Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday Running Man: Episode 178, Running Man vs Production Team

This week's episode was so exciting, since from the preview last week we see that they might be trying to cross the Han river by a boat made from carton. Now that I've watched it, it really is, and how fun must it be to play against the production team again and do those seemingly impossible games.

The episode started with the Running Man team protesting the number of water games within the year and other difficult missions as well. The Production team then made a deal that if the Running Man team wins on this episode, then they will abolish the water games.

The first game the Running Man team has to play is a gigantic Jenga, where they have to remove a certain number of Jenga pieces with someone sitting on the top of the Jenga tower.

Ji Hyo was the one picked to sit on top of the Jenga tower, not because the other Running Man members are afraid but because "Ji Hyo is the lightest one." Which is probably just an excuse by the other members. Haha!

Kim Jong Kook trying to drill into the Jenga piece so that he can hold to it easily while taking it out from the tower.

Running Man finished the task with not much effort, and so the Production Team negotiated with them that if they get 3 more blocks, they get 20 Running balls for this mission.

While they were negotiating, Ji Hyo fell asleep on top of the Jenga tower. She was so relaxed on top of it that she was able to take a short nap.

The Running Man team won with their team work and more of Jong Kook's nagging!

On the next location, they found cartons, cutters, and tapes. Indeed, they will be crossing the Han river with a boat that they made. Kim Jong Kook, Yoo Jae Suk, Lee Kwang Soo, and Kang Gary are all on one team to make and ride their own 4-seater boat, while Haha, Song Ji Hyo, and Ji Suk Jin make and ride a 3-seater.

Ji Suk Jin trying to make a model of the boat that they should make.

When they applied the model to the huge carton, it didn't look at all sturdy and so they gave up on that model.

Haha then showed Ji Suk Jin how easy it is to just fold the carton instead of cutting out that model. Ji Suk Jin realized it too.

Both teams finished their respective boats and securely wrapped it with tape. They also put cameras on it. 

The 4-seater and the 3-seater boats are ready and so is the Running Man team.

They finally started their journey through the Han river. The time that they have to beat for this challenge is 30 minutes, and respective number of Running balls will be given for certain situations. (like if only one makes it to the other side) However, they will receive 20 Running balls if one of the boats make it to the other side within 25 minutes.

Haha was the captain for the 3-seater boat and was sailing smoothly, which was unexpected since they sloppily made the boat.

The 4-seater boat captained by Yoo Jae Suk was difficult to maintain because of its height, and so there was danger of it capsizing early on.

And so it indeed capsized. The four men (f4) plunged into the cold water of Han river and was immediately rescued by the life-guards standing-by.

F4 was cold and their boat was ruined by their fall. However, they still wanted to continue the mission with just 10 minutes spent on trying to sail and their fall.

On the other hand, the 3-seater boat lead by Haha is still sailing smoothly on the Han river. It was going slowly but surely.

And so F4 went back to the water again, and they removed the upper part of the boat so they sat on the raft part. It indeed was more stable that way.

Another challenge came on F4's way again upon going back to the water. A motorboat went across them and created a small wave. They had to just relax themselves and stop rowing for a while to let the wave pass.

Haha, Ji Hyo, and Suk Jin also stopped for a while to drink water.

The Production Team asked the F4 if they were too tired to go on but the team wanted to continue on and didn't give up halfway.

The 3-seater boat was nearing the other side of the Han river.

Song Ji Hyo grabbed the flag upon arriving to the bank.

Haha really did his best for this mission and succeeded as a captain. The part where there was no background music and just silence upon them arriving on the other side of the Han river was so touching.

The three celebrated as they found out that they arrived within 25 minutes of rowing endlessly! 

The F4 was finally arriving and the three cheered them on as they arrive.

Wet, cold, and exhausted, they found out that they exceeded 30 minutes, but then it was also informed to them that the first boat arrived within 25 minutes and so they still get 20 Running balls.

The next game is gymnastics. The Running Man team relaxed first as they ate desserts.

Ji Hyo's role is to jump 10 times within a hula hoop.

Gary, with much effort and frustration, should throw a ball upwards, roll over, and catch the ball with his legs.

Jong Kook must twirl a ribbon while turning 2 times with one foot on the ground.

Kwang Soo's role was to throw two clubs upwards, turn two times, and then catch them. However, it was really hard to do and so being the naughty guy, he threw the clubs onto the PDs. Haha!

Seeing as they have difficulty in finishing their acts within the given 7 minutes, they pleaded their case and was allowed to change their roles in exchange of 3 Running balls. Also, if they do their mission successfully in the 2nd try, they win 20 Running balls.

Jong Kook exchanged his role with Haha's, which is to throw three hula hoops and jump on it one by one, without stopping.

Haha then did the ribbon twirling act.

Jae Suk's role was to bounce the ping pong ball 10 times with the club.

Kwang Soo's act was made easier because it was changed so that he would only turn once and then catch the clubs.

Ji Suk Jin's mission is to bounce the ball on his shoulders five times.

Lastly, Gary did his mission successfully also with a calm face. Running Man team won 20 Running balls again but 3 of them will go to the Production team as promised.

Now is the final battle between the two teams through draw lots.

Announcer Kim Hwan was the one to draw the winner from the balls and so from the 57 balls of Running Man team and 33 balls of the Production team, the Production team's ball was drawn!

