The new shows continue to roll their way out, and yesterday word reached my ears of one that doesn’t make me all resentful (you know like Miss Korea, Prime Minister, and the latest, Pretty
Boy Man). It’s one I might actually check out! Probably not as a simulcast but as a marathon, later.
For you fans of I Need Romance, and I Need Romance 2012, or heck, if you’re just a fan of the more realistic shows, the news that the INR team is coming back for a third-round is probably great news! Now, I haven’t actually seen past the first few minutes of the first season, but I really enjoyed INR2012—and not just because it starred Lee Jin Wook. No, it’s the realism that’s a nice break from the regular soft-focus lens of Kdrama. You know, because in real life not every hero’s a chaebol and not every family hides some sort of birth secret which is ready to leap out at you when you least expect it.
I like the stories involving regular people (although yes, they are way cooler than anyone we would actually meet—it is still television) dealing with real problems. On a personal note, I also like these stories because they tend to feature characters and storylines that are a little older, as they are more relatable—and of course I don’t feel so pervy when I’m lusting after the hero.
Which—if the writer does their job right—should happen with every show.
So the news that I Need Romance was coming back for another round was a welcome one to me. Then the casting came out, and my, I wouldn’t say excitement, as I’m not at that level yet, but my interest kicked up quite a few places. For definite we have Kim So Yeon, who is just coming off 2 Weeks, but who I knew and really liked in Doctor Champ. She is a great actress and, I think, will be able to pull off a character like this.
For the hero we have Sung Joon, which has me torn. First off, he’s not officially signed onto the project, it’s one of those ‘reviewing favorably’ situations. I have nothing against him as an actor. After the killer job he did in Shut Up Flower Boy Band, I was disappointed he went from that to a side character in Gu Family Book. He has the chops to be leading man material! Always.
So the problem isn’t there. The problem comes in the fact that as he’s younger than Kim So Yeon, so his is another one of those ‘noona lover’ stories, of which I’m not a huge fan. Or maybe it’s just gotten to the point where it’s been done before (What’s Up Fox, I Can Hear Your Voice, Woman Who Still Want To Marry, to name some of the bigger ones). I don’t mind them when they aren’t too far apart in age but have trouble thinking of what their life is going to be like after the story ends, if the age gap is too large. (I’m weird. I write stories in my brain, so I can’t help but think of those sort of things.)
But Sung Joon isn’t that much younger than Kim So Yoen, so it shouldn’t be too bad. At least old enough for his character to have already done his military service and maybe to have even have gone to college.
This storyline, from what I understand, takes place behind the scenes of a home shopping network and Kim So Yeon is some sort of very efficient higher up. Which I like—as it’s not that often we get Kdramas where the heroine is actually in a position of authority or—heaven forbid—competent at her job.
Did I just go on a rant there? Maybe a mini one?
Anyway, bringing up the third corner to this inevitable love triangle is Nam Goong Min (unconfirmed), who I’ve liked since his turn as Mr Crazy Eyes in Can You Hear My Heart. I had been excited when he finally got back to dramas and was looking forward to watching Unemployed Romance—you know—until I saw that first episode. And hated it. Ugh.
Anyway, as it’s an I Need Romance drama, one thing we’re pretty much assured on is we’re not going to know which guy is going to end up with the heroine at the end of the drama. In 2012, it could have gone either way, right up until the end, and I hear the first version was the same. As (SPOILER) the heroine ended up with the first guy in both stories, you’d think she’d automatically end up with him again in this story, but maybe this time they’ll throw us for a loop and B-Guy will get his in the end. I mean—it’s only fair, right? (/SPOILER)
One thing we can be assured, since it’s that naughty cable network, we’re going to get a lot more steam than we do in the regular network dramas. Remember 2012? Some of the best kisses of the year happened in that drama.
I Need Romance 2014 (are they going with that title? Or are they switching it to INR3?) is coming in January, after the end of the unfortunately, poorly rated Basketball comes to an end.
So what do you think? Looking forward? Or are you going to give it a pass?