Why HBO's 'Run' Is the Perfect Antidote to Your Social Distancing Binge Slump

run merritt wever domhnall gleeson

Most Americans have been practicing social distancing for about a month now, and while it's important to continue to follow the advice of medical professionals in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, for many, being stuck at home is starting to get a little tiresome.

Maybe you're working through the long list of movies, TV shows and books you've been meaning to watch, maybe you're finding hard to focus on anything long enough to commit. Either way, we have the perfect recommendation: HBO's new dark comedy series, Run.

Produced by Fleabag phenom Phoebe Waller-Bridge, written by her frequent collaborator, Vicky Jones, and starring perennial scene-stealers Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson, Run begins with a simple-yet-complicated premise: Seventeen years ago, college sweethearts Ruby (Wever) and Billy (Gleeson) made a pact. If either of them ever texted "RUN," and the other replied in kind, they would drop everything, meet at Grand Central Station and travel across the country together.

The first episode of Run begins with the plan being set in motion. Billy and Ruby meet on a westbound train with little more than the clothes on their backs and an unknown adventure ahead of them. They agree to a moratorium on personal questions for the first day, though their undeniable chemistry will have every viewer questioning why they've been apart for nearly two decades in the first place.

Still not sold? Here's a few more reasons why Run is the perfect antidote to your social distancing slump:

1. Time. Run, like Fleabag, isn't about drawing things out -- though the first episode certainly seems like one long smolder between the former lovers. For now, the series is set to be just eight weekly half-hour episodes. It's quick and leaves you wanting more, the perfect appointment viewing on a Sunday night, when you're just starting to wrap your head around the concept of waking up for another week of work-from-home. 

2. Chemistry. Listen, we can all be honest about what's going on right now, um, romantically. Single people are going stir-crazy on their own. Couples are going stir-crazy in other ways. Either way, a vicarious fantasy about leaving your everyday life behind for a hot-and-heavy fling sounds like something we could all use. And truly, despite whatever secrets their characters are hiding behind their smirky banter, the chemistry between Wever and Gleeson is undeniable and compelling.

3. Awards. Ever get to Emmys season and feel like you're way too behind on the nominees? Were you the last of your friends to get on the "Hot Priest" bandwagon? Well, then tune in now. Even without halted productions leaving the back half of 2020 in question, Wever and Gleeson would likely be on the shortlist for the comedy categories this year, and this way, you can be the one haughtily telling your Zoom chat group that you've already watched it.

4. Everything else. Run has everything we can't want right now. Close personal contact? Check. Cross-country travel? Check. Unknown adventure? Check. Being crammed onto a crowded train car with dozens of other people? Honestly, it's starting to sound like heaven. (Plus, there's a joke about germs in the series premiere that feels strangely prescient.)

Run airs Sundays at 10:30 pm PT/ET on HBO.

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