Running Man: Episode 260
Korean Drama Reactions & Reviews | August 21, 2015 | 369 viewed
Not many variety shows nowadays can say that they’ve been on the air for five years, and to celebrate Running Man brings back the singers who pulled in huge numbers in album sales, even way back when in their heyday. This week’s episode is only the first part of this music-themed adventure, filled with nostalgia, painful memories, and some really, really expensive food.
EPISODE 260. Broadcast on August 16, 2015.
In celebration of five years on the air, today’s opening kick off at a club in Cheongdamdong where it’s party o’clock (annnd just before noon elsewhere). The place is bumpin’ when the cast arrives, and a steady stream of music is provided by DJ Koo (Koo Jun-yup).
The crowd is swept up to the tunes of Clon (the dance music duo DJ Koo was a part of) which later segues into the introduction of g.o.d.’s Park Joon-hyung. And then you can’t have a throwback to the ’90s without one half of Turbo, otherwise known as our Kookie.
Then we have Cool’s Lee Jae-hoon take the stage, and aww man, these oldies seriously bring back fond memories. Next up, DJ DOC’s Lee Haneul revs up the crowd, and it looks like our cast is about to pass out…
… when the voice of a legend rings through the speakers. It’s Kim Gun-mo, who busts out the “Wrongful Encounter” lyrics which he knows like the back of his hand. Now if only someone could tell him that the golden tophat structure on his head really ain’t working for him.
Gun-mo: “This is the first time I’ve performed this song before noon.” You and all the other guys here, sir.
Getting these legendary stars to appear together is no easy feat, especially when their total album sales top 20 million copies. If you can believe it, Gun-mo is younger than Suk-jin by two years, and they were both in the army around the same time.
Today’s episode is aptly titled “Million Seller Race,” where the group will divvy up into two teams and obtain a CD with each game they win. The first team to rack up 10 million copies, wins.
After splitting our cast into threes, it’s time to choose the singers for their team. It’s to their advantage to pick a best-selling singer, which Gun-mo is (his third album sold over 2.8 million copies in 1995 and made it into the Guinness World Records that year).
Jong-kook can say with confidence that all but one of Turbo’s albums sold over a million copies, and Haneul cites DJ DOC’s third album as their biggest seller. Although DJ Koo’s totals aren’t as high as the others, it’s still impressive (and more prominently known overseas).
DJ Koo had also been known for his tanned skin, thanks to all those hours of tanning on his roof. Conversely, Gun-mo had his own tanning machine, which he bought off of Jae-hoon, who admits to pawning off the machine. Gun-mo: “I laid in that thing for an hour and a half and it did nothing!”
Whereas the others have been talking numbers, Jae-hoon said all he did was focus on the music regardless of album sales. His humble statement turns into joke fodder for the others, and Gun-mo jokes that his watch records audio.
The conversation turns to how many copies Haha and Suk-jin (who have both put out singles) have sold. Haha: “About 10,000?” Suk-jin: “2,400.”
Several rounds of rock-paper-scissors determine our team breakdown: Blue (Betrayal Trio, Gun-mo, Haneul, and Jong-kook) vs. Red (Ji-hyo, Jae-suk, Gary, Joon-hyun, Jae-hoon, DJ Koo).
The Blue Team starts off with 6.15 million copies thanks to their singer’s best-sellers, but the Red Team also has an impressive showing of a total 4.04 million copies.
The group literally drives down memory lane when they pass through Apgujeong Rodeo Street, where they used to physically hand out their albums to passersby. And this is where they’ll be partaking in their first mission.
Here, the group will sing a verse of one classic hit song, then turn the mic over to a willing participant to sing the next verse. They’ll have 30 minutes to complete this mission, and each successful attempt will earn them 50,000 copies.
They try out a few songs on their own, and Joon-hyung owns up to his squeaky singing voice when Jae-suk says he wasn’t meant for this part. Joon-hyung: “I’m a rapper!”
