‘Run’ reviews roundup: Does Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s magic touch propel HBO’s new series? [WATCH TRAILER]

HBO’s “Run” is a romantic thriller series executive-produced by the much-lauded creator of “Fleabag,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who has been a trophy magnet of late. The second season of her Amazon Prime show that aired last year won six Emmys, including comedy series, lead actress and writing. She also received series and acting awards from the Golden Globes.

Hence, there are high hopes for this seven-episode romantic thriller about a former college couple who reunite 17 years later that arrives April 12 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. Merritt Wever is Ruby, a married-with-kids suburbanite in Los Angeles, and Domhnall Gleeson is Billy, a self-help guru who is a bit of a fraud as he promotes his how-to books.

They meet cute as they fulfill a long-held promise: If either of them texted the word “RUN” to the other, they would reply “RUN” back. Ruby speeds to the airport and hops on a plane to New York and then a train to meet Billy. It’s clear their attraction to one another has never cooled but they both are carrying a bit of baggage, including some awkward secrets as they travel across the country.

Waller-Bridge’s creative partner and the mastermind of the series, Vicky Jones, wrote the premiere episode that has received positive reviews so far from several outlets. Slashfilm critic Chris Evangelista praises the chemistry between the two leads, comparing their sparks to “watching fireworks explode across the screen” while declaring the show to be “smart, sexy and funny.” As for the plot twists and turns, “Every shocking moment here feels earned — although that doesn’t make those moments any less surprising.” Episodes are also a brisk 30 minutes long.

Over at Indiewire, Ben Travers also has praise for the show’s female attraction: “Not only is Merritt Wever as excellent as ever, but she’s playing the lead, and a romantic lead at that; Ruby is an object of intense desire, and she’s the one calling the shots throughout her illicit rendezvous with Billy.”

As for the series itself, however, he feels that “Run” is in too much of a rush, noting, “Once Billy and Ruby stop fleeing from reality and face their past, viewers will know whether they’re a couple worth following. Building their romantic foundation is key to keeping this momentum-at-all-costs train on the tracks, and even though that should’ve happened right away, there’s still time to get it right. They just have to walk before they can run.”

But over at Decider, critic Lea Palmieri is head over heels for “Run,” as she gushes, “It feels impossible that anything better than this series will grace our screens this year. It’s that good.” She observes that Jones directed the stage version of “Fleabag” and also that Phoebe fanatics will sense her touch, especially when a woman tells her vagina to “calm down” while in Grand Central station. Waller-Bridge also pops up on screen as well. Her lone complaint is that “it’s awfully rude that this show is only 30 minutes, but that half-hour will suck you in and you’ll be desperate to never be spit back out.”

An extra treat: Watch the trailer above and wait until the fabulous Phoebe appears in the dark a minute and a half in, telling the pair, “If you help me get this badger in the van, I’ll give you guys a ride.”

Be sure to make your Emmy nominations predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before the nominees are announced on July 28. And join in the thrilling debate over the 2020 Emmy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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