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Why Have "Running Man" Ratings Dropped?

Running Man is a popular Korean variety show that features a revolutionary "urban adventure" format.

Running Man is a popular Korean variety show that features a revolutionary "urban adventure" format.

"Running Man," Korea's most popular Sunday variety program for over two years, has been slipping in the ratings. Although that in itself is not a cause for panic, it is a cause for concern. The producers have to consider that they are being beaten by shows that were actually inspired by their format. Furthermore, they are being beaten by newer shows with newer casts who, unlike Running Man members, haven't had the time to bond and develop the same sort of chemistry.

1N2D was the closest thing on television to Running Man when Running Man first premiered. But 1N2D was never a competition-oriented show. It centered more on the characters and the crazy things they did in simple situations. Then Running Man came along with its nail-biting and breathtaking games. Suddenly, variety shows in their time slot started hyping up their challenges. In other words, other shows set out to beat Running Man at its own game—and they're succeeding.

Every show goes through this, of course. Even Friends and Oprah have lost their spots at some point in their run. They, of course, regained popularity after some fine-tuning. Running Man can also get the number-one spot again, if it does the right things.

1: It’s That Time in Its Existence

The third year is usually a transition phase for TV shows, and that's where RM is right now.

When a show first begins, viewers are eager to see where it will go. But by-and-large, by the third year, members have reached the "potential" that viewers were waiting for. That's essentially where the characters are now. Each member has developed his or her skills in name-tag tearing, their signature game, and tactical planning. It has really become unpredictable who will win. The characters have hit their stride.

It’s also what happened to 1N2D. By its fourth year, you could feel the members were starting to plateau. The format of the show didn’t change, and eventually the members left.

Running Man members are exactly at that stage. They have reached their peak and have nowhere to go. Not that they are doing badly; it’s just that they are doing the same thing every week which makes things predictable:

  • Lee Kwang Soo (LKS) will "disturb" Kim Jong Kook (KJK)
  • KJK will exert his physical strength
  • The Monday Couple (MC) will have some sort of moment
  • Ji Suk Jin (JSJ) will be the weakest link
  • Song Ji Hyo will always get the advantage of being a woman

These repetitive factors are compounded because the cast is put in the same situation every week. It is always a "race," so you know when the above-mentioned things are going to happen.

Best of the Best

The show's Best of the Best (BotB) is often regarded as a turning point. In episode 74, each Running Man member was given a "superpower" which, if used correctly, would help him or her win the game. The first two BotB were won by KG and the third one was won by Haha.

2: Characters Are Also in Their Transition Stage

In 1N2D, Eun Ji Won (EJW) left because he outgrew his show and his character. There simply was nowhere for him to go. The show could have saved him if there was some sort of an adjustment. They could have changed the format a bit or added new members who would allow him to evolve his character.

Running Man members are reaching a similar situation to the one EJW encountered. Granted, it’s more complicated as members have two personas each. They have both the characters they play in the games and their comedic characters. But both have reached a plateau.

In games:

  • YJS is the leader
  • Haha is the schemer
  • LKS is the betrayer
  • KJK is the strongest
  • KG is the unexpected hero
  • SJH is the brains
  • JSJ is the weakest

In comedy:

  • YJS is the initiator
  • Haha is YJS’s second-in-command
  • KG is the witty one
  • KJK is YJS’s match
  • JSJ recently showed body gags
  • LKS is the wild one
  • SJH is not funny

These characters have reached their full potential. The cast is also getting into that stage when they need and want change or growth. The question is how:

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  • Haha lost his playboy character when he got married and seems lost about what to become next.
  • KG was on his way to becoming a casanova when MC was brought back. The problem is that MC is becoming predictable too.
  • KJK has realized everyone is catching up to him.
  • SJH has always had a problem with her interpersonal skills, and although she has improved a little, it is not enough.
The Zombie Episode is also a fan favorite as it put all seven members alone in a building for a night. This proves that the guests aren't the selling point of the show; it's the cast.

The Zombie Episode is also a fan favorite as it put all seven members alone in a building for a night. This proves that the guests aren't the selling point of the show; it's the cast.

3: The Games and Guests

Then there are the games. There are certain games that are being repeated far too many times. The dodgeball and food games are two examples. The problem is that it’s rare for these games to evolve or be fine-tuned. Needless to say, it becomes boring.

Pair this up with recent guests who are either too weak or too strong, and you have a disastrous episode for the members. Episode 149 featured older comediennes, for example. Based on history, comedians bring the best laughter to an episode—they help the male cast members relax, especially when they are already friends with cast members. Bringing in female older comediennes, however, didn’t turn out as well as expected. The members had to be conscious of their manners towards the older women and the older women didn’t attempt to level it off.

Running Man has also filmed in different countries, and each time the cast was literally mobbed. In Hong Kong, the production team was forced to cancel filming because there were too many people—a testament to the show's international popularity.

1: Be Open to Elements Besides Competition

This is on both the cast and the PDs.

In the 150th episode, the cast played the Avengers and were supposed to be trained and tested to see whether they were ready to save the world. In the last game, they were asked to battle each other, but in a twist, guests came to battle them.

It was an opportunity for the members to work together to battle what was arguably the strongest set of guests to ever set foot on RM. They didn’t. The members ended up battling each other which clearly demonstrated what RM has become: a competition-oriented show.

Like the Avengers in movies and comics, their individual powers weren’t a match to the strength of their opponents, but they would have been unbeatable together. Unfortunately, after deciding to work together, one of them betrayed the team, which caused the crumbling of the whole team. Instead of the betrayer admitting the betrayal and saving the team, they resorted to lies even after being confronted with the truth. Instincts, which they had developed after years of competing, forced them to turn against each other.

Some rechanneling is needed.

Running Man has also attracted high-profile guests such as international action star, Jackie Chan.

Running Man has also attracted high-profile guests such as international action star, Jackie Chan.

2: Slow Down and Re-Bond

In the early days of RM, the casts participated in activities that weren't necessarily a competition against each other, such visiting the aquarium and doing challenges where everyone had to work together. It’s probably time to slow down a bit and re-bond the team. It’s time to remind both the members and the viewers about what RM is supposed to be: a bunch of crazy guys having fun who have become a family.

There is no need to change the format to become more like other variety shows such as Infinity Challenge. Running Man has its own identity and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just that they’ve been running on top gear for so long now, they need to give the machine a rest.

It’s time to remind the members that, although they will still need to battle each other, they can also work together when the time calls for it.

3: Check-in With the Members

The PDs need to sit down with each member and just talk with them where they want to take their characters and what they need in order to figure out how to help. They may be doing this already, but if they are, it’s not working. The PDs need to help the members evolve instead of stubbornly sticking with what they have banked on in the past years, such as LKS’s, betrayal, Haha’s scheming, and MC.

4: Think More

The show needs new games, new approaches to old games, and guests who will help the members. The think tank needs to do more thinking.


zuzu on April 20, 2020:

Disclaimer; i love RM and for that reason i'm criticising it bcos i want future shows to learn from RM's mistakes to be better. Like i grew up with How I Met Your Mother and loved it but i won't say that it has no flaws(it had many). I think that the fact that we can criticize it has lead to future shows being better like Brooklyn 99 which ditch the laugh tracks, obnoxious characters and touched on controversial topics like racism with respect. And that episode where rosa was facing an active shooter and the whole squad we're freaking out and jake tried to be a hero but eventually grew up. That was gold.

