I want to take a break from the emotional rollercoaster ride brought about by watching Korean dramas. So I began to watch Korean variety shows. I Live Alone was my first variety show and, then came Running Man.
I became hooked with the diverse ideas and games, both physical and mind games, and not to mention worth-mention catchphrases and a little gossip during the opening segment of the show.
I read one comment of an MDL contributor that she wants to one day able to watch every episode of Running Man. To which I said, challenge accepted!
I marked the date of November 2020 when I watch the first episode. Just like a Korean TV drama, upon finishing one episode promising that it is going to be my last for the day but of course, who believes me, right?
I will highlight 3-7 best of the best episodes and my favorite episodes for each year. Let me begin my journey by introducing the founding members of Running Man.
- Yoo Jae Suk - the main MC whose nickname Grasshopper because of his close resemblance with the insect. A well-rounded guy who has bagged a couple of prestigious awards in the entertainment industry. Well-respected, very humble, and is about to celebrate his 50th birthday.
- Kim Jong Kook. He is better known as the athlete, a duet singer from the 90s duo Turbo, Tiger, and the Commander. He also has a sweet side, to which he got the nickname Kookie. But needless to say, his only weakness is female guests. Song Ji Hyo is no exception.
- Ji Suk Jin. The members call him Big Nose Hyung. He may appear as the weakest member in certain situations but can become the sole victor in a few challenges like the Ddakji. The cast members always tease him about his wife and age. Weakness: beautiful girls with beautiful eyes. His representative animal is the impala.
- Ha Ha or also known as Ha Dong Hoon. Pororo and Lover Boy. Viewers often are confused about whether to trust him or doubt him. Betrayal became his charm as portrayed in various episodes. His representative animal is the penguin.
- Lee Kwang Soo. Giraffe, the actor, the ultimate betrayer, and maknae (youngest). The cast members thought that he is the least popular but wait until the Thailand episode, meet the Hallyu star Kwang Soo and loving every minute of attention. Kwangvatar is one of the many names of Kwang Soo too. Without him, there would not be laughter in the world of Running Man. Gwangvatar in action?
- Song Ji Hyo. Do not underestimate the Ace, bad girl unnie (sister in Korean), conniving but the strongest and the only girl in the cast among the Running man. She often is teased about her sleeping habits during breaks and car rides while filming.
- Kang Gary. Gae, rapper and musician. Together with Ji Hyo, known as the Monday couple. His representative animal is the monkey.
- Song Joong Ki. Pretty boy and flower boy Oppa. Being in a variety show did him a lot of good. The next thing we know, he contributed a lot of funny and witty comments!
So with that brief introduction, I hope you get the gist of their diverse personalities. And I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have enjoyed watching every episode. Race start!
The Best Episodes of 2010
* Episode 4 - Even the first 38 minutes of this episode were hilarious enough! Nichkhun and Joong Ki showed us some neat water moves! It was hilarious when Suk Jin Hyung made several funny comments and used his face as a pun.
* Episode 8 - Peg Tag of War. All of them show a picture of strength and agility even Song Ji Hyo, the only girl in the group, and Ji Suk Jin, despite his age, have held up his own during the peg tug of war. The VRs of past self was pretty informational and super hilarious! And the punishment? I cannot even begin to describe it as I am laughing while writing this.
* Episode 12 - It was the birthday of Song Joong Ki during the filming of this episode. Thus, the production team decided to deceive him and prank him in this episode. Although there were no guests invited, the last mission of disarming a bomb is very exciting! The highlight of this episode was when Song Ji Hyo clung to Gary to beg for mercy and spare her. It was so sweet and funny at the same time. This episode was the ultimate unscripted TV drama ( you will know what I mean after watching the ending).
The Best Episodes of 2011
* Episode 34 - Welcome Back Monday couple. I rated this a whopping ten stars. One of the missions was to find the guest among the top 20 restaurants in Hongdae Restaurants. But instead of doing that, our Monday Couple decided to go on a food trip date instead! Starting with Indian food, then coffee, and then Korean BBQ. Gwang Soo interrupted the date by calling just when things got a little bit heated and mushy. Find out more with this episode.
* Episode 41 - One of the saddest episodes in the history of Running Man. Although Joong Ki had his reasons for leaving the show, still I'm going to miss looking at his pretty face. He has grown a lot because of this variety show. He contributed and had his share of great comments and funny adlibs! Nevertheless, I also laugh a lot because of HaHa.
* Episode 48 - Another ten stars in my book! I love the way the production team cooks this whole new adventure up! It seems that I was embarking on an exciting journey in one of the stunning stories about South Korea and its dynasties. Thank you for taking me on a fun ride Running Man! This episode does not have any guests. But it had me glued to the screen.
* Episode 52 - First time in the history of Running Man Ji Suk Jin and Kim Jong Kook had their name tags stripped from the get-go! The 1st-anniversary episode entitled Running Man Hunting gives me the chills at the same time funny too!
* Episode 57-58 - I counted both episodes as one. The first of two episodes was pretty exhausting and long as they filmed in Jeju Island.
* Episode 70 - Because of Lee Min Ki and Son Ye Jin. She rarely appears on any variety show to date, which is why this episode made it to my list of the best of 2011. Because of this episode, I discovered the adventurous side of Ye Jin.
* Episode 72-73 - Running man in Hong Kong with Jackie Chan cameo. For the production team to post the signs and walk for 4 hours is beyond me. I have to admire their dedication.
The Best Episodes of 2012
* Episode 77 - simply because of IU and because of the BINGO race and the outrageous helicopter ride for the winners.
* Episode 91 - Return of Yoomes Bond. This day marks the first anniversary of the water gun betrayal. Yoo Jae Suk did it again and won bars of gold!
* Episode 95-97 - I have to count this one since this was an elaborate mission from Incheon airport up to Thailand. It was a spectacle to see the running man on the soccer field and playing against world-class soccer players Park Ji Sung. I like his personality. I believe he has a great shot at variety shows. He has this natural charm in him.
* Episode 126 - Simply because Choi Ji Woo is the guest! She seldom appears on variety shows since she is afraid she might not be cut out for variety shows but prepare to be charmed by her funny comments and energetic personality.
* Episode 119 - The birth of the supernatural power baseball! This episode is way too hilarious!
* Episode 120-121 - James Bond segment. The whole concept is well-copied, as any bond movie could be. I have to hand it to the production team again as they thought of yet another elaborate idea and the games were epic!