Running Man ep 202 – ???
The members team up with random assortment of guests, and prepare for a quiz game showdown.
Planning and Direction: 5
This was about as ‘average’ as a variety episode could be in terms of planning, with noonchi games, treasure hunts, and quizzes abounding. The format was essentially an old school YJS type of variety, except taking place on various locations rather than in a studio. Really nothing special, although nothing wrong with any of it either. Unfortunately, there were some odd cut choices in the final segment, and the rules for using the ‘chances’ seemed like they were not entirely thought out, as they were basically useless half of the time. The team groupings seemed fairly well planned too in terms of getting the best possible combinations of members and guests.
While the audio and visuals were fairly average, they were nonetheless an improvement over the usual RM production, particularly the sound and music. In an example of less being more, the soundtrack was mostly BGMs with only a few real songs included, but most of the music was well suited to what was happening onscreen – which was a nice change from the usual RM style of just randomly throwing stock BGMs and pop songs in regardless of the action. On the down side, they played that annoying song from Slumdog Millionaire for like 25 minutes straight. The graphics were bright and well done, with good usage of split screens to keep up with multiple teams at once.
Phantom – Seoul Lonely
AR Rahman – Jai Ho
Yoo Jae Suk: 6
Tasked with MCing the event, Jae Suk did an admirable job at keeping the large, chaotic cast more or less on track. He had some good interactions with HaHa and generally played up his ‘brat’ character for most of the episode, which definitely helped create some good moments from time to time.
Kim Jong Kook: 3
A rough week for Jong Kook, as his team lost the first mission and didn’t appear until later, and then he had his quiz segment participate heavily cut. Barely appeared long enough to do much of anything.
Ha Ha: 6
Really nice episode from HaHa, who played up his sarcastic character to good effect, and also worked with with his guest partners, Jae Suk, and the other teams. Of the RM members, HaHa definitely had the most individual quality moments this week.
Ji Suk Jin: 4
Also stuck in the Jong Kook team that didn’t appear much, Suk Jin at least had a few gags in the train and a longer quiz segment to show for his work this week.
Lee Kwang Soo: 5
Was a bit annoying with his forced gags during the train and treasure hunting segments, but toned it down a bit later on and was one of the better members during the quiz.
Solid but unspectacular, Gary did not really stand out much, but had enough one-liner jokes and good reactions in each of the segments,
Song Ji Hyo: 4
Didn’t really do much of anything this week other than a decent quiz segment.
APink Bomi + Naeun, Ji Sung, Joo Ji Hoon, Cha Yuram, Baek Sunghyun, Heo Gyunghwan, Fabien, Sam Ochiri
Lots of inexperienced guests, but the end result was not too bad. Fabien and Sam definitely stole the show, with their energetic reactions even getting praise from MC Yoo. Gyunghwan was probably the most variety-experienced of the lot, and was OK but didn’t do much – although he took his water dousing like a real pro. APink were just there as props, while the actors were typically dull for the most part, but not outright terrible or anything.
Episode MVP: Yoo Jae Suk (with honorable mention to HaHa)
In terms of individual performances, HaHa was probably the funniest member of the week, but Jae Suk was also good and his MC role gives him somewhat of a higher degree of difficulty – just controlling that many guests is difficult enough, but he not only managed them well but got plenty of his jokes in along the way.
Final Score: 5
A very typical ‘cookie-cutter’ variety episode this week, but one that worked more or less as expected.