Mar 5, 2014

Wrapping Up: I Need Romance 3

Another drama down, three more on the way (but that's a story for another day).

tvN's third installment for the I Need Romance franchise finally came to a close. Its last episode brought so much cute and a bit of sexy (mmmmm... those kisses) to end a series that warmed my heart and made me long for a noona-adoring puppy of my own. Anyone know where to find them?

Before I ramble on about the main couple, I have a handful of thoughts about the minor pairings. First off, Min-jung and Min-seok? I LUFF THEM. Those two were adorable to the very end and I love where the drama left off with them. Realistically, not all relationships end in marriage. And I'm glad the drama didn't foist that on these two characters who have always been steadfast in their disinterest in marital unions. But their mutual agreement to live in the here and now and be there for each other and for their twins was as heartwarming as any marriage vow. Even the misdirected saranghae's were fitting of these two characters.

As for our youngest couple, I've had frustrations over Woo-young and how he chooses to show his affection. On the one hand, he's adorable. On the other hand, not so much. And that definitely hit home in the last episode where he was so bullheaded about Hee-jae's decision to travel by herself for a year. I understand his wanting to keep her by his side, especially since they just started going out, but I hate the way he chose to react to her. There was wrist grabbing, and shouting, and condescending lectures involved that made me cringe. So while Woo-young continued to have one foot in and one foot out of the asshole basin, I’m glad Hee-jae stood by her decision to leave and find herself. I trust she'll be back a happier person, and I also believe Woo-young would wait, albeit impatiently.

On the other hand, I'm not quite sure if Tae-yoon has the balls to return to Se-ryung. Also, I don't even think he deserves a girl as awesome as her. Gotta hand it to this girl though, she knows what she wants and she stands by it. Tae-yoon hate aside, I’m glad he turned a new leaf with the support he gave Min-jung before he left. That was a surprising turn of events that I fully accept. He may not be the best boyfriend, but at least we know he has a heart after all.

And now, for the main reason I stuck to this drama like glue. The Goguma + Shing Shing couple. Should I even count the ways I love thee? I love that Shin Joo-yeon's character growth was complete and came full circle in the finale. It felt earned. She went through such emotional enlightenment to realize her own heart and I love that she experienced all the telltale signs of falling in love after the fact. Like, how she realizes all the little things she loves about Joo Wan after already having acknowledged the fact that she loved him. We know, as she also eventually found out, that she was in love. But the little things - his strong arms, his slim fingers, the way he looks from behind, his voice - these are things she only noticed she liked about him after already having fallen for him.

Wannie, on the other hand, also had some growing up to do. In most dramas, first leads have to learn to stop being assholes and realize their feelings in order to show affection. But our Wannie is the complete and total opposite. He loved completely and without question. His growth had a lot to do with reining his feelings in. It was definitely difficult for him to not be there at Shing Shing's side all the time. I'm glad the show made him realize that love is not a one-way street and made him understand that there are times when he had to back off. I also love that while we all swooned over his seeming perfection, Wan wasn't perfect. And the show acknowledged that. He wasn't always right and he didn't always make the best decisions.

Together, they were sizzling. But a lot of that had to do with the onscreen chemistry of Kim So-yeon and Sung Joon. This was the first time I've ever seen Kim So-yeon in anything and I've gotta give it to her. Despite Joo-yeon's incredible social flaws, I've never once disliked her as a character. She was hard on the surface, but you could always sense a tinge of vulnerability through her cracks and that made her endearing. Sung Joon, on the other hand, I've seen in a handful of dramas but this is the first time I've ever really warmed up to him. I guess I need to re-watch Shut Up Flower Boy Band, eh?

Another thing I loved about I Need Romance 3 was the friendships. Although, had Joo-yeon found it in her to make actual connections with people around her sooner, we would have had a lot more of cute girly banters between her and her girlfriends. It took way too many episodes for her to open up to the other girls, but I'll take whatever I can. Her restored friendship with Se-ryung was probably the highlight, as that was established earlier. But some of my favorite scenes from the final week were Joo-yeon's one-on-one conversations with Hee-jae and Min-jung. Her telling Hee-jae that she was offering advise not as a boss but as an unni, and her asking Min-jung if they can be friends - those were major turning points in her character growth that I absolutely loved. I felt so proud of her in those moments.

By all means, I Need Romance 3 was not the perfect drama. Anyone who follows me on tumblr would know the drama this show ignited, apart from the drama itself. There have been feminist rage hurled at almost all the male characters (I think only Min-seok was spared from this, ETA: I just went through the INR3 tag on tumblr, no one was spared). But ultimately, I Need Romance 3 was an entertaining ride that gave me so much life lessons, whether intentionally or indirectly. There were a handful of wise words from a handful of characters. Things like, "there is no future if there is no present," or about not being scared of things that have yet to happen, or about waking up not worrying about the future but instead to think of how I can make today happier...

Now where to find a Joo Wan of my own?


  1. I found Joo Wan frustrating at first with the way he thought he knew everything about her despite the fact that he hadn't actually met her since she was 15. But as he changed (albeit only slightly), he grew on me. Same with Joo Yeon. She bugged me with how she never knew what she was feeling. I hated what they did with Taeyoon, who started off as a great friend/sunbae and turned into a douche. But the ending was totally adorable, and I loved it. Overall, it wasn't an addictive show, i wasn't waiting for it every week, but I watched it, and I enjoyed it for what it was.

    1. Agreed, on all points.

      Have you been to Seoul already? Was wondering if you did and if you caught 2NE1 in concert. :)

    2. I didn't get to see them! :-(. The tickets were sold on G-Market and I couldn't get one. Suffice to say, I was pretty disappointed, lol

    3. Awww... That's too bad. They're Manila leg of the tour is still months away but I don't know if I'll be able to spend on concert tickets since I booked a trip to Seoul for later this year too and I have to save up for that! :(