Episode 334: Kim Jong-kook’s Week – Marrying Off the Tiger: January 15, 2017
Kim Jong-kook is the second protagonist for the 2017 Members’ Week Project. Unlike Song Ji-hyo who knew what she wanted to do for her week, Kim Jong-kook messages the PDs telling them that he’ll entrust his week to them. Pft. Way to be lazy.
The caption reads “Thus we’ve prepared The Marrying Off the Tiger Special.” (btw the little logo in the upper left hand corner says “Our Ugly Baby Tiger” which is a word play on the SBS show “My Ugly Duckling.” It’s a reality show about moms fretting over their unmarried adult sons.)
The five <Running Man> cast members minus Kim Jong-kook are gathered at the Han River. The PD tells them that today is all about attempting to marry off Kim Jong-kook. They think it’s an excellent idea. Yoo Jae-suk says that Kim Jong-kook gets mad often because he doesn’t have anyone in his life. Ji Suk-jin hopes that some of his anger will dissipate after he gets married.
Kim Jong-kook then walks in all happy. His face is a bit red. Is he blushing? He’s dressed up all snazzy too. While everyone is wearing jackets, he’s got on a long coat. How very Gong Yoo-esque of him. Everyone jokes that he’s so dressed up, but after a second look, they realize there are a few problems with his outfit. For example, his “formal” coat still has the Running Man name tag on the back, and he’s wearing ripped jeans.
Lee Kwang-soo and Yoo Jae-suk help him out with a lint roller. Lee Kwang-soo also tries to color in Kim Jong-kook’s knees with a marker to camouflage his ripped jeans. LOL!
For today’s mission, there will be good and bad versions of each date course, and the MCs will help him try to get the good ones.
The first mission is to decide which vehicle Kim Jong-kook will take to pick up his date. Kim Jong-kook has to pull a van with all five MC in it as far as he can. He has 60 seconds. There are three distances marked. If he gets past 5 meters, he’ll get a scooter. If he gets 10 meters, he’ll have a van with the five MCs riding along. 15 meters will get him a private sedan with just him and his date.
Kim Jong-kook gets ready to pull. He puts on a special harness. Fighting! He has a slow start. Ten seconds pass by. The van still hasn’t budged. After 20 seconds, Kim Jong-kook starts building momentum. He passes 5 meters. He’s almost at 10 meters now.
Lee Kwang-soo sticks his foot out the door and tries to slow Kim Jong-kook down. They don’t want him to go too far, so they can all take the van together. As married seniors, Haha and Yoo Jae-suk want to help him with advice too. There’s just ten seconds left. Kim Jong-kook is almost at the 15 meter mark. He just barely misses it.
They’ll be riding in the van together. Yoo Jae-suk says not to worry, “We’ll be quiet like shadows.” Uh huh. Sure you will.
The PD then tells Kim Jong-kook his date’s name and phone number. She’s waiting at Dosan Park. The camera is out of focus, so we can’t see her face yet.
Yoo Jae-suk drives. Kim Jong-kook sits in the middle with an empty seat for his date. Ji Suk-jin says there are people who get married after meeting during a broadcast. (I wonder what happened to Kim Jong-min and his blind date? Any updates on that?) Ji Suk-jin asks, “Didn’t Jae-suk get married through a blind date?” Actually Yoo Jae-suk hit on his wife and chased her down.
Ji Suk-jin offers, “If I like her, I’ll signal it by drinking some water.” The other MCs make fun of him. Why should it matter whether he likes her or not? Yoo Jae-suk, “If this hyung does something weird. I’ll splash water on him.”
Lee Kwang-soo says he’ll take the woman’s side. Haha just hopes that Kwang-soo doesn’t fall in love with her because he’s a shipsabba!” (It’s an acronym for a person who falls in love easily, but it sounds like a swear.)
Kim Jong-kook decides to call his date to let her know he’s on his way. He puts her on speaker phone. She has a pretty voice. He blushes as she picks up. He asks, “It’s cold isn’t it?” How awkward to talk about the weather. The MCs sitting in the back snicker.
