The Lovable Entertainer Named, Jeon So-min

Jeon. So. Min.

The actress. The entertainer. The author.

Running Man.

The variety show that she and Yang Se-chan, a rising comedian and friend, both helped revive from near-death in 20171.

A program that catapulted the bright starlet into the public eye as it arose from its ashes, helping forge her underlying gifts amongst variety heavyweights each week, led by perhaps Korea’s top primetime star, Yoo Jae-suk.

What gifts? What exactly has made her a crucial part of one of South Korea’s longest-running, globally-popular, variety primetimes?

3 things. 3, endearing gifts, which she’s used to inject her own unique energy into the hot mess that fans all over the world tune into each Sunday.

Jeon So-min vs. Yoo Jae-suk².

1) First and foremost has been her natural and undeniable chemistry with her fellow Running cast, no matter the venue, whatever the mission.

Whether it’s been outwitting Lee Kwang-soo, flirting with Yang Se-chan or teasing Yoo Jae-suk, she’s found her groove amongst the tight-knit group. Even in the other members’ projects outside Running Man, she has made small cameos or even full-fledged appearances, much to their amused chagrin and welcoming grins, for they’ve come to learn just how much energy she can bring.

Joining during their time of crisis and sticking all the way to today, it is only natural that the cast’s maknae (youngest) has become as close to her peers as they have to her — so much so that when she needed to take a break from filming due to fatigue, the members took it perfectly in stride, graciously offered her their heartfelt support and welcomed her eventual return with devious glints in their eyes3.

There’s been no denying her dynamic connection with each, unique personality in the group. In Hong Kong, Japan or the U.K., she’s had the ability to always rile a smirk out of her team members and guests alike. Ultimately, wherever she’s found herself, she’s been able to bring a smile or even a blush to someone’s face — be it someone in front of the camera or behind it.

Jeon So-min & Yang Se-chan⁴.

2) Her romantic charades.

…perhaps “charades” isn’t quite the right word. “Pursuits” may be more apt.

Boy groups, former co-stars, handsome athletes — the starlet hasn’t been immune to the pheromones of possible love in the air. (Bear in mind, this has been “possible” love; “probable” love has been another matter.) Even Yang Se-chan, at times, has made her heart skip a beat — the maiden that she is.

Unafraid to have put herself out there when it comes to “love-lines,” one can’t help but root for the hopeless romantic, despite the cries filled with cringe from the cast that heckle her from the sidelines. In her attempts, though, there’s a certain…charm that’s bubbled forth in her displays of courage — a subtle endearment that’s accentuated her outgoing aura even if, and especially when, she’s failed. It is — after all — the willingness to try in the game of love that ultimately counts, a maxim which she’s embodied.

…and hey, it worked for Lee Kwang-soo. Perhaps she simply decided to follow in his footsteps, the eager learner that she is.

Jeon So-min dancing to a children’s song⁵.

3) Last but not least has been her shameless, competitive spirit.

Amongst wolves in sheeps’ clothing, the only way to survive is to “do as the Romans do” and fight fire with fire — at least, that’s the way Jeon So-min has often played — and there’s nothing wrong with that in the variety format rife with “betrayal,” gags and rivalries. Viewers enjoy.

I say “shameless” because she’s been willing to pretty much try anything in the moment to claim victory or, at least, avoid defeat at the hands of her scheming oppas (older, male co-stars). “Competitive” because she’s been fearless enough to challenge even Kim Jong-kook or Song Ji-hyo, the strong “aces” of the squad, every week with any method to her advantage. “Spirit” because she’s been the brightest in the group in both energy and demeanor — so much she’s glowed. All three attributes of her ethos have been simply infectious and one of the major reasons why she’s bolstered the overall group dynamic of the clearly close cast.

Her personality has shone, not at the expense of the others (although they may disagree in a sarcastic undertone) — but in beautiful harmony with her peers.

Her mascot has been that of the lovable and naive frog, but I’ve always thought of her as more of a canary, like that of Tweety Bird: sly, cute, dangerous.

Well, that wraps up my brief but perhaps enlightening scouting report on the colorful, variety entertainer named Jeon So-min on the globally-renowned show, Running Man — perhaps the gold standard — no, it certainly is — by which all other programs are heralded in Korean primetime and across the digital world. She’s been a gem amongst diamonds, and let’s end it with that. After all, if she ever comes across this profile on her, she might blush…


Hello dear readers of mine,

Nice to see you again! If this is actually the first post you’ve read of mine, welcome. I’m pleased to cross paths with you for but a fleeting moment, whichever the case.

I am indeed a fan of Running Man and wanted to highlight one of the members I thought deserved some attention for her efforts. All of them actually deserve respect and praise for how far they’ve come — but I had to pick one and ended up with Jeon So-min. If you’re already a fan of the show, I hope I’ve added a tasteful perspective on the funny actress-turned-entertainer-while-still-being-an-equally-talented-actress-of-course. If not, perhaps I’ve piqued your interest enough to lend a tiny bit of your attention to her gifts the next time she graces the screen. If not that, hopefully I’ve helped you pass the time with these written words of mine.

Nevertheless, thank you, once again for taking the time out of your life to read this brief log and listen to my take on this hilarious star.

May I see you again,


Cover. Courtesy of SBS, SBS Running Man, under Fair Use. Clip from Running Man, Ep. 343 (Global)/Ep. 475 (Korean).

1. Courtesy of Estee Ang via Hype Malaysia, Vijandren Ramadass, under Fair Use. Information from #SBS: Actress Jeon So Min & Comedian Yang Se Chan Permanently Joins #RunningMan.

2. Courtesy of Runningman 7012, SBS, under Fair Use. Clip from Running Man, Ep. 350 (Global)/Ep. 482 (Korean).

3. Courtesy of E. Cha via Soompi, Rakuten Viki, under Fair Use. Information from Jun So Min To Take Temporary Break From All Activities Including “Running Man” Due To Health Concerns.

4. Courtesy of KOCOWA, SBS, under Fair Use. Clip from Running Man, Ep. 466 (Global)/Ep. 598 (Korean).

5. Courtesy of KOCOWA, SBS, under Fair Use. Clip from Running Man, Ep. 474 (Global)/Ep. 606 (Korean).