Hahaha, Suk-jin’s turn of Clon’s “Koongdari Shabara” has an entirely different feel to it, which he does for the others as well. That’s because he doesn’t really know how the melody goes, but he could probably fool you into thinking that he did by the way he sings it.
After a first failed attempt, Blue Team hails down a pretty young lady who knows a bit of DJ DOC, but isn’t confident in Kim Gun-mo’s song. Meanwhile, Jae-suk gives tips on how to approach passersby: if they seem interested, that’s a green light; if they avoid your gaze, that’s a no-go.
One woman compliments Ji-hyo, then explains that she’s studying abroad soon. She gets the lyrics to Cool’s “Destiny” (to Jae-hoon’s delight), earning the Red Team their first 50,000.
The Blue Team pick up a cool 100,000 copies with Gun-mo’s song, then Haha asks if the staff will up the deal (to 100,000 copies) if a foreigner can successfully sing one of their songs.
The group revs up with Gun-mo’s song, and the guy… simply sings back greetings. Lol. Jae-suk interviews an Apgujeong business owner, who shyly says she’s had a few celebrities drop by like Jeon Ji-hyun and Go So-young. Despite her claims to be a Cool fan, she flubs the lyrics to the song as well as to the Clon single.
They run into shoe designer Hwang Young-ryong, who ends all her flubs with a “hiyaa.” Heh. And then their jaw drop at the sight of long flowing hair… that belongs to a man. He helps them out with picking up another 50,000.
So it turns out that nearly everyone knows the lyrics to “Wrongful Encounter,” and by the end of it, both teams each get thirteen people to help them out. The score so far? Red: 4.69 million; Blue: 6.8 million.
The Red Team heads over to a steak joint that Jae-suk once dreamed of going to. He remembered going once back when he was scraping pennies, and cried into his food. Now he’ll get to eat to his heart’s content… but the team will need to pay in album copies: every 10,000 won will cost them 100,000 copies. Ouucch.
Gary: “Jae-suk won’t get to eat the steak again that way!” To think, it’s been over twenty years since he’s been to this restaurant and now there’s a possibility that he has to order three ramyuns like last time.
The Blue Team is given the same condition, and what’s worse is that the staff will round up. Now that’s just mean. After going back and forth about what to eat, the team settles on six buckwheat noodles to take away 400,000 album copies.
The Red Team goes ahead to order the most expensive thing on the menu so that Jae-suk can finally experience what he’s dreamed of for decades. It totals to 700,000 copies, and Jae-suk is genuinely moved when that sizzling plate of meat is set before them.
The Blue Team is about to dig into their noodles when two plates of fried dumplings appear. Suspicious, the PD asks if the team ordered that too. Bingo. Turns out Haha had sent Kwang-soo over to just “check out the prices” at the place next door, but Taek PD makes sure to calculate that too.
At least that’s better than the Red Team whose meal cost them a cool million copies. The Blue Team goes out for dessert, and when they hear that their freebie shaved ice will cost them, they hand it over for the staff to eat.
Aw, Kwang-soo really really wants to eat the mango shaved ice, so Haneul proposes a round of rock-paper-scissors—if they win, they get to eat the free dessert; if not, they’ll fork over the 100,000 copies.
Gun-mo is feeling extra generous when offering to buy the crew dessert too. No one is with him on that idea, and Haneul kicks him out by tearing off his nametag. Gun-mo steps up for his team, and ha—he totally sneaks a peek before throwing out a rock to win.
The mango dessert is just as heavenly as they’d imagined it to be, and then the PD asks for a bite. Ha.
The Blue Team is currently in the lead with 6.05 million copies to the Red Team’s 3.69 million after lunch. When Ji-hyo asks the other team to buy them coffee, Gun-mo tries to sneak over some copies. Hahaha.
She and Gun-mo engage in an aegyo battle, and Gun-mo’s baby voice is far cuter than hers. Heee.
