After SBS sold the rights to China, they have a hand in co-producing the Chinese version of Running Man, Run Brother (aka Hurry Up, Brother!), with television broadcast channel, Zhejiang Television. The first episode aired on October 10th. I feel the need to state this clearly because reading the unpleasant comments on youtube was not fun. Let’s practice being kind and understanding before throwing out careless and hurtful words, shall we?
Meet the main members of Run, Brother below.
Another thing I’d like to address: These chosen cast members are not comedians or TV hosts. I don’t expect them to create humor out of thin air like what we see in Running Man, which is led by the national MC (and a genius, I might add) Yoo Jae Suk, who can make a lump of coal interesting. They cater to Chinese audience and as long as they’re having fun and the ratings are doing well, I think they are satisfied. We need not be harsh.
Run, Brother Episode 1 RECAP:
The cast gathers around for a drink before lifting the veil and discovering the missing treasure, a white snake jade. Drama fans will recognize this legend for we have many TV versions to watch. To help them find the treasure, the guests for this episodes are actress Ma Su (The Bride with White Hair) and young actor, Shawn Dou (Under the Hawthorn Tree.) Nine people are split into three teams and the missions begin tomorrow morning!
Next morning the members arrive at a massive park and they gasp at the scene before their eyes. Hundreds of middle-aged women lightly dancing in the middle of the park. When the music stops, the women pull out small pieces of….acupressure mat and assemble them into a running trail with obstacles here and there.
First mission: Finish running the acupressure mat within 90 seconds.
Red team challenges first. Oh gosh, despite his advantage of being young and relatively athletic, Shawn is clumsy, he falls over the second human hurdle and stands there, waiting for permission to go on. Then he hurries off to tackle jump rope just to find the rope still untangled. Lol. The yellow team laughs and Deng Chao jokes, “I’m the one who tied the knot.”
Bao Qiang loses patience and starts bowing on the floor to rush the youth. The female actresses are much more understanding towards the handsome lad and encourage him from the sideline. Once the baton is handed to Bao Qiang, he flits off in a second to crawl through the rings and jumps like a rabbit over the poles. For those who don’t know, he studied at a Shaolin Temple when he was younger and does know Martial Arts.
He hands the baton to tiny Wong Cho Lam, whose face becomes a horrifying mask when a chubby woman blocks his path wearing a shirt that says, “Carry me.” Everyone watches in absolute hysterical laughter.
Upon reaching the last obstacle, Wong Cho Lam jumps up without thinking about the height of the dangling candy and misses the bar completely. Lol. He tries again and again while the cast, the production crews, and the bystanders just roll on their stomach.
When time’s up, Cho Lam bellows, “Can’t you lower the bar?”
PD: “But the height is the same for everyone.”
Cho Lam: “But my height is different from everyone!” LOL!
Determined to grab the bar, Cho Lam has a practice round in which everyone watches with bated breath for him to reach his dream – the bar. He does and it’s cute how Shawn comes under and carries Cho Lam away on his shoulders. Aww.
Yellow team challenges next and Deng Chao is a much faster runner than Shawn, though he slows down towards the last leg and Ma Su fares pretty well when she slides under the rings.
The muscle of the group, Jerry’s jaw drops when it’s his turn to finish and another lady interrupts his path wearing the same shirt, “Please carry me!” Though he struggles a bit, it’s fairly easy for him to reach the bar and bite the snack off. Their time = 128 seconds. Fail.
Blue team begins the run with Ryan. The whole time he’s running, Angelababy cheers loudly by the sideline, “Jia You! Jia You! Jia You!” When it’s her turn, she proves to be more speedy than the rest when moving beneath the rings.
Last member of the blue team is Michael. He’s the sleazy-looking male lead in that adorable-looking Cdrama I wrote about, Love is Back. Like the previous contenders, he screams in agony when carrying the lady. Unfortunately, they clock in 98 seconds. Fail.
Before the second trial begins, Angelababy (can I just call her Angela from now on? Calling her baby like the cast is weird!) asks Michael to hop on her and she carries him for a short distance, “Even I walk faster than you!” heh.
Second time for yellow team and they score 86 seconds. Pass! Red Team follows suit and Cho Lam correctly guesses the amount of time they used! 72 seconds! Blue Team is last and receives no hints at all to cracking the 4-digit passcode.