Even though the Production team won, the production team themselves made a mistake and so the water was splashed to the representatives of the production team on stage.

The Production Team still won, and so the water games will still go on and on.

Next week's episode is a cooking special! There will be a number of guest stars partnered up with the Running Man members in this episode.

Monday, December 30, 2013

K-Mondays: Reply 1994, finale. (spoilers!)

Reply 1994 ended last Saturday, leaving all of the hopeful fans heartbroken. In every drama that I've watched and liked, I would always feel heartbroken and empty after watching the final episode. Whether I like the ending or not, it will always feel like a good friend leaving for somewhere faraway. This time also, I felt like friends who stuck with me through the latter part of 2013 left me alone again in facing challenges in life. I think that that's how I show my sincere liking for Korean dramas, and whether the stories may be clichéd or too simple, the value it has for me will never change.

Reply 1994 is a Kdrama that I've recently got attached to (and stuck with every week) and the fact that it already ended makes me want to watch it all over again from start to finish. I'm just going to point out some of the highlights of the last episode (Episode 21) of Reply 1994.

Na Jung and Chilbong got some closure, although Chilbong was really heartbroken.

The two "rivals" also got some closure, apparently as sunbae and hoobae.

The first glimpse of the husband, where the foot was only shown, and now the husband's face was finally revealed.

Sseuregi (Trash) or Kim Jae Joon is Na Jung's husband. This is the part when Na Jung's father scolded the husband for choosing the date of their wedding as the same day as the soccer World Cup game.

Sung Dong Il appa hesitating to give Na Jung's hand to Sseuregi.

The happy husband and wife.

There were few moments from the present time that were cleared out, like when Sook-sook asked his brother-in-law to answer Il Hwa omma's call.

The wallet catching thing was also cleared out, because apparently Sam Cheon Po caught the wallet and gave it to Trash hyung-nim.

The scene where Sung Shi Won met the husband from an earlier episode was also shown.

Finally, the scene where everyone gathers in Na Jung and Kim Jae Joon's house for a house-warming party and leaves the house to end the series. 

In this scene, it was also revealed that the flat is Chilbong's and that Na Jung and Sseuregi's family is only renting it, which explains why Chilbong is comfortable inside the house already. They also talked about how everyone's first loves worked out, except for Chilbong, who then joked that his also worked out well.

Sung Na Jung and Kim Jae Joon's wedding photo, with awkward Chilbong at the back.

Bonus! Sseuregi appa with his youngest son. So cute!

Finally, we have the final moments of the past. This was in 2002, days before Na Jung and Sseuregi's wedding. They were all watching a soccer match of Korea in the World Cup.

The morning after watching the game, they all gathered for the final breakfast that they will have after living together in the boarding house for many years. Boarding house omma again went all out in preparing the breakfast.

Everyone said their goodbyes, and Haitai was the last one to leave the boarding house since Sam Cheon Po and Yoon Jin already got married a year ago. They took a final photo to commemorate their final moments in the boarding house. 

This is the saddest part of the episode, since I feel like I'm also part of the gang and that we're all going our separate ways after this episode.

Towards the end, we also see a scene where Chilbong meets a girl who apparently is from the countryside and also refers to slippers as "ddal-ddari" like how Na Jung referred to Trash's slippers back then, and this made Chilbong laugh.

Haitai became an office worker who succumbs to his superiors, even though in his youth, he was all energetic and did what he wanted.

Na Jung became a strict mother, who would always pay attention to his kids' studies, which is very different from how she was part of a fan culture (basketball) in her youth.

Sam Cheon Po and Yoon Jin enjoying technology, which back then was only a walkman. It was also mentioned that they were really lucky to have experienced both analog and digital in their lifetime.

Binggrae or Kim Dong Joon diligently working in the medical field (revealed to be in the dermatology department in a past episode) despite having issues of identity crisis and career path back then.

Finally, the boarding house went out of business, days before Na Jung's wedding. This final scene made me really empty inside, and it was the perfect way to end the series.

I have many thoughts about this drama, and I might as well reveal them all here. I love it. Even though some people who "shipped" whomever with Na Jung got either really happy or disappointed with the drama, I still believe that in the end, the essence of the drama was redeemed. I also got to a point where I got sick of the husband guessing game but I continued on watching it for the sake of the whole gang. I didn't care anymore who the husband will be (but I initially shipped Na Jung and Sseuregi, since it was first to bloom) and nor should anyone sincerely watching the show. What I mean is that the essence of the drama is to show the life in the past and Na Jung's husband being a mystery is only part of the fun. That's why this show shouldn't be judged whether Na Jung married the "right" guy for him or whether it was justified that Sseuregi should be with Na Jung or not. I think that the writers redeemed the drama towards this last episode and really showed the true beauty of this series. Don't get me wrong, I'm really satisfied with the way this story was told, and only the husband guessing game being extended for too long that got me a bit uneasy watching this. Nonetheless, I've never watched a drama this good lately (well, except for Gu Family Book) and I'm really happy that I had Reply 1994 with me this 2013.

I will definitely miss the whole Reply 1994 gang and I believe that I love this gang much more than the Reply 1997 one, since I can probably relate to these 20-somethings more. Before I get too depressed, I just found out that there would be a special episode that will air Jan 3, 2014. Here's a preview of what's in store for us Reply 1994 fans in that special.