From that ‘Fleabag’ is becoming a phenomenon there’s a name that we have not stopped to listen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. She starred in, adapted and produced the series for Amazon based on his own play, but even though it’s his name that resonates (and with reason, is also the creator of ‘Killing Eve’ and ‘Crashing’, screenwriter of ‘No time to die’ and actress ‘Han Solo’) another woman hid behind their success: Vicky Jones, friend, partner, profession, and huge ally creative. In Jones is based on the character of Boo of ‘Fleabag’ and together they created this monologue that he wrote and starred in and the other was headed. Of this friendship, full of collaborations and challenges artistic, there have been several plays, many screenplays, and now has served also to Jones make the leap to the small screen with his own series for HBO: ‘Run’.
The premise is quite simple: Ruby (Merritt Wever) and Billy (Domhnall Gleeson) they were sweethearts in college and made a covenant: if one of the two wrote “Run” and the other responded in less than 24 hours he would be left all to be found in New York. Lead 17 years without being seen, but those 3 letters in a message are the beginning of an adventure, in all its meanings, when Ruby decides to leave his monotonous life on an impulse.
In ‘Run’, Jones uses the same sense of black humor and blatant ‘Flebag’, that which is constantly moving to the other side of the line between what is funny and what in the background is pretty sad. Nor, as in ‘Fleabag’, judge their characters, and rich, white and privileged, by living internally between the dissatisfaction and the failure. Because nothing happens, it is human to be miserable in your huge house with children and a swimming pool, and an unfortunate who was the da of guru of life. Don’t want to justify their mistakes because Billy and Ruby are selfish and capricious, just that at the bottom we want to be all.
Moving between romantic comedy and thriller casual, Jones explores topics far more complex than that concept so hackneyed of true love, because what Ruby and Billy have is more like the dependence and the longing to love. It is not that want to be together, is that they want to feel that again to be young and with an uncertain future ahead, something more than a programmed life, to become to feel desired or have the opportunity to go back to doing things and doing them well. Who has not fantasized ever with the life that could be and was not? This mixture of memories, desires, and illusion is the one that is supported ‘Run’, a romantic comedy that isn’t about love, it’s going to be a bad mother, of growing old, accepting mediocrity, that will frustrate your life while you have it all, sex and sexuality, and goes from wanting to change and allow you to do so.
The first episode takes place almost entirely in the interior of a train, as a sequel to crazy ‘Before the dawn’. A confined space, narrower than where you are passing the quarantine, which turns into a chase, in a lot of strips and aflojas that are anticipating the nervous rhythm that will have the rest of the chapters and the relationship toxic between their characters. Because Ruby and Billy are absolutely antagonistic, but between them there is a strong complicity, a special connection of that love of youth that is also latent sexual tension. Car up, car down, start a game of desires, jealousy and grudges where the control or the power of the situation will pass from one to another between flirting attacks and confessions.
Nothing is what it seems
Something that makes it very special ‘Run’ and that we have to speak with care not to fall in spoilers are their multiple turns of the script. We started getting to know the characters by how they present themselves to others, but as in the social networks, what we are and what we seem to not always match, and is much more revealing what they hide than what they have. Through some flashbacks and the appearance of the other people who are part of their lives, we discover who you really are outside of this adventure and the frames begin to get complicated going from the intimacy initial to a race to large-scale out-of-control with constant changes of tone and genre. The trailer has very little of what really is hidden in its 8 half-hour episodes (of which we have seen 5 for this review), and is the best thing that can happen to the series. The and the spectators will have to go collecting all the pieces of information and decide which ones are truth and which are not to form the full image, if there is one. ‘Run’ is a series focused entirely on Ruby and Bill, in his history, and works by the tremendous chemistry between its two protagonists.
Slowly and almost always with minor roles, Merritt Wever has been gaining the popularity it deserves. We have seen her in ‘Studio 60’, ‘The Walking Dead’ or ‘History of marriage’, but always in roles small; in ‘Nurse Jackie’ was the only one able to steal the spotlight Edie Falco, and ‘Believe me’, a series of Netflix on the investigation of a rape case, he demonstrated his incredible talent for the drama alongside Toni Collette. In ‘Run’, however, Wever plays a role rare in his career: the main protagonist and also the protagonist of a romance. Returns to explore his facet more comedic, but more from the expression, the sarcasm and the rudeness that the physical comedy, naive, and goofy nurse Zoey. Ruby is a woman lost, but also determined and empowered and, inevitably, a feminist, no big speeches, but pointing out constantly the paternalism of her partner and her individual need not be reduced to the role of wife and mother.
Which it has prior experience in this of the romantic comedies the Gleeson, who before becoming the General Hux of ‘Star Wars’ fell in love with Rachel McAdams in ‘A matter of time’. His character is probably the most complex of the series, vulnerable and insecure on the one hand and a manipulator manual by the other. Billy is a sell smoke that takes advantage of the idea of the capitalist system of that happiness can be bought with money, it is this figure of the successful man that the only thing that you can get and what we most yearn for is an emotional connection real with another person.
At the time of creating ‘Run’, Vicky Jones has chosen to surround himself with women. She writes the scripts, produces next to Waller-Bridge, Layla Blackman (‘Big Little Lies’) or Emily Leo (‘Under the shade’), and put in the address to many others such as Kate Dennis of ‘The tale of the maid and Natalie Bailey. Many women involved behind the scenes and also in front, where, in addition to Gleeson are listed just a few male characters and between all the secondary and high schools of the first 5 episodes, one would just have to highlight the manipulative and ambitious Fiona, the character of Archie Panjabi. With the voices of all these women working together, the scripts are loaded with a truth and naturalness when speaking of the complex and female sexuality that are still almost a novelty, especially in comedy. The masturbation female, or the desire to not depict him with a look sexualized and focused on the male audience, if not as a natural part of relationships.
Jones and his team have created a series that is comedy, thriller, drama, action and romance all in one, but over all it is a product with a lot of emotional intelligence and honesty, just what they lack in their protagonists. ‘Run’ is premiering on HBO next April 13 and issue a chapter a week every Monday.
The best: Its actors and the chemistry between them.
The worst: It costs a little to enter fully into its plot of a thriller.