[K-DRAMA] I Need Romance (2011)

warning: may contain spoilers

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The first season of I Need Romance, the so-called Korean version of Sex and the City. Everyone needs Romance.

Plot:

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Three women share their complicated love stories. Sun Woo In Young is a hotelier and is in a 10 year relationship with Kim Sung Soo. Her boyfriend is an aspiring movie director. One day, Sung Soo was given a great opportunity to be a director for a blockbuster movie. In Young is happy for him, until he gets caught up with a dating scandal with the lead actress of the movie. In Young finds out that he is truly cheating her. This didn’t happen for the first time, but already twice! Will this really be the end of their long relationship? Meanwhile, her coworker who happened to be the heir of the hotel confesses that he likes In Young. Will she accept his confession and learn to forget Sung Soo?

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Park Seo Yeon is a definition of an independent woman. She never takes love seriously but freely sleeps around. She is really an expert when it comes to love and dating. She is a model who works for her own fashion company. She hires her favourite freelance photographer, and despite hating each other during the start, they became comfortable and slept often. Seo Yeon also flirted with In Young’s foreigner friend and he turned head over heels for Seo Yeon. How will Seo Yeon handle these two relationships? Will she take love seriously this time?

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Kang Hyun Joo is an intelligent lawyer who was about to get married. However on her wedding day, the groom didn’t appear. Flustered, Hyun Joo called up a “Service Boy” who will do anything at your service. Service boy turned into a one-day groom. She later learns that he’s living near her neighbourhood and he owns a table tennis place. She signs up to learn about the sport as well as the guy. The two later became attracted to one another. Duk Soo greatly helped Hyun Joo who has not much experience in love.

Opinions:

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Loved the storyline of this version better than 2012. Even if I watched 2012 first, I still felt that first season is always the best. Although the two seasons are quite similar, it can be noticed that the women in this season are more daring and mature. It seemed that every woman in this season were given equal air time and importance. In Young didn’t seem to be the ‘lead’ actress, but all three of them are. Seo Yeon just has a strong appeal that you wouldn’t dare miss her. I guess this is the big difference when you compare these two seasons. I also feel that the first season has more originality and the bed and kissing scenes were handled more ‘raw’ in my opinion. Each of the women represents a particular woman in the society. Very realistic and the stories were delivered in such a racy, fun, and sexy way.

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This drama was close to perfect. I have no complains so far. The only thing that I hated was the two leads. I have nothing against them because I haven’t seen them in any other drama, but I really don’t see any chemistry between the both of them. I’d say pick better leading man and lady who can really act those roles well. Despite of the two leads, I love all the supporting actors and actresses. Those two actresses pulled off their roles well. The men on the other hand, are all not famous, but you can notice that they are all charismatic and have a certain sex appeal. Great choice of supporting characters but was greatly disappointed by the leading couple.

Characters:

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Jo Yeo Jeong as Sun Woo In Young — I haven’t seen Jo Yeo Jeong in any drama before. I didn’t quite like how she handled the character Sun Woo In Young, because she was sort of acting all cutesy for her age. Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem right to look at. Yeo Jeong was okay, but not the best actress for the role. I can’t think of a better actress at the moment, but I know that someone who looks younger can pull off the role better. Chemistry was also lacking between the two main leads as I felt that they more of a sibling relationship rather than lovers. They didn’t naturally look good together on screen.

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Kim Jeong Hoon as Kim Sung Soo — One of the very few Korean dramas that I find a lead actor who’s unappealing. Usually, Korean male leads are cool and manly, but Kim Jeong Hoon portrayed Kim Sung Soo as a cheap man. You know in most Korean dramas, even if the guy is a cheater, he still manages to look cool. I don’t know if it’s only me, but Kim Jeong Hoon looks malnourished and fatigue in this drama or because he’s acting alongside Jin Hyuk and a chubbier Yeo Jeong. It’s not the usual manhwa look that I know of him. All I know is he’s not at his best look in this drama. Major disappointment with the choice of lead actor, because usually fangirls like us look forward for the male lead especially in a Korean drama. I guess not this one.. better pay attention to the plot instead.

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Choi Jin Hyuk as Bae Sung Hyun — So before Choi Jin Hyuk became a big time actor, he started doing roles like these. I wonder why it took a long time for him to hit it big, because he’s already looking good in this drama. His acting skills was fine and he was already muscular even way before. Jin Hyuk caught my attention in Gu Family Book and I loved him since then. Choi Jin Hyuk portrayed Sung Hyun in such a charismatic and loveable way. He definitely looks hotter and more handsome than the lead actor, Kim Jeong Hoon. I pity him at the same time for being a nice second lead actor, but gets rejected by the female lead.

Ending (spoilers):

It’s not exactly the ending that I wanted. If she really loved herself, then she should choose herself and don’t go back to Sung Soo. But on the brighter side, there’s really no perfect relationship. I love how brave In Young is in forgiving Sung Soo despite of cheating her twice. 10 years of relationship is no joke and simply throwing that away is something hard to do. In Young tried to forget their memories together, but she just couldn’t. She even tried to forget him through dating Sung Hyun but it’s still not possible. I don’t like the idea that they’re doing this to the second male lead again. I can’t believe that writers can be so cruel to second male leads. Sung Hyun is such a perfect man already with his sexy voice, looks and money. Even with a perfect man already by In Young’s side, she still chose the cheater. I can’t say it’s the best decision, because I haven’t encountered a situation like this. But if ever it will happen to me, I wonder what will I do? As an audience, my answer is just leave it to fate. I like In Young to choose herself first over love. Maybe relax and take a break from having a relationship? If they’re really meant to be, then time will decide. I guess the writers ended it this way because it was the most realistic decision.

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Soundtrack:

Sad to say that I wasn’t much hooked to the songs in this drama. Although it sounds a lot like the American version, Sex and The City, with the spanish or mexican vibe. The soundtrack itself is hardly accessible now in the internet. I couldn’t find the complete list of songs in the soundtrack. I found foreign songs instead that were played in the drama. First is “Amado Mio” by Pink Martini. This seemed to be the opening theme and it really suits the drama’s concept. “2:1” by Elastica is more of an upbeat and rock song. Great as a background song. “Para Que Regreses” by El Chapo De Sinaloa is another funny song used in the drama. These three songs left a great impression to me while watching the show. I’ve read that there were Korean songs used but I hardly remember it being used.

Final Thoughts:

I Need Romance is a fun and sexy drama, not your usual K-drama. Interesting plot and storyline led by three superior women. Loved all the supporting actors but hated the two leads. Enjoyed the beginning but not expecting the ending. I like the concept though, and it’s a great idea to do second and third season with a different cast. I’m not quite sure if this is a recommendable Korean drama, because most of the audience are teenagers who just enjoy pure fluff. If you’re up for some daring yet realistic plot, then you could try this. Lots of lesson to learn especially when dealing with love and relationships.

 Rating: 7/10

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