Monday, May 25, 2015

5 Reasons The Ha-Hyo Couple is Amazing

I've always maintained that one of the reasons I love watching Running Man so much is because of the relationships between the members. The member relationships form the basis of what makes Running Man one of the most watchable and hilarious variety shows ever. The cast have a strong, almost familial relationship which translates well both on and off screen. 

Among all the member relationships, there are a few which are highlighted by the producers, notably the Monday Couple. But, I've also written about the more hidden couples not highlighted as much, such as the underground relationship of the SpartAce couple and even the adorably feisty KwangMong siblings

So today, I'm going to take a look at another couple which doesn't really get a lot of the spotlight, but may very well be one of the strongest combinations on Running Man; the Ha-Hyo Couple.

Here are 5 reasons why you should really be looking out for this couple on the show.

#5 Their teamwork is amazing

HaHa and Ji-hyo have an almost telepathic form of communication, which very well translates to winning games on the show. They are able to read each other's minds and act accordingly to react to a host of situations.

Sure, with the scheming mind of HaHa and the Ace abilities of Ji-hyo, it's no big surprise that they constantly pick up wins every time they're paired together. The best thing is, when they really are paired up together, it's often because the other members have more high profile guests on their teams.

So technically, the Ha-Hyo couple are the real underdogs of Running Man.

#4 They have a good chemistry

Song Ji-hyo wasn't a variety person when she first joined, while HaHa was sort of like the veteran. In fact, it could be seen so obviously in the earlier episodes that HaHa and Ji-hyo were no different from strangers. Their speech was formal and awkward, and their minds were just not in tune with each other.

So through the years that they have been doing the show, a sort of camaraderie built up. They started teasing and making fun of each other, to the point where their interactions were a highlight among the members. It was just so fun to watch both of them tearing into each other (well, Ji-hyo more than HaHa) but it was this that brought the Ha-Hyo couple into the forefront of the fans' minds.

Yup, like in the movies, the quarreling couple does end up getting along pretty well with each other.

#3 They used to have a "scandal"

Speaking of the past, there was a time on Running Man where the members used to tease HaHa about having a crush on Ji-hyo, much to the disdain of both HaHa and the then Monday Boyfriend Gary. Still, watching HaHa deny everything with huge motions and outbursts only cemented that idea even deeper into our minds.

That is...until he got married to his Star. Still, it was a good game of "What If".

#2 They have a strong "bullying" game going on

As you can see from the picture below, Ji-hyo is very often the perpetrator of the bullying, while HaHa tries his best to counter it with a few deft tricks up his sleeve. More often than not, he's still the victim of this relationship.

Though of course, he sometimes has his moments of victory.

#1 They are just comfortable around each other

The Ha-Hyo couple's biggest advantage is that the both of them are just so comfortable with each other. Sure, all the Running Man members are comfortable around each other in general, but when it comes to teaming up and playing games, you don't see the Commander and Suk-jin being on very good terms (on account of the strongest and weakest combo).

The Ha-Hyo couple is able to bypass all their strengths and weaknesses and find a way to make it work. If they win, great. If they lose, at least they had lower expectations from being the underdog team.

Win or lose, you'll be sure that both of them are there to have fun. That's what makes them so special.

What do you think about the Ha-Hyo couple on Running Man? Leave a comment below!


Note: Running Mondays will be on a break next week (1 June 2015).
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Monday, May 18, 2015

5 Best Betrayals by Running Man's Lee Kwang-soo

Today's Running Mondays will be quite similar to this week's episode; to celebrate Prince of Asia, Kwang-soo Day! If you don't already know, Kwang-soo is Running Man's resident traitor.

He'll drop your name or rip off your nametag in a heartbeat if it means that it could benefit him in any way. It's gotten so bad that he's known as the Icon of Betrayal, a term that no doubt explains perfectly his character on Running Man.

So to celebrate the Icon of Betrayal, today's column will be looking at some of the best betrayals by Kwang-soo. This post is more of a warning to future guests on the show.

 #6 Ripping off the Tiger: The Big Bang (Ep 84)

Kwang-soo and Jong-kook have something of a love-hate relationship going on. But it's Kwang-soo who most often turns out the victor because of his love for betrayals. This doesn't mean very well for their team, however, because he usually causes them to lose.

In the battle against Big Bang, Kwang-soo, after much turmoil and bullying by Jong-kook, finally tore off his nametag in a calculated move of betrayal. It freed him from the captivity of being chained to the Tiger, but also cost Team Running Man their biggest chance of victory.

#5 The Icon of Betrayal (Ep 132)

The best thing about this episode is that while there were spies in both teams, it was Kwang-soo who managed to outwit and betray the Commander and Suk-jin single-handedly. Sure, it's not so much of a betrayal in this case, but he managed to string along both Jong-kook, who has a tendency to snuff these things out, and his partner in crime Suk-jin as well. It proves how much of a scheming traitor the Giraffe is, and how efficient he is at his job.

#4 Ripping off the Tiger II: Team Kill (Ep 105)

Yes, as difficult as it is to believe, Kwang-soo betrayed Jong-kook again. Like in this case, where Kwang-soo hatched a plan so devious it's actually used by spies now. After a madhouse scuffle with HaHa, Ji-hyo, Gary and Jae-suk all involved, the Commander managed to oust Jae-suk. Amongst the mayhem, Kwang-soo placed the nametag back on for his teammate...and immediately ripped it off, leaving Jong-kook speechless. Such is the eloquence of the Icon of Betrayal.

