Ever thought about escaping from the mundane routine of suburban life and heading on an exciting trip? Well the latest HBO comedy series Run does exactly that, with Fleabag collaborator Vicky Jones at the helm and Phoebe Waller-Bridge on board as an executive producer. The seven-episode series plays out as a thrillingly sexy rom-com, with leads Meritt Wever and Domhnal Gleeson chemistry leading the way.
On just another normal day, Ruby Richardson (Merritt Wever) receives an unexpected text, which simply states ‘RUN’. Dropping everything, she heads to the airport and then Grand Central station, jumping on a train to meet her previous college boyfriend Billy Johnson (Domhnall Gleeson), fulfilling a pact made 17 years ago. But nearly two decades on – has she made the right decision?
Unfurling at break neck speed, Run propels Ruby from bored thirty-something wife and mum to an adventurer meeting her old flame all in the space of eight minutes! As the two set out to recapture the past and rekindle their relationship, they agree to a “moratorium” on personal details, resulting in a curious drip-feeding of unspoken secrets, as their personal circumstances are slowly revealed throughout the first three episodes. As Ruby grapples with her decision, an intriguing mystery is slowly teased, just who is Billy secretly communicating with? A surprising revelation in episode four and five shakes the up the tone of the show, as the rom-com heads into thriller/dark comedy territory.
The series hinges on the onscreen chemistry of Gleeson and Wever due to the surprisingly small cast, and thankfully the two leads sizzle and spark. Wever is fantastic as ever; Jones subverts romcom clichés with Meritt proving the more self assured and confident. Gleeson clearly has fun as the somewhat charming Billy, the lifestyle guru who’s having a bit of a meltdown. He’s definitely the least likeable of the two though and with his glaringly suspicious behaviour, I definitely wouldn’t trust him! Archie Panjabi is fantastic as Billy’s unhinged PA and business partner Fiona, while Rich Sommer proves a great choice for Ruby’s husband following his turn in GLOW. There’s even a small cameo from Phoebe Waller-Bridge!
Run is pure escapism; a fun, Hitchcockian style thriller full of twists and turns. The relative short runtime of thirty minutes per episode gives the show an easily bingeable quality, with each instalment usually culminating in a gripping cliffhanger, hooking you further in.