‘Don’t walk. Run!’
South Korea is famous for their diverse culture, authentic delicacies, and of course their entertainment industry. Their influence and popularity can be felt across different countries, especially in the Philippines. From listening to K-Pop songs, to watching Korean dramas and shows, the Korean wave totally swept us off of our feet. One of the most prominent shows from South Korea that is loved by Filipinos is Running Man.
Running Man is a South Korean variety show wherein members and guests must complete various missions and games in order to win the race. It aired its first episode on July 11, 2010 and as of writing this article, it has a total of 563 episodes. One more episode and it will officially be the longest-running South Korean TV variety show, replacing ‘Infinite Challenge’ which ended in April 2018 with a total of 563 episodes.
Currently, Running Man consists of seven members; Ji Suk Jin, Yoo Jae Suk, Kim Jong Kook, Haha, Song Ji Hyo, Jeon So Min and Yang Se Chan. Past members of the show are Lee Kwang Soo, Kang Gary, Song Joong Ki and Lizzy from After School.
After 11 years and four members leaving the show, Running Man is still airing new episodes every week. How did Running Man manage to stay this long? What makes them special that it garnered loyal fans worldwide?
Well, Running Man isn’t just a variety show where the members’ sole goal is to win. Running Man is much more than that. Viewers can see how each member has their own unique traits and abilities that makes the show more entertaining. They make viewers laugh with their witty jokes and goofiness. They take us to different places and somewhat make us experience what they are experiencing.
Besides this, Running Man is a show where you can feel the comradeship and genuine love the members have for each other. They treat each other not as co-workers but like a family. Running Man also gives their viewers stories full of hope that’ll make you appreciate the people around you and your life more.
With a current total of 563 episodes, we can say that the show already gave its viewers different themes, missions, and games with every episode they aired in order for each of it to remain amusing. But, there are some episodes which are so memorable that have stuck in the minds and hearts of its viewers.
To celebrate Running Man’s 11th anniversary, here are some of the most memorable episodes of the show.
The first episode of Running Man is memorable since this is where everything began. We can see here that the original members consist of six men hence the show’s title. Rewatching the opening of the show and the introduction of members manifests a nostalgic feeling as we see the members ten years younger, all of whom are just starting to make a name for themselves in the entertainment industry.
Along with guests Kim Min Jung and Nickhun, the Running Man members went to Bangkok, Thailand for this episode. It’s a fairly average episode that is packed with adventure as the members and guests complete different missions in Thailand.
It was revealed years later by one of the members, Yoo Jae Suk, that the show was about to be cancelled after this episode since it doesn’t have good ratings in South Korea. However, due to the warm welcome they received from Thai fans in the airport, the producers gave the show another chance. Turns out, Running Man is more popular internationally.
This episode focused on one of the members, Gary, known to be someone who doesn’t get the main role since he is either nervous or unable to lie and deceive the other members. Finally, he’s given the chance to be the main character, or to be the spy in this episode, with his goal to deceive and eliminate the other members.
Unbeknownst to him that the other members already knew that Gary was given the main role, they tricked him into believing that he did a great job being a spy. Wait until you see the ending. Surely you’ll get shocked and confused with this one.
Another episode full of adventure as the members, alongwith guests Lee Dong Wook and Han Hye Jin, went to Vietnam to solve the secret of the nine swords. Clad in different colored Ao Dais, they played the classic Running Man game, the name tag elimination in order to determine who will win and possess the ultimate sword.
Surrounded by numerous extras wearing yellow Ao Dais, one of the members, Song Ji Hyo was coincidentally also wearing a yellow Ao Dai. Watch her use this opportunity in order to gain the upper hand in the game.
One of the most touching episodes of Running Man is this 2013 year-end special. Prior to this, the Running Man members complained to the production team about the harsh punishment of being water bombed during winter and their constant filming in mudflats.
In this episode, viewers were given the chance to watch a competition between the Running Man team and the Production Team. The Running Man team must complete various missions in order to gain running balls which are beneficial to have more of. One of their missions is to cross the Han River using only cardboard boxes and this is when the great teamwork between the members were seen.
In this episode one of the members, Gary, was locked up in a glass cube and the other members needed to rescue him. Gary can either wait for the other members to rescue him or he can find clues about the passcode that’ll unlock the door. However, Gary is not aware that there’s a box full of diamonds under the bed that he’s sitting and laying on, and this is the original goal of the other members.
Gary managed to find out that the passcode is ‘7012’, which in Korean the ‘012’ part sounds like ‘forever’. 7012 means seven Running Man forever and it represents the seven members at that time and the sentiment of staying with each other through thick or thin.
For this episode, the members are locked inside a warehouse and they need to complete three unanimous decisions in order to complete the mission. This episode is very heartwarming as we see the members trust each other and work together in order to have the same decision.
The last mission of this episode is about one of the members guessing what number the other six members unanimously thought of. The ending of this episode is touching leaving viewers mesmerized at how good the members are when it comes to teamwork.
One of the original members of Running Man, Gary, left a few episodes prior to this one. The production team plans on slightly changing the missions and games as well as adding two new members to the show. This episode introduced to the viewers the newest members of Running Man, Jeon So Min, and Yang Se Chan.
The eight members of Running Man are split into two teams and both teams are given an extreme mission to do. Ji Suk Jin, Yoo Jae Suk, Lee Kwang Soo, and Jeon So Min went to Crocosaurus Cove in Australia to experience being put in a glass container and submerged into the water where crocodiles are living.
Meanwhile Kim Jong Kook, Haha, Song Ji Hyo, and Yang Se Chan went to New Zealand to ride the extreme Nevis Swing. Fans of Jong Kook and Ji Hyo will surely love this episode since it showed the boldness and the adventurous side of the two members.
This episode is part of the ‘Family Package Project’, a long-term project of the show in which they invited four guests that’ll be filming with them for a month. For each episode, winners are eligible for a ‘luxury package’ slot in the roulette while the losers’ names will be put on the ‘shuddering package’ instead.
At the end of the month, they will spin the roulette to see who will go to Switzerland to enjoy a luxurious vacation and who will go to the United Kingdom for a ‘Wing Walking’. Wing walking is an extreme stunt where one is sitting and strapped on a chair above an aeroplane. Lee Da Hee, Lee Kwang Soo and Yoo Jae Suk were chosen for this extreme ride. Catch their hilarious reactions in this episode.
Running Man members are just hardworking and they will do anything to make their fans happy. They decided to have a fan meeting for the celebration of the show’s 9th anniversary. Each member of the show practiced nonstop in order to give fans a very memorable performance.
Among the performances they’ve prepared, one of those includes advanced dance moves and some members are having a hard time learning them. With perseverance and hardwork, everyone managed to pull off the choreography and successfully delivered a very fantastic performance to their fans. Watch their jaw-dropping performance for ‘Boom and Just Blow’.
On another note, SBS announced that Running Man will be having an online fan meeting on September 5 for their 11th Anniversary. The official poster for the event only features the six members, with Yoo Jae Suk missing in the photo. This leads to speculations that he might not be present on the day of the fan meeting due to conflicting schedules.
With all of this, we can assume that Running Man will always be remembered not just as the longest-running show, but as one of the best South Korean variety shows to ever exist. It made its viewers laugh with their witty jokes and funny skits, but also cry with the heartwarming stories and moments between the members.
Catch Running Man as it broadcasts new episodes every Sunday.
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