Monday, August 17, 2015

5 Reasons Why the Yoo-Mong Candy Alliance is Brilliant

Last week, both Yoo Jae-suk and Song Ji-hyo celebrated their birthdays. So in order to mark the twin celebration, this week's Running Mondays will be focused primarily on the two of them; specifically on the Yoo-Mong Couple (also known as the Candy Alliance). It's no doubt that Jae-suk and Ji-hyo have an infectiously cute relationship; equal parts bickering and kinship which makes both of them insanely watchable.

Here are a few reasons why the Yoo-Mong Candy Alliance Couple are pretty much perfect together.

#5 They have perfect chemistry

The Yoo-Mong Couple have fantastic chemistry with each other. Throughout episodes, they have been shown to completely be in sync with each other, whether through their jokes, mannerisms, expressions and more.

It's no surprise that they have been christened as South Korea's National Siblings for their brand of infectious joking and bickering. Even when snacking, they seem to be completely in sync. Which leads us to the fact that...

#4 They work very well together

Despite their constant bickering, the Yoo-Mong Couple are actually very good at working together to create comedy.The Candy Alliance started in episode 42 and has since appeared plenty of times on the show. Still, their working together often ends with Ji-hyo betraying Jae-suk, because one should never trust any of the Running Man members for whatever reason.

#3 They are adorable together

With their chemistry, the Yoo-Mong Couple will undoubtedly come up with some moments of cuteness. This comes in the form of a lot of inside jokes, bragging about their victory, laughing uncontrollably at each other's reactions, fighting and arguing over little things and so on. They are truly like a pair of extremely cute siblings.

#2 They take care of each other

It is no secret that Jae-suk is one of the nicest guys around; constantly taking care of his younger hoobaes. This is especially evident in the Yoo-Mong Couple because Ji-hyo is the only female member on the show. In a series of gifs and images, you can see how much Jae-suk cares about Ji-hyo. Just like how a big brother should.

#1 They are comfortable around each other

There has never been an awkward moment for these two during the show, and probably off-camera as well. The Yoo-Mong Couple is so comfortable with each other that they can show off sides of themselves that wouldn't necessarily be shown otherwise.

In fact, Jae-suk even knows Ji-hyo's perfume smell, which comes in handy whenever he's trying to run away from her. That's how incredible their alliance is.

So what other reasons can you think about what makes the Yoo-Mong Candy Alliance so amazing? Leave a comment below!


Note: Running Mondays will be on break for the next 2 weeks and will return early September. 
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Rating the Top 11 Running Man Specials

Running Man isn't just a variety show; it tries its hardest to come up with some of the best concepts and unique episodes to give viewers a sense of freshness. Throughout its five year broadcast, Running Man has time and time again pushed the envelope on making episodes that aren't just all games, but also with a concept that is, in more ways than one, literally out of this world.

Here are the top 11 Running Man Specials, rated. You can watch the episodes below here on DramaFever. Click this link to begin.

#11 Running Man Avengers (Episode 150)

Despite the hype surrounding the episode, it suffered in terms of a lack of member interaction and comedy, two things that made Running Man supremely watchable. The Avenger superpowers on the show, while very flashy and nice to look at, fell flat because they didn't allow the Running Man members or their guests to exhibit their unique traits.

Exhibit T.

Still, there was promise of a sequel, so who knows what they'll manage to come up with for Running Man Avengers 2.

Rewatchability: 5/10
Specialness: 8/10
Overall Score: 6/10

#10 Running Man in Europe: Gary Knows (Episode 81)

The episode that featured a whirlwind trip of Europe, as led by the self-proclaimed wanderer and free spirit of the world, Kang Gary. The opening itself had tons of moments to be remembered, A short, brief look at Gary's trip to Europe; Germany, France, England.

Shot in a relaxed sort of travelogue style, we are brought on a whirlwind trip around Europe, from meeting a Chinese fan, to eating Frankfurt sausages and providing a funny voiceover dub for a couple romancing under the Eiffel Tower. Gary's handwritten postcards to various members (and his hilarious autograph for Kwang-soo), provided the Monday Couple moment ("Your eyes glitter like the Seine River"), and a lot of laughs.

But the episode lacked much member interaction because everyone was sort of phased into different locations, and Gary was just too tired after his 20 hour flight to actively participate. Still, it's a good watch, but only because of the free spirit wandering through all the European sights.

Rewatchability: 7/10
Specialness: 7/10
Overall Score: 7/10

#9 Running Man Battle of the Gods (Episode 100)

The milestone episode of Running Man was also one of, well, godly proportions. There were gods and their weaknesses, and a lot of scrambling around to figure out who was who and their respective weaknesses. It had great knowledge of each of the members' and their weaknesses, like the Yoon Eun-hye mask that was prepared for Jong-kook.

In between trying to figure out who's who and surviving each onslaught of "weaknesses", including kissing, tickling among others, the Running Man members and guest Kim Hee-sun. The final "battle" between Jae-suk and Gary at the end is one of the funniest final matches in Running Man history. The editing tries to make it seem very dramatic and explosive, but you won't be able to stop laughing at how absurd it is.

Rewatchability: 7/10
Specialness: 8/10
Overall Score: 7.5/10

#8 Running Man Hunting (Episode 52, 69, 118)

The Running Man Hunter is a name sure to send shockwaves of fear into all the Running Man members. Choi Min-soo's first appearance on the show was so iconic and terrifying that they brought him back for another 2 more sequels, which unfortunately, never reached the lofty heights of the first episode.

