I love watching BTS fail at making pancakes

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The clock is ticking, and the seven members of BTS are seconds away from discovering who the spy is in their game of Mafia. A moderator timidly points to one member, and the band volcanically erupts into screams and accusations. Insults are thrown, friendships are questioned, and the world’s most famous boy band suddenly looks like your typical group of friends on a Friday game night. 

It’s a common scene on Run BTS, the boy band’s variety show. The web series, initially launched in 2015 on V Live, features weekly episodes of the septet getting into all kinds of mayhem. Whether it’s migrating to the kitchen for cooking challenges or playing a game of badminton with pots and pans, Run BTS is a goldmine of comedic chaos. And I shamelessly relish every second of it. 

The idea of giving the biggest band in the world their own wacky variety show may seem bizarre at first, but it makes so much sense after watching just one episode. As fans, we often get to see BTS performing or promoting new music, but watching them struggle with a complicated recipe humanizes the group in a way that can feel even more intimate than music alone. The world of K-pop typically emphasizes a clean, cookie-cutter image for its performers, but Run BTS completely shreds those carefully crafted impressions and introduces you to the seven wildly hilarious men behind the icons. 

This is a real photo of the Grammy-nominated, record-breaking band of living icons known as BTS.
Credit: Screenshot Weverse/HYBE Corporation 

Through the show we learn that Jin is the crowned king of dad jokes, whipping out puns and wit in a single breath just like his flawless falsettos. Suga is apparently a master in both the studio and the kitchen, swooping in at any time to save a recipe (or a song) from disaster. J-Hope can brave any crowd and command every stage, but his fierceness falls short in the face of heights and roller coasters (although he’s always still willing to try, bless him). RM, the team’s leader who’s brilliantly intelligent and usually perfectly poised, is actually a clumsy klutz who will mistake salt for sugar just like any of us. Jimin is a bundle of love who’ll bend over backwards to help his bandmates, whether on stage or in a game of cards, ceaselessly rooting for them even though he may be losing. V’s smoldering death stare emboldens both his choreography and his tactics in Mafia, with his secret acting chops coming through every time. The band’s youngest, Jungkook, shines as a jack of all trades; he’s like a golden key who can unlock the secret to winning any game, whether it’s Pictionary or paintball. 

The general public often stands dumbfounded at the success of BTS, and perhaps more importantly, their ride-or-die fanbase, ARMY. But one needs to look no further than Run BTS to understand why their fanbase loves them the way they do. Yes, they’re ridiculously talented, but they’re also endlessly charismatic, and the show allows them to present that side of themselves.

It’s so endearing to watch seven of the singlehandedly most talented people on Earth struggle with foot volleyball or flapping helplessly in an introductory aerial yoga class, despite the athletic prowess needed to perform their demanding choreography onstage. They’re millionaires who will fight as if their life depended on it to win a gift card or a basic kitchen set. It’s hilarious, it’s chaotic, and it’s all too relatable.

Jimin and Jungkook recreate the titanic pose.

Leo and Kate could never.
Credit: Screenshot VLive/HYBE Corporation 

There’s an unmatched joy in watching BTS concerts, and an even greater joy in starting off your Tuesdays with an episode of Run BTS. Whether they’re galavanting around a water park or anxiously running away from a horde of zombies, the show is a quick shot of humor that we all need. As a young adult, being a fan of something, particularly something like Run BTS, is a rare allowance for my inner child to run free, let loose, and breathe. And the real charm of the show is that it does the same thing for BTS themselves.

With the team recently announcing their fulfillment of their mandatory military enlistment, it’s been made clear that while they will be releasing solo albums, Run BTS remains a place for the group to reassemble as seven. The show has become a safe haven, or a magic shop if you will (fans will get the reference), for both ARMYs and BTS. It’s a shared platform and experience between the two, resonant of a forever bond. 

At the end of every episode, BTS delightfully announce that “Run BTS will continue.” It’s a promise that they’ve kept for over 150 episodes, but it’s more importantly a promise that the band itself will always be there. In a time that’s arguably been turbulent since the group’s initial announcement of their temporary solo work in their 2022 festa, Run BTS has remained a steady meeting ground that grows alongside them and their fans. Who knows? Maybe future Run episodes will feature the group getting up to dad tasks. I know I’d tune in for that. 





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