They arrive at Dosan Park and Kim Jong-kook walks out alone. He sees his date waiting in the distance and calls to make sure it’s her. He stutters saying he’ll be there soon.
His blind date is 29 year old Jeong So-young who’s an accountant. They walk towards each other. They’re both wearing burgundy coats. Is this fate?
Kim Jong-kook walks her back to the van and warns her about the other cast members being in the car. Meanwhile, the MCs wonder if they should open the door for her, but decide to stay still and let Kim Jong-kook take control. There’s a sign on the van that says “Marrying off Kim Jong-kook.” He thinks it’s too forward and tries to take off the sign, but it won’t budge.
She gets in the van and everyone claps and welcomes her. That’s not awkward at all.
They then ask if she’s hungry. It’s already 2 pm and she’s only had breakfast, so I guess she must be pretty hungry. Jeong So-young and Jong-kook have some small talk. She lives in Shindorim District, but works in Yeouido. Ji Suk-jin asks if she works in finance because Yeouido is the financial center of Seoul. She’s a CPA. Ji Suk-jin majored in economics, so he’s impressed.
Lee Kwang-soo asks about her siblings. She has a younger sister, and so does Kwang-soo. Yoo Jae-suk says he has two younger sisters. Haha, “Yeah and they even look just like him.”
So-young says she born in 1989 which makes her 12 years younger than Kim Jong-kook. Kim Jong-kook mentions his brother is a plastic surgeon nearby. I guess they must be passing by Gangnam where a lot of plastic surgery clinics are located. Flashforward to some scenes with his brother and a caption that reads “coming soon.”
It’s an awkward drive, but finally they arrive at the restaurant. Kim Jong-kook gets out first and walks around to open the door for his date. How polite.
In their personal interviews, Kim Jong-kook says that he felt a sense of protectiveness over her. So-young says she thinks he’s “manly and caring.”
Jeong So-young asks Kim Jong-kook whether he’s been on a lot of blind dates. Kim Jong-kook says he became a celebrity at a young age, so he hasn’t had much normal dating experience.
There is a present on the table. Kim Jong-kook opens it up to find some flowers and a Running Man name tag for his date. He helps Jeong So-young put the tag on her coat.
The five MCs are in the second floor of the restaurant and watch the lunch date through cameras. They complain at how soft Kim Jong-kook’s voice is and how gentle he’s being. He’s never like that with them.
The PD announces to the MCs that they brought in one more person. It’s Kim Jong-kook’s older brother, Kim Jong-myeong, the plastic surgeon. He says Jong-kook doesn’t know he’s there. The brother notes that Jeong So-young is the type of woman that Jong-kook would like.
Back to the date going on one the first floor. It’s still awkward. Kim Jong-kook talks about the weather again, “The weather is nice.”
He asks if she’s gone on a lot of blind dates. So-young says, “Not a lot, but probably more than you.”
Their appetizers come out. It’s a salad. Kim Jong-kook likes women who eat well. He asks what kinds of foods she likes. She says they might not be compatible because she likes a lot of junk food like fatty meat. Kim Jong-kook, “That’s okay. I like meat too,” She doesn’t eat a lot of veggies either. Kim Jong-kook tries to find similarities saying when he was young, he didn’t eat veggies either, but he felt cleaner after eating vegetables, and likes them now.
Yoo Jae-suk notes that they’re talking too much about health. How boring. This time, Jeong So-young asks about what food he likes. Kim Jong-kook says, “I’m surprisingly not too picky.” Upstairs, the MCs are like, “That’s a lie!” The brother adds, “He even washes his kimchi before eating it.”
Jeong So-young then asks about hobbies. He usually works out and likes to gossip with friends. She asks about travelling. He likes it a lot and goes whenever he has free time, especially to Los Angeles.
The MCs complain that he’s talking too much about himself. Haha yells, “Ask her something!!!” Kim Jong-kook and Jeong So-young are startled at the sound. They weren’t aware that they were being watched live.
It’s time for the main dish. The PD tells the MCs that the main dish will be decided through a game.
