The departure of Gary in late October last year left a big emptiness in the 'Running Man' family. This especially affected Song Ji-hyo because she and Gary were the "Monday Couple" on the show. Though Song Ji-hyo and Kim Jong-kook are loved by fans as the "SpartAce" couple, there hasn't been a proper loveline on the rebooted 'Running Man' after Gary and Ji-hyo. However, the brewing chemistry between Lee Kwang-soo and Jun So-min might change that after all. The new producing director (PD) on the show spoke about them.
As noted by website Soompi, 'Running Man' PD Jung Chul-min recently sat for an interview with Star News where he shared some interesting tidbits about the undeniable chemistry between the variety show's members Lee Kwang-soo and Jun So-min. The PD said, "Their chemistry is so good even when you just place them next to each other. We had a comfortable and fun time filming them in Indonesia. A lot of Indonesian fans came to the airport. After feeling like Kwang Soo is a comfortable dongsaeng, I remembered that Kwang Soo is Asia's Prince."
Kwang-soo and So-min are now being considered as the Traitor Couple on Running Man; thanks to Lee Kwang-soo's long-standing reputation on the variety programme. They recently filmed an episode in Indonesia for the show where they lost a race and as a consequence will have to ride a cable car, also known as ropeway in some countries.
Jung Chul-min was pleasantly surprised at the positive reaction of fans to the new couple on the show and said, "So Min also had a lot of fans. I thought that fans who care about Kwang-soo would be jealous of So-min but they actually love the Traitor Couple. Jun So-min was also surprised at the favourable response."
He also gushed about the 31-year-old actress and said, "We are thankful to each other. When [Jun So Min] appeared as a guest it was so much fun. I was drawn to her because her 'Running Man' character is the same as her real character. I think it's a win-win situation." The PD had previously complimented her in a July interview saying, "Jun So Min has an easygoing charm that is unlike an actress. She always arrives on set early and talks about how she's doing these days, and she's like a bright 'maknae' daughter."
As for the new approach to the show following its reboot, Jung Chul-min said, "I am consistently thinking about how to match the unique chemistry and character of 'Running Man' with all generations. We try to do some episodes like the original 'Running Man' and other episodes that make people say, 'Is this 'Running Man'? We're trying to diversify."
Jung Chul-min became the PD of the show this April replacing Gong Hee-chul, who was allegedly the man responsible for firing Song Ji-hyo and Kim Jong-kook. Interestingly, it is since April that Running Man's viewership has tripled, with recent ratings being in the eight percent range. It can be said thus, that with Lee Kwang-soo and Jun So-min being the cute new couple and an able and compassionate PD in Jung Chul-min, it seems 'Running Man' is in safe hands for the foreseeable future.