Next mission, using a huge blue drape to cover the punishment act (flying chair) and beautiful waitresses to distract the members, of course they will fail to remember the order in which the food plates were placed down. I love that they don’t understand the correlation between the food and the flying chairs and we get a footage from Running Man with Kim Hubby’s rapping pose in the air. Lol.
Deng Chao: “Do you expect us to eat and jump [in the pool]?” 😛
When the PD clarifies that it’s only 1.6 meters deep. Wong Cho Lam is exasperated, “ONLY 1.6m? I’m not even 1.6 meters tall!” Cutie dimple-faced Bao Qiang puts an arm over Cho Lam’s shoulder and claims, “Don’t worry, you’re not short! We will be brothers forever!”
Members’ reaction to the mission card:
Ma Su gets it wrong, of course. Bye Bye to Deng Chao and Jerry.
Red Team’s turn, Shawn is the food-picker, while Wong Cho Lam strikes a pose in the back to look cool while flying. You look like a dork! When they go flying, Yellow Team looks the happiest. LOL
Blue Team. Angela wants to cry and Ryan is the second chair sitter while Michael puts on a sleazy display when he bites the roll of food. This man! XD The boys offer their hand to support her trembling nerves but she refuses to touch them (why would she, she has Huang Xiao Ming to calm her nerves later!)
The second time, Mr. PD changes the rule. Once they pick up the wrong food, the members will go flying immediately. This helps the other teams guess the correct order faster.
When it’s the Red Team’s turn, Michael interferes and suggests the order for them. “If it’s wrong, I’ll jump in the pool 100 times!” Of he’s wrong, so the male members from three teams pull him back and watch him jump into the pool.
Blue Team re-challenges and Angela places food on her roll at rapid speed. Ryan’s face cracks me up. He goes flying solo since he’s the only one in the chair but Michael jumps in manually.
Having watched the other team fail repeatedly, the smart yellow team has an idea of the order and they do win first place again. Too happy to care, they jump in the water to celebrate, and the only one left on the platform is Angela, smiling and declaring, “I win.”
haha. During the drive to the next location, Bao Qiang complains to his team, “What kind of game is this, using beautiful waitresses to distract us!?” Wong Cho Lam: “But I remember the name of the waitress.” Lol.
Next game is held in the center of a beautiful lake. The members gawk and Angela cries out, “I just took a shower and we’re going into the water again!”
But dang, it is gorgeous. I don’t think I can focus on the mission in such scenery. Ah~
Snapping back to reality, the members take off and the fastest team gets to decide which item to use in place of ping pong rackets.
Bao Qing and Jerry are the fastest but somehow Bao Qiang misses his foot and ends up straight in the lake! I gasp out loud but thankfully, the ever gentleman Deng Chao immediately climbs to the edge to fish him out with Ma Su and Shawn beside him.
Winner of Ping Pong on West Lake goes to blue team, thanks to Ryan’s magnificent skills.
Last mission, finding the passcode in cases that are scattered throughout the Chinese Arts Academy building. There’s a catch of course, there are more fake cases than real ones.
But the real threat of this mission? A muscular man wearing a bell on his shoe looms over the players without their knowledge. Please welcome Sparta! Kim Jong Kook! Here to eliminate the members before they find the passcode and retrieve the treasure.
Deng Chao finds so many cases but his face says it all: FAKE! FAKE! FAKE! 😛 Followed by Ryan and Wong Cho Lam.
Angela finds one up in the window and has to act cute to get her VJ for help.
Deng Chao and Bao Qiang crack up when they find out each other’s countless cases are all blank. Lol.
First person to meet Sparta without being found is Deng Chao. He has done his homework and recognizes Kim Jong Kook instantly.
Upon hearing the bell sounds, Bao Qiang hops into an open window space and it’s hilarious how he has three people filming him! And each of them has to climb up too.
First person to experience Sparta’s immense strength is Ryan. Lol@ the two exchanging hellos (Ni Hao! Ni Hao!) while Sparta already rips half of Ryan’s shirt. After all is said and none, Ryan says in English, “It’s okay.” Sparta: “Sorry man, please don’t hate me. Jail is really comfortable man.”He sounds sexy in English. But I do prefer his soft, gentle, korean-speaking tone. Ryan: “Don’t meet me anymore. Find someone else.” haha!
Naive youth, Shawn, approaches the suspicious corner like this. Gosh. He’s so silly! The cameramen are standing right there dummy, they can’t be filming the wall right?! Run the other way! There’s no cookie here, hon!
