Running Man cast: Lee kwang soo, haha (ha dong hoon), Ji suk jin, Kim Jong Kook, Yoo jae suk, Gary, Song Jihyo
Running Man is one of the most popular variety shows in S.Korea right now. Not only is it popular in Korea but it is also popular outside, gaining fans across Asia and even other continents. The games, the humor (WARNING: You would not be able to watch a full Running Man episode without laughing- i tried= IMPOSSIBLE) and the relationship between the cast all contributes to its success.
For this post, let me emphasize on “the relationship between the cast” part and talk about….
If i randomly write “Monday couple” down like i did above, the people not familiar with Running Man would have no clue what I’m referring to.
But in the other hand, the regular viewers would know straight away what it refers to.
Today, I’m going to write about Monday couple and mentions the reasons why i believe this variety couple is popular among Running Man fans.
I’m secretly a “Monday couple” fan myself.
If you watch Running Man,you would know the term “Monday couple” in itself refers to Gary and Jihyo, the term came about when in episode 14, Haha(ha dong hoon) mentioned how Gary and Jihyo always seems close anytime they filmed (referring to Gary’s flirting and Jihyo’s interaction with him) which were on Mondays (filming date) , they were first dubbed “Monday couple” then by the captions. Jihyo then confirms their Monday couple status when in episode 16 she says “On Mondays, i have a man” referring to Gary.
Running Man viewers, especially Monday couple fans have grown so fond of this on-screen (variety) couple from that point on , to the extent that even after Song Jihyo’s real life’s relationship was made known in episode 82 , viewers are still eager and enjoy to see Monday couple interact.
Therefore i decided to write about Monday couple and the reasons why they’re still so popular among Running man viewers?
1- GARY’S REAL CRUSH ON HER.
In all honesty, I believe the main foundation of Gary and Jihyo’s monday couple relationship on the show all started from Gary’s honest approach and the fact that from the beginning, he was pretty straight forward showing his feelings,never hiding the fact that he he was somehow attracted to her. One can call it a crush.
Not a crush that would go as far as him wanting to die for the person and marry them, but an innocent crush, obvious enough that people around you would see you are turning red anytime that person’s name is being mentioned or when the ones around you see your embarrassment when faced with the question ” Do you like her/him?”.
Here in episode 15 when Joongki kisses Jihyo in the cheek, Yoo Jae suk asks if Gary is doing okay and here’s Gary’s reaction:
The fact that Monday couple started from raw emotions and naturally,makes the audience relates and it also brings some sense of realism because it is somehow realistic.
2- NON-SCRIPTED & NATURAL CHEMISTRY
If you’ve followed Running Man since the early episodes, you would know for certain that Gary and Jihyo’s relationship on the show (Monday couple) is not scripted but that it started naturally and gradually.
The fact that Monday couple’s interaction is non scripted and not dictated by any producers but is natural brings about a lot of unexpected interactions between Gary and Jihyo and makes the audience please as they can relate to them, one that haven’t followed Running Man would even ask if they are a real couple.
3- AUDIENCE HAVE WITNESSED THEIR JOURNEY
As Running man viewers, the viewers have been able to witness Gary and Jihyo go from having the most awkward relationship among the cast members in the earlier episodes..
(pictures taking from episode 10)
You could say Jihyo was almost afraid and intimated by Gary. Very funny to think about it now. (I believe the main reason why Jihyo was so awkward with him is because just like the viewers, she was aware of Gary’s likeness towards her by then) but that moment in the exhitibition arts room, this moment together helped them to be more comfortable towards each other and brought them slightly closer.
With Gary even buying coffee for her and Jihyo sharing it.
….when Jihyo tried to strike up conversation and asked him if he has plans to get married yet as he’s in his thirties, he replied by saying
After Jihyo’s relationship was announced Jihyo and Gary became awkward and barely talked to each other. When they were put in the same team for the first time after a while, it was all like the beginning again. Awkwardness (ep 90)
But after a few episodes and a few awkward moments has passed, they slowly but surely got past the awkwardness stage and became comfortable again.
The fact that from the beginning until now the audience have been seeing their progress and how their relationship has grown over the show contributes to their popularity among Running Man fans.
Another thing that contributes to the popularity of Monday couple would be…
4- UNFORGETTABLE and CHEESY LINES FROM GARY
Some say when you love, words just come flowing. I’m sure it’s no different from our Kang Gary. Because of his Monday boyfriend status he has been able to come out with the most unforgettable and funniest, same time cheesiest lines in Running Man history,fans have also been able to witness the quirky side of Leesang’s Gary.
Here are some examples of Gary’s memorable & also cheesiest lines:
(Episode 29) Even turtles live together in the same place, why are people only able to meet on Mondays? Ah! A true enviable family!
(episode 55) Is what they call love? When you have it, it’s a burden! Without it you’re lonely.
(episode 135) Song jihyo is asked by Ji suk jin if she’ll ever date Gary, she replies by “I’ll think about it” she asks Gary if he had thoughts on dating her.
Gary replies by ” Don’t think about it next time, tell me either X or O now”(referring to her answer to Ji suk jin’s question)
(episode 120) Gary has a wardrobe malfunction, his underwear can be seen slightly & he asks Jihyo “…It’s the color you like right?” Hilarious.
(episode 10) When Jihyo says that they have 4 years age difference and Gary replies “Like four letters to love to death?”
(episode 135) Song Jihyo asks Gary what clothes he would recommend her to buy if they went shopping, he replies ” Song jihyo has no need for that (all the expensive clothes) , Song jihyo herself is beautiful, Song jihyo…she is a flower”
5- “MONDAY COUPLE” CAPTIONS STILL EXISTING
The Monday couple captions is also one of the reasons why i believe Monday couple is popular even after Jihyo’s relationship announcement. The fact that the captions”Monday couple” has not being taking off the show but still appears now and then, let the viewers know that Monday couple is still alive and part of the show.
Not only the captions, but also the members adds to the popularity of this on-screen couple, the fact that the cast members still emphasize on each interaction they see coming from Gary and Jihyo. Haha (ha dong hoon) is not being shy expressing the fact that he wants them to date in real life, outside the show.
Summarizing, i believe the reasons why Monday couple is still popular among Running man fans, is because of all these reasons mentioned above! Their natural chemistry; Gary’s love lines and so on.
Episode 137 i believe is the most powerful Monday couple moment until date, when Gary & Jihyo had to do the “pepero game”. I believe it would stay one of the most classic moments for Monday couple fans out there.
What do you think of the Monday couple? Leave comments below 🙂