I criticize RM so that future variety shows ditch the excessive editing, bad & unrealistic scripting and studio micromanagement. Who knows maybe we'll get the Brooklyn 99 of variety

zuzu on April 20, 2020:

I've been rewatching RM in this time of quarantine starting from the 1st ep and rn i'm at ep 72. I originally started watching from ep 42 when i was 11 yo and on & off watched the series until i stop completely at around ep 300(not bcos i hate it or anything, i just lost interest). I'm gonna argue why RM lost it's not touch not after ep 300, not 200, not 100 but after ep 50

I think the reason why RM is getting worse is scripting. Don't get me wrong i love good scripted episode such as ep 52 with min soo or the superpower episode. However, around ep 50 it's like the RM all got dumber(it's not them, it's the script forcing them to be dumb). Like in the earlier episodes we have KJK actually using his brain and strength to complete challenges which EARNED him the title commander but like when you watch 68 he just stand in the middle of the building when all the RM are eliminated, he just stand there making a call for the guest too easily rip his nametag. I'm sorry but that's just not KJK. He's not dumb enough to stand around without covering his nametag when he's the last man alive. in ep 51, he alone somehow found the hidden money bags without any scenes searching for it which is BS, it's too damn obvious it's scripted. YJS in ep 13 outsmarted and outran 4 others( including KJK ) which cement his name as Yooruce Willis but in later episodes he just lost all that inteligence and stamina and almost becomes a punching bag when he's suppose to be both Yooruce Willis and a punchin bag

The early unscripted episodes were gold. The reason why JSJ is the weakest is because he's old and in those episode you simply run run run until you got caught. It made sense for him to be the weakest but like in later episodes where everyone just stand around and don't even fight off someone trying to rip their nametag, JSJ might as well be a normal member but no they force the weakest link trope even until ep 300 which is boring as hell and pretty disrepectful(honestly JSJ must have a lot of patience to be scripted to fail for almost 400 episodes)

Some of my favourite guest and unscripted episodes are ep 26(Bo-young figuring out the 1 x X was awesome, ep 27( TVXQ actually change masks just to win which is my fav part of early ep, guests and cast using their brain to win), ep 29(absolute show of the casts' teamwork and KJK brains & not to forget the challenge was hard as heck), ep 30(seung ri ran like hell, escape thrice, changed robes countless time), ep 31(teamwork), ep 35(daesung and yong hwa didn't win but in that ep they both ran more than all of the female guests who 'won' combined(this is just a metaphor , don't @ me). In these eps, all the cast ran(hence Running Man) and the guest were genuinely terrified. The win felt so satisfying no matter who won. The non-challenges were also awesome like the stomach singing in ep 30 and the aquarium photoshoot in ep 29 which humanise the cast, they genuinely look like a family

The early RM also humanises itself by incorporating the VJs like Kwon Ryeol, Haha's coordi, the legendary 1-2 punch and the PDs in their skits. I still remember when YJS and LKS tried to cheat by sending a message to the others about Haha being a spy in ep 46 and they were caught by the head PD and he was so mad at them. It shows how competitive the challenges were(that scene was gold, i don't know if it was scripted or not cuz i don't at all bcos even if it was scripted, it was something that could easily happen even it was not scripted at all. YJS was very competitive and smart to the point of sending a fake PD message to Gary in ep 45 which makes him so fun.

That all disappear the later on the show goes, YJS basically becomes a punching bag for KJK, KJK loses all his genius moments and only get to kept his muscleman persona, JSJ & Haha were a great 2 for the 1-2. YJS and KJK starts the joke or punchline and Haha & JSJ furthers it. It shows how much of a master of variety all 4 of them are. And all 4 of them were not afraid to change personas. JSJ early personas were awesome & he keep changing them to improve the whole dynamic. Haha was not afraid of being childish & naughty to set up or change the mood. But after ep 50, JSJ also becomes punching bag for the whole team. Haha kept his persona until marriage, after that he becomes a badboy like in ep 123 where he practically bullied Han Hyo Joo(one of my all time favourite, HHJ and Haha was brilliant as heck). He dipped much much later on where he sort of fades into the background(maybe due to the fatigue of being a father)

Now for LKS, Gary, SJH, Joong-ki & Lizzy. LKS, Gary & SJK started out like cardboard, they were pretty boring and robotic. However, and this is why i like RM so much, they grow and become better at variety. LKS's framer persona makes him stand out bcos he counters his hyungs constant bullying with his own comedic punches(this is so much better than the hyungs bullying him and him just like becomes angry and then laughed at like a child which is boring after awhile and sort of makes him pathetic instead of some one that you'd root for like the framer persona)

Gary were pretty wooden throughout the early episodes. But he soon finds his groove such as in the SNSD episode. He used to spase out when questioned by another member but he later develop awesome counters and comedic timing. I didn't watch his farewell ep or the eps before it but i understand he wants to leave. He's probably tired of doing the same thing over and over again. I think that RM should've ended around ep 250. But SBS know how much of a goldmine RM is so the show is stretched out as long as possible which sucks to be honest. The cast is obviously tired and looked like they could retire from weekly shows

Next, SJK. He was so awkward early on, he becomes the token flower boy and somehow he's immune to being scolded for failing. Like LKS gets scolded since he's the maknae, but like SJK is the same age but the cast was like not allowed to scold him or something. The editing also cuts him short a lot. BUT DAMN did he improve later on, the few ep before his departure really shows how much of a talent he is at variety, he had quips and actual emotions. Really sucks that he had to leave before we could see his variety prime

SJH, there's a reason she's called Mong Ji-Hyo, she's so awkward and non-responsive that YJS had to try to force her to respond. She sucks just as much as SJK early on but damn did she become a powerhouse. Her sassyness, sister-like attitude, angry outbursts, nagging JSJ & LKS when on the same team all made her one a great variety talent. No longer does she need YJS and Gary to crutch her to secure airing time

Lizzy, a tragic character to be honest, RM did her dirty, she was awesome as a guest in her first 2 episode. Was treated like one of the cast when she joined but a lot of her scenes were cut. She & SJK were sidelined so hard when the cast has 9 members total. She wasn't allowed to grow & left the group too early. If she had as much time as SJH or SJK, she'd probably would reach her prime. Try to imagine in another world where RM had 9 full members and simply juggle members according to filming & rest schedule keeping it fresh and different every week. The no guest tag-ripping episodes would be awesome with 9 of them......probably, we'll never know

To end, RM has lost its original attraction a long long time ago. People all around the world fell in love with the unscripted episodes where you see KJK running like a spartan & YJS escaping like Bruce Willis. Then they keep loving the scripted ones bcos some of the script were genuinely awesome and even the bad scripts can be awesome if tyou're a kid who knows nothing. But when for 300+ episodes the same things keep repeating, you'll just get tired of it over time. I don't think it's the casts' fault or even the PDs'. I think it's the SBS execs who micromanaged RM, telling the PD to not create new things for the cast and just keep using the same persona and storyline over and over again. Eventually the PD also got lazy as well and then the cast themselves just doesn't have the strength to do the same act every week.

Donjon on August 11, 2019:

I actually love somin and sechan. Somin is cute and gives the crew freshness. She also acts like a fan girl so episodes with only males doesn’t feel as awkward and se chan is the underrated guy who is not as weak as he seems. I also think he is funny. At least funnier than Gary. It seems like he was always trying to be cool and he was never acting stupid or funny. He was the most boring character for me and I think he realised it as well so he left.

- on January 10, 2019:

Many people are daying that SJH should leave RM, I disagree with that. Although she's not as funny as the other members, Jihyo could be funny at some moments. She does get special treatment as a woman, but at least her treatment wasn't as good as most female guests in RM where they treat them like princesses, SJH could act tomboyish. She's called ace for a reason, although she does cheat at times, it's mostly because she's smart.

