Once upon a time there were two crazy kids, an epic variety show, and a million ships sailing towards the horizon. And by horizon I mean social media. And by ships I mean fanfic. And GIFs. And crazy photo shopped wedding pics. And songs. And…well, you get the picture. If not, here it is:
One of the longest running and most beloved pairings in Korean Variety programming, Monday Couple has been delighting viewers of Running Man for three and a half years with their push / pull dynamic. For those who are new to MC, the pairing is made up of Song Ji Hyo (actress) and Kang Gary (rapper, LeeSsang) and appear on the variety hit Running Man. They have garnered a hug fanbase with their cute interactions and humorous spats. The name Monday Couple refers to Running Man’s filming schedule- the show traditionally would film on Monday’s leaving Gary and Ji Hyo to say they were only a couple on this day.
In real life Ji Hyo has a boyfriend (the CEO of C-JES nonetheless) however reality plays little importance in the world of Monday Couple. Though I wish it would…in a these-two-actually-go-out sort of way. You know those crazy shippers I mentioned? Yeah….I am kind of one of them.
As much as I have written about Running Man I have yet to list my favorite Monday Couple moments. Probably because there are so many that get me squeeeing and smiling that it is hard to decide what I really love the most. But I have made an attempt. Henceforth are the Top 10 Monday Couple moments as decided by Lore in Stone Cities (in no particular order). Cheers!
Connection in the Rain – Episode 12
Gary and Ji Hyo were on opposite teams in this early Running Man episode. All of which explains why they should be eliminating each other. But alas, Ji Hyo gave Gary sad kitten eyes and grabbed his leg in a plea to be let go. Gary could not help but give in to Ji Hyo’s gestures and let her run free. Maybe it is the rain, maybe it is because this is episode 12 and so early on, but I find this moment completely sigh inducing.
Subway Songs – Episode 15
A game that was played early on in Running Man involved a heart rate monitor. The task usually consisted of getting the target’s heart rate to exceed a set number. When the men of Running Man were given the challenge to make their Ace’s heart beat fast it was no easy task. Gary, however, proved that with a little rap and a little bit of Monday Couple magic the job could be done (but he didn’t win this challenge, which is kind of funny).
Rings & Titanic – Episode 18
Episode 18 threw the cast of Running Man onto a boat, a seafaring craft that I would like to think of as the Love Boat. In one of the early games featured on this episode there was a challenge to woo Ji Hyo and Lizzy. The man that was “selected” by each woman would win. When it came time for Gary to show his moves he busted out a ring and gave it to Ji Hyo. She promptly threw it away but still picked her Monday boyfriend in the end. To make Monday Couple fans even happier (if that is even possible) the pair reenacted the famous “I’m flying” scene from Titanic. Sighhhhhhhh.
Gary’s Wife – Episode 29
Not the most obvert of Monday Couple episodes, this entry gave us some adorable moments nonetheless. This episode found the cast filling out their profiles. Gary gave his goal as becoming Ji Hyo’s boyfriend, later he doctored Ji Hyo’s profile to read that her goal was to become his wife. Gary also quietly said “Even her writing is cute”. I love this episode for how understated and honest Ji Hyo and Gary’s interactions seem. Cute, just cute.
A Date – Episode 34
A date! A two straw milkshake date! During episode 34 Ji Hyo hinted to Kim Jong Kook that she wanted some alone time with Gary. The Commander teased the pair but relented. Thank you tiger! The result was the Monday Couple, wearing letter jackets, staring into each other’s eyes as they giggled. Monday Couple nirvana!
When We Started Over – Episode 127
My favorite Monday Couple moments list has a huge episode count gap. Why? Well, once Song Ji Hyo’s real life relationship was revealed around episode 83 the MC went on hiatus. Thankfully the couple made a comeback; I have to say as far as Monday Couple moments go some of the best have been post their initial “breakup”.
Take episode 127 for example. This was just a fun episode all around- with the Busan flower boys and great cast chemistry. And in regards to the matter at hand, the Monday Couple signaled their comeback with a couple wave. In the episode’s opening Gary was tasked with choosing between joining Ji Hyo’s team or Ji Woo’s team; he promptly (and was the only one) that went straight to Ji Hyo. Being the first episode of 2013 Gary announced that this was the time they would start over. 2013- The Year of Monday Couple.
Shopping for a Ring – Episode 133
Running man jetted off to Macau for episode 133. Gary and Ji Hyo were on one team (along with Dong Wook) and during one part of the episode they found themselves in a jewelry store. Ji Hyo and Gary looked at rings and Miss Mong managed to select a pretty expensive sparkler. But never fear, Gary told the store to hold the ring- Ji Hyo even managed to tell them to put it under Kang Gary’s name. Haha. If only it was real…
The Almost Kiss – Episode 137
I remember seeing the preview for this episode and freaking out. Like counting down the minutes until it aired freaking out. Yes, I know I need a hobby. Thanks Mom.
Episode 137 was as close to Monday Couple hopeful reality as I feel like this show has given viewers thus far. The couple played the peporo game, were teased by big nosed hyung about not having already dated each other, and then subjected to admitting each other’s attractiveness. Plus there was a Gone with the Wind like pose. I love you episode 137!
Monday Couple Live – Episode 150
In December 2012 Song Ji Hyo made a guest appearance at a LeeSsang Concert where she sang the song “Turned off the TV” with Gil and Gary. This real life appearance was daebak enough but I really fist pumped the musical Monday Couple in episode 150. Ji Hyo surprised Gary with a LeeSsang song as she waited undercover as a rock musician. Gary joined in and the two gave a performance that made Monday Couple fans everywhere want to rock.
Remember the Good Old Days? – Episode 153
I know, I know. This was last episode. But I still loved this moment enough to say that it has been one of the best of all time, even though I know I am still in the new Running Man episode smell kind of phase. In this episode Gary finds Ji Hyo and when faced with having to rip her nametag is unable to do it- mostly because she is giving him big sad eyes and “Oppa this” words. Which leads the two to reminisce about their interactions in episode 12 when a similar event occurred. Alas, Gary is unable to tear Ji Hyo’s name tag and suffers for his inability by being ousted himself. As he is led away Ji Hyo tries to make up with him. I just loved this pair looking back at their memories! Daebak!
So what are your favorite Monday Couple moments? Ramble on! I love some Monday Couple discussion!