“Run On” Premiere Was A Delightful Watch- Episode 1 And 2 Review

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The newly premiered JTBC Drama “Run On” is here, was it worth the wait? Here is a review of “Run On”

I’ve been anticipating “Run On” for a while now because I am a huge fan of Siwan and it’s no secret if you follow my blog. On paper, its framed as yet another rom-com and I had my reservations regarding that but I know Siwan picks good scripts, so I was excited nonetheless.





“Run On” turned out to be such a delightful watch and I am here to discuss my thoughts on the premiere and my future worries regarding the script.

The basic idea

For a premiere, “Run On” is about as typical as Korean rom-coms come, which isn’t really a bad look but could discourage people from pursuing future episodes.

It’s about a love story between a translator and someone who wants to become a sports agent, who is also from a wealthy influential family. So far, it includes about everything you’d typically expect from a kdrama introduction, down to the rude CEO and the overbearing parents.

But here is what made it special in my opinion.  

I liked the snappy dialogue. When attempting to google the name of the screenwriter, I found no results. It appears that it’s his first project (judging he’s a man because his name is Park Min Sook, please correct me if I am wrong). So far, I like the way he constructed the conversations between the characters. It feels fresh despite the characters and the setup being so typical. The conversations the characters have were very engaging and kept me interested because I couldn’t guess what they were going to say or how they’d react to each other.   

The other thing that makes “Run On” premiere special is the male lead, lets talk about it.

Im Siwan’s choice

Objectively speaking, Siwan is one of the best idol-turned-actors; I highly doubt most would disagree with this statement. I’ve become a fan in 2014; Misaeng is one of the best written and acted kdramas I’ve ever seen. Siwan makes very interesting choices, so I knew he chose this wisely.

Rom-coms aren’t that fun to me anymore because they easily become boring and repetitive, but I am willing to give this drama a chance because I loved the premiere so much.




Siwan’s character in “Run On” is marvelous and very unique. He’s aloof but so charming, there is something unique about the way he speaks, also, I noticed that Siwan’s character has a different tone of speech from his other characters and it matches the description.

I love how much he’s paid attention to the small details to make his character stand out. He doesn’t come off pretentious or difficult to like but he does feel distant from your average kdrama character. Siwan always picks interesting characters; I would’ve been disappointed had he picked your typical male lead character.

He is typically very fun to watch. I still won’t guarantee I’ll stick until the end but if I do, it’ll be because of how amazing his performance is.

Shin Se Kyung- another typical role

For the nth time, Shin Se Kyung is playing the female lead who is poor, kind but has a dream and is determined, and she usually doesn’t take shit from those around her easily, she gets involved with an famous/popular/wealthy male lead and they fall in love.

I was discouraged by her character because I’ve seen her play similar ones at least three times already and I wonder… why does she always pick such characters? There are so many more interesting characters she could play that could show her range. I know the typical female lead is likeable but as we’ve seen in 2020, more people are willing to root for the anti-hero or to give a chance to flawed human beings. I’d like to see her challenge herself once in the near future and play something outside of her comfort zone.

Shin Se Kyung is either a hit or a miss with kdrama fans, even us, the international community for we tend to be more accepting and less harsh- typically.

I admit I didn’t have the best first impression of Shin Se Kyung; I thought she felt distant from her characters and her performances were okay but not engaging enough. She gives off the wrong first impression despite how adorable she is in real life.



What changed my mind was seeing bts videos of her with her co-stars and interviews, turns out unlike her exterior; she’s so sweet and easily cracks up. After seeing that, I started to look at her differently and now enjoy her performances a lot more.

In this drama, I feel she’s having fun and is more relaxed than she usually is. When I saw the teasers, I just felt great chemistry between Shin Se Kyung and Siwan, they look so comfortable around each other and I already ship them so badly. Seeing the premiere solidified that idea even more. They’re so cute when together and share great chemistry, I would’ve never thought of pairing them together but somehow they just work.

I also liked how Shin Se Kyung’s character openly talks about making a ‘mistake’ so soon; we’re only 2 episodes in. I like the openness in this drama. It’s chilled.

I think this is going to be my fav pairing of Shin Se Kyung or Siwan, ever.

Sooyoung and Kang Tae Oh

Kang Tae Oh is one of the most underrated Korean actors ever and its starting to get on my nerves how little he’s appreciated.

I already love the idea that there won’t be a love triangle; I would’ve seriously considered not watching had it been otherwise. I am just so sick of the typical forced conflict created by another love interest.

Sooyoung is playing a very interesting character here, I felt like punching her but at the same time she brings something different to the typical rich female CEO. She didn’t portray her scenes as I would’ve expected from a female CEO character in a rom-com.

I can’t wait to see her with Kang Tae Oh. This will be interesting.

Will 16 episodes become too much?

Again, I know, I am getting ahead of myself but I wonder, is 16 episodes what this series needs?

This year, so many good dramas were ruined by going beyond their deserved runtime. I trust Siwan makes interesting choices but the screenwriter is new so I have nothing to fall back on. I rarely think 16 episodes have been validated for any Korean rom-com I’ve seen in the last 5 years. The majority should’ve ended at episode 10 or 12.

With the way the script is moving, I expect things to escalate, it makes me wonder how it’ll pan out but also makes me scared. I know its soon and I am getting ahead of myself but I thought it was worth pointing out.  

So these are my thoughts on “Run On”, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi, thanks for the review and noticing this drama!!! For me, I feel like it’s a little early to have an idea but here is what I think after 2 first episodes – First of all, I like sport-related movies and dramas. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, people sometimes can’t relate, find them boring, but I love them. I was surprised that Netflix supported the sports theme of this drama because I had an impression they didn’t like those stories. One of the recent examples – Netflix’s Original “Spinning Out” second season was cancelled just after the first 2 episodes of the First season aired. Second, I like that they are showing us bullying in sports and how it is dealt with. This is a huge and important issue, as you know – a young Korean triathlete ended her life this year after being physically and psychologically abused by her coaches, for years. Well done for bringing this up. Third, I like Siwan’s character and I like his acting, he kept my attention throughout 2 episodes and it is not easy :). I like the cast, I like the CEO – she is very interesting, good acting again. So those are good things. What I liked less – I was struggling to understand what Oh Mi Joo was saying and I could not understand her reactions, especially during the scene with Soo Young. I found it too “as a mater of fact” for me, but maybe that was the idea. Or maybe I am still adjusting to a snappy dialog 🙂 Also concerned about the storyline for remaining 14 episodes, I hope they won’t be going in loops. But overall, I enjoyed the beginning of this new drama, will keep watching for the time being.

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