I’ve been watching Korean dramas for a good many years now, and I’ve liked many of them. However, most were too bland in characters and plot, and slow on pacing, so I dropped most of them. I admit, I watch mostly romantic comedies (I’m a girl and a romantic – who can blame me?), but most Korean romantic comedies, I’ve found to be – pretty tame and simple. No raw emotions, no real internal conflict, just – either class struggle or some kind of external pressure to make the main couple go through turmoil. I Need Romance, however, doesn’t need any of that to make its story work. The premise is very simple – we follow In Young, our heroine, go through the latter half of a long ten-year relationship with her boyfriend Sung Soo – and her tremendous heartbreak at his increasing alienation, his cheating ways, and their eventual breakup. It sounds sad, and parts of it are incredibly sad – but it portrays modern love so realistically, that you can absolutely relate. Many have toted it as the Korean Sex and the City, but since I haven’t watched SatC, I can’t make an accurate comparison. However, what I can say is that I Need Romance is itself a great piece of television, and one of the better Korean dramas I’ve seen in several years.
We know at the beginning of the drama that In Young’s boyfriend Sung Soo has cheated on her with a much younger woman. The first several episodes is about In Young neurotically going over scenarios in her head of her boyfriend’s signs of showing infidelity: having a girl’s hairpin in his car and then imagining a crazy chain of events that could lead to the girl’s hairpin flying out of her hair and landing in the backseat (crazy stuff, I tell you!). If it weren’t for the clever pacing, the likable characters, and the way actress Jo Yeo Jung handled the rather (at first) flimsy character of In Young, I probably wouldn’t have stuck with the drama. But Jo Yeo Jung is so charming and winsome in this role that I can’t help but feel bad with her. The rest of the drama is carried on her very capable shoulders, so if you don’t like the actress, chances are, you won’t like the rest of the drama either. But seriously, I’d be surprised if you didn’t like the lead actress. Please comment below if you didn’t.
If you read further, there will be spoilers, so if you want to enjoy the drama without me ruining the ending for you, go watch the drama and then return to this post and read the rest of the review. Happy viewing!