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“Lovely Runner” featuring Byun Woo-seok as the male lead is experiencing remarkable popularity. 

tvN drama “Lovely Runner” featuring Byun Woo-seok as the male lead is experiencing remarkable popularity.

The drama “Lovely Runner”, where Byun Woo-seok collaborates with Kim Hye-yoon, is gaining global popularity beyond Korea. According to Good Data Corporation, a K-content online competitiveness analysis agency, it recorded a buzz score of 42,393 in the second week of April, among TV-OTT dramas, making it the highest buzz score among TV dramas broadcast in the past year. In its first week of airing, it ranked first in 133 countries overseas, including the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy.

“Lovely Runner” is a time-slip rescue romance drama where a famous artist, Ryu Sun-jae (played by Byun Woo-seok), who allowed his will to die, meets his ardent fan Im Sol (played by Kim Hye-yoon) who goes back to 2008. Despite its unrealistic and somewhat childish elements, the drama successfully captivates viewers with the visuals and acting skills of the actors, which are suitable for youth dramas.

In addition to attracting many fans with his character that stimulates excitement within the work, Byun Woo-seok is further gaining popularity by appearing on the web entertainment “Hong Seok-cheon’s Jewelry Box Season 2” on the 16th. Before his acting career, Byun Woo-seok first stepped into the entertainment industry as a model and then pursued his dream of becoming an actor by enrolling in the theater and film department.

He confessed that he failed auditions more than 100 times in the past. Byun Woo-seok, despite facing numerous rejections to the point of wondering, “Can I fail this much?” persevered and consistently made efforts, reflecting his earnestness and diligence toward his dream of becoming an actor.

He made his debut in 2016 with the tvN drama “Dear My Friends” and appeared in various works such as SBS’s “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo”, MBC’s “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo”, and tvN’s “Search: WWW” in minor and supporting roles. Although these works gained popularity, Byun Woo-seok’s presence within them was not prominent.

With his unrealistic 189cm physique, he began to shine in the movie “20th Century Girl” released in 2022. Despite his actual age being in his thirties, he convincingly portrayed a high school student in a uniform, attracting public attention. He continued to impress the audience through last year’s youth drama film “Soul Mate”. However, there was a sense of regret due to his limited screen time compared to the female lead.

Afterwards, Byun Woo-seok seized the opportunity with “Lovely Runner”. Furthermore, the drama gained attention with Kim Hye-yoon, who was known for wearing school uniforms. The combination was thought to be unlikely to fail. Viewers of “Lovely Runner” point to the chemistry between the two actors as a focal point of the work. They praise the resemblance in visuals due to their rare 29cm height difference and the right dimple. Byun Woo-seok has proven his potential through this work and is credited with a large portion of the drama’s global popularity. His hot topic is well supported by over 6 million SNS followers.

However, the drama shows a viewer rating in the 3% range, which is disappointing compared to its buzz. The episode 5 of the drama’s broadcast on the 22nd was scheduled 25 minutes earlier due to the broadcast of the “2024 AFC U-23 Qatar Asian Cup”, raising expectations for a reflective benefit, but recorded a frozen 3.4% rating compared to the previous episode. As the turning point has not yet arrived, the ratings need to be observed further.

Separate from viewer ratings, Byun Woo-seok appears to have succeeded in leaving an impression on the public as an actor through the drama’. It remains to be seen whether Byun Woo-seok can lead the viewer ratings with his unique charm.


Author Nat.O
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