Running Man – July 2016

As a whole, this batch of episodes isn’t anything spectacular. However, I wouldn’t classify any of them as duds, either. Each of the episodes have good things going for them, whether that’s fun games or engaging guests. Only one will definitely be making my rewatch list, but the rest of them are rather entertaining.

#306: “The R-Lifeguards”

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Sometimes it’s really nice to have an episode like this one: secret missions sowing dissent between team members, lots of cheating, and chaotic, physical missions. There was a lot less downtime than I’ve been accustomed to lately, which was a nice change. They had missions to do! Lots of them!

On the other hand, it meant that the guests didn’t really get to have the spotlight on them at all, which I imagine would be disappointing for their fans. I didn’t really know any of these three, so it didn’t hamper my enjoyment at all.

I don’t think I’d watch it again, but it’s a decent one to spend an evening on.

#307: “Thumbs Up Couple Race”

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I do admire the writers + crew for being able to adapt to the inclement weather conditions, but the episode still felt a bit slipshod and improvised. A lot of the games were cut and not all of the ones that made it in the episode were as riveting as I’d hoped.

Still, it was a decent episode. If you’re a fan of the idol guests, then you’ll probably enjoy it as they got an okay amount of screen time and were competitive.

#308: “The Healthy Food Race”

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This is a fairly entertaining episode, particularly if you’re fond of Kim Hee-ae. Her secret mission was easy to understand and fairly foolproof to enact, so it didn’t come as much of a surprise when she (and her secret partner) were able to orchestrate things to their advantage.

The games themselves–nostalgic music quiz, non-sensical food-related stuff, name tag ripping–were entertaining in the moment but aren’t going to stay in my memory for long. The episode is cute enough to pass the time, but it isn’t good enough to make my rewatch list.

#309: “Kwang-soo’s Retaliation Race”

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I wish I could tell you what what was missing from this episode that kept it from achieving greatness, because there are a lot of good things here. Our very tall guests were pretty funny, and the games themselves were solid (except for maybe the thumb wrestling, that got a little boring). The editing wasn’t brilliant, but I don’t think it actively worked against the episode.

I think the balance in the games themselves were off. There were too many things stacked against the chasing team and so many things that were handed easily to the other team. (The team numbers was the biggest one, I think, and that penalty lasted the entire episode.) Either the chasing team shouldn’t have been tied in pairs, or else the defending team should have had to hunt for their salads/sleeping music instead of both.

Regardless, there are some good moments. I’m not sure yet if I’ll put it on my rewatch list, but it’s a good episode all the same.

#310: “The Selection Contest Race”

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I really liked this episode. The guests were all engaging and the mini (mini?) missions were fun. I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for this cast getting the crap scared out of them, and we got zombies and haunted houses and roller coaster rides. There was so much terrified screaming, and that always makes me cackle.

The actual editing of the episode seemed to work in the episode’s favor for once, and while I’m a little concerned by the fact that the black team seems at far more of a disadvantage going into next episode’s final mission, I don’t care all that much. This episode made me laugh a lot, and sometimes that’s way more important than game balance.

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