The MCs go outside to find a bunch of paper cups on the ground. The main dish mission is avoiding paper cup “mines.” Three MCs have to put on blindfolds and walk through the minefield. They have to complete their walk within five steps and need to step on fewer than five mines collectively. If they succeed, Kim Jong-kook and his date will get steak. If they fail, they’ll have to eat Pickachu pork cutlet from the kid’s menu. Oh the horror!
The MCs yell at Kim Jong-kook to raise the blinds and open the window, so he can watch.
Kim Jong-kook, “Hyung, thanks for working so hard on this cold day!” The MCs are shocked at his politeness.
Song Ji-hyo goes first. She takes a gigantic step with the other MCs guiding her with their voices. Ji-hyo almost loses her balance, but catches herself. She takes a big jump at the end to finish her fifth step. She completes her walk without stepping on any mines.
Lee Kwang-soo is next. He tries a practice run without his blindfold. With his gigantic legs, it only takes him three steps to walk across the minefield. He then puts on his blindfold and takes a few fast paced steps. He steps on four mines! Yikes!
Yoo Jae-suk is up last. They’ve already used up all their mine allowance, so if he steps on just one, there will be no steak for Kim Jong-kook. Yoo Jae-suk just walks quickly without looking, and miraculously doesn’t step on a single cup. Daebak!
Kim Jong-guk and So-young get some delicious steak. So-young looks so happy about the food. The MCs are already planning the wedding. Yoo Jae-suk will be the MC and Haha will be the wedding singer.
Jeong So-young says she’s been to San Francisco, and asks Kim Jong-kook more about himself. He talks about how he likes to travel with his mom. When he was younger, he was a bad son. Once he became famous, he wanted to be more filial, but his mom suddenly got breast cancer. He was just 23-24 years old at the time, and realized that he couldn’t afford to wait until he was richer or more successful, and realized the importance of spending more time with his mom right away.
It’s touching, but talking about how close you are with your mom isn’t really the best first date discussion topic. Kim Jong-kook also talks about his father. Song Ji-hyo “Stop talking about yourself!” Lee Kwang-soo yells,”Ask about her ideal type!!!”
Frustrated, Lee Kwang-soo walks downstairs and tries to discretely get Kim Jong-kook’s attention. He wiggles his fingers. He fake coughs. Finally, he gets a sketchbook and writes, “Tell her you need to go to the bathroom and come to the second floor.”
Kim Jong-kook sees the sign, but ignores it. LOL.
Kwang-soo writes this time, “Why are you ignoring me? If you don’t want to ruin the date, come to the second floor.”
Kim Jong-kook just tells his date he needs to go up for a short bit because they’re calling him. Once he gets outside earshot, he complains to Kwang-soo for interrupting him. He says he was doing just fine. Sure . . .
When he walks upstairs, Kim Jong-kook is shocked to see his brother. Meanwhile, since his date is getting lonely, Kwang-soo offers to go talk to her. Kim Jong-kook says, “No, not you.” Song Ji-hyo goes down instead. Yoo Jae-suk tells him he’s talking about health too much. His brother is shocked that he talked so much about travelling with mom. No one likes a momma’s boy.
Ji-hyo asks So-young if she has any questions. She wants to know what kind of woman Kim Jong-kook likes.
Song Ji-hyo, “He doesn’t like wild women. He likes careful, quaint women.” Kwang-soo then escorts Kim Jong-kook back downstairs. Jong-kook asks her what she talked about with Ji-hyo. She asks him what kind of women he likes and dislikes. He says he wants someone who likes him a lot. Someone who like things he likes. Someone who works out.
So-young says she doesn’t have an ideal type. It changes often. She’s never liked a celebrity other than being a fan of Yoo Jae-suk. Kim Jong-kook says he doesn’t like celebrities either. So-young, “Didn’t you like Yoon Eun-hye?”
Kim Jong-kook replies, “I like the person I’m with and not the celebrities around me.” At least I think that’s what he said. He talks in a long winded way that doesn’t exactly make sense? Hm . . . I wonder why he doesn’t just outright deny it . . . I mean I think he said he didn’t date her, but he was just so wordy with that.
Their restaurant date ends there and before the two move on to next location, they have an awkward variety show segway talking with the rest of the MCs.
