[K-DRAMA] I Need Romance 2012

warning: may contain spoilers

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Dubbed as the Korean version of Sex and The City, I Need Romance brings in a second season with a whole new plot and characters.

Plot:

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Joo Yeol Mae and Yoon Seok Hyun are childhood best friends and neighbours. Yeol Mae and Seok Hyun’s friendship also blossomed into love as they share their first kiss and first night together. They also experienced breakups with one another several times but they still got back together again. Basically, it’s an on-and-off relationship. Now, they agreed that they will be have a “friends with benefits” relationship. Yeol Mae realises that she still has feelings for him; that the person who understands her the best is him. While Yeol Mae confesses her feelings, Seok Hyun declines and tells her that he doesn’t want to marry her. Yeol Mae felt devastated. Shin Ji Hoon, a new guy that she recently met, secretly likes her. Will this evolve into a love triangle?

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Joo Yeol Mae’s friend Sun Jae Kyung also has love problems of her own. She is currently married to a rich businessman, but she founds out that he is cheating her. Yool Mae also found out that Jae Kyung was cheating with her husband. Will this marriage end too soon?

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Joo Yeol Mae’s other friend Woo Ji Hee is engaged to her current boyfriend. Ji Hee is known to be shy as she never slept with him. Her friends urged her to just do it. After doing it, she learns that she don’t match with her boyfriend. She doesn’t enjoy it and it seems that the boyfriend is the only one who enjoying it. She breaks up with him and found a new lover. Will the both of them match this time around?

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Opinions:

Three girls coping with their own love problems, it’s simply realistic and relatable. Believe it or not, I have heard these kind of stories in news or from friends. These stories are nothing new but I love how this drama portray the stories in such a fun and interesting way. It’s my first time watching a Korean drama like this. The characters freely talk about topics that aren’t much talked about in dramas; such topics could be considered a taboo. Kiss scenes are finally real and sweet instead of those pecks which is considered a “Korean kiss”. I highly salute the writers for being so brave and not afraid to take criticisms from the audience. I read that some even considered this drama as provocative, but when you compare it to Sex and the City, I Need Romance is nothing. If you tried watching American shows, you’ll really think that Korean dramas are so conservative.

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The actors are all well-chosen, up to the supporting characters. I love how all the three girls seem so close to each other. The writing and the dialogues are all well thought of as well. Since Yeol Mae is a musical director and Ji Hoon is a music lover, music is incorporated with the dialogue. I love how they give insight to the music that they are listening to and then relate it with love or with their own lives. I love how this drama actually gives me something to ponder about. One thing that I find lacking is that we only get to see or listen to the female lead’s thoughts. Seok Hyun’s thoughts were a mystery for the viewers. We don’t know what he’s really thinking. Aside from that, no more complains.

Characters:

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Jung Yoo Mi as Joo Yeol Mae — I loved her right from the start even though I haven’t watched her in any other drama. Jung Yoo Mi is really petite and she looks young for her age. I love how she portrayed Joo Yeol Mae as an adorable, quirky and likeable lady. She’s so perfect for this role. I couldn’t think of another actress who could pull off this character. Her chemistry with Jin Wook is simply the best.

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Lee Jin Wook as Yoon Seok Hyun — THE main reason why I watched this drama was because of Lee Jin Wook. If it weren’t for him, I would probably miss seeing this great drama. After fangirling him in Nine, I was looking for his other dramas. Rather than the serious Jin Wook, we could often see his killer smile in this drama that definitely makes fangirls’ hearts melt. His acting doesn’t really stand out, but his acting is natural. I loved how he portrayed Seok Hyun even if I still have a love and hate relationship with this character. Lee Jin Wook is just too adorable. I can’t wait for a new lead drama from him again.

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Kim Ji Seok as Shin Ji Hoon — I found him really annoying in Personal Taste. It must be because of his character in that drama, so I really didn’t have a good impression of him. Until I found out that he is Lee Jin Wook’s best friend in Strong Heart and watching them together, my impression of him totally changed. Loved his performance in this drama especially his role. I think most of the audience has fallen in love with Ji Hoon instead! Ji Hoon’s character was really sweet and just the ideal and perfect guy to have. Quite a pity that he entered the drama a little late, thus his scenes were lesser. Kim Ji Seok’s acting was really natural and funny at the same time.

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Ending (spoilers):

The ending was kind of a given as I know that it would likely have a happy ending. I was right as the three happy couples enjoyed lunch at the garden. It’s kind of obvious that Ji Hoon was only a way of forgetting Seok Hyun in the eyes of Yeol Mae; that she didn’t truly liked him but was sort of forced to like him in order to forget Seok Hyun. I like the idea where Seok Hyun’s hidden thoughts were finally revealed through the end of the drama. Yeol Mae found out why Seok Hyun didn’t want to marry her. It was because Seok Hyun might inherit a hereditary disease just like what happened to her younger sister. Seok Hyun was only protecting her from getting hurt. Seok Hyun was not an as*hole after all but his actions were justified towards the end. Didn’t quite liked the ending because its ordinary and I feel so bad for Ji Hoon.

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Soundtrack:

Another drama where I thought they did a job well done in the soundtrack. The soundtrack contained songs which were really relaxing, fresh and makes me think of summer time. I have a few favourites from this drama. The title track or the opening theme called “Waru Waru” is only 50 seconds long but it’s really perfect for this drama in my opinion. I wished they made it into a full song instead. “Only U” by 10cm is another one of my favourites. Feels like a country song with the playful guitar strums. It’s a good song to be played when you take a stroll around the park. lol My ultimate favourite is “I Could Give You Love” by Lasse Lindh. This is an english song and I first thought that it was sung by some foreign band. From what I know, Lasse lends his voice for Korean soundtracks which is a good thing. This song made the drama foreign-like. It’s like a drama from the west when this song is played on the background.

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Final Thoughts:

I Need Romance 2012 is a wonderful drama which gives us lessons about love. Experienced or not, you’ll definitely learn from this drama, although it may be a little bit difficult to grasp for the unexperienced. Except for the ending, I love everything about this drama. You’d see quite familiar things from the usual Korean dramas you’re watching, but there’s something special about this drama that makes it unique from others as well. While others are just cute and nonsense, I Need Romance is both cute and mature that you can pick up a few things from this drama. Do I recommend? Definitely yes, if you’re mature enough to learn about love and have already experienced it. I still recommend it if you’re looking for something new. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it after watching a few episodes 😉

Rating: 8/10

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