Other than being strong, KJK's also smart and he can strategize.

I do agree that interactions in RM seemed forced, they do need to change their format somehow and make the show more interesting, but don't change the original casts because we've already lost Gary.

Vi on September 23, 2018:

So min is the reason I've stopped watching RM. Seriously, her screen time is so useless and unnecessary! Made it boring and annoying. She seems like a guest than a member.

fiy on April 17, 2018:

yes!the same game repeated over n over...the new members was so annoying...somin was acting cute..i admit she was cute but there is no one who can replace song ji's fact that she is suppose to be the only woman.somin always get most attention and lately ji hyo was rarely in the scene/camera..that se chan he was just so annoying...he always insult kwangsoo.i understand it was part of the comedy and variety show things but you were a new have to wait for a long to time and get along with them well...didn't he saw early eps of runningman...they insult,accused,bite,fight and so on when they already get along well...he has no manners and usually kwangsoo was the on who supposed to being closed with jongkook but this guy with no manners stole it...kick the both of them and take guest like you normally do or just make runningman season 2..all of the runningman member are getting older...haha need to take care of his kids..ji suk jin is to old now...jongkook had a pain at his knees,jihyo was tired with the filming thing...all of them need to rest....i know the members will really sad and doesnt want to be apart with each other but the fact that they need a rest cannot be ignored

zainab on February 09, 2018:

the games are repeated a hundred times and always the same things happen bc the games are based on the members skills. even the comedy is very forced now and it feels so fake now. there's too much of acting going on and the concept has changed so much from the start and it keeps getting more and more dramatic. i used to think the show was good but after watching a few episodes of 2d1n i couldn't go back to it. on rm they play too many games there's no time for bonding between members and guests.

AA on February 08, 2018:

Ya. I feel the new members are out of place. The show is especially alive when there are attractive female guests. They should hv bring younger casts to replace kang gary.

no hate :) on January 01, 2018:

i wish the new members will leave. they both have very interesting characters but running man is no longer the same anymore. i respect gary's decision to leave to focus on music but like srsly i don't think that was a good choice because he is being recognised for his variety skills more than his music. i really wish the two new "members" are removed or they have running man season 2.

RM4lyf on October 04, 2017:

You are correct. Yes, its declining. Why not have Song Jongki and Kang Gary in the show they were part of the originals, yeah?

H on May 15, 2017:

I laugh for all the other members gag expect for som min..she really weird n I don't really like her..can sbs just remove soo min..

neb.ula on May 13, 2017:

i miss kang gary so much

Grania on February 09, 2017:

RUNNING MAN is getting more interesting these days and good thing Jihyo eonni puts make-up on her face and her reaction is btter now. I laughed a lot watching the recent episode..too hilarious..saranghaeyo running man :)

Vic on February 04, 2017:

Jihyo is the only female on the show, going up against a bunch of guys and ya'll think she's boring?? She gets praized by the young female public of Korea because she has the courage of being in a show that constantly gives the members missions that require physical strenght and she's still there every week for the past 7 years. Haha once said in an interview that ALL of the members were at least once seriously injured becaue of a mission, can you imagine how much worst it might have been for SJH? How is being a girl an "advantage" in a country like South Korea? At least 60% of variety shows there are made by a full-male cast, just watch Knowing Brothers, Infinite Challenge, Flower Crew, Real Men, etc. And when there is ONE woman she still gets critized for being treated differently?? It's literally so rare to find a woman being so active and "dominant" in a korean variety show and people still wonder why Jihyo gets "special treatment". She should, cause she's one in a million in a country like that.

dumbanalysis101 on January 23, 2017:

There's nothing wrong with the members! It's the show that had a problem. I like every members of Running Man and I learned to love them. They got a great chemistry. It's the production of the show that become worse. It started at episode 145 -- I can't remember but I'm 50%. It's the episode where Running Man members and The Law of the Jungle members are competing each other.

There's the repetition of games, unoriginal or plain show concept, less suspense, many cutting scene of name-tag tearing stage and less brain teaser. The show would really be a success if they limit the games that have been used before. The show also let the members to compete each other -- unlike, the grasshopper episode -- that episode is so funny every time they invite scary guests.

Stupid analysis on December 26, 2016:

jihyo is funny with violence and everything you said is not true. kwangsoo betrays everyone and does not disturb Joongkook at all. The ratings dropped because the director changed and the show got boring. Joogki left because he had to go serve in the military and Gary left because of schedule. If you can tell me that you have watched every runningman episode ever just like I did. I m sure you will change and lots of those information. Kimjongkook may be strong but he also has strategy. Gary and Jihyo do have their moments but sometimes they partner with others. Yoojasuk is not the official leader. He is just the MC but he is not the leader. Sukjing might be weak but he doesn't always lose. Haha is not Jasuk's second commander. And this is not even a verified analysis. You can't just come on here and post an analysis that doesn't make sense.

Vvvvvvvvv on December 12, 2016:

I am fan of Running Man actually only from this year and I found RM through Train To Busan. Because of the main lead and thats when i fell in love with Korean Variety Show. And i watch finish all the RM ep at that moment (ep324). And i admit i prefer the starting of RM more than now. It shows more of their family relationships at the start.

Some relationships we definitely miss is ofc Kim Jong Kook & Haha (Uri Hyung and Ne Donsaeng). They are always the funny combo and you can actually see how they feel for each other and treat each other and it feels nice. U jus smile unknowingly. U love the relationships. And ofc kim jong kook and the 2 kids, haha and gary but gary is gone that cant happen...

I was hoping Lizzy and Joong Ki could come bck as permenant member especially on the last day of Gary fliming...wouldnt it be more heart-warming? After all, they were once a part of RM family!

And i can tell some of the cast isnt as happy as they use to be. They use to be more cheerful and more talkative. Maybe becuz of the ratings they feel down or what? But Yoo Jae Suk is always the leader trying to cheer them up with jokes and haha will help. LKS still looks fine. I mean he still has his acting career. And we all know KJK got back problem and he admitted that he does not get much screen time on RM as much now cux his bck problems is acting up and he cant show the strong side of him. If we watch ep 195, u know how much some of the cast suffer, such as SJH and KJK. That is one of the ep that made me cry even tho is a comedic variety show.

Anonymous on December 10, 2016:

You guys have to admit,Running man is getting boring these days,its too predictable and its becoming too unfair for people to accept.Even most of my friends said so.

1)Its really true Jihyo is getting advantage as a woman but what's making people pissed off is she was always called the ace and she cheated too but it was always easily overlooked.Its worse when the male cast is obviously going easy on her and then the show just made it look like she just won all by herself.

2)Teasingss on Kim Jong Kook,hey teasing is fine,others get teased too,but it sets me off when if I didn't remember wrongly,episode 155,Haha was the one who failed the mission,but the other cast voted on KJK to not get the hint just to 'tease' him.KJK may seem to be laughing it off but I know it hurts pride.Who won't.

3)Monday couple.Now every time I see their moments,its just cringy.Gary was obviously just trying to be funny and Jihyo OBVIOUSLY didn't like it.Their expressions were just downright awkward and trying their best to cooperate with one another.

Running Man was supposed to be funny and casual,but it becomes torturing to watch when every movement they do is to fulfill a purpose.Love lines on Jihyo and Gary and other male cast,them ganging up on KJK,Jihyo 'ace' moments,JSJ being weak and laughed at...I've watched running man for five years now and I'm really thinking on stopping.

