Run Cover: A man and woman stand looking at each other on a red background with copies of themselves stretching behind them


Title: Run (Season #1)
Released: 2020

Fix: Train Travel, Rekindling Old Romance With Questionable People, Dramedy, Quirky Escapism, Cliffhangers
Platforms: HBOMax

HBOMax Summary:

Two ex-lovers, a married American woman and an aspiring British writer, activate a long-planned escape plan and disappear together for a week. They soon get into trouble and a female cop goes after them.

(This summary is very weird. I don’t think you’d call him “aspiring” when he has legit followers and what does it matter that a FEMALE cop goes after them?)

FYA Summary:

When suffocating housewife Ruby gets a single-worded text that says “RUN” from her ex she hasn’t seen in 15 years, Billy, she drops everything and does it. They meet on a train heading from New York to California, and, per their college agreement, they have one week to explore the possibility of staying together or going their separate ways and never speaking again. But there are people in both their lives that won’t let them go that easily, and leaving everything behind from your real life to go have sex with your ex on a train will, uh, definitely have some life-altering consequences. 

Familiar Faces:

Merritt Wever as Ruby 

Merritt isn’t really that familiar to me, but she’s been around on recurring roles in things like Nurse JackieNew Girl, and The Walking Dead, so I’m sure a lot of you know her better than I do. While I don’t actually LIKE Ruby very much, I think Merritt does a great job showing all the facets of Ruby’s effed up personality, from the quiet desperation of her married life to the way she comes alive under Billy’s gaze and you can see a glimpse of the wild-child she was back in college.

Domhnall Gleeson as Billy 

Did I only turn this on because I may have a weensy crush on Domhnall? You bet your ass I did. He plays Billy—another morally-questionable person—with so much charm I could totally understand why Ruby would abandon her family to spend more time with him, even as we witnessed his messed-up parts hiding under the joviality. 

A few other faces will pop in here and there that will also be familiar (Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag, plus Archie Panjabi mostly notably (to me) from The Good Wife) but I don’t want to spoil too much of their characters.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Medium

I don’t think this is must-see TV enough to go out of your way to watch with other people, and you won’t be outraged enough to need someone else’s take on it. There’s also some sexy moments you probably won’t want to watch with certain family members or uptight friends (Ruby and Billy are so aroused to see one another that on separate occasions they each go to the train bathroom to “relieve” themselves of the stress). So feel free to watch on your lonesome when you’re bored.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Dark ‘n Stormy

If you’re going to imbibe, I’d get something a little unusual and dark or bitter, because while this whole premise is total fantasy, it’s all squarely effed up.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Decent With A Caveat

If you’re a fan of Fleabag and the general real-life-is-crap/gritty tone of that show, you’ll probably be into this since the creator, Vicky Jones, often works with Waller-Bridge (who also executive produced this in addition to having her small (but fun!) role). I liked how the mystery of who Ruby and Billy were outside of this little tête-à-tête slowly unfolded, and, for the most part, the actors had plenty of chemistry to carry me through long after I was over their selfishness. The shenanigans of the last few episodes got to be a little eyebrow-raising “really now??” for me, as I much preferred for the drama to be centered more on their complicated relationship together than wacky external hijinks.

What will really turn some of you off, however, is that, unfortunately, the seven-episode, half-hour show was cancelled by HBO last year and it definitely ends with zero resolution. That is deeply unsatisfying. Though while I would’ve obviously wanted an actual ending, I’m not sure I would’ve felt compelled to keep going much farther beyond this one season if the focus was going to shift towards “how many crazy predicaments can they get into?”. Can someone tweet Vicky Jones for some closure?

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.