Why so many people fall heads over heels for it…
I remember the first moment I discovered Running Man. I was in sixth grade preparing for my final test when I noticed my parents were watching a Korean show. After hours of studying, I really needed a break. So I joined watching it, not knowing it’s going to be my favorite show four years from then.
The first episode I watched was episode 121, the James Bond special. I watched it with no expectation whatsoever, and by the moment it finished I thought it was a nice show, but never really intended to dedicate my time to it. But my parents certainly did not do so.
Every Monday, they would watch new episodes until late. And if I couldn’t sleep that day, I would join them automatically. But suddenly, they stopped doing it. And unexpectedly from me, I missed the show. Since then, I watched every episode, new and old, whenever the hell I have time for it. And it grew closer to my heart every day.
And apparently, it also captured the hearts of so many fans. We have so many reasons why we love Running Man, here’s a few of them:
The bond between members is priceless.
When SBS said they’re going to make a season two of Running Man, I was utterly speechless. Not because I was afraid of losing its games, it was because I thought I was never going to see them together again.
Seven of them (even though Gary is now gone) is the very core of the show. They are the main reason why Running Man got so popular overseas. Not the games, the music or even the guests! It was them that made people like me, who never had the intention to watch Korean shows, became a fan of them for years.
And even though their individual characters play a role, it was the interactions between the members that had us laughing uncontrollably, watching anxiously, and touched emotionally. Each of them brings their own, unique color to the show that fuses perfectly with other members’.
It isn’t afraid to highlight production staffs.
Remember Dong Wan, the chameleon-like FD or Kwon Ryeol, the star VJ? Even though they are not part of the cast, the PD of the show is not shy about putting their goofy actions to each episode.
Shows, even in Korea, rarely do this. Maybe a couple programs would show a few staffs for two or three episode, but Running Man highlights them constantly without filtering anything. And it worked in their favor. Dong Wan FD, VJ Kwon Ryeol, and even Myeok PD all makes Running Man even more beautiful than it already is.
Creative missions that never fail to surprise us.
Since the first episode, Running Man has played hundreds of games, whether it’s a classic one or an entirely new game. Although the system didn’t change that much, every episode brings a new spark never seen before.
One episode that REALLY stands out from the rest is Episode 74, the first episode Running Man introduces the supernatural concept which would later be used many times over. It was, to my knowledge, a groundbreaking idea that has never been used by any other variety shows.
Aside from that, Running Man PDs isn’t afraid to ask for help. When they’re short of ideas, they have, from time to time, resorted to using an idea from a fan, e.g. episode 165, episode 182, and episode 242.
Amazing guests that never disappoint.
Running Man has always been known for its amazing guest lineup. From boy bands to comedians, celebrities are racing to get a couple of minutes of screen time in Running Man. Heck! Even top celebrities like Choi Ji Woo and Ryu Hyun Jin guested in Running Man.
The most notable episode is no other than episode 162, with it boasting fourteen popular K-pop idols from groups like BEAST, MBLAQ, Sistar, and much more.
It introduced us to the Korean Culture.
Before I watched Running Man, I had no knowledge whatsoever regarding Korea and its culture. Back then, I was only aware of the presence of Korean boy bands and girl bands, but never really had the intention of being a fan of them.
But with every episode I watched, both Korea and its culture was getting more and more familiar to me. I started searching for Korean restaurants to eat things like kimchi jjigae, Korean barbecue, jjajangmyeon and much more.
I also stopped watching American dramas and turned into Korean ones instead, although prior to this I absolutely believed the prejudice that boys shouldn’t watch anything Korean. Some of my favorites are The Descendants of The Sun, Oh My Ghost, Legend of The Blue Sea, and Healer. I absolutely recommend them to anyone slightly interested in Korean film industry.
It isn’t as fake as American reality shows.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you must’ve at least watched one American reality show. And you must’ve noticed how unrealistic it is. I mean, I don’t live in America, but I’m pretty sure no one would blatantly confess they hate someone in an interview…Particularly if this interview is being broadcasted to the whole world.
Korean reality shows (or variety shows!) on the other hand, including Running Man, may not be totally unscripted. But at least it still contains a slither of one’s personality.
These personalities thrive in Running Man, they are not scared to show their true character, even if it may hurt their images. Whether it’d be the foolish Kwang Soo, the chic Ji Hyo, the talkative Jong Kook, the silly Jae Seok, the childish Ha Ha, the romantic Gary, or the outdated Seok Jin.
And of course…We can’t forget about the fans.
The first time Running Man went to Thailand, they were utterly shocked by the number of fans they had. So many people showed up to greet them at the airport. And it’s not only Thailand, they are also popular in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, UAE, Australia, Vietnam, Taiwan, etc.
We, fans of Running Man, also aren’t afraid to show them support by commenting and liking pictures on their Instagram account, giving ideas to the production team, making doodles of them, and even creating a garden for them.
We are one of the reasons Running Man has made it this far.
This article is a part of a project called “Running Man Unforgettable Moments”, a series of articles where I reminisce about Running Man’s funniest, craziest, and most touching moments. To view the rest of the articles, click here.
Your Runaway Panda.