Running Man: Episode 259
Korean Drama Reactions & Reviews | August 13, 2015 | 375 viewed
Our cast will stop at nothing this week to grab the three open spots for the Running Man Production’s latest drama. Following good direction, looking good for the camera, and assessing one’s acting skills are just a few measures of performance, when really we’re just watching for the competition and moments of hilarity that the rigorous audition process can offer.
EPISODE 259. Broadcast on August 9, 2015.
Everyone is looking extra spiffy for our red carpet opening today and posing for the 360 degree camera. Resident announcer Kim Hwan introduces our cast, who sit down for what looks like a press conference. Kwang-soo announces that Suk-jin will be playing his late grandfather in an upcoming drama.
Apparently Jae-suk has some movie experience of his own in the 1994 film Tirano’s Claw. Suk-jin: “You were the claw, weren’t you?”
All jaws drop at the sight of a beautified Ji-hyo, and then the group is joined by today’s guests: actresses Cha Ye-ryun (She’s So Lovable) and Le Yo-won (Empire of Gold). Apart from her debut days as a teen sixteen years ago, Yo-won hasn’t really appeared on variety shows since.
Today’s theme centers around Running Man’s own drama special: “Why Do You Change Your Couple Rings Every Day?” It will be a casting survival race today—to fill one of the three silhouettes in the drama poster.
Hahaha, the PD on the project is none other than Maknae FD Dong-wan, who announces teams: Blue: Jae-suk, Haha, and Yo-won (Jae-suk: “So I’m the hero and he’s ‘Bangja’ [the servant].”), then Red: Jong-kook, Gary, and Ye-ryun. Our last team is Orange: Suk-jin, Kwang-soo, and Ji-hyo.
Kwang-soo can’t get over the lacy see-thru cutouts on Ji-hyo’s dress, which she points out: “He keeps giving me weird looks!” Heee.
Gary mentions his brief stint (with Jong-kook and Kwang-soo) in the movie Wonderful Radio, and Jae-suk mentions his list of cameos over the years, along with one with Yo-won… which she doesn’t remember, and Jae-suk says that was just a bit.
After the previews show us that this group is in for a rough day ahead, then the teams climb into their cars. Yo-won marvels at all the cameras, telling her teammates that she watches a lot of variety.
That spurs Jae-suk to ask why she doesn’t appear on variety shows then, to which she replies that the pressure to perform well is so great. She agrees that she appealed to a lot of women when she debuted because of her slightly boyish charm, but she’d receive offers to play more ladylike roles.
When Jae-suk nods along politely, she immediately asks, “Really?” Haha.
In their car, Ye-ryun admits that she has a masculine given name—chances are they’ve got guy friends with the same name. Once Jong-kook and Gary hear it (Park Hyun-ho), they both agree that it’s pretty common.
Our first mission will require some coordination and teamwork: two members will navigate an obstacle course on opposite ends while the third shouts out instructions. The goal is to get both members sitting on the couch in the fastest time to win. Ye-ryun guesses that she’ll do the yelling, and Jong-kook jokes, “Why d’you think you’ll do the shouting?”
The Blue Team is up first, and Yo-won decides to start off with Jae-suk, who blindly steps over cones and bends under the limbo bar. But Jae-suk needs to jump to grab a hat next, but every jump will cost him. In Pain. Why thank you, acupuncture mat.
Yo-won confesses that her depth perception is a bit off, then turns away to turn her attention to Haha. ‘Cause Jae-suk can figure it out on his own, right?
Her instructions are simply, “Walk forward until you hit a table that has a lipstick on it and use it.” No how many steps forward or anything ’cause he can figure it out. And when Jae-suk gets to the balloon, she doesn’t quite tell him where it is in relation to him: “Just pop it.”
She does the same thing with Haha, giving him direct but maybe not the most helpful instructions for a guy who’s blindfolded. They log 5 minutes and 12 seconds.
Ye-ryun ends up shouting directions after all, which are clear… if only Gary and Jong-kook can hear it above the others yelling at one another. So Jong-kook decides to follow the pathway’s edge to direct himself. So smart.
Since Jong-kook is doing perfectly fine on his own, Ye-ryun turns her attention to Gary instead. She warns him about the mat and offers specific instructions on where his body is in relation to his task.