Mighty X on December 06, 2016:

If you're realize that the recently episodes have been focusing on Lee Kwang Soo & Yoo Jae Suk too much than the guests and also making the other members like supporting casts especially Kim Jong Kook & Song Ji Hyo. I hope they're make some of the members to the leading role.

Aizumii on October 17, 2016:

I think they need to add more member

like a famous one or crazy strong but pretty girls

Anais on October 15, 2016:

Could anyone point me to sbs email address that pertains to this show? I want to send them 100,000 (or more!) signature to take out Suk Jin. He's a disgusting fellow with bad character and he just not a good example in this show. I wonder how does his kid and family face everyday having a father like that. Jinnjaa!

m on October 08, 2016:

This article was rude towards Song Ji hyo. No need to be blunt and say "She's not funny", "She gets the advantage because she's a girl". Of course, sometimes she has the advantage because she's a girl, but there are lots of times she won because of her own strength and brains. Ji hyo is funny as well. Not as much as other RM members, especially because the others have more experience in variety (Haha, KJK, Jaesuk), but she is still funny.

Anonymous. on July 10, 2016:

Replacing characters won't solve any problem. How would anyone know that replacing characters won't make anything awkward for everyone?

During the X men era, the rating was brought up because of a love line. Why not bring Yoon Eun Hye as a guest into running man? Minus the too much teasing for Kim Jong Kook?

And just let Kookie kick ass.

app on June 29, 2016:

@Wendy No that's not the reason, you guys keep saying change the NEW producers; they're already new. You just haven't given them the chance. You think only letting the new staff try 10 episodes means you already say fire them from their job? Ridiculous. You try knowing how to be a cashier on the first day WITHOUT knowing how to use a till! You never got the chance to get used to it, and get fired by the boss on first day. That's how your comment feels like when you tell new PDs to get fired.

Also, the episodes started getting funnier again, better than the previous PD's episodes. You know what happened to the ex-PD right after he said he stands behind supporting RM? Suddenly leaves to help out China RM! What kind of support is that? It was just about opportunities and money.

All these people always saying Song Ji Hyo needs to leave, you guys just wish you stood in her position with 6 other guys. All girls internationally and in Korea like her because there aren't many female variety girls that can stand up as a tomboyish (sort of dominant) character with the guys. Some knets even complain about this why does the culture of shows always have the girl be at the back obediently while guys pre-dominantly talk together?

You can not solely blame the members, of course they have to try their best in getting back the show too. But another situation is there needs to be a lot or a complete change of format and content. Something that isn't forced but refreshing their characters again. Like Gyeong Gyu said, Ji Hyo should go crazy and start some random twist in character; a betrayer even.

I feel the production crew has to try harder in doing better content, even though the old Executive Chief producer says they had already tried (when they didn't do much). Maybe the Chief producer needs to be the one to change if he's the one holding the limitations back. Maybe even the PD of youth over flowers that I've read.

There are so many ways the cast and production can get the show back with much more content than the repeated ones, they just need to step it up.

Wendy on June 28, 2016:

I think the reason the ratings dropped is not about the cast but the new producer. It is him that makes the show kinda boring...I was very eager to watch running man everyday,but since 1 episode comes out every week,I just rewatch the episodes...Although I rewatch,when I watch,I still feel nervous,excited and what going to happen next...but now,ever since the producer changed,the episodes have become very boring,and every episode will always overshot till the next episode. This made me really lose interest in running man...PLEASE DUN CHANGE THE CAST...THEY ARE THE PERFECT ONES IN THIS SHOW...IN FACT,THEY ARE THE PERFECT PEOPLE FOR THIS PERFECT SHOW...Change the producer...he is the major problem of why the ratings dropped

RMlover on June 18, 2016:

I think the reason why the ratings dropped is because the running man members don't interact with each other that much anymore. Their missions now are all about competing each other which is kinda boring for me coz the number one reason why I love the show in the first place is because of their bond and their humour! Also, I agree with some of the comments about SJH should be leaving running man! I mean, I love SJH believe me but when I watched the episode of running man where they invited male guests and together with the male running man members, they were given missions and were ranked from least to most popular in the last part. I think that episode is one of their best episodes because it made me laugh so hard and I didn't have to worry about the male rm members going easy on SJH coz she was just the mc on that episode! Eventhough SJH is wise and the ace of RM, she still can't compete with the other members when it comes to humour! Like for example, on episode 162 where LKS and JSJ were competing to get to the platform in the middle of the pool and LKS went as far as even pulling JSK's shorts just to stop him from getting to the platform. That part was really funny for me and that's the kind of humour I like to see from running man but they can't do that often because of SJH being a girl and they can't do that to her! So I really think that SJH should leave RM but not for too long tho. I just want her to take a break just so the other male members can go on with those kinds of body gags without having to worry about adjusting for SJH. Then when the ratings start to go up again, that's when SJH should come back to RM coz that's the time when the audience/viewers will start to miss SJH and it will excite them to find out that Running man will have SJH as a member again! That's just my opinion tho so it's ok if you guys disagree with me.

Anon on May 02, 2016:

They are better right now.. Keep up

Anon on March 10, 2016:

Like any show that lasts for a while RM is a victim of it's own success. I'm not even up to the episodes people are discussing and the show has been on a steady decline for a while based on where I'm at (avengers episode...terrible). The last memorable episode (for me) was where the members worked with college kids on building DIY boats. Why was it memorable? Because momentarily the members broke character and genuinely seemed to try their best as compared to the normal of getting in all the usual jokes and such.

As you mentioned all the characters are stale, all the interactions feel so forced and disingenuous, and every episode follows the same arc. When that happens week after week the only people who will really enjoy watching are hard core fans of the cast (which is a big number but obviously not enough to hold ratings).

The episodes in the beginning were the most interesting because everyone was slowly but surely developing their character. But since that's happened the show has as you put it "plateaued." The argument from network is if it works don't change it (even a significant ratings drops still turns a profit, considering their licensing deals, and only when that stops happening will they pull the plug) and therefore the cast is doing what's comfortable and easy (same gags, same interactions, and so forth).

The problem is if you really want to survive as a show (especially one of this nature) you need to be one step ahead, and sadly I think their approach has put them a step back. It's a weird show because you don't get the sense that it's "scripted" from start to end. Maybe they've decided a winner in advance and know the meaning of the hints but then it's up to the cast to creatively and convincingly get to the conclusion. Early on they did a really good job (because you didn't know what was going to happen) and the episodes of just the cast were the ones you looked forward to the most. But recently (based on where I am) the cast has just been terrible... rehashing the same story lines, same twists, and not in a fresh way, to a point where the guests are more interesting (and usually the guests aren't that interesting). And again it's not that their bad at what they do they just have nowhere to go. I know people will disagree but this is where there's a difference between hardcore fans and the average fan with the remote unsure of what to tune into to. RM is like a failing restaurant that's just hanging on because it still gets a decent amount of "regulars."

I know this will be a very unpopular opinion but the show has two options to be really interesting again. 1) change the concept OR 2) change the cast. Everyone is too set in their ways (cast and crew) to a point where as a viewer (regardless of culture) it just gets annoying. I'm sorry but KJK is not that athletic (difference between strength and athleticism), SJH is not good at everything (although she is good at a lot of things so please let us make the determinations ourselves), and Gary & Haha (well I honestly don't even know their purpose at all anymore). At one time Gary was great because he had no clue what he was doing now that he does... I don't know it just doesn't work.

