On the episode of JTBC’s talk program “Ssulzun” that aired on December 26, the hosts analyzed Sunday variety programs currently on air, comparing SBS’ “Running Man,” KBS’ “1N2D” and MBC’s “Real Men.”
Ratings for the last week of November saw “Real Men” in first place with 17.5% ratings, followed by “Running Man” with 14.4% and “1N2D” trailing with 8%. This changed when Season 3 of “1N2D” started, with ratings shooting up and the show catapulting back into first place. Since then, ratings for “Real Men” and “1N2D” have fluctuated, while ratings for “Running Man” have stayed relatively stable, never straying below the 12% mark.
This led MC Kim Gura to comment that the reason for the show’s steady ratings was the fervent support of its teenage fanbase. Lawyer Kang Yong Suk on his left added, “They are elementary school kids,” referring to the fanbase as a solid “cho-ding fandom.”
Film critic Heo Ji Woong explained that the average viewer might find it difficult to follow the show, which had middle-aged ahjusshis Kim Gura and Kang Yon Suk nodding in agreement. MC Park Ji Yoon said, “It’s too tiring watching them run.”
The hosts concluded that maybe only Kim Heechul would be able to understand the show, but even he noted that there were many times when the show was too immature for him. He cited examples such as the power of stopping time, or “The Avengers” theme as being too cheesy, saying that elementary school students would laugh watching it.
Kim Gura concluded that the teenage fanbase meant that guests were readily available, making the show a useful promotion vehicle for idols, actors and sports stars. The show’s star-studded guest list includes footballer Park Ji Sung, actor Jackie Chan, baseball player Ryu Hyun Jin and the Nation’s First Love Suzy.