Her direction is clear and kind to the very end, even telling them to hold hands before sitting down on the couch together. But their time still slower: 5 minutes and 37 seconds.
Lastly, it’s our Running Man trio, and Ji-hyo rolls up her card like a makeshift loudspeaker. She starts Suk-jin and Kwang-soo off at the same time, but neither of them can figure out who’s she’s talking to at any given time. So when she screams at Kwang-soo to jump the hula hoop three times, Suk-jin jumps in place. LOL.
The confusion is ongoing, and somehow Kwang-soo walks completely off-course. When Ji-hyo tells Suk-jin to put back the cones he’s tipped over, he lifts them above his head instead.
We skip ahead to the seven-minute mark, when Kwang-soo blows up at the instruction to take the chip “he can see”: “What chip can I see?!”
I love the use of the split-screen of Kwang-soo biting that chip to a giraffe eating, and then Ji-hyo is seconds to losing her cool when he blindly searches for the lipstick that falls off the table. Lastly, Suk-jin hits himself over the head with a gourd shell prematurely. And all that took sixteen whole minutes.
Winning the first game earns the Blue Team two chance coupons, and they reminisce on Yo-won’s “Just figure it out on your own!” approach. In the Red Team’s car, Ye-ryun agrees that she tends to get along with guys pretty well, easily establishing an oppa-dongsaeng or noona-dongsaeng relationship on set.
Gary brings up drinking coffee at a cafe, and she playfully cuts in asking if he’s asking her out for coffee. Gary doesn’t skip a beat: “What d’you mean by that? Are we starting up a loveline?”
At their next mission location, the cast will be tested on their fashion style: once the whistle blows, a male teammate will jump into the pool and retrieve a colored t-shirt for himself and his female partner. They’ll both run to the appropriately colored corner to take photos. The first team to get photos of all four colors (green, pink, yellow, and black) in their specific order, wins.
Any game that involves brute strength is advantageous for Jong-kook, whom Kwang-soo worries about because the shirts might not fit him. Gary: “Ready us a 4XL!”
Jong-kook keeps a firm hold on Jae-suk and Kwang-soo so that he can push them back as soon as the whistle blows. Even with the momentary delay, Jae-suk and Ye-won get their photo first. Kwang-soo punches Jong-kook back into the pool, and then the ladies rush over to stop Jae-suk and Yo-won to snap their second photo.
And while the other teams take their photos, Jae-suk tries to untie the green shirt. A minute later, Jong-kook runs up to try and steal it away from him. Then Ye-ryun tries literally pulling the shirt off of Yo-won’s back.
It’s turns into an all-out war between them over the green shirts, enough that even Kwang-soo gets confused. Eventually Jong-kook comes out with the shirt, and Yo-won tells Jae-suk to steal it from him already.
So Jong-kook proposes that Jae-suk hold down Kwang-soo long enough so that they can get their third photo, then they’ll hand over the green shirts Jae-suk and Yo-won need. They come to an agreement and surprisingly keep it too.
While Jong-kook jumps on Kwang-soo, that gives Jae-suk and Yo-won enough time to run and take their final fourth photo and win the first round.
After the Orange Team wins the second round, we skip to the third round where both men will be in the water and is worth two points. There are four t-shirts of each colors and both the Orange and Blue Teams are looking for the green shirts first.
While they’re fighting over the last two shirts, the Red Team snaps their first, second, and third photos. They’re willing to wait out the battle until their last colored shirts (green) become available. Five minutes later, the Blue Team finally snap their photo in their torn shirts.
Hahaha, Kwang-soo gets desperate enough to take the green shirt off of a VJ’s back. But there’s no need now, because the Red Team swoop in for the win. Still, second place is up for grabs, and it’s the Orange Team that snaps it up.
There’s a crowd waiting for our group when they pull up for their third mission which will test their acting skills. Each team will need to film all five scenes to pass. so let’s take it one scene at a time.
The first scene is based off of the classic trope of money figuratively and literally thrown into someone’s face, so here the ladies will try to collect the necessary amount in a wind turbine booth in one minute.
As the money flies around them, Yo-won and Ye-ryun have trouble reading the exact amount they need. Both actresses tell the staff to write out their numbers properly. But Ji-hyo gets the correct amount, so her team moves on.
We follow them to the next classic scene of someone throwing a glass of water at another person’s face. Here one person will chuck three glasses of water, which will then be squeezed out into another cup. Surpass the green line, and you’re good to go.
