Once we were legion!!
Now... not so much.
Recently one of the regulars, Kang Gary, bid us all goodbye to concentrate on his music career and possibly also try to save his back which had, on and off, given him problems throughout his Running Man career.
While it was sad, it wasn’t a huge surprise. He’d made statements about leaving before and, apparently, he only stayed as long as he did after he was asked to do a few more months before he finally quit.
The finale was very sad and made me shed a tear, but it was slightly spoilt by the very end which suggested that Gary would be in the following episode, too. It kind of ruined the moment. Like winning a heated argument and leaving the room in triumph, only to have to sneak back in again and get your coat.
Mind you, the next episode (with Gary as a guest) was pretty funny and it was entertaining watching people squirm with having to meet him again so soon after a tearful farewell.
Since then, a Gary-less Running Man has carried on much as before, which I'm a bit surprised by. Ratings haven’t changed at all, seemingly stuck on 6-7% no matter what happens. Perhaps the biggest winner in terms of air-time has been Song Ji Hyo who now seems to feature more prominently.
So, no jumping the shark, no sudden drop in quality now that the seven cast members have been reduced to six. The chemistry is still there, which is a big relief.