Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why is Lee Kwang Soo so popular?

Lee Kwang Soo, if there anything more mysterious than his love relationship, it would be his popularity. Yeah, I know a lot of people had written about this before. But I also wanted to write about him too, because, why not? In Running Man, he is one of my favorite member. Yeah, he is well known as one of the cast member in SBS's variety show, Running Man.

But Kwang soo was actually a former model. He also did some acting in films and TV drama show. But he haven't landed on any lead roles yet, though I heard in his latest movie, 'Confession', he would be one of the 3 main characters. The movie would be released on July, 2014. Wow, I can't wait. I have watched most of his films, but most of them only had a minor role for him. He did had a main character in the early TV show that he cast in, a sitcom from MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation) called High Kick Through the Roof.

He also quite good in the CFs ( it stands for commercial films, but it actually refer to TV commercial in South Korea). One of the best was the Fanta Drink. It was super hilarious. Now when I think about it, seems like he actually can dance decently. Instead of that creaking robot dance that he had been doing.

But what makes Kwang-soo incredibly famous in Running Man? Kwang-soo first rose into a booming popularity when he joined the Running Man. He first known to be the tallest member in Running Man. He supposed to be the the third second strongest in Running Man after Jong-kook, but he took another path and become second most hilarious in Running Man after Jae-suk hyung.

Lee Kwang-soo is good looking.

Kwang-soo is a former model, and he appeared in TV commercials a few times. Saying that he is handsome is probably little bit far-fetched, but he not too ugly either. He have a serious and rugged kind of look when he first appeared. The way he kept his mustache and beard shows that he kept himself well groomed. When he first appeared in Running Man, a lot of people mistakenly took him to be Noh Hong-chul, because he was with Jae-suk hyung. He also bears a striking resemblance with Lee Sun-gyun when he poses with a pencil sized mustache. But sometimes he can be too good looking for him handle, causing people to call him as 'someone who looked like Kwang-soo'. To which he would always hilariously respond, "What do you mean by that? I'm not a person who looked like Lee Kwang-soo. I AM Lee Kwang-soo."

Contrary to his image as the weakest member in Running Man, he is actually quite physically fit. He have a lean and tall body. Though lack of bulging muscles like his hyung, Kim Kong-kook, he is packing muscular abs beneath his shirt. He is also agile, though he seems to be lack of athletic awareness. He can be seen in Running Man coughing up after a few burst of short runs, out of breath, probably because he didn't properly do some warm-ups first.

Lee Kwang-soo have a caring 'hyung'.

'Hyung' means 'older brother' in Korean. It also refers to and older friend whom like a big brother. In Running Man, Yoo Jae-suk hyung, Ji Suk-jin, Kim Jong-kook, Kang Gary, and Haha, are all like his 'hyung'.

If you a fan of Running Man, then you might have the same notion that Kwang-soo is always got picked by Jong-kook. Actually, the person who teased Kwang-soo the most is actually Jae-suk hyung. That's right, it was Jae-suk hyung who gave him the Giraffe, Kwang-vatar and many more nicknames.

In earlier episodes of Running Man, you can see Kwang-soo confronted Jae-suk hyung several times, and asked him, "Hyung, why are you doing this to me?". To which Jae-suk hyung would always just giggled and said, "Because its funny". Jae-suk hyung also loves to call him with weird and funny names like Kang-soo, Cho Kang-soo, Oh Kang-soo, to which Kwang-soo would accidentally respond, "Yes, hyung.". Jae-suk hyung also tricked him many times because Kwang-soo always reacted hilariously. In the Ghost School episode, Jae-suk hyung chased Kwang-soo throughout the building when the 'ghost' threaten 'someone will die if 3 or more people gathered together'. Kwang-soo ended up running and screaming, adding the already creepy environment in the empty building. But yes, Jae-suk hyung did all of those because it was funny.

