My thoughts on the “Running Man”

the running man

This post might prove to be of interest to fans of the “Running Man”, a South Korean variety programme that lasted over three years at this point in time, currently totalling 163 episodes. I first caught a glimpse of the program but I didn’t expect this programme to take off in such a drastic manner. Today, tons of fans worldwide knew the primary participants who are predominantly constant.

What is interesting about this programme are the following:

1. Humour: Humour is an overkill for most episodes. While most things are detested when in excess, humour is one exception where most would welcome an overdose. And what makes it even more amazing and interesting are that most of the games and activities in the various episodes are simple and it’s the great rapport between the participant and the witty remarks that make  the viewing experience of what seems like repetitive game play more memorable and laughable.  In the field of neuro-linguistic programming, one might even put it this way – the humour are the “anchor” techniques  that turn casual viewers into loyal fans and convert regular viewers into avid fans.

2. Fantasy laced with romanticism: In various episodes, thematic settings (such as one set in a recent Korean drama) are established and games revolve around these themes. This has the effects of both attracting fans of Korean dramas to the programme, as well as introducing and initiating new viewers of K-pop into the Korean Wave.  In addition,  there is a crossover effect of “blending” fans of this variety series with those of Korean dramas, with this programme serving as the advertising platform for South Korean’s very own drama productions.  The commonly seen fantasy elements also tend to attract the younger crowds.

3.  Promotional platforms for K-pop bands: With the proliferation of numerous K-pop bands, it is impossible to introduce each singer individually, especially if one is looking at bands with members of more than 5, such as Girl’s Generation, Infinite, Beast, APink, EXO etc. Hence, the “Running Man” usually brings in a few members per episode to personalise and introduce them to fans – up close and personal.  Sometimes, two members from various bands are brought in in one go and band members from different bands compete with one another (as can be seen in the 8 September 2013 episode).

4.  Every contestant possess a specific characters: The fact that the “residential” contestants possess a specific, consistent character throughout the various episodes plays a great role in making this variety programme a great success. While one is cowardly, another is brash. While one is blunt, another is sarcastic. It’s these contradictions in actions and behaviour that make this programme so entertaining.  Humour exerts the greatest effect when it reflects life itself, and this programme exactly illustrates this. And its preciseness in executing this effect determines its success.

5. Live updates and behind-the scene- footage: Snippets of information are updated via the programme’s Facebook page prior to screening of upcoming episodes creates anticipation while behind-the-scene footages add interest to the programme as well.

For those of you who have not watched this series yet, you might like to catch an episode and see if you like it.

I believe you will.

For synopses of the various episodes, you can click here.


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