Trapped against a wall, Shawn finally sees who it is. “Oh my god. Jong Kook Ge!” Jong Kook: “Did you know that I’m here?” Shawn: “I didn’t know you were here, it was a surprise!” Kookie: “Oh really? See you later!” All in English. Aw. They are so cute hugging each other again and again.
LOL! The difference in reaction. Ma Su needs help to reach up to another suitcase but the cameramen don’t budge. She meets Sparta a few minutes later and he’s surprised too, whispering “Oh….a female…” We know what’s gonna happen right? 😛
The same thing that always happens of course! No matter where he is, Sparta’s weakness is women. Awkward moment. He doesn’t know what to do and looks at the crew for advice. Deng Chao follows the commotion and tries to help but Sparta is rooted next to Ma Su. hahah XD So funny. He says sorry and rips off her nametag while she screams, “Run away!! Run away!! The bell person is on the first floor.”
Bao Qiang is the most adorable man in his thirties. He becomes a baby when faced with muscular Sparta. They shake hands and he just smiles showing those cute dimples and wrinkles. 😀 Then he tries to sneak past Jong Kook and gets eliminated….gently. I think Jong Kook likes him too. He has that likable factor down 100%!
Yellow team finds 3 of 4 numbers to crack the code. Wandering in the hallway is Ryan! What? Turns out Michael hurt himself during the Ping Pong game and his nametag is given to Ryan, so he has two lives too spare. I love how it’s just his luck to bump into Sparta again and they exchange a few sentences in English to clarify what happened. The whole time Jong Kook has his hand gripped on Ryan’s shirt. Ryan: “No, no, take it easy man!” Then he comes up with a plan. A round of rock-paper-scissor and if he wins, he gets a 3-seconds lead to escape. Too bad he picks rock and gets turned against the wall and ousted within a flash.
Next to visit jail is Wong Cho Lam. He keeps asking questions about Korea and Sparta looks to be on his last strand of patience. How he manages to look so pitiful during elimination is difficult to pull off. Sparta basically flips and rolls him backwards cause he’s like a frog, hopping and scrawling on his back. Gotta give props to him for putting up a decent fight despite his small frame!
When Sparta loses his patience, he jerks Cho Lam’s body up in the air and rips off the nametag. He wants to leave but Cho Lam’s frozen body makes him feel guilty so he comes back to make sure he’s okay. Aww. <3
Deng Chao reunites with fellow team member, Jerry, and reveals to him that the last clue (number) is under Jong Kook’s nametag, so they need to team up and eliminate the powerful opponent. Confidently, they go around the academy screaming for Kim Jong Kook!
Sparta hides and launches at them for a surprise attack but good reflexes save the men from immediate death. Jong Kook to Jerry, “You work out?” Jerry: “Yea.”
While Deng Chao acts more like a monkey, Jerry is the forceful and direct one in attacking Sparta and tearing his shirt. hehe. Sparta’s embarrassed smile as he glances towards the crew. The game begins again after he’s changed into a red shirt.
In a second, he grabs onto Jerry’s back but Deng Chao is arm’s length away and Jerry is now sprawled on the ground so Kookie rips Deng Chao’s nametag first. Within that second, Jerry hops up and rips Kookie’s name tag. Intense fight. Kookie is definitely the stronger and smarter player but his moment of distraction gave Jerry the opportunity to attack. Excited to win over such a strong opponent, Jerry rips his own shirt.
I like the cast, especially Wang Bao Qiang and his likable persona, that can only enhance his value in a variety show. Then there’s Deng Chao, who I have seen before in dramas but do not follow enough to recognize him. He’s indeed the main player, very caring and a gentleman (I find it sweet he opened doors for Ma Su whenever they got into a car.) If you recall, we first met Ryan Zheng as the male lead in Love At Second Sight with Rainie Yang and we weren’t really receptive to his older-than-age appearance. It’s a good thing that he has charisma in motion and I’ve grown to like him. (He’s gonna romance Zhao Li Ying next, and approval is in order. Lol.) Michael Chen didn’t really do anything this episode and I noticed that he liked to lie down a lot. Wong Cho Lam, a script-writer, a tv host, and a funnyman, put his best foot forward in this episode and I’m proud of him. Angelababy made a good decision to join this show because I usually see her as a walking barbie doll devoid of emotion. She’s bubbly and upfront here and that’s a good sign. Last member and looks to be the strongest one, Jerry Lee. I haven’t warmed up to him yet, he played pretty rough and can be pretty competitive without being mindful of his strength.