In 9 years of broadcasting, Running man has always been one of the most popular TV show in South Korea. Even its Chinese version is making the list of highest rating show nationwide.
Although rating is not as impressed as before and original casts is partly replacing after 9 years, Running man is still an irreplaceable name among TV shows in Korean broadcasting industry. It is hard to find a TV show that achieves the level of well-known of Running man. A level that can make every Top K-superstar wish to be invited to the show.
The TV show that leads the Hallyu
There have been many changings about the format and the content of Running man since its first airing on July 11, 2010. However, it is still getting more and more popular after each year. At first, Running man caught attention just as it was the “comeback stage” of “national MC” Yoo Jae Suk after leaving his famous TV Show Family Outing. But then, the show gained popularity because of many other factors such as its unpredictable games, amazing casts, especially the chemistry between cast members.
Running man owns a large portion of international audiences comparing to other K-TV Show
2012-2013 is the “golden age” of Running man with many episodes reached the impressive rating. During this period, the highest rating episodes of all time are episode 133 and episode 134, which were filmed in Macau and Vietnam, two famous stars Lee Dong Wook, Han Hye Jin were guests.
In 2013, Running man went to film in Hanoi and drew a huge crow that clogged the roads for hours. Thousands of fans took to the street to see the cast and tried to chant their names when they were shooting. This craziness had shoken the Korean media.
When Running man was introduced, most variety shows were either talk-centered (talk shows like Strong Heart) or game centered (Dream Team, X-Man). Running Man was an interesting mix of both, it offered a fixed cast completing very challenging races performed in a new landmark every week. The show sought to do the unexpected, implementing new missions or tasks that aimed to thrill or intrigue.
The streets were drowned by swarm of screaming fan, a moment captured by the show camera when they filmed in Hanoi
According to The Straits Times, the popularity of the show is due to its unpredictability, the comedy involved, the celebrity guests and the hilarity of the regular cast members. Assistant professor Liew Kai Khiun at the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) attributes the appeal of Running Man to the ability of using public space in a creative way: “Running Man is about taking audiences to the various corners of not only South Korea, but the region as well. In the rather fast-paced urban societies in Asia, the show helps to provide release from the daily tensions that such streets and buildings are associated with.” Liew thinks that the cast members are not particularly good looking, thus have nothing to lose, even if they “wrestle with one another like children“.
As of 2018, Running Man has been nominated for 71 awards, winning 49.
The increasing of international popularity
Running man has been plunging from grace. Its popularity in mother-land – South Korea starts to drop by over a half of its glory days, especially in the last 2 years. But this is predictable since the show had reached the 400th episode.
The producers are facing many challenges: the games need to be more creative, there are certain games that are being repeated far too many times, the casts 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. Regular cast are also reaching the age that hard to play action games.
Lucas – member of Chinese boygroup WayV & Korean boygroup NCT is the new member of Chinese Running man new season
Despite that fact, Running man is still gaining its extreme popularity internationally. Chinese stepped first into the game by making its own Chinese version, and next is our Vietnamese version.
Taking the grace from the success of Korean Running man, Chinese version named Keep Running caught a huge attention when it first aired on 10/10/2014. After 4 years with 6 seasons, this version has always been on top rating variety shows in China.
Keep Running Season 2 in 2015 received big love from fan , 12 episodes had the rating over 4.3%, 2 of them were 5%. Those were unbelievable numbers of rating in China since normally, a TV show is considered successful after reach just 1% of rating. In Season 6 last year, all episodes got the rating from 1.4% to 2.29%.
The expected Vietnamese version
In a variety show, the fixed cast is the core element contribute to the success of the show. When Running man first aired in S.Korea, some the the fixed cast were not that well-known. However, after having cast chemistry, while interacting with each other, their characteristics decided their own role in the game and that attracted the audiences.
Vietnamese version of Running man, named Chạy Đi Chờ Chi, consists the fixed cast of Trấn Thành, BB Trần, Ninh Dương Lan Ngọc, Ngô Kiến Huy, Trương Thế Vinh, Jun Phạm and Liên Bỉnh Phát.
Vietnamese version simple but special poster
This cast list got the positive reaction from viewers. Trấn Thành is an experienced MC & actor, his sense of humor is expected to lead the team creating hilarity for the show. The only thing that he needs to improve, according to the comments of audiences, is just controlling his overreactión so that he won’t be compared with Yoo Jae Suk – South Korean “national MC”. Comparing with the original version of Running man, Vietnamese version has the advantages of younger cast, cast’s hilarities were shown in other shows they attended, plus their activeness is what an action game show needs. Viewers are waiting for Jun Phạm to show his smarts, and how Ninh Dương Lan Ngọc act in a role of the only female cast.
Overall, Chạy Đi Chờ Chi has a promising start. Although, the attractive acts and chemistry of Korean casts are incomparable, Chạy Đi Chờ Chi has a long run, and their cast have another strengths. Viewers can totally expect many surprises from Vietnamese cast and waiting for them to show their own colors instead of following Korean concept.