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TIME Magazine Names THIS K-Drama the Year’s Must-Watch Series

Daniel Kim Views  

TVING

The U.S. weekly news magazine TIME named the drama Lovely Runner this year’s best K-drama.

On May 30, TIME published an article titledLovely Runner’s Finale Makes It the Year’s Best K-Drama.”

TIME praised, “We’re only halfway through 2024, but any upcoming Korean drama looking to steal the title of year’s best from Lovely Runner will have to pull out all the stops”.

They also pointed out that this drama’s strengths lie in its mix of nostalgia, romance, a murder subplot, and emotional turmoil due to time slips. The magazine continued, “The series used familiar genres to craft a thrillingly unexpected, continuously moving story experience.”

It further explained, “‘Lovely Runner,’ that logic came in the central theme of a seemingly unavoidable fate and the many kinds of love (self, familial, platonic, and romantic) that led to defying it. Using this logic, ‘Lovely Runner’ gave viewers an incredibly satisfying story of love that transcends time and fate. In the process, it used a genre’s structure to give us three mini-stories: a high school romance, a college romance, and a workplace romance.”

Lovely Runner is the story of Ryu Sun Jae (played by Byeon Woo Seok), a member of the boy band Eclipse, who dies suddenly, and Lim Sol (played by Kim Hye Yoon) travels back in time to change this. Sol changes the future by moving between the past and present multiple times. Ultimately, Sol promises a happy future with Sun Jae, who has recovered memories from various periods and builds their life together.

The media praised, “It is also noteworthy that Sol’s happy ending came not only in her relationship with Sun Jae but in the opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming a film director.”

Time-travel plots are notoriously difficult to execute successfully because time travel doesn’t exist. Imposing authenticity on these stories is generally considered ineffective. However, like all narratives, time-travel stories must maintain internal logic and consistency to be effective.

The critique pointed out a significant issue with Lovely Runner, particularly in its depiction of disability in the series finale. Initially, the show effectively portrayed Sol’s disability not as a tragedy but as one aspect of her character, emphasizing the societal inadequacies of ableist systems rather than her limitations. However, this nuanced portrayal was undermined when the narrative swiftly abandoned this aspect of her character following her time travel. The critique emphasized that it would have been more progressive and groundbreaking if Sol’s happy ending had continued to include her disability rather than treating it as an obstacle to overcome for a happy ending.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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