Remember that flower mask we saw a while back? Well Kwang-soo has the honor of wearing it, and when the first throw yields no results, Kwang-soo throws himself to the hit the next time. But even the third doesn’t amount to enough in the end.
Back in the wind tunnel booth, Jae-suk and Jong-kook count their bills before the latter reaches out to steal Jae-suk’s cash. It quickly devolves to a brutal match, and then Jae-suk chomps down. The fact that you can’t hear Jong-kook scream makes it doubly hilarious.
Jong-kook spins around and around until he finally manages to steal Jae-suk’s cash, leaving him with nothing. The Red Team arrives at the second station a minute before the Orange Team moves on.
At the third station, the team must collect a “family,” meaning asking passersby for their participation. The Orange Team spreads out to find someone in their 50s, 20s, and a grade-schooler.
Meanwhile, you can see the veins popping out of Jong-kook’s arm as he squeezes water into the pitcher. Yeah, you can say his team passes with flying colors on the first try.
Back to the dinner table where everyone must successfully spit a watermelon seed onto their own faces. Things look good until Kwang-soo accidentally spits out his seed while delivering his line.
The Red and Blue teams hurry to cast their own, and the Red Team opts to use one of their coupons now. It’s a good one: three out of six people get to start off with a seed stuck to their faces.
Jong-kook is up first… but totally fails. So much for using up that chance to their advantage. At Jae-suk’s remark that all his exercising did nothing for him, Jong-kook readies himself right behind Jae-suk when it’s his turn, and blows the seed off of his face.
When the Red Team is up again, they use up another chance. The kid chooses… a dud. Aw. So the team goes for it anyway, and succeeds. At the fourth station, one person will swipe everything off of a table in fury, and the others will be responsible to catch at least 10 items in total.
Jong-kook angrily clears the table, but it turns out he’s a little too strong, as one bouquet hits Gary full in the face, and his teammates are only left with two items.
They run out of time when the Orange Team shows up, and eventually the Blue Team catches up. Jae-suk piles everything into one lump, some of which lands in Haha’s basket, only to pop out again. Ah, so close.
The Red Team uses their third and final chance to be a wee closer, and Haha and Kwang-soo point out how some items have been conveniently tucked into each other. They’re barely left with any items.
The Orange Team’s chance card is a dud, and Kwang-soo invites the crowd to curse him out, which only angers him. The Blue Team gets lucky in getting much closer by using their chance, and their acting skills brings down that number from 10 items to 8. And this time they hit the jackpot with 18 items.
Which means this team who has always been trailing last in this game is now the first to move on to the fifth and final station. Problem is, they run into congested traffic.
Over at the fourth station, Ye-ryun ups the ante by slapping Jong-kook across the face to express her rage-filled acting. Kwang-soo rallies the crowd to encourage her to slap him harder, and so she does.
But thanks to that, they only need to catch six items now, which they get easily.
It’s back to the SBS building for their final audition, and the Blue Team gets mobbed by screaming sasaeng fans and the media upon their arrival. While the welcoming is awesome, the team needs to get up to the third floor.
Once there, a script gets shoved into their hands. Unable to hold it any longer, Jae-suk pops into the bathroom. Then the trio enters the studio, where they’ll read their lines in getting married and make a collective star gesture together.
Yo-won and Haha march down the line for their “wedding” that Jae-suk will officiate. They rush through the ceremony in case the other teams are on their way.
The Red Team has already made it to the third floor, and when the Easy Brothers stop for a little fanservice, Ji-hyo drags them along.
But it looks like everything is over when the Blue Team makes their six-pointed star gesture together, and win the game (and the roles). Deciding that they have time to kill, the Blue Team hurriedly sneaks off to hide.
So they sit and watch the Red Team arrive and complete the final mission before heading downstairs through the back. The Red Team is already sitting in the seats when the Blue Team pretends like they got caught in traffic and complete the mission again.
The Red Team appears looking victorious just then, and then Taek PD declares the Blue Team as today’s victors. The trio is awarded with their actor fold-up “chairs” with their own nametags, and a bit of gold to sweeten the win.
Tags Lee Kwang Soo; Kang Gary; Kim Jong Kook; Ha Dong Hoon (Ha Ha); Ji Suk Jin; Song Ji Hyo; So Ji Sub;
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