Running Man is one of my favorite Korean Television Shows. It’s full of hilarious cast/guest interactions and I’ve learned a lot about celebrities in the Korean entertainment industry.
It’s one of the most funny and entertaining shows I’ve ever watched.
I came across Running Man because my wife and I watch a lot of Korean Dramas. Actually, with the help of Netflix and DramaFever, we watch more Korean dramas than we do anything else on American television.
At any rate, there is a particular Korean Actress that we’ve come to like, Park Shin Hye. We’d just finished watching her perform in two dramas, He’s Beautiful (Minamyisinyeoyo) and Heartstrings (Neon Naege Banhaesseo), and we were looking for anything else she’d be in. On DramaFever, we’d always seen advertisements for Running Man, but just hadn’t watched it yet because it’s a Variety Show and we were knee-deep in K-Dramas at the time. But, behold, we happened to notice that Park Shin Hye was on one of the episodes, so we gave Running Man a try to see what it was about.
The rest is history.
After watching that episode and laughing like crazy, we watched another, then another and another. Before we knew it, we had binge-watched a complete weekend full of running man from morning till night, most times laughing till we cried and cheering like it was the super bowl, lol.
The show always makes me laugh and brings a smile to my face.
What makes the show so great? The people. The cast members, the guest who come on the show, the games they play, and the PD’s who put the show together.
There are seven cast members who are great as a group and individually in their own rights. They are all from the Korean Entertainment industry in one form or another from acting to music to hosting.
My wife and I like them all so much it’s hard to pick a favorite, but If I HAD to pick one, I suppose it would be Song Ji Yo aka Blank Ji Yo, aka Miss Blank for her sometimes…Blank facial expressions, Gary is a very close 2nd, and then Yoo Jae Suk who’s so cool, but then there’s Ha Ha and Jong Kook and Kwang Soo…See, it’s really hard for me to pick just one. They are all so great at what they do.
Moving on, there are seven Cast members, and each week, most of the time, they have several guests come on the show, usually from pop/music groups, or actors and actresses, and sometimes even athletes. The cast and guests are split into groups, sometimes cast vs. guests or a mixture of casts and guests vs. other casts and guests.
The groups usually compete in three different games/events per episode for various grand prizes, which the most impressive I’ve seen has been gold bars. The games the groups must compete in vary in size and scope from scavenger hunts to solving puzzles, both physically and mentally, to running relay races on acupuncture mats, water sports, cooking and eating contests, interacting with pedestrians on the street, to the infamous Name Tag Elimination where the cast and guests are set loose in an office building or mall with the task of hunting down and tearing off each others name tag until there’s only one player left standing.
The real hook for me is watching the guests, and cast members, snatched out of their comfort zones and seeing another side of them. Like watching an otherwise poised and elegant actress get down and dirty having to speed-eat as much food as she can before time runs out, or watching Korean Leading Men team-karaoke while jumping on trampolines to get the best score.
Perhaps the best aspect of the show is that at the end of the day, you feel like you’ve been on an adventure with the cast and guests, everybody seems like they had a good time, and you wind up smiling and laughing just as much as they are.
Through watching the show, I’ve learned about many Korean stars, actors, actresses, and musicians that I may otherwise have not ever known about, and then while looking them up for what they’re famous for, I’ve found some really great and talented people who I’ve become a fan of.
If Korea had a Running Man Theme Park where you could compete in versions of the games they play on the show, my wife and I would be there in heartbeat.
Below is the very first Running Man episode I ever watched.