As one other commenter mentioned I think the show really F'd up with Lizzy early on. This show is all about the cast setting each other up for gags, story lines, etc. and for whatever reason they didn't throw her anything once she was considered a permanent member (maybe they weren't happy about someone so young getting the opportunity, IDK). Maybe they did and she just really blew it (thus it was cut), but I've seen her on other things and find her quite entertaining and funny (would have been a good fit). But of course as the youngest (by a lot) she's going to feel uncomfortable and need the cast to put her at ease, it never felt like they did that. Plus having a young female idol on the show maybe would help loosen some of the other idol guests up (they routinely care a LOT more about image and the episodes suffer accordingly). Or with the young idol character they wouldn't need to have guests so often.

Every once in a while there's an episode that really holds your attention but they're starting to become further and further apart. Again, I'm writing this having just seen the avengers episode so it's possible the show gets much better.

Anon on February 08, 2016:

@Hye I really think you're just one of JiHyo's haters and bashers. Do you even seriously watch RM? I'm not a huge fan of her myself but Running Man itself is declining. The program and the concept itself are declining.

And what? Refusing screen time? Where the f did you get that idea from? I mean, its her or the PD's way to give screen time to their guest. Why are you even thinking backwards? Youre just spreading unnecessary rumours. Ji hyo is like the rose among the thorns. All the chaos from these 6 guys and then theres always the blank and calm ji hyo.

Oh and please dont talk about Lizzy. She's boring as f. I wasnt even aware that she was on the show. I completely forgot her.

I don't think theres another more suitable woman for running man than ji hyo.

Whatever happens, I just hope that running man will get it all back. The show will always be my first and forever korean variety show favorite. Fighting!

Tina on February 03, 2016:

Hello everybody this is 2016 commentor. I personally agreed to many of the topics touched in the article. Running Man started out wonderfully, but it is been declining in the variations of games and character. As of 2016, RM is repeatedly inviting a range of guests: idols, elderly actors, athletes, and other random selections. Most of the guests cannot entertain. They require assistance from the RM crew which results in exaggerated or obvious jokes. Since nearly all of us reading this article are international viewers, we do not know the guests as in depth and see them as "invited guest." In addition, RM is simply not "Running Man" anymore. The cast does not run but challenge each other in small mini games such as getting through mazes and searching for the kidnapped member. RM is relying heavily on technology and the members to liven up the episodes.

Individually, it seems each member is glued to their concept and try to fit that role. However, it isn't original. The comedy is forced and thought beforehand to make the scene more comedic.

Running Man achieved superb ratings in the past, and it is difficult to compare to the past- but at this rate RM is reaching rock bottom.

Anon on January 30, 2016:

Originally it was a legit running game show

But it degraded from the original title and motive after the first few episodes.

Krizia Francisco on January 21, 2016:

I heard the reason why Running Man is still on is because of the fans from overseas. I'm sure that is over exaggeration. Though I do admit some plots are very reptitive and I couldn't care less about missions(particularly with episodes of too much women), I still enjoy watching it because of the interactions and chemistry! Always has me laughing off my chair! Though there are childish moments, it doesnt seem to be all the time

Anon1423 on December 30, 2015:

Though I can agree that the episode plots are starting to dull, I still enjoy Running Man as much as I did when I first watched it. People can complain that the games have become boring and repetitive, but the characters and their interactions are still unique. Running man has always been with me through my difficult situations and provided me with never-ending laughter. It will always hit home for me no matter what games they play and what guests they may invite.

All the members are so special to me.

Mr waffel on December 28, 2015:

I think all the idiot hater that comment bad about all running man member is just childish and fyi lee kwang soo is a great person

Okay on December 27, 2015:

@Hye, your incorrect and ridiculous conjectures can probably sustain 500 tabloids.

Sarah on December 22, 2015:

I don't know why people like just some people in RM cast and hate some others. I'm still enjoying watching RM as I feel the joy from all 7 people . Each of them has contributed a lot to make this show so successful even though some have to play bad guys role. LOVE YOU RUNNING MAN!!! Please stay with us as long as possible.

Kami-chan on December 15, 2015:

This post is on point and I agree on all bit sand pieces but the comments are gold. Everyone has bias and hated casts but all of us just really wants RM to survive and last just like IC. Like some RM fans I somewhat dislike JSJ for many reasons (ex. his envy for YJS, dragging his partners down specially LKS, and most of the time; useful only for bullying purposes) BUT at the same time, I cant think of RM without him as he is definitely essential.

IF ONLY this whole post and all the comments are in korean/hangul and posted on naver so a prod crew will stumble on it.

Hye on December 14, 2015:

Just a quick note (after scrolling down and reading several other comments): Adding members may not be the solution at all. It's not about adding. I think it is more about replacing.

I read somewhere below that there should be another female member to compete with Song Ji Hyo as she always seems to b the ace or shining star ALL THE TIME regardless how much she contributes to the team or the show itself. It is true that there is favoritism in play. There is one episode where two of the highest RM directors become judges and admit to being big fans of Ji Hyo; and that they would do anything to keep her on the show. To return their compliment and support, Ji Hyo took a selfie with each of the directors and rewarded them her autograph.

They could have done all this behind the cameras. I don't understand why they did all that when the cameras were rolling. I guess they were trying to prove something to the viewers (?)

They pick her team to win although her team didn't do very well. Hence, the production team (and some of the members) eulogize Ji Hyo (verbally and in print, on screen I mean).

We can add another female cast. Remember Lizzy?? Back on those days, Lizzy was always around and standing close to her but Ji Hyo never tried to interact or make any eye contact with Lizzy. She never once turned to Lizzy for a laugh or a quick chat. It was as if Lizzy was invisible to her. I thought Lizzy was a pretty good addition. But of course, she eventually left. I would too if I were her.

Another example:

When the guests are all female, pretty and young *and popular*, Ji Hyo would refuse an appearance citing all kinds of excuses (because she knows she will lose out, attention wise) or minimize her own airtime by being quiet/staying in the corner all by herself.

But when it comes to young/senior male celebrities (or there is a balance in gender) as the guests, she becomes extra competitive, loud, flirty as if trying to impress and stand out.

It's easy to conclude that Ji Hyo despises competition. She enjoys her status as the only female ace. After all, RM is her only recurring project. She doesn't get many offers for dramas/movies anymore due to influx of young talented female idols in acting.. The most she does is photo shoot and that is it. So I guess it is only normal to try to protect her sole position.

Hye on December 14, 2015:

@Xypher Farrell Hi there, I really enjoy reading your article about Why Running Man Ratings drop. I couldn't agree with you more. You're so spot-on!! For every character (or member, shall I say) you describe to the games, the guests and the format. I do enjoy watching RM but it can get either very predictable or flat sometimes. I don't watch episode by episode anymore. I skip a couple here and there, considering who the guests are.

I also find that the interaction among members seems forced, too (if not, repetitive). Thank you for pointing it out and putting my thoughts into words in a such a well-written and coherent piece! I'll be back for more of your articles.

Avid fan on December 13, 2015:

Kim Jong Kook has no value in RM!? Really Kate? He and Yoo Jae Suk have been together since X Man/Family Outing including Haha. He has no value!? Are you saying that Ji Suk Jin is more valuable than him? Kim Jong Kook has more nicknames than others. That is a clear indication that he IS valuable in Running Man.

Tsu Yuan Nieh from Newcastle, UK on December 08, 2015:

This post has been around for a while and I don't think the characters and games are actually the issues as they have been around for the past two years. I think they can keep those characters (it is becoming tradition, changing tradition had been proven bad) or the games (I still found some of the games funny even repetitive). I think it is the set up of the stage becomes boring and some of the games, you know they won't be successful because they cannot finish the show if they beat the game too early so they fixed it; you can see it is fake.

