Running Man is back! Well, after rebranding, the show is now called Keep Running. The first episode aired on April 14th.
The introduction starts off with the members rolling in one by one starting with Deng Chao. As Deng Chao walks down the very, very, very long red carpet, he discovers that they are greeted with an exhibit of photos from past seasons and thanks the viewers for always being there for them on this journey.
The next members to walk in are in the order of: Li Chen, Chen He, Zheng Kai, Wong Cholam, and last but not least, Luhan. Since it has been a while since they last met, the guys take turns teasing each other about their selfies, workouts, and more as they gather.
After all the male members have gathered together, the production team reveals that Angelababy would not be joining them yet as she recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy (something we all knew). However, Angelababy recorded a video with the crew to reminisce the past seasons. She gives a message to each of the members – reminding Deng Chao to dye his hair, Li Chen to draw in his eyebrows, and telling Luhan that their biggest worry is when they’ll be able to find him a girlfriend to which he shyly responds with “I know”. She continues with her messages to the other three members (though, in my opinion, this part sounded VERY scripted.. did our girl even try? haha).
Angelababy reveals that she really wants to join the team, however due to motherhood, she temporarily has to take some time off. She vows that she will bring her baby to meet the uncles and geges. Lastly, she mentions that she knows we will be welcoming a new member, tells the members not to bully her and ends the video with their signature slogan “we are family!”
The members are touched by the video and Luhan even expresses that he is envious and desires to hurry and leave behind the single life. All the members are so happy for her, as we all are!
Dilraba is introduced as the newest addition to the team. The production team prepared “presents” for the members to give her as a welcome gift. The gifts were as follows: bandana from Cholam, gag gift from Chen He (disguised as a can of chips), a gourd from Zheng Kai (used to hit him on his head), an encouraging (and very awkward) hug from Luhan, a name tag with her name from Deng Chao, and a lesson on how to sing the team’s favorite song “Super Champion” (超级英雄) from Li Chen. Is it just me, or is that last one a bit strange to be coming from their arguably most tone deaf member (after Angelababy)?
After the intro, we switch gears into the actual episode. This episode is based in Yiwu (义乌) and the concept is of four family businesses competing to become the best. The episode will take us through three decades and display some historical facts. With each game, the teams will receive an amount of factories based on their placement in the game.
It begins with the introduction of the members and guests. Everyone is split into four teams: Blue – Deng Chao, Carina Lau, Wei Daxun. Yellow – Li Chen, Chen He, Guan Xiaotong. Green – Zheng Kai, Luhan, Dilraba. Red – Wong Cholam, Bosco Wong, Yuan Shanshan. For some reason, the official Youtube channel has cut the intro out from the official full episode, so we won’t be providing the video for this part.
The first game is to collect chicken feathers. There were two rounds with each team sending in a representative for each round. The first round consisted of the girls of each team – Carina, Dilraba, Shanshan, and Xiaotong. The second round was Bosco, Chen He, Deng Chao, and Zheng Kai.
After the game, the total weight of each team’s collected feathers determined the winners. The order is as follows: Red, Green, Yellow, Blue.
In the next game, we “fast forward” to ten years later and the companies now have to face “foreign merchants” who will want to buy from them. It begins with them searching for their designated merchant with only the names (which are difficult for them to pronounce). Once they find their merchant, they will be told what they need, how many, prices, etc. The teams will then need to solve the math problem and figure out the correct products and quantity. The math problems proved to be difficult for most of the cast. Guan Xiaotong was a star in this round, thanks to her fresh memory of how to solve the problems.
As each of the teams think the game is over, the production team announces that they will now need to find their merchant again to complete the transaction. The members are stunned when all the different merchants run around, confusing them.
The order for this round is as follows: Blue, Yellow, Green, Red.
We fast forward again to present day and the members get to see the newest technology in a sorting facility. The members’ memories are tested in this game as they watch items and photos being sorted into different cities. The production team asks the question and the teams that answer incorrectly are punished by drinking lemon juice.
The factories for this round were distributed a little differently. The Green team lost one factory, Red and Blue each received one and Yellow received two.
For the final name tag ripping game, the cast enters a huge shopping area. Instead of name tag ripping, the members have two tags on their arms. Each member of a team represents a Chinese character and together describe what type of item the teams will need to find to compete with each other. The descriptions include the loudest, the most flamboyant, the biggest, and the loneliest.
As always, the cast scatters around the venue ripping each other’s tags and finding the necessary items to complete their task and win the game. In the end, the total amount of factories earned were calculated, revealing the Red team as the winners and awarded with gold abacus necklaces. The production team also announced a special prize to the Blue team for their choice of item for “biggest”. The team chose a heart pillow and stated that love is the “biggest”.
It’s been a while since the last season so I was pretty excited for it to be back. Even my mom was excited over it lol. Dilraba was surprisingly impressive during games and adapting with the team. I think this was actually the second episode they filmed (they filmed the William Chan & JJ Lin episode first, if I remember correctly. To be aired next week) so perhaps that’s why she seemed a bit more comfortable. Bosco was a fun guest as he really knew how to let go of his image and get wild. Guan Xiaotong proved her brains during the math segment and impressed everyone. Yuan Shanshan didn’t make much of an impression in this episode. Wei Daxun was fun, but I felt like he didn’t reach his full potential. Carina Lau.. oh boy. I’m not sure why she went on the show. She didn’t like to do what everyone else was doing, she got angry during games, and she would whine over Deng Chao not answering correctly. When Wong Cholam offered his golden abacus necklace prize to her (she had said she wanted it) she rudely yelled “I don’t want it”! It seemed like everybody was afraid of offending her and it was apparent when they would stand still and let her rip their tags. Even the “special prize” for the blue team – some plastic tiaras – seemed like a prize they randomly picked out at the mall just to please her and give her “face”.
I noticed that quite a few people in this episode (Luhan, Wong Cholam, even Yuan Shanshan who was a guest) did not get much screen time. The production team should really consider whether they can actually give people significant screen time if they invite so many guests.. just saying!
For the games, I thought the chicken feather game was pretty fun, although I wish they showed the last batch of the cast play as well. The show ended up uploading that online as an “extra” clip but it’s not the same. The second game felt problematic to me. They had them find their merchants but then the punchline was that the members wouldn’t be able to tell people of the same race apart. Yikes! The third game was a snoozefest with lots of whining from Carina. The tag ripping game was not exciting at all.
All in all, I felt like the episode was rushed and lacking. The next episode includes two guests I really like (William Chan & JJ Lin) so hopefully it will be better.
Watch the episode (split into two videos):
You can find more clips from the official Youtube channel.
Tell us what you thought of the episode in the comments below!