This is a track field with the numbers 4, 5, and 6 inscribed to represent the track field in "Run On".
Austris Augusts

This episode was great, there seemed to be a lot of love for everyone.

Is it possible to be innovative with a love story? Nearly every modern love story to date falls into two categories: overly sentimental/fantastical or realistic. It’s why shows with a great balance of both grab attention and engagement. The South Korean drama Run On, is one of those TV shows that has managed to make the banal journey of lovers seem almost like a fun experiment especially since it perfectly balances both categories in a very ordinary love story.

The 2020 Netflix drama is centered on the budding relationship between two very eccentric characters: Oh Mi Joo (Shin Se-kyung) a professional translator and Ki Seon-Gyeom (Im Si-Wan) a runner for the South Korean national team. Everything about these two characters feels somehow unrealistic and also very typical, like what you would expect of regular people. They are a joy but also, very weird.

Run On is funny in a very clever and almost effortless way due largely to it’s unpredictability. The story of how Mi Joo and Seon-Gyeom meet is earnest and inviting. Fittingly, it’s totally random. In fact, there is a tone of erraticness within the entire show that is maintain by the objectively odd facial expressions of Ki Seon-Gyeom. It makes for great TV because for whatever reason, neither Oh Mi Joo and Ki Seon-Gyeom are able to filter or censor their thoughts and so everything they feel is expressed in a humourous way. Their commitment to awkwardness helps the show to cultivate a fresh rawness about it, a feeling which is so reminiscent of the British hit series Catastrophe.

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Naturally, every TV show starts off with a strong introduction, usually strong enough to make anyone feel like the show they are watching is different from the rest and sometimes, that’s wrong (see the unfortunate claims made about Lovecraft Country early on), but this one is the real deal, promise. Look, it’s difficult to maintain a light romantic air purely based off of how awkward or unusual characters are. So, the fact that episode six of Run On is equally enjoyable as the first few money grabbing moments, is a testament of how worthy it is of your time.

In this episode alone, we got character development, laughs, and finally a progression between the romance between Ki Seon-Gyeom and Oh Mi Joo. Of course, there was no kiss, just a lot of talking but at least things are moving along.

Ki Seon-Gyeom, begins the episode looking somber and bored since he is unemployed but also probably a little bit at ease knowing that his image wasn’t completely tarnished. (He also didn’t have much to lose in the way of life security like the other runners since he’s rich but surely losing his ability to do something he’s passionate about was difficult to reconcile even if it was a meaningful loss.) While his existential crisis was going on, Oh Mi Joo works while waiting for him to reach out and so the only progression between them happens because Seon-Gyeom manages to lose everything including his agent Seo Dan-Ah (Sooyoung). Their slot-like confession to one another calls on even Dan Ah to shake her naturally elusive disposition to help their relationship along. Isn’t she likeable?

You have to give Dan-Ah a bit of props for how she encouraged them to get together. Like the rest of us, she was probably annoyed about how slowly they were progressing and thought she had to save the day. But ultimately, because of her, Seon-Gyeom, moves in with Mi Joo and her housemate for a few days. Truly though, the exciting part of this episode was when Seon-Gyeom takes Mi Joo along with him to seek the help of his old coach who happens to be a heavy drinker which lead to Mi Joo falling drunk and asking Seon-Gyeom to like her (aw). So essentially, a lot of external forces help to push the two together because both of them seem to reach out to the other when the other isn’t receptive.

This episode was great, there seemed to be a lot of love for everyone. It was quite enjoyable to watch as Lee Yeong-Hwa (Kang Tae-Oh) courts Dan Ah with a complete disregard of their status. And also especially hilarious to watch his interaction with Seon-Gyeom in the supermarket purely because of how easy going and charming Yeong-Hwa is. Is it to early to ship a bromance between them? Even still, Yeong-Hwa’s smile is just infectious. He smiles even when people stare blankly at him and that takes a lot of confidence to bare.

Like Yeong-Hwa Run On is smooth. So smooth, it’s easy to forget how little happened in this episode or in the previous ones. Boy is it slow-paced. I want to see something happen with Yeong-Hwa and Dan Ah dammit and at the very least a hug between Seon-Gyeom and Mi Joo. I’ll settle for both of them being awake when they confess to each other though.

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