They were pretty weak in the first year. The name tag ripping game was popular for a while and then evolved to finding guest games but it was extremely poor. However, somehow they had a few episodes were really funny because they were unexpected. The last a few episodes simply lost that element. The 100 vs 100 episode was exciting (only the name tag ripping part, the people introduction was way too long) because they were unexpected.

What they need to do is to bring back the surprising element, nothing else really need to change. There are some older games last one whole episode that I really would like to watch them again but with different guests (obviously) for example the one with words hidden in the name tag to find treasure game. Some of the treasure hunting games were really fun but only appeared couple episodes; those kind of games can have a lot of unexpected element in it.

Some of the treasure hunting alike games they played in China were fun with KJK being a spy and the money thief in Thailand. I think those games can be played for a few more times. They may not be played in the overseas anymore; some budget issues?

The problem with short missions; not only they are repetitive. You just know the outcome and a lot of times, they are not really short in real life so they have to edit some of the missions out; that is not particularly fun considering there are so many things missing from us. If they still want to keep short missions (they probably would, large missions take planning), let different teams choose them and the highest scoring team win the whole team. At the moment, they do different mission but in the end they always play a bigger, final mission and the final one will be fake. I think just let the better team win and even if they dominate, that is fine. At least it is true to the viewers.

opinny on November 19, 2015:

wt is running mans producer's email?? EVERYONE should tell them that they need to go back to the old concept again. As in having multiple games then do name tags in the end or vice versa. well they can do this not every week but at least once in awhile. they don't do that anymore

myself on November 13, 2015:

i think one of the problem is "sincerity". Their interaction with each other becomes unnatural compare to earlier episodes. rather than reality show, it more becomes feel like sitcom. predictable.

waty hasan on September 29, 2015:

Althought the rating going drop, but i don't want RM dissapear. Please everyone, love RM.

Scarlet on September 21, 2015:

It's so strange how people attack the OP in the comments for trying to make suggestions on what could be fixed. The OP isn't the enemy. The person who named themselves Kang Dong Hoon (Haha/Kanh Ho Dong fan?): I agree with you. Every episode, esp recently, is just me getting annoyed at Kwang Soo literally only getting in the way. He knows he has fans and it's seriously gone to his head. His personality might have been cute and funny before but now it's obnoxious. There's a reason people like KJK (he's humble and good person) or Jae Suk (tries to give attention to others) or even Suk Jin (Doesn't overstep anyone).

Running Man is in the dumps. Sure, it's not going anywhere. But it's lately been the only show that makes my eyes glaze over from boredom. My bias is KJK/Jae Suk but I'm so bored of even them on the show. There's nothing to watch for. People who argue are just completely delusional. The cast doesn't care about you, stop thinking that they are being attacked. They don't need to be defended. They're fine.

Kang Dong Hoon on September 07, 2015:

I m not interested in RM anymore because of Lee Kwang Soo. He is the most annoying celeb I ever known. Always trying to get involved in everything to get attentions. Always trying to be funny but instead become irritating and annoying. Han Hyo Joo in episode 152 even comment to him if he even want to win. All he want to be the center of attentions. What a low person!!!

Ryu Hyujin in episode 172 almost throw a hard ball to him because he was so irritating. Most male guests don’t like to partner with Lee Kwang Soo because he will betray.

Inno on September 07, 2015:

Almost gave up with RM but still hoping for their comeback. RM becomes predictable, sometimes everything's seen scripted.

Horror special for their anniversary did pretty well (ep 26+). It was real and spontaneous. RM need that kind of episode.

EunHye on August 26, 2015:

LKS is rude. Always shouting on every episode n always bullied KJK. On ep255, he beat the Pd because he got less pretty partner. Can’t imagine how his partner felt..

Clifford Ahn on July 31, 2015:

it is really simple they haven't changed anything in terms of format. Even if it could come outside of korea other shows like 1n2d and superman is back will better than running man. it would be more popular yes but the problem is that since there format in not changing because it is a variety game show it will lost interest eventually which is happening in my home country. This has happened to past shows like family outing and X man. The show is getting very stale and dull wit out trying anything new. This 3rd year will be a make it or break it year for them. if nothing changes the show will get cancelled.

Chepah_RM-luv on July 28, 2015:

i admit there r some episode dat r not fun to watch but RM still my no.1 show...i couldnt miss a single episode...i juz hope the ratings can go up up up again despite many other variety shows. they r in their 5th yr now n hope will go on as long as it can....

since byul already came, make their wives come bringing potential partner for the single men n woman hehehe....make some games out of that heheheh...keep it up RM, domestically ur rating may drop a bit but globally u r loved

fika_nofa on July 23, 2015:

I personally dread for the day (near future?) when they will either end the show or change the cast... but it's been a good run, I mean 5 years, it's not that bad... except I've seriously started to watch running man 2 months ago :)) that's 2-3 episodes everyday, and unlike what some suggest, I feel like the earliest episodes (think 2011- early 2012 episodes) were too "pilot"-like and unnatural and too predictable, but the overall argument is unfortunately true.

RM 4Ever on July 19, 2015:

Running man jjang!!

I started to open my eyes for k-pop world n korea itself since i watched this VS.

Even my s

Elen on July 10, 2015:

I read some ppl isnt invited for running man cause they did shows in another tv channel, that kind of bothers me, some ppl I find funny and I wanna see on the show but knowing they wont is kind of sux. Plus I am geting tired of the cheating during the game, I mean a bit is fun, but sometimes is so much that is annoying and make me stop cheering for the competition. I do think they favor some ppl, is so obvious that is annoying too.

Other episodes they invite some ppl that is very interesting but seems they dont use them that well, we wanna know the guests too and at some episodes the guests barelly have presence, they take over all the scenes and jokes and I know they have a role but even that gets tiring. Would be interesting to see them being themselves too.

I dont know I do like the show but even not having watched more than 30 episodes, I do feel I need a break from the show or really get me stressed.

Regardless who the guests are, they need to work them better and see more ppl, not the same over and over again, was checking the episode list in wiki and saw so many going more than 3 times on the show, I mean, they have so many celebrities, why bring the same everytime they release a new album or do a new drama?

nyy on July 06, 2015:

I am a fan of running man variety shows. For years tht i hv been watchg n following every episode until recent months tht i gave up watchg the show. . What are they tryg to promote???!!! K pop singers . . Or running man show. Why bringing all these ""pretty"" singers, dancers n idols..i m sick of it. I can see them in music video why bother running man..STOP WATCHING!!! :-(

dina on July 06, 2015:

I kept thinking that this would happen after that producer left

sidewatcher on July 04, 2015:

If it keeps registering single digit ratings, this show will:

At the very least, a major cast overhaul. This is how variety works, if the show goes on crisis (stays on single digit ratings), the first to change will be the PD's (which has been seen as PD's responsible for content and direction were the ones that are slowly being replaced ). If it still doesn't work, the cast goes next. YJS is the only guy indispensable on this show at this stage but who know? We've seen it happen with 1N2D when it withstand the removal of its main MC(Kang Ho-Dong) but it will either make or break the show when he throws in the towel. Hopefully the show survives and gets a fresh look.

I've been reading about this having a large international fan base. Well sorry guys, those numbers are not something that the CP or Head of the Entertainment Dept considers when its going initiate a major facelift or axe a show. It's all about local. International syndication of the show only amounts to small royalties and no where comparable to the money generated through advertising.

