Industry News

How K-variety show ‘Running Man’ gives me a sense of comfort

10 June, 2021

I’ve watched all 558 episodes of “Running Man.”

I was in my second year of high school when I caught the curious sight of the first episode on my mother’s laptop screen. Two teams donning powder blue and hot pink overalls were running around on clothing racks in a large shopping mall with noticeable velcro-detachable name tags at their backs. The sight of my mother watching shows with subtitles was a familiar one — I grew up spending my weekend nights with her watching Korean dramas (“Heading to the Ground,” “Secret Garden,” and “My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox”). But on that Sunday, the casual setting of the show’s frames and the frequency of crowd laughter-like sounds led me to believe it wasn’t anything like a K-drama.

I remember thinking the show was a bit odd yet I couldn’t find it in me to turn away. I lurked around my mother for another 30 minutes and laughed at the same times she did. Finally, I grabbed a chair, joined her, and pointed to the one I found the funniest so far; standing at six feet tall with unusual bowl-cut hair whom I later identified as the actor Lee Kwang Soo.

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