marry You
Adriana Partimpim – Fico Assim Sem Voce
Turbo – Love Is
Brown Eyed Girls – Abracadabra
Kim Jong Kook – A Man
Des’Ree – I’m Kissing You
Henry Mancini – Moon River
Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody
Roy Orbison – Pretty Woman
Rebecca Lurker – Ave Maria
Idina Menzel – Let It Go
S Club 7 – Bring It All Back
Steelheart – She’s Gone
Wonder Girls – Nobody
Psy – Gangnam Style
Baek Ji Young – As If Shot By a Gun
Park Nam Jung – While Missing You
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Kim Sun Min – U-Turn (Women of the Sun OST)
Bananarama – Love in the First
Kylie Minogue – Wow
Story of the Year – Take Me Back
Yoo Jae Suk: 5
The game structure meant that Jae Suk didn’t have a lot of MCing to do this week, but he still carried the weight when needed. Had some good jokes at Suk Jin and Jong Kook’s expense, and some good reactions (including a pretty comical body gag in the bouquet segment), but nothing out of this world.
Kim Jong Kook: 4
Jong Kook was present and kept to his usual role for the most part, but seemed to be trying to win the games with a minimum of fuss and then move aside, as opposed to adding entertainment value.
Ha Ha: 4
HaHa was noisy at times, but didn’t really impact the episode at all.
Ji Suk Jin: 6
Suk Jin was good this week, his “Pretty Woman” parody was among the better opening segments, and he also contributed most of the laughs during the trampoline and hand-pushing game segments. Also contributed a lot of useful background chatter throughout the episode.
Lee Kwang Soo: 5
Kwang Soo didn’t do a lot, but had some OK moments in the bouquet and trampoline segments, and was among the best members in terms of working with his partner.
Gary’s score could almost be lower…he did practically nothing that made air, other than a so-so trampoline segment.
Song Ji Hyo: 4
Ji Hyo had a few decent reactions but was mostly just there for much of this week’s episode, doing the games and moving on.
Narsha, Han Hye Jin, Choi Hee, Park Seo Joon, Ha Yeon Soo, Ji Se Yun, Girl’s Day Min Ah
Not much to write home about this week, as the guests were mostly very wooden and did little to help the episode. The notable exception was Narsha, who was actually quite good throughout, even busting out some high level body gags and working very well with Kwang Soo. Yeon Soo and Min Ah each seemed energetic, but didn’t really have much time or space to contribute in a meaningful way and likely would be better in a smaller group. The rest of the guests may as well have been cardboard cut-outs.
Episode MVP: Ji Suk Jin
Ji Suk Jin continues his entirely unexpected “rebirth” on Running Man. turning in the best performance of the week once again. While there was nothing special about his work this week, he was easily the most consistent member, working hard and contributing to the show across all four of the main segments. He also did this despite being paired up with one of the least experienced variety guests, so it was a job well done.
Final Score: 4
Somewhat of a typical “couples” episode, mostly boring but with enough decent moments to prevent it from being terrible. Running Man seems to have been entertaining the idea of trying some new concepts recently, so this ‘same old Running Man’ episode was a bit of a disappointment following some mostly solid weeks.