#3 The Ruffle Scuffle (Ep 239)

There is always a scuffle which leads to a nametag being ripped; especially if that scuffle includes Kwang-soo. Kwang-soo will stop at nothing to eliminate anyone's nametag he sees in front of him.

In this scenario, even with an MMA fighter Kim Dong-hyun in the mix, Kwang-soo took the opportunity to tear off the weakest link who so happened to show his nametag: HaHa. Unfortunate, yes. Expected, also yes.

#2 An Alliance Broken (Ep 92)

Kwang-soo will betray anyone, alliance or not, so it's not so much of a surprise to see him turning an alliance against Jong-kook into chaos. After JYP's hard work in getting an alliance up and running, Kwang-soo's betrayal DNA reared its ugly head and in the middle of a scuffle, he tore off Chun Jung-myung's nametag without a moment's hesitation.

I mean, it's something else to tear off a guest's nametag right so soon after he got into an alliance with you. That's why no one trusts anyone on Running Man.

#1 A Pirates' Life for Him (Ep 161)

Speaking about trust issues, Kwang-soo does this thing to the guests which result in them absolutely crushed and fearful to trust anyone every again. This may be one of THE only times where almost all the fans watching the show knew that Kwang-soo would pull off a betrayal. The signs were all there; his sneaky look, the background music, the works. Too bad the guests in this case, Shinhwa, weren't that alert.

Posted by Sarcasm? Puh-Leeze

As Kwang-soo sprinted off to the surprised looks of Shinhwa and even his own teammates, viewers all sighed in amusement. It was as though all was right with the world again. Again, this is why the trust issues on Running Man start.

As a little bonus, here's a video of Lee Kwang-soo and his betrayal song.

Which other Lee Kwang-soo betrayals did you enjoy the most? Leave your favorite one in the comments section below.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

5 Observations from the MILO Malaysia Breakfast Run 2015

Last year, I went to the MILO Malaysia Breakfast Day 2014 as a blogger and I didn't get to do much there aside from hijacking a MILO truck and creepily take pictures of the runners. Many people asked me why I didn't join in the actual run last year, and I even jokingly told the MILO Malaysia people that I would love to run in the following edition of the MILO Breakfast Day.

Little did I know that my offhanded quip would come back to haunt me. I received a call a few weeks ago asking me to keep the promise I made last year, and I just couldn't say no. So this year, thanks to MILO Malaysia, I got the chance to join in the fun as a runner.

Let me make something very clear. I've never been into marathons or runs, and neither am I particularly good at running. I may love to watch Running Man, but running a course isn't something I'd put very high up on my to-do list. So naturally, I dragged the Bugger ECF along with me for this run. Because what's torture when you don't have someone else doing it with you?

But through the course of this year's MILO Breakfast Run, I made a few observations.

#5 It's surprisingly easy

Okay. Before you go down to the comments and say things like "It's just a 7KM run." or "That's child's play.", kindly remember that the most running I've done in the past few years or so is mostly away from reality. So a 7KM run is something that could have potentially destroyed me. But as I was running along the scenic Putrajaya route, I realized that I was actually covering the distance quite quickly. In fact, when I hit the 5KM mark, I was mostly still in a good condition and not dying and crawling along as I expected. The tip I was given was to breathe regularly and focus on what's ahead. That's quite easy when...

#4 There is no time to check people out

 Me and the Bugger ECF were fully expecting to turn on our perv-goggles to ogle at some of the fine ladies at the run. And we did, for the first 500m or so. Making snide remarks at people, giving constructive criticism to everyone around us.

But when we reached the 1KM mark, it got increasingly difficult to check people out. It was all I could manage to get my legs moving and my breathing regulated so that I didn't reach the finish line in an ambulance. For those of you who decide to go to a run to check out the hot dudes and dudettes, good luck.

#3 The feeling of finishing the race is amazing

As soon as you cross the finish line, that overwhelming sense of accomplishment hits you like the relief that sets in when you see the Finish line ahead of you. It's something I can't really describe properly because, again, some of you may think that 7KM is nothing. I know this for a fact because Chingy, who is also the all round exercise fanatic, gave me a disapproving look as I stumbled into the tent, panting. "Tsk," she clucked, "You're so slow."

Still I finished the race by myself. That's an achievement on its own.

#2 A cup of ice cold MILO never tasted better

Trust me when I say this. You think you make the best MILO, or know when is the best time to drink MILO. I'm here to tell you that you're wrong. The best MILO can be found in only one place; an ice cold cup of MILO from a MILO truck right after finishing a arduous run. That's the best kind of MILO, and I dare anyone to challenge me on this.

#1 Placings don't matter

I ranked 1700+. I don't even care. Still walked away with my finisher's medal.

As I was typing this out, my dad peeked over and whispered, "A finisher's medal is equivalent to giving a baby an iPad to shut him up." Thanks dad. There goes my sense of accomplishment.

So whatever you do, please remember to join in next year's MILO Malaysia Breakfast Run. I'll be there again, hopefully more prepared than I was this year. I'll probably still be taking creepy pictures of the runners anyhow.


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