Running Man ep 201 – Idol Entertainment Battle
The members compete against an idol team in a series of mudflat-related games.
Planning and Direction: 4
Idol competition episodes are not exactly the peak of variety creativity, and this was essentially a fairly standard episode of that type. There were a lot of games in this one, and they were typically hit or miss. The episode started off pretty well, then became dreadfully boring during the middle segment where the teams and games were split up, then finished reasonably well. Nametag basketball and the final obstacle course were decent ideas, but games such as “splash water on some dirty dishes” and “pick up some pigs” left a lot to be desired.
Really nothing special going on this week, with standard visuals and a relatively boring and randomly selected soundtrack of BGMs and mainstream pop songs.
Kim Gun Mo – Wrong Meeting
Mamamoo – Mr. Ambiguous
The Ventures – Hawaii 5-0 Theme
Skrillex – Bangarang
Black Eyed Peas – Let’s Get It Started
Yoo Jae Suk: 5
Didn’t have any notable individual moments, but did well when ribbing the guests (and Suk Jin).
Kim Jong Kook: 5
Average Jong Kook performance, was energetic but mostly just remained in character the entire time.
Ha Ha: 5
HaHa did well at making the water-splashing game somewhat watchable with his reactions, and was mostly energetic but didn’t really have much of a role this week.
Ji Suk Jin: 5
Suk Jin started out well, flexing his muscles in the wrestling game and having some funny gags and comments, but practically disappeared as the episode went on.
Lee Kwang Soo: 5
Did a fair share of body gags early on (even losing his pants in the process), but was otherwise just average.
Typical decent Gary performance, had some good energy in the games as well as his usual self-effacing humor.
Song Ji Hyo: 4
Ji Hyo seemed more enthusiastic than usual, but was either left out or cut from many of the segments, as usual.
SHINee Min Ho, 2PM Chansung, B1A4 Jin Young, CN Blue Min Hyuk, Sistar Bora, INFINITE Sung Kyu and Hoya.
While idol guests are usually not the greatest, this was actually not a bad group as many were experienced enough in variety to get by for the most part. Sung Kyu was surprisingly good, and has some pretty good potential as a hapless comic relief type of character. Jin Young had a few decent goofball moments as well. Chansung and Min Ho were solid as usual, focusing mostly on the games. Bora and Hoya were mostly background characters, but not bad. Min Hyuk was a dud.
Episode MVP: Yoo Jae Suk
While most of the members were solid and none really stood out, Jae Suk probably did the most interacting with other members and guests, as well as having a decent enough individual performance.
Final Score: 4
Idol episodes are often a bit risky in terms of quality, but in this case the idols themselves did a pretty good job. The problems mostly lied with the staff, as the middle segment games were pretty dull and the episode as a whole seemed to lack polish and focus, as there wasn’t much of a story to anything going on here.