I first discovered the show after watching a bunch of the “Of Course” game clips from X Man on YouTube.
Now I’ve watched all 168 episodes over the span of 8 weeks-ish, as I’ve been watching about 3 episodes per day. So am I sick of Running Man after constantly watching it? Absolutely not. It honestly beats the majority of North American television in terms of entertaining and creativity.
I’ve thought about how cool it would be if an American version was done, but I can’t see it happening for a number of reasons. First of all, with episodes being around the 90 minute mark, I don’t think audiences here would have the patience to sit through it. And keep in mind, that’s 90 minutes without commercials too! I don’t know what television network here would go for a show that ran 90 minutes without a commercial, from a business point of view.
I also think about how important the “PD” of an American version would have to really get the true concept, feel, and essence of Running Man, instead of trying to “Americanize” the show, which is why I hope an American version never happens.
Another issue would be who to cast. I’m sure Running Man fans would be very vocal about who was cast in an American version if one was created, and I think there would be too much focus from fans on who would be the Jae Suk role, the Easy Brothers role, the Haroro role, and so on, instead of accepting a whole different set up of people.
As I think about a very hypothetical American Running Man cast, I realize that American celebs/actors/singers might value their image too much and may not go for looking like a fool on Running Man. Also, just looking at the cast and guests that have been on Running Man, it seems to me that Korean celebrities are much more humble and respectful than celebs here, and that difference is actually one if the reasons I find Running Man such a breath of fresh are compared to the “reality/competition” shows we have here.
That being said, I actually do have a few ideas of American celebs who I thing would be great should an American version Running Man happen. First of all, I think John Krasinski would be great. Just from watching him in The Office, and talk show interviews, you know he’s a goofball, and would’ve great in bringing the silliness for the show. I also feel the same about Steve Carrell. Another actor I think would be fun would be Jeff Goldblum. He would definitely bring a lot of quirk. In Running Man, there’s been the one sole female, Song Ji Hyo. I can’t think of an American celebrity who’s just like her, because that girl is honestly one of a kind, haha. But I think actresses like Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, and Anna Kendrick all have a sense if humour that would be great. As for male singers, I really don’t know. Part of me thought of Nick Jonas, but I’m pretty sure some of you would boo that, lol. As for other males, I could see Aziz Ansari fitting in well, and I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be fantastic. Anyways, I’ll leave that at that.
I recently watched an SBS awards show speech by Yoo Jae Suk, and he mentioned that Running Man was once on the verge of cancellation, which blew my mind. But fortunately it didn’t get cancelled, and all I can say is, after watching 168 episodes, I will continue to look forward to Running Man’s future.
Race start! Let’s go!