Still, every time he would appear on the show, he came, he ripped, he conquered. Seeing the Commander walk away like a puppy, HaHa get hunted for fun and Gary and Ji-hyo shocked in the Haunted House really got me laughing at the agony caused by the man who didn't use roads. And that was only the first part. The remaining sequels had the Running Man Hunter hunting a Grasshopper, shadowboxing a Tiger and using a Giraffe as his earpiece.

And this.

Rewatchability: 9/10 for episode 52, 7/10 for the rest
Specialness: 6/10
Overall Score: 8/10 for episode 52, 7/10 for the rest

#7 Running Man Ghost Sisters Special (Episode 155)

In this surprisingly thrilling horror special, with *SPOILER ALERT* Miss A's Suzy guesting as a very pretty ghost, the suspense was driving the members, and viewers crazy. It was one of those episodes that didn't let on about much until the Shymalanesque twist somewhere towards the end.

Until the ghosts were revealed, the entire mission looking for mirrors and the creepy voice issuing death warrants was both terrifying, and hilarious, as evidenced by some of the ways the members had to out each other. Kwang-soo's head in a self made neck strap to prevent him from looking back, pops up as a reminder.

Still didn't work.

Rewatchability: 8/10
Specialness: 8/10
Overall Score: 8/10

#6 Running Man Tru-Gary Show (Episode 60)

The episode that proved that Running Man was as much into pop culture as imagined. If you have watched the Truman Show before, this episode will be right up your alley. Instead of Jim Carrey, we have Kang Gary, Running Man's most famous self proclaimed "industrial spy", finally given the job of being a spy. 

The Tru-Gary show may be a tad bit boring for a newcomer to Running Man, but for those who have been diligently following the show, the whole thing is a hoot and a half. There are a lot of inside jokes from earlier episodes, namely, how Gary is terrible at acting, and a surprise twist ending, ala The Usual Suspects. 

It's more of a homage to the Running Man fans who have been following the show for the past 59 episodes, and it's just so brilliantly done.

Rewatchability: 8.5/10
Specialness: 8.5/10
Overall Score: 8.5/10

#5 Running Man Sherlock Holmes Special (Episode 79)

Fans of Sherlock Holmes and mysteries should absolutely love this episode. There is much of everything here; a stolen diamond necklace, comedy group Hao and Chao, made up of a Chinese (?) sounding guy and a man who is dressed up like a dog, and betrayals and a villain so unexpected. 

The guests were both suspicious throughout the entire episode and from the beginning to the end, you can never be sure who is the culprit. It had the familiar flair of Running Man's usual mystery style, and will definitely leave a mark for its amazing use of character development and member interactions.

Rewatchability: 8/10
Specialness: 9/10
Overall Score: 8.5/10

#4 Running Man Zombie Special (Episode 98)

What happens when the Running Man members are faced with a zombie crisis? This episode explores that question with hilarious, and sometimes scary results. Gary's turn as an immortal zombie, and his subsequent infection of the rest of the members secured his memorable victory for the zombies. 

This episode proved how much Gary has improved on his facial expressions, especially when he faced the rest of the members in trying to prove his innocence. Again, he was faced with Jae-suk in the final showdown, and he defeated Jae-suk and his favorite water guns. If anything, it only proves that Running Man has got its zombie game firmly on. 

Rewatchability: 9/10
Specialness: 8/10
Overall Score: 8.5/10

#3 Running Man Reincarnation (Episode 130)

The Reincarnation episode was an episode with twists and turns that made Running Man specials so much more enduring. The concept alone was enough to hook viewers, and the additional methods of identifying the past and present members just made it so much better.

The episode had everything from an exciting nametag ripping battle between two of Running Man's Commanders, Gary and Jong-kook, plus, Suk-jin's first ever kill of the Commander, which only makes this episode so much more memorable.

Rewatchability: 8/10
Specialness: 9/10
Overall Score: 8.5/10

#2 Running Man Prison Break (Episode 91)

Put 7 Running Man members in jail for absurd reasons and watch as they try to break out. Put in a few gold bars and watch as the Running Man members throw themselves at each other to betray. Finally include a familiar water-gun toting spy into the mix and you'll have this amazingly put together episode.

From Yoomes Bond's water gun outs to the Commander's second jailbreak, this episode brilliantly mixed comedy and thrilling spywork to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the episode. 

Rewatchability: 9/10
Specialness: 9/10
Overall Score: 9/10

#1 Running Man Superpowers (Episode 74)

What I love about the Running Man Survival series is that the Running Men didn't have to hold back for the guests because there were none. Everyone wanted to win to show that they were the best Running Man so they went all out. Tricks, lies, half-formed allies...everything good about Running Man came out from the members.

The Superpower episode was that and more. Unlike the Avengers episode mentioned above, this episode focused on the characters that the fans had come to know and love, and gave them superpowers to supplement character development.

Without the hassle of guest-tending, the Running Man members went all out. Some members, like the SpartAce Couple strategized, others like the Betrayal Club, manipulated and betrayed.

It is also one of the better episodes in the later half of Running Man, and frequently put into lists of the BEST Running Man episodes of all time.

Rewatchability: 10/10
Specialness: 9/10
Overall Score: 9.5/10

Do you agree with this list? Or do you think I missed out on some Running Man Specials on this list? Leave them in the comment section below!


Note: Running Mondays will be on break next week (17 August 2015).
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