Luckily, this time, Kim Jong-kook and So-young get to take the sedan with just the two of them. He asks about makeup. She says she doesn’t do it well. She’s not used to heavy makeup, so she doesn’t like the makeup she has on now. Kim Jong-kook, “You’re really pretty. I saw you on the monitor when I was upstairs. You don’t need to worry.” Aw.
It’s already night. They must have had a really long lunch.
For the next part of the date, they head back to the Han River. I was just there last weekend! It’s the part of the Han River near Yeoiudo, by the cruise ship docks.
Their next mission will determine whether the two will have a date on a cruise ship or a swan boat. Through a game played off screen, the MCs earned 6 games worth of coins for the crane machine. If Kim Jong-kook can manage to pick up a toy, he’ll get the cruise ship date. If not, he’ll have to paddle a swan boat in the dark.
Yoo Jae-suk tries first and grabs a Pickachu doll on the first try. Kim Jong-kook complains that he should have done it. Jae-suk wasted one of his six tries. His anger is starting to come out. Yoo Jae-suk advises, “Go for that Pickachu.” Kim Jong-kook, “Be quiet!” He doesn’t get anything. On his second try, Jong-kook goes for a Psyduck, but drops it. Third try, he drops the Psyduck again. Yoo Jae-suk tells him to go for a Tigger doll. He knows what to do because he’s a master at the crane machine. Jong-kook doesn’t listen and goes for Psyduck a third time. It looks like he’s going to get it, but drops it just as he gets to the chute.
Yoo Jae-suk keeps telling him to go for the Tigger. It’s his last chance. Go for Psyduck again or Tigger? He goes for the Tigger. It’s going up. “Eye of the Tiger” plays in the background. Kim Jong-kook gets it! Yoo Jae-suk declares, “I’m the master!”
They get the cruise date, and have some desert on the deck. It’s bit cold, so Kim Jong-kook wraps her blanket around his date, and gives her his blanket too. The MCs get to watch from inside. Yoo Jae-suk says he thinks Kim Jong-kook is really interested in his date. It’s funny how Yoo Jae-suk has the Pickachu doll on his jacket like a badge of prize. The other MCs have dolls on their jackets too, so they must have played the crane game for more dolls, but I guess that part got cut.
Now that it’s night time, there’s a really romantic view of the city lights.
While trying to cut their strawberry cake desert, Kim Jong-kook knocks over his drink. Oops. How embarrassing. He asks So-young what song she likes. She responds, “One Man.” Kim Jong-gook is secretly thinking, “No! Not that again!” She reads his mind and adds that she also likes Kim Bum-soo’s “Last Love.” Is he going to sing it for her? He does. He gets up to the karaoke machine conveniently located behind them.
While singing, a train passes on the bridge above them, breaking the mood. Kim Jong-kook keeps singing though. His voice is so good that Haha says he’s falling for him. The karaoke machine awards him 100 points.
As the two exit the cruise, the rest of the MCs greet them with some fireworks. Now, it’s time to decide their fate. Kim Jong-kook will wait inside the cruise ship, and So-young will call the MCs to let them know what she thought of the date. If So-young wants to meet Jong-kook again, they’ll put a heart sticker on his name tag, if she doesn’t then they will rip off Jong-kook’s name tag.
Kim Jong-kook walks back onto the cruise ship. He’s worried that she might have felt burdened by the broadcast. Jeong So-young calls Yoo Jae-suk. She says she didn’t really know of Kim Jong-kook beforehand, but today, he was very considerate and she is thankful for the fun day. Her answer is ???
The MCs walk back to Kim Jong-kook. He’s interested in seeing her again, but Yoo Jae-suk rips off his name tag . . . so that he can put a heart sticker on it. Congratulations!
So-young joins him on the cruise ship. Yoo Jae-suk doesn’t want to be too forward though. He hopes they do well but will leave it at that.
This episode was a lot of fun. It seems like now that the show is ending, the PDs are putting more effort in coming up with interesting set-ups as sort of a last hurrah? It’s too bad that the last year or so of <Running Man> had so many formulaic missions, because this cast has such amazing chemistry when they let loose and are allowed to do just whatever.
Next week: ???