Now would SBS really axe the show at this point? It depends. For one do they have any show in the works which can capably replace it? The Sunday block is a very competitive slot for all 3 networks. Replacing it with a cheap poorly made show would result to lower ratings that it currently is for the station. At this point, I don't think they're at that stage yet. Is there pressure from the higher ups? Most definitely, I can imagine the main PD of the show and its writers having 10-12 hour meetings discussing how to improve the show.

As the writer pointed out. The show 's character development has peaked. There's no way for them to develop it further causing the show to be so predictable that you stop watching it right at the middle or just after the first mission. Regardless of what type of radical or new ideas the writers and PD's come up. The viewers wont notice it since we're watching the same old characters just trying to do something different. Take Muhan Dojeon for example. That show has undergone at least 3 major cast changes before it became an epic show with only 2 or 3 of the original left from when it started. I'm pretty sure considering this is SBS's longest running variety show, they'll take that path in the upcoming months or early next year to save the show rather than start from scratch.

ok on July 01, 2015:

I started to not like running man on how they keep trying to make Jihyo the shinning star and making other female guests looks bad. The last episode is with when they did the Hip Hop episode and no one blocked Jihyo they saw her coming and just moved out of the way. With Jessi they were blocking her and she was even standing up for her team. For me its come to a point where the show just becomes blah

luzzieh on June 27, 2015:

i have watched RM since day 1.... and am really sad about low ratings

i do find myself getting less excited watching it now...

the nametag ripping that they are well known has not been done anymore which in my opinion is one of the reason for it becoming boring....

i hope this show will not be axed, but at the rate it has become its not far ahead...

i love RM, they need to change the production team so ome up with new ideas....

Hate ji suk jin with giant old nose on June 26, 2015:

Please take ji suk jin get out from running man i really hate him

Charles on June 25, 2015:

I feel that Running Man's ratings have been dropping is also due to the fact that other variety shows are upping their games. Perhaps it is due to RM content being more boring but it is time to give credits and acknowledgement of the other shows.

Kpop on June 18, 2015:

l don’t like RM honestly bcoz the shows tought it is ok to betray a friend...

Mi Mi Snow on May 17, 2015:

Running Man is the best verity ever....

I really love Running Man show and I really love all the members.I always support them. I'm from Myanmar and Running Man lovers are so many in my country.Running Man is the best!!! :D FIGHTING!!!

Angel fall on March 18, 2015:

Don't need to change member only the game 1 episode have 5 game before now there only 2 or 3 is not fu. And is long .. I don't like that I love the all the member too

Twinkle* on March 18, 2015:

I think half of them are correct. But I don't think Running Man has a bad episode, I like and enjoying all of the episode. But it makes me sad because Running Man's rating drop :( . But, I think its better if the PD and Writer inviting a special guest like international actor/comedian or Popular comedian/actor in Korea :l

lhen on March 11, 2015:

it is popular here in the Philippines :)

lel on March 10, 2015:

lee si young? to rm no way that girl is rude in the past rm ep she is uninteresting and boring

RM Fan on February 09, 2015:

I coundn’t agree more with the article. Also RM should replace the empty spot left by JongKi with Lee Si Young. She is beautiful and funny and would be a great rival to SJH.

One Man on February 08, 2015:

If only Kjk can play dirty...

Akira Duman on February 08, 2015:

I agree with this article. It’s so obvious now and it’s boring. LKS always betrays and bullied KJK. YJS mostly win whenever he partner with female guest. SJH used her femininity against KG and KJK. JSJ always lost. HH always scheme about betraying and KJK mostly becomes the victim. Guest(especially female) always won even they’re weak(can’t forget Charlie’s Angels episode). KJK becomes weak against female etc. The PDs need to change the script and plot. No need to change the cast members. They are great together...

peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 09, 2014:

it is said that Runningman is popular for international fans not Korean fans.

Angelfall on December 07, 2014:

They sud not change member only change game I don't like the new game I love name tag game with guest , RM man is number one for me

I love superman return too is really cute

erw on December 04, 2014:

The PD should bring back 'catching thief game' and more water games

Abc on November 18, 2014:

I agree with someone above that RM is mainly watched by teens, and they tend to watch on the internet while the other members of the family watch family-oriented show like TROS and DWAG. I think that's also why dramas rarely got high ratings now, they only appeal to teenagers. Honestly I like TROS more since the triplets come to the show (and making TROS rules for 20 consecutive weeks), but I also like RM, especially in their early episodes. The latest episodes are boring. The music episode with Jung Eun Ji is maybe one of the worst Running Man episodes I've ever seen.

RM really needs member change. I thought about JSJ, though. After all, like you said, they're developed but they don't know where to go. And sometimes the guests are not well-known to fans outside Korea. They need to drag guests that rarely appears in variety. Someone to make audience curious.

I hope RM gets better though.

gary on September 22, 2014:

No gary is too good for Ji Hyo. So what if we are Monday couple shipper, we ship Monday couple because of gary!

Tejaome on August 24, 2014:


what u said is ture as there are some who say JiHyo is the women who always have advantage!!! I agree in some episodes but overall JiHyo did better than some other boys in running man. she has more confidence that jaesuk! Funny hiw people scould jihyo in the first few ep saying she to coldblooded and competitive. but now they hate her. Because she is treated more like more a women.

Somebody on August 24, 2014:

Sorry I realise i got some typo errors when I read through my comments!

Somebody on August 24, 2014:

I agree with you for some parts. However I think that it is actually because of the fans. There is a large fan base of running man in all countries (which is a good thing). But these fans are all different. As in some enjoy running man till now some don't. Some think running man is basis to Jihyo for being a women some think it's not true . Some wants kim jong kook to be as strong as before despite knowing he got injury. It is ture that the locals are being harsh on there views however they are also right by saying that of running man cannot increase their local ratings they will soon come to an end, despite their overwhelming fans at international.

If you took the time too think. Running man cannot satisfy all of the fans as everyone has different opinions. If they invite famous stars or actor. Some as there will be less screen time for cast while some say it will boost their ratings. Even though I am not a Monday couple fan as I agree with Monday couple being forced. There are lots of Monday couple fan out there to the point that ask Gary and Ji Hyo to get married!. Some says they prefer name tags ripping to be back but won't you (fans) get bored if name tag ripping is on the whole 200+ episode? Even if you say you will not get bored as it is trilling but you have already started to get bored of running man! That's why you made this blog/website/comments. Just by saying your point of view on any topic on running man there will be some who agree and some disagree. So if the PD change anything, there will for sure be some who complain.

This is why the fans are crucial. With many different opinions, why don't just continue to watch running man? It will future developed itself as they also know what they are lacking. Just continue to support and enjoy running man and it casts. There are bound to have some good ep and some bad ep. Just like life there are up and down. Nobody life is perfect! Same goes to running man!

(I probably sounds like an annoying wise old man for some of you! Hehe)

vkeykim17 on July 08, 2014:

I loves all of them.

Keep it up RUNNINGMAN.

I've watch all the episodes and will always watch n wait for the new episodes.