Other than Jae-suk hyung, Kwang-soo also close with Jong-kook. In one of Kwang-soo interview, it was revealed that Kwang-soo actually doesn't mind being picked by his hyungs, especially by Jong-kook in Running Man. Its kind of easy to miss the fact that Kim Jong-Kook is already famous by his own, and he doesn't need Running Man to boost his already overwhelming charisma. In South Korea, Kim Jong-kook is famous as as one of the member of idol group named Turbo. Not to mention that Running Man is not his first variety show. Kwang-soo however was new in the entertainment industry. He only acted in a few TV shows and at the time when he first join the Running Man, he was only known as Kwang-soo, his character name in the sitcom 'High Kick Through the Roof'.

Kwang-soo mentioned that his hyung played pranks on him so that he would be noticed instead of silently disappeared into the background. He was quite witty, and even during his early appearance in Running Man he'd already made some bold jokes that earned him the nickname 'Framer Kwang-soo'. He said that he was thankful for his hyungs for helping him. Frankly speaking, Kwang-soo name is the most mentioned in Running Man shows, thanks to his hyungs who kept calling him.

Lee Kwang-soo is a true underdog.

Ok, this one is purely my own opinion. I admit, I'm also a Kwang-soo fan. But the reason I liked him is because he is funny. And not just funny. He tried his best to entertain the viewer in any given circumstances. He was quite brave, to the point that even Jong-kook is astonished with his bold gags, something that made Jong-kook called him as a 'weird kid'.

Sometimes, his jokes and gags can be considered as rude, but Kwang-soo is lucky to have such an understanding hyungs. There was an episode where Jong-kook came to the Running Man show latter because of his injury, and was grouped together with Kwang-soo and Suk-jin hyung where Kwang-soo called him Jong-kook sshi (Mr) instead of Jong-kook hyung. He said, "Are you Jong-kook sshi? Nice to meet you here.". Suk-jin hyung quickly caught up with his act and just played along by saying, "You looked a lot like the strong Kim Jong-kook, but I think we made a mistake here.". Jong-kook just laughed at the absurdity of the situation, turned and grabbed Suk-jin hyung, and shook him with his strength, trying to show that he is still the same strong Jong-kook despite of his injury. To which Kwang-soo responded, "Jong-kook hyung is back! Kim Jong-kook, Kim Jong-kook!"

Usually, after all of those jokes and gags, Kwang-soo would quickly apologize for any harm that he had may caused. Due to the South Korean culture, it is considered disrespectful to disobey or play pranks on their elders. It is because of this reason that Kwang-soo cannot win in most of the match in Running Man show. If the show guest turns out to be older than him, then he have no choice but to obey them. If it was idol groups, then he couldn't do anything that might harm their image. But Kwang-soo tried his best to respectful and funny at the same time. Unfortunately, not everyone as easy-going as his hyung. Even Jae-suk hyung always reminded him that there should be a respectable limit in making jokes and gags.

That is why I became a bit hateful toward Ji-hyo. Before this, I liked all of the Running Man members. But because Ji-hyo starting to be exempted from the group gags, which usually they reserved for their guests, it caused Kwang-soo to be always the butt end of the Running Man's jokes. If Ji-hyo made some mistakes, then the Running Man would just pretend that nothing happened. If anything, it would be Kwang-soo's fault even when he was just standing there doing nothing. These gags that actually increased his popularity exponentially.The more jokes on him, the more people would recognized him. Something that Ji-hyo can never achieve, no matter how much her actions were being sugar-coated like, 'Only 4 players left (Mong-ji is so amazing)' or 'Although she failed, but just like an Ace, she hit it accurately' and so on and so forth. Its.. so tiresome.

I do hope that Kwang-soo would be as funny as ever, just like his hyungs. I have long stopped wishing for Kwang-soo to win any match in Running Man. Truthfully, it wasn't really matter anyway. But once in a while he should try winning especially when he is grouped together with the guests. His betrayal is actually only funny with Jong-kook. Because I think the betrayal gags were meant to take down a strong opponent, like Haha did. I don't understand why he kept doing those 'betraying' stuff and trying so hard to keep the 'betrayal giraffe' image. It's.. so unnecessary. He is already comically funny.


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