It’s time for the final mission, where the location is decked out like a studio adorned with everyone’s past albums, including Suk-jin’s and even Haha’s (back when he was part of the hip-hop trio Z-KIRI).
Gun-mo steals Ji-hyo’s heart when he serenades her from the piano. And then Gary takes her hand. Monday Couple for lyfe. Gary: “Thank you for the congratulatory song.” Hahaha.
Because he’s been using his voice all day, Gun-mo coughs mid-way through the ballad, which breaks the moment. So he starts singing along to “Isn’t She Lovely” (which he half-mumbles), but it’s still an impressive performance.
For our final mission, our teams will engage in various games from the gameboard. Additionally, the teams are given two chances: the staff has set up a pop-up noraebang in Shinchon that allows random passersby to sing inside. Every song that they sing earns one team 500,000 copies.
The teams can also call a singer friend whose top-selling album sales can add to the team’s total if they succeed at their game. Jae-hoon thinks of calling H.O.T.’s Moon Hee-jun, who says their best-selling album sold 1.48 million copies.
Unfortunately, Hee-jun’s preparing for a concert so he can’t drop by. Joon-hyung whispers that they call Jo Sung-mo, whose phone is turned off. They finally get someone to agree to come over, but we’ve yet to know who that is.
The Blue Team calls up Kim Jong-seo, who’s in Daejeon. Haneul calls up Cool’s Kim Sung-soo, whom Jae-hoon tells not to come. Haneul says that he can expect a diss track if he doesn’t show up.
The staff has also gone ahead to graciously set up shop with beverages and refreshments that will set the teams back a pretty penny. We’re talking chocolate for 100,000 copies and gum for 50,000 copies.
Then the Blue Team is hit with bad news: Sung-soo won’t be able to make it because he can’t leave his kid home alone. It just so happens that Jae-suk squeezed in an extra text to Sung-soo to tell him not to come. Haneul: “Bring your kid with you!”
The Red Team is ready to strike a deal: fork over 100,000 copies and they’ll tell Sung-soo to show up. So Gun-mo pays up and Jae-suk makes the call. When Sung-soo calls back, Haneul tells him not to bother.
Joon-hyun chooses the zero game (where someone calls out a number and is out if the total number of raised thumbs equals that number). They’ll be playing a version of that where the last team standing loses, and the winner picks up 500,000 copies.
Jong-kook complains over Jae-suk running this game (“Does the national MC oversee all the games? It should be fair!”), but then Gun-mo is the first to leave the table, followed by Haneul, thanks to Jae-hoon’s reflexes.
Kwang-soo plays a pretty good defense, but momentarily loses focus when it’s Ji-hyo’s turn. She gets to leave the table too, and the others gripe that there wasn’t a “start” prior to her turn. So does Jae-hoon, which leaves Gary and Kwang-soo to duke it out.
And then Gary calls out “2!” and each of them raise a thumb. So much for having a lead. When Jong-kook advises that Gun-mo say a word to the winners, the singer opts not to because they look like they’re having so much fun. Aw.
For their second game, the team representatives will face off to turn as many tiles over to their team color in a minute by playing ddakji. Suk-jin and DJ Koo are up first, and the two start throwing down their papers.
Suk-jin throws down his ddakji at a blue tile, then another stands on its side. When Gun-mo tries to blow it down, it falls red-side up. Whoops. Suk-jin keeps hitting the blue tiles, and in the end, DJ Koo wins the first round by a landslide.
All of a sudden, the gameboard lights up, which means someone is singing one of their songs in the pop-up noraebang. It’s DJ Doc’s “Run To You” which brings their total up to 6.9 million copies.
As soon as they start the second round, the gameboard lights up again to signal that someone is singing to one of the Red Team’s single. Furthermore it looks like there are more games to follow next week and one mysterious guest that has everyone’s jaws drop in awe.
And if that wasn’t enough, it looks like the crew has even more up their sleeves, with a teaser for Part 2’s theme: Please Find Me.
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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