‘Lovely Runner’ Becomes a Hit Despite Low Ratings & Not Being on Netflix

The “Lovely Runner” phenomenon is getting strong. Despite falling short in ratings, the drama continues to achieve milestones and even the most-talked-about series today. 

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‘Lovely Runner’ Proves Global Influence Despite Recording Low Ratings

“Lovely Runner,” thanks to unique time-slip elements, has successfully captured the attention of many and exceeded the viewers’ expectations. 

Lovely Runner Still
Byeon Woo Seok, Kim Hye Yoon
(Photo : tvN Official Instagram)

The rom-com series may not encompass all age groups like “Queen of Tears,” but surprisingly, it garners audiences who are thoroughly engage in the drama.

The 16-episode series has already released 10 episodes. Even though its viewership ratings range from 3% to 4%, the series remains one of the most popular romantic dramas today.

According to Good Data Corporation, “Lovely Runner” topped the OTT drama popularity chart for the first week of May.

Adding to its milestone are the lead actors Byeon Woo Seok and Kim Hye Yoon occupying the first and second spots in the buzzworthy actors list. 

Writer’s Genius Script, Director’s Detailed Directing Give Perfect Combo

Initially, “Lovely Runner” was not a highly-anticipated work. tvN’s previously produced dramas with similar themes didn’t receive much hype. 

Lovely Runner Still
(Photo : tvN Official Instagram)

Writer Lee Si Eun included the techniques she developed during the creation of “True Beauty.” 

Different from the original novel, “The Best of Tomorrow,” she took the story back to 2008 and incorporated nostalgic elements like MP3 players, and Cyworld, evoking nostalgia among women in their 30s and 40s.

Parodying dialogues and scenes from other novels, along with adding music like Younha’s “Umbrella” and Kim Hyung Jung’s “I Think I Did,” enhanced the audience’s immersion. 

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Lovely Runner’ Becomes #1 Most Popular Drama After Scoring Double Digit Rating

“Lovely Runner” successfully harmonized script, direction, and acting. The natural chemistry between the lead actors also plays a significant role. Even Byeon Woo Seok and Kim Hye Yoon’s height differences evoke excitement in the viewers. 

‘Lovely Runner’ Becomes a Hit K-Drama Despite Limited Materials

Byeon Woo Seok, who debuted as a model, and has been in the entertainment industry for a decade, is now reaching his prime era. Through the drama, he has been admired for his “first love” image.

Kim Hye Yoon’s solid acting also complemented the heartthrob. 

Lovely Runner Still
(Photo : tvN Official Instagram)

“Lovely Runner” has no A-list actor or well-known writers and directors is not released on global platforms like Netflix, and can only be streamed on Asian content platforms like Viu, Rakuten, iQIYI, and U-Next. 

Even though Kim Hye Yoon had short notice of recognition through her past works, just before “Lovely Runner” premiered, there were discussions among overseas stakeholders about who the actor was.

Lovely Runner Still-Byeon Woo Seok
(Photo : tvN Official Instagram)

It is also rumored that the production focused more on searching for actors suitable for their roles rather than casting top stars. 

The “Sun Jae” craze is spreading beyond Korea and now reaching global popularity. During its pilot week, “Lovely Runner’ topped almost 130 countries as the most-watched K-dramas.

Even the fictional boyband Eclipse featured in the drama is getting recognition, with fans demanding them to have a concert and fan meetings. Their song “Sudden Shower” also entered the Melon chart. 

Interestingly, fans are taking the initiative to promote the drama and expressing confusion about why the ratings are low.

Moreover, CJ ENM welcomes the success beyond expectations that the “Lovely Runner” is amassing. 

“Lovely Runner” is receiving so much love to the extent that it’s difficult to handle. There are hardly any anti-fans and it’s garnering praise from a lot of individuals, which is encouraging.

From the marketing team to internal staff, everyone has become a fan and is caught up in the “Sun Jae” craze.