When it comes to Korean television, the most popular shows that seem to appeal not only to Koreans but to the fans within the international community are K-dramas. The reason why K-dramas are garnering such a following outside of Korea may have to do with the excellent acting, phenomenal storytelling, and great editing. Also, K-dramas seem to follow a formula in which everything is written to be done for just one season. As a result, viewers are happy with the fact they can invest their time in said K-drama without having to worry about cliffhangers (most of the time). Just look at the official final episodes for Producer and Yong Pal just to get an understanding why.
As a matter of fact, the top four Korean shows to be the biggest influence on the Hallyu Wave (movement of popularity of Korean culture and entertainment outside of Korea) are K-dramas, as studied by the Korean Cultural Contents Agency.
The exception however is the fifth show, a K-variety show known as Running Man. First airing back in July 11, 2010, the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) show features its main cast and guests participating in missions at a landmark to win a race. These days, however, it is more like a reality-variety show focusing on the game show concept. Still, its popularity is steadfast, resulting in 271 episodes (the 270th episode is attached below and subtitled in English) being aired from debut to its latest episode aired on November 8, 2015. As for ratings, they are mostly in the double-digits, with the exception of its first season.
Needless to say, the main cast being together for about six years is more than enough of a reason for certain relationships to form. Though most of the relationships are very close friendships given the fact the entirety of the cast is male, all eyes are often on main cast members Gary and Song Ji Hyo. The reason why is because many fans of Running Man believe those two are in a relationship. With that in mind, Gary once again discussed his relationship with Ji Hyo during an interview. The question was if there was new information possibly revealing a romance?
According to AllKpop, Gary Kang (simply known as Gary on Running Man) was in a recent interview with the Chinese media. These days, interviews often include questions about Gary’s relationship with Song Ji Hyo, especially for fans who have followed them either from the beginning (or at least for a decent amount of time), clamoring to know more. Gary, attempted to provide an answer to both satisfy the media as well as entice fans.
“Song Ji Hyo is a good colleague. Some people think that our relationship is purely a business relationship. Some people say that we pretend to be a couple in order to earn money. I can understand that, but at the same time, some people like to see us flirt.”
“We have appeared together on ‘Running Man’ for six years now, so it isn’t awkward to tease each other. There is certainly an element of fiction in it for all of us, but not all of it is fake and we enjoy the process.”
The latest statement pertaining to Gary and Song Ji Hyo’s supposed relationship is the latest in a long line of past statements that have kept fans and the media on their toes. According to KdramaStars, Gary’s previous statement on his and Ji Hyo’s relationship was back on August 3, 2015 during an episode of Healing Camp. At the time, he said their love line was a failure citing the importance of work on Running Man.
“I doesn’t work no matter how hard I try. It’s been five years. Five. I could’ve had real feelings for her during that time, but I’m solely focused on work.”
“If we really do start dating and we happen to split, I feel like one of us has to leave the show so that’s why I’m just focused on work.”
Contrary to what he said, Gary and Song Ji Hyo were eventually seen together at Changsha Airport in China. They were to participate in Day Day Up, a Chinese variety show. Those around them took pictures of the two holding hands as they rushed through the airport. Still, both Gary and Ji Hyo insist they are just friends. To be frank, “The Monday Couple” reveal of their relationship would most likely happen after Running Man, or their stint on it, is over.
[Image via Yahoo Philippines/Running Man “Monday Couple” Facebook Fan Page]