No matter what they say, i'll always support all of you. Loves LKS the most. But still loves all of them. And I still likes to see Monday Couple. Just let them always be.. Hohh??


kpopers20 on June 26, 2014:

Most of idols and celebrities in Korea will protect their image in a show, so i suggest try to find one female idol who has some variety show skill without afraid about their image like narsha BEG maybe. I still remember that in SBS's Heroes all members were very funny even without destroying their image.

noiha on June 22, 2014:

oh variety shows like RM and IC are only popular among kids and teens due to their natures. IU perfectly describe this situation in IC's 2011 end of year settlement (ep. 230). that the end of the day this is not for whole family to enjoy, and the youngsters tend to watch this later on the web, hence the lower rating. while RM and IC both have their share in high rating, they'll probably never be able to reach 1N2D or FO rating at their peak, but they have much stronger fanbase due to the nature of the show. even RM PD himself said that the rating isn't what RM pursue, because that's not the only measure of popularity. RM popularity between youngsters, and ofc you can't left out international fan, is still top notch (which can't be measured by rating alone), and it will still attracts PPLs (production placement). and while many of RM fans complain about the guests, having guests add extra incomes for movie/drama/album PRs. yes many times it's overdone to the point of embarrassing , but RM still delivers good and "raw"episodes once in a while. at the very least, i should be grateful, because if they keep on the show aspect without thinking business-wise, we might lose this precious show.

to sum it up, while i agree RM can be utterly boring and they should do something to attract new viewers aside from keeping the fanbase, rating isn't everything. PDs know this themselves. RM steadily remains between 10%-15% now, for a show in its 200th episode, it's quiet an achievement.

poli13 on June 15, 2014:

Rm lately is more competitive rather than funny as it used to be. especially the time capsule ep is boring for me. the suspense is not there anymore. SJH is good female entertainer but her presence also restrain male cast especially in nametag ripping. actor n actress like lee min ho can boost the rating but they have an image to protect. so its logic that singers especially idol appear a lot on the show. and honestly i prefer funny guest like lee joon n simon d than ace type guest as they make me laugh

charz17 on June 13, 2014:

I agree with your take on this one. I've been a fan of RM since day 1, and although I have grown to love the characters, there were times where the episodes just fell flat. RM crew does need to rethink the strategy, rework the system, and go back to how they first began. I do miss the RM episodes where they were asked to beat certain challenges as a team. That indeed showed RM cast as a family and not much of that has been shown in light in the past episodes; it has always been about competition.

These days, I do get a kick out of shows that show more depth. For example, 1N2D--its not the hype kind of show you would expect, but the concept is just purely stripped down to the cast themselves; not just the characters they play. That's what makes the audience fall for a show. That's what made me fall for RM in the first place.

IN fact, these days, when I watch RM episodes; I do some research first--I only watch RM shows that do not have guests in them. Not that I have something against having guests; it's just that I miss the RM cast that I came to love. :(

aisyah on May 20, 2014:

I agree. I am a big fan of running man and I admit Runningman isn't the same as it used to be. I watch runningman for one sole purpose, to laugh. Idont care the hell about the monday couple and stuff. But watching the recent episodes (192,193,194,195), i didn't laugh as much. I think one of the possible reasons is because the members don't stand out. On ep195, for example, only kjk stands out and it wassnt really fun to watch, because we already knew his strength and capability. If haha and kwangsoo, as the underdogs stand out somehow then perhaps we wouldve seen a better outcome. Well anyway, i am still looking forward to the next episodes.. with hope that it'll be funnier.

na cliques on May 11, 2014:

I spent two hours reading all your comments here. It's true Running man had losing its vibes. However, we, as the fan, should never have our back against them by not supporting their efforts to elevate the show's rating. We all are the RUNNINGMAN!! LET'S SUPPORT RUNNINGMAN TILL 4EVA!!!

Arven Narve on April 03, 2014:

try to watch Infinite Challenge,1n2d and earlier episodes of RM (1-100) i bet you'll gonna realize almost immediately of what's wrong with RM and it's Production Team now. it's sad they got the best team of 7 (even better than IC's 7 team IMHO ) but got stagnant and couldn't release their maximum potential.

canadian gal on February 04, 2014:

This was very a very insightful post and I love the interactions with the readers. Thanks to the internet I am now a big RM andspendd most of my free time catching up. I was wondering if anyone knew about their international rating and does that effect how long a show will run? I agree that the show is becoming. A little predictble, but all the characters make the show. Fun to watch. I think they need to add someone new to the mix. Great post! Will be watching!!!!

Miaa on January 27, 2014:

I love running man and their cast. Their chemistry is what make their show great and probably what's going on are their games , the y are pretty much the same in many episodes, so they have to reinvent new ones, games that we haven't seen before and keeping tags eliminations as a finale

Hai on January 26, 2014:

I don't like spy games. I think it's unbalanced when it comes to the team that doesn't know the spy. It's too easy for the spy, from what I think. I like a normal game better.

Anyway,running man is still very good, I've been watching all of episodes up till now

Running Girls on January 24, 2014:

about replacing LGS and SJH, i don't think it's a good idea.. SJH is the only female cast in RM and that's what made this show unique, don't you think so? Jihyo works hard to get the title of Ace, she's smart also.. MC? Although it's a fake love line, I love to watch how KG show his romantic plus funny side to us, I don't care, I love them. I like it when RM cast works together to fight other teams like RM vs The Laws of the jungle.. we can see the know-how ripping name tag by the RM cast. For me, Running Man is the best! Fighting!!

ellieverde on January 19, 2014: feels like i share my thoughts with PDnim..if it's true the PD or the creative read these posts, then i would love it to see an episode where each member and a guest (or without guest) training a citizen to perform together with them, singing, dancing, etc...and have a panel of judge to decide which is the best..just suggesting.

Jinra on January 05, 2014:

Running man is just the best . I like all the members ,especially Kang Gary. I've watched RM since the first episode and I still like it . Running Man Fighting !!

Anna on January 05, 2014:

I like other shows all of them, but when it's a competition for best show, it has to be Running Man. Running man #1

Chris on December 31, 2013:

This show just isn't funny anymore. Its focusing more on "challenge" instead of the "humor". Every week, its becoming more and more like Amazing race.

Infinity Challenge has been around for more than 7 years but it doesn't plateau even though the characters have reached their potential. All IC cast are experienced comedians with wit and unpredictability. Running man cast are too predictable with their overused personas. I find YJS and HaHa a lot funnier on IC than on running man.

runner on December 28, 2013:

great episode, the popularity name tags ripping but i could feel the thrill..i actually wanted Haha to rank first:)..i think running man gets more interesting,.currently finished watching drama Who are you, and maybe it's great to invite the 3 actors: Taecyeon, So Yi Hyun and Kim Jae wook to Running Man

Skye on December 24, 2013:

i'm a KJK fan and i used to love the way he kicks ass in the show but in the recent episodes it feels like he is trying to maintain his gentleman image and always holds back as compared to the beginning episodes. i want the old KJK back! SPARTA T.T

farramajid on December 20, 2013:

I can't imagine watching running man without song ji hyo..because she is the reason im watching running man...there is a big NO to replace her with someone else..she is the running man's precious!

RNLover on December 17, 2013:

I love Running Man. It is the only Korean show that I watch. I can't wait until Monday to watch it. It'd be nice if they could rate it through the Internet because I need the English subtitle and I have to wait until someone subs it in order for me to understand what casts are saying.

ruman on December 11, 2013:

i love mongji..

ellieverde on November 27, 2013:

great! RM really invited EXO,tho they didn't make it one eps long..i'm still very thankful^^and the latest Ryumes Bond, tho not so exciting as Yoomes Bond, still thanks..i love suzy miss A so much,so i enjoyed every eps she was in.. can't RM invite other members of Miss A too?

i want to say that RM crews have worked hard during these 3 years..finding new, ideas aren't easy. best luck for RM.

aicilivex on November 19, 2013:

well, maybe their rating are falling because most people now watches it on the internet.. but idk also, because i watched runningman since the 1st episode and still loving it so far :)

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