Why you should be watching Run on Sky Comedy
Merritt and Domhnall8
Breathless chase sequences8
Katherine McLaughlin | On 16, Apr 2020
This spoiler-free review is based on the first five episodes of Run.
The idea for this eight-part romantic comedy thriller came from a joke that Vicky Jones, creator and co-founder of DryWrite Theatre Company, played with frequent collaborator Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Whenever they wanted out of a bad situation, they would whisper to each other: “RUN!” The result is the first TV show released by DryWrite, and it plays out over domestic planes, Amtrak trains and rickety automobiles across the USA.
Written by Jones and a host of female talent, directed by Kate Dennis and Natalie Bailey and executive produced by Waller-Bridge who even makes a cameo, the series stars Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson as bored housewife Ruby and wealthy motivational speaker Billy. They play a game where one texts “RUN” if they want to drop everything for a one-week cross-country railway trip. If the other texts back, then it’s a go. Suddenly, Ruby is presented with the option to leave behind her husband (the smartly cast Rich Sommer, who played infamous Mad Men douchebag Harry) and their family. Sitting in her car in a comfy yoga outfit when Billy contacts her, she messages back and impulsively hits the road to meet an old flame for teenage kicks.
The audience is drip-fed information about these characters, moving back and forth through time via flashbacks to shade in the details about their lives and their relationship up until this point. The narrative zigs, zags, ups the stakes, adds unexpected obstacles and unfolds to shocking ends, with new characters popping up to add further complications to their journey. Billy and Ruby’s selfishness is exhilarating to watch, as they embrace that first rush of excitement that their everyday lives don’t offer. The question of how long this tryst will last, and what they really mean to one another, is daringly played out as motivations shift and doubt creeps in.
The casting of Wever and Gleeson is a stroke of genius – they are a perfectly matched pair who share an undeniable on-screen chemistry. Their credible romance keeps you invested even when they do terrible things. The zippy, biting, foul-mouthed dialogue feels fresh and believable in their hands, as do their poignant emotional arcs. Wever’s turn as Ruby is vulnerable, peppy and sexy and it’s great to see the talented actress cast in such a fun, leading role. Gleeson excels as the bratty but sensitive Billy, with his accomplished puppy dog scowls a highlight. Their dynamic strikes a dizzying intensity that fuels a breathless, witty, high-octane and sexually charged road trip.
Run Season 1 is available on Sky Comedy. Don’t have Sky? You can also stream it live and on-demand legally on NOW, for £9.99 a month, with no contract and a 7-day free trial.