Lovely Runner without Byeon Woo Seok? Here’s why tvN waited for years to find the perfect match for Ryu Sun Jae | Web Series

Lovely Runner without Byeon Woo Seok? Here’s why tvN waited for years to find the perfect match for Ryu Sun Jae | Web Series

tvN’s Monday-Tuesday K-drama series Lovely Runner has raised the standards for love, especially with the heartwarming connection between the leads defying all boundaries set by the spacetime continuum. Byeon Woo Seok and Kim Hye Yoon keep bringing their A-game each week, melting the worldwide audience’s hearts like it’s no big deal.

Kim Hye Yoon and Byeon Woo Seok in Lovely Runner Episode 8.(tvN)
Kim Hye Yoon and Byeon Woo Seok in Lovely Runner Episode 8.(tvN)

However, this saccharine-laced soft story of love almost didn’t happen. Now having witnessed the awe-inspiring acting chops and onscreen chemistry of the leading duo, could you ever imagine a timeline in which Lovely Runner wasn’t a reality? As it turns out, the program faced an unending series of difficulties before its April release date. Fortunately for us, that tragic reality isn’t ours to bear.

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Nevertheless, a recent South Korean media report posted on sparked serious concerns about how the series could’ve possibly been cancelled. Bringing to attention how the production for the tvN hit series was delayed three years, the brand-new headline instilled fear in the hearts of the fans, who’re now showering the series and its leading cast members with even more love than before.

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Lovely Runner production delays explained‘s report explains that the series, though it became a highly anticipated event in 2024 once Byeon Woo Seok and Kim Hye Yoon were announced as the main cast members, originally faced several hindrances regarding its casting details.

Prior to Byeon Woo Seok finally settling in the shoes of the top idol star Ryu Sun Jae, it’s said that many actors reportedly turned down the offer to play the role. Even before the series actually premiered, it suffered a barrage of criticism from K-drama and K-pop fans who alleged that the story was insensitively fashioned after the unfortunate demise of the late South Korean idol Jonghyun of SHINee.

These concerns were laid to rest when the series finally premiered and fleshed out a profound storyline unlike the limiting vision its intial previews and teasers portrayed. Even during its initial production years, the series is said to have hit a similar dead-end. report explains that several actors, though not named, rejected Ryu Sun Jae’s role owing to their apprehensions about the series being a one-dimensional story centred around a fan falling head over heels for a K-pop idol.

After facing an extended period of production delays, the officials finally greenlit Byeon Woo Seok as the male lead. Even then, numerous conflicting schedule issues paused the show’s filming, ultimately also resulting in the director being switched out.

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Despite all the ill-will that preceded the show’s premiere, its first episode finally aired on tvN on April 8, 2024. Lovely Runner earned the audience’s favour as an instant hit once it hit the small screens. Despite the odds being against the show’s success, Byeon Woo Seok and Kim Hye Yoon’s chemistry is all K-drama fans talk about these days.

Moreover, Lovely Runner celebrates Woo Seok’s flight to fame. In spite of him starring in several projects before, at long last, he found his first leading role with the tvN series. On top of that, not only have his acting chops bolstered his position as the newest K-heartthrob, his special song, exclusively released for the show’s broadcast due to his role as an idol, also joined the ranks of the Melon Top 100 music chart. The original article also highlights that Byeon Woo Seok was cast for the tvN show after his presence in the 2022 romance film, 20th Century Girl, left a mark on the director.

Hundreds of comments praising the leading co-stars of the show emerged under the original Korean post. As expected, fans can’t imagine anyone else in the shoes of Ryu Sun Jae. The show may have been delayed originally due to unceasing predicaments working against its motion, but now its finality stands as a testament proving, “Everything happens for a reason.”

Lovely Runner Episode 10 will air on tvN on Tuesday, May 7. The series is also streaming on Viki for international viewers.

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Fan reactions to the news

  • “Kim Hye-yoon and Byeon Woo-seok are so perfect that I can’t even imagine other actors. They played their roles so well.”
  • “I can’t imagine Seonjae other than Wooseok.”
  • “I’m so happy that Wooseok plays the role of Seonjae.”
  • “It’s fate.”
  • Wow, it’s really fate.”
  • “Casting is awesome.”
  • “I also didn’t watch the show originally because I’m not interested in time slips or stories about fans and celebrities. But I took the bait, watching clips on YouTube and stuff, and started tuning in. It’s f*cking fun. I’m sad I couldn’t tune in live from the first episode. It gets really fun from episode 3 on, so everyone should watch it.”
  • “The role found its true owner.”


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