[TV Series] Hurry Up, Brother
We all have heard the news, that SBS was working with Zhejiang Television in China to produce a China version of Running Man. There were speculations and rumors, such as the casts identity and the program airing date, that sort of thing. And now, finally, the show was unveiled on 10th October 2014. It was made abundantly clear that the new show is based on the popular Running Man TV series. But for the China version of the series, its called 奔跑吧兄弟 (Benpao ba Xiongdi), or Hurry Up, Brother.
And just like the Running Man, the show emphasize on urban variety games in a landmark kinda show. I thought you guys kinda fond of the Running Man TV series for South Korea, so I was wondering why nobody had written about a Hurry Up, Brother yet in this blog. Well, never mind then. I'm writing about it now. Maybe I'll just continue writing about it alongside with the ranting of Running Man show.
To straighten things up first, you'll see the word 'Lamando' on the TV show's poster, but that is not the show's name (which to my shame I thought it was) nor its the show's episode title. Apparently Lamando is a car brand, specifically Lamando sedan from Volkswagen. The Hurry Up Brother used Lamando car as their vehicles to get around, so yeah, the sponsors.
Differently from the Running Man, Hurry Up Brother didn't start from scratch. Or they didn't seemed to be. Their casts have all been selected, and I couldn't find out whether they are permanent or temporary. In fact, some of them have already built up their own nicknames. The cast are, Deng Chao, Li Chen, Michael Chen, Ryan Cheng, Wang Baoqiang (Royal Brothers), Wong Cho Lam (Royal Brothers), and Angelababy (Scream Goddess).
The cast composition is the same the Running Man, 6 men and 1 woman. Though Running Man actually didn't start out like that. Originally, Running Man was composed of 7 men. And then their number increased up to 8-9 (Lizzy and Ji-hyo), and with Lizzy and Joong-ki became too busy for the Running Man show schedule, the number returned back to 7 but composed of 6 men and 1 woman. What I'm trying to say here, team building and dynamic is very important in an urban variety show like this.
Which bring us to the content of the show. The Hurry Up Brother first episode was similar to the current Running Man show. Personally, I think it was kinda too grand for an opening episode. Not to mention, they'd already made gold medals as the prize. Quite lavish, don't you think? In Running Man, they actually handed out 'punishment' instead of prizes, in the early times. It was after it soared in popularity (thanks to the 'punishment' itself because it was basically a self promotion) that Running Man started to have gold as prizes.
Frankly, I always thought that the expensive prizes were meant to appease to the Running Man's high profile guests and celebrities. But even then, sometimes the guests could also got 'punished' alongside with the Running Man. Which what makes Running Man very interesting and unpredictable at some point. It also kept Running Man from turning into competition-based TV show, with emphasize on entertainment.
In the first episode, Kim Jong-kook from the Running Man came by and made a special appearance. Truthfully, I kinda find the show a little bit dull. It did however became interesting when Jong-kook made his appearance. But don't get me wrong though. It wasn't because I liked Jong-kook and being biased. It just that, when Jong-kook made his appearance that the gags and slapstick comedy started.
Jong-kook chased them while saying 'Ni hao' (How are you), and also they got their T-shirt ripped apart during the final mission when struggling. In the final mission, Jong-kook became a silent hunter that took the Hurry Up Brother one by one. I don't know what material that shirts was made, but it ripped quite easily. This episode might be one of those rare occurrence where you'll get to see Jong-kook's six-pack abs, because he also got his shirt ripped to shreds. It was so ridiculous even the filming crews were laughing.
But overall, my impression on the show is that the casts were just a bunch of popular people. Some of them appeared to have no knowledge of the Running Man that should be the base for their show's format. Wong Cho Lam for example, didn't recognized Jong-kook when they first met. They also didn't have a proper host for the show. Even though it was stated that Deng Chao is the main host for the show, but I didn't even know he was actually the host. He spoke very little.
The show relies heavily on popularity and the casts doesn't even care about entertaining the audiences. More like they were having fun with themselves or acting to have fun. I think this could be the first time I've ever seen a show with so many jokes and humor thrown all over place but nobody in the set even cracked a smile other the actors and actresses themselves. Pretty sad if you asked me..
Wait a minute, is this why the big guy didn't write about this show even though he wrote about Running Man show almost every week? Argh.. And here I thought I just got myself a really good material for my writing. Well, its still early to decide anyway. The show does have potential.