But in this week's column, I attempt to do just that. I'm choosing 10 of my favorite Running Man episodes. It's been quite difficult for me to just choose 10 because honestly, I've enjoyed every single one of the episodes up till now. The episodes below are listed randomly; it's difficult enough for me to choose only 10 episodes without having to list them out from my favorite to least favorite.
Oh, I also have to tell you beforehand that the 10 episodes are not limited to only 10 episodes per se. I'm lumping some of the episodes together, just to make more space to stuff in extra episodes. Yeah, I'm making my own life easier.
Note: These episodes are chosen as my own personal preference. If you would like to see which episodes the PDs chose as their favorite, you can go here.
#10 Thailand (Ep. 50-51), Beijing (Ep. 61-62) and Hong Kong (Ep. 72-73) Races
One of the most special things about Running Man is that they don't just stay in one place and show you the same old places over and over again. Week in, week out, there was a different place for the races, mostly in Korea. For a non-resident, I really enjoyed "sightseeing" as the Running Man did their races. So, it was extra special when the Running Men went overseas. Thailand was the first overseas stop, followed by Beijing and Hong Kong. Having never been to Thailand or Beijing, I was also on sightseeing mode. They brought out the food, the places to visit, the highlights and the massive fanbase. Plus, the races were quite amazing as well, showcasing the landmarks of each of the countries they were visiting.
It makes me wonder what would happen if Running Man were to ever come to Malaysia.
#9 SNSD Special (Ep. 63-64)
One of my favorite episodes of all time is episode 63. First off, it was SNSD, every hot blooded male's secret (or not so secret) fantasy. Pair them up with the Running Men and the perfect episode is born. I mean, who didn't like the pairings? I loved the Gary-Jessica pairing as well as the HaHa-Taeyeon pairing, which brought out a different side of the Running Men.
Karaoke singing, buying couple things and the most rushed picnic ever made this episode both funny and cute in a way. The Couple Race concept was genius, but the ending was quite a letdown. I was expecting a closer race. Then again, it's SNSD. It would have been better if Tiffany and the rest were there as well though.
#8 Running Man Survival Series (Ep. 42, 74)
If I have one grouse with Running Man, it's that the later episodes tend to have the Running Men favor letting the guests win. If you've watched the episodes from the beginning, you'd have noticed that in the earlier episodes, the Running Men were hardcore and would do (almost) anything to get a Running Ball to escape from punishment. 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 (ep. 74) was also one of the better episodes in the later half of Running Man.
I still crack up every time I watch Kwang-soo use his Death Note skill and how Suk-jin couldn't win even with 3 name tags. Also, I especially enjoyed how Gary won both the Survival series, highlighting him as one of the best Running Men there is.
#7 Park Ji-sung Special (Ep. 95-97)
There's nothing I love more than football. The Park Ji-sung episode was the first ever Running Man episode I watched. In fact, you can say that I began watching Running Man because I saw that Park Ji-sung was going to be in it. Episode 95 did not have Park Ji-sung in it, aside from him giving out the missions, but the 2 episodes after that was just all Park Ji-sung. One of my favorite moments in this 3-parter was the superpower football match in episode 96. Seeing the powers all the Running Men got and used for football, and the inclusion of the super cute IU made it all worth watching.
Episode 97 also featured the Running Men in Thailand again for the Asian Dream Cup. Kim Jong-kook and Gary got to play in a football match alongside football stars like Rio Ferdinand, Park Ji-sung and Gary's long lost brother, North Korean footballer Jong Tae-Se. Park Ji-sung highlighted his variety skills in all three episodes, proving that once he retires from football, he'll have something to fall back on.
#6 Tru-Gary Show (Ep. 60)
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 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. 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 brilliantly done.
#5 Fav. Monday Couple Moment (Ep. 46)
There's nothing much in this episode, except for one of my favorite Monday Couple moments. This is when the Monday Couple were chosen to receive the couple ring during the "Find the Married Couples in Office" game. Seeing Gary call Ji-hyo "honey" and Ji-hyo responding to that with a hug just gets me every time. If you don't already know, I ship the Monday Couple. Hard.
#4 Great Seer Special (Ep. 116)
One of the most recent episodes. To make it onto this list really requires it to be good, and good it is. The Running Men are able to see into their futures and change it accordingly in an epic race to defeat the other Running Men. What makes this episode amazing is the absurdity of it all. Yes, it's weird that this absurd concept is what makes the episodes great, but you wouldn't know unless you watched it. It's so funny that whenever one Running Man decides to change their future, everyone else has to just fall back into line without any complaints. There are tons of funny moments, like the Running Man members getting worried that Gary wouldn't be coming.
There were also crazy ajummas running to surround the members every time they looked into the future. The final battle between Gary and Ji Jin-hee was quite a good one as well, again, with a twist. Overall, it's just pure fun. Sadly, the following episode 117 is nothing to shout about.
#3 Running Man Hunting w. Choi Min-soo (Ep. 52, 69)
Any Running Man fan would know who the Running Man Hunter is. Choi Min-soo, the name rings hollowly in the head of every Running Man member and staff. He came, he saw, he conquered. Part 1 was one of my favorite episodes. 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 like a madman. Part 2: Grasshopper Hunting was even better. One of the sequels which was actually better than the first. Seeing Jae-suk get tickled, wearing the grasshopper and even the VJ get terrified was all worth it.
No one messes with the Running Man Hunter and gets away with it. In fact, this week's episode (ep. 118) will be featuring the Running Man Hunter as well. It's one of the most anticipated episodes for me because I want to see how badly the Running Men get scared by the Hunter. Again.
#2 Gary Knows (Ep. 81)
After Gary won the second Survival series, he won himself a trip to Europe. This episode showcases the entire whirlwind journey through Europe, and the rest of the members must find out everything about the trip from Gary, who is both jetlagged and extremely blank at the situation. This episode is yet another episode in which the Running Man crew embark on an overseas trip, if only as tourists. But this trip allows us as the viewers to also experience the whirlwind journey that Gary and a few other PDs had as they blew past Europe. This episode is also notable for being the only individual episode which weakling Lee Kwang-soo won. Yes, I was very surprised too.
#1 Sherlock Holmes Special (Ep. 79)
I've been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since forever, and a mix of both Running Man and Sherlock Holmes is almost like a dream come true. There is the weirdest comedy group which is made up of a Chinese (?) sounding guy and a man who is dressed up like a dog, but never gets out of character.
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. This is one of the only episodes which has Ji Suk-jin as the main character, but sadly, he still lost at the end, highlighting him as one of the weakest members of Running Man. But we all knew that already right?
So those are my favorite Running Man episodes. What are your favorite episodes? Leave a comment below.