Lovely Runner Ep 1 premieres to solid ratings in Korea and high ratings from international viewers

Photo courtesy tvN

New Korean fantasy romance drama Lovely Runner premiered on tvN last night to a decent start in the ratings.

Numbers via Nielsen Korea show the latest tvN drama grabbed 3.07 percent nationwide, and a slightly higher 3.17 percent from audiences in Seoul.

The K-drama premiered in the same time slot as the recently ended Wedding Impossible, which garnered higher ratings of 4.00 percent and 4.44 percent for its first episode.

But, as that drama dropped as low as 2.22 percent/2.23 percent as it continued its run, it’s probably not a good idea to compare the two.

Especially as Lovely Runner has an intriguing premise and 15 episodes left to air, and anything can happen in the ratings game.

What’s the Lovely Runner plot?

The Lovely Runner drama is a comedy fantasy romance based on a web novel by Lee Si Eun that follows the lives of Ryu Seon Jae and Im Sol.

The K-drama’s plot goes something like this:

In the glamorous world of entertainment, Ryu Seon Jae (played by Byeon Woo Seok) is one of its biggest stars. Beneath the veneer of perfection, however, the relentless demands of the entertainment industry have left him drained.

Meawhile, Im Sol (Kim Hye Yoon), a devoted fan, harbors deep affection for Ryu Seon Jae. After all, despite her shattered dreams due to a childhood accident, his music on the radio brings her comfort.

Im Sol is then devastated by the news of Ryu Seon Jae’s untimely death, but soon after experiences an extraordinary stroke of luck as she is suddenly transported back 15 years into the past.

It is there she meets Ryu Seon Jae as a 19-year-old high school student, and realizes┬ámaybe she can change Seon Jae’s future, so that his early death never happens.

At the same time, though, she doesn’t realize she is also changing hers.

Lovely Runner stars the aforementioned Byeon Woo Seok (Strong Girl Namsoon), and Kim Hye Yoon (Snowdrop) alongside Song Geon Hee (Joseon Attorney) and Lee Seung Hyub (Nevertheless).

It airs on tvN in South Korea every Monday and Tuesday at 20:50 (KST), with Viki streaming it for its international viewers.

And by the way, just one episode in, and Viki viewers are already rating it a 9.8 out of 10, while My Drama List users are rating it a high (for that platform) 8.6 out of 10.

That means, if you enjoy a good fantasy romance, this one may be a must watch.

About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered anime, manga, K-drama and music news for over a decade.