Drama Reactions & Reviews
I Need Romance 2012: A Review
by | October 24, 2012 | 48 Comments

If you haven’t checked out this drama, which is a follow-up/sequel/spin-off to last year’s I Need Romance, then at least read the wonderful recap by gummimochi for episode 1, and then go watch the drama. I Need Romance 2012 is a delightful little gem that is a little more refreshing than the zany romantic comedies out there. Though it has its own tropes and cliches, at least they deal with love in a thoughtful manner. Much like how regular people agonize over it.

Series Summary

Joo Yeol Mae (Jung Yumi) is a music director for films and in a long on-and-off relationship with her boyfriend and housemate Yoon Suk Hyun (Lee Jin Wook), a scriptwriter. The two of them have been living together since they were young; their mothers were best friends, and built this conjoined house for their families when their respective husbands passed away. When Yeol Mae’s mother passed away, Suk Hyun was there for her to take care of her. Naturally they fell in love, and become a couple in high school. They keep it a secret from their families, but they’re together like glue.

They break up a total of 5 times in their 12 years together – the fifth being their final time, which led to a break of three years. They still live together and know everything about each other, but it isn’t stopping them from seeing other people. Yeol Mae is jealous when Suk Hyun takes on an assistant writer, Kang Na Hyun (Kim Ye Won), who’s young, fresh, and totally got a crush on Suk Hyun. Yeol Mae tries to stake her claim over Suk Hyun by offering a friends with benefits relationship; it works for a while until she starts wanting something more – a more committed relationship than he is prepared to give.

So Yeol Mae goes off and starts dating Shin Ji Hoon (Kim Ji Suk), who is the owner of her favorite cafe and the nicest guy in the world. He’s romantic and sweet, and genuinely likes Yeol Mae. He’s had a crush on her since years ago when he took group guitar lessons with her, and he sees a side of her that Yeol Mae has forgotten. Having been with Suk Hyun for so long, Yeol Mae is used to thinking she’s a spiteful, selfish, and hot-tempered girl. But Ji Hoon doesn’t see that; he sees a sweet, innocent, generous woman, and whether it’s true or not, it makes Yeol Mae very happy to know that she’s appreciated in a different way by another man.

Yeol Mae has two best friends – Woo Ji Hee (Kang Ye Sol) and Sun Jae Kyung (Kim Ji Woo). Ji Hee is a little more naive about love, having dated and experienced less than the other two, and still holds on to that notion of a “pure innocent love” that really only occurs in dramas.

Jae Kyung on the other hand is the complete opposite; she’s a shoe designer in a high-profile marriage to a news anchor, Lee Jang Woo. The thing is, though they present a perfect marriage to the outside world, they actually don’t sleep together, nor is Jang Woo faithful to her. She lets him date other women in secret, provided he doesn’t get caught, and she herself dates her ex-boyfriend/business partner Jung Min.

Ji Hee starts off in a really bad relationship with a doctor who thinks he’s a wonderful lover in bed and the best catch in all of Seoul. However, he’s really bad in bed and is very controlling of Ji Hee. He embarrasses her at the top of Namsan Tower by blaming her for the bad sex while within earshot of the man who will become her boss, Tae Woo (Heo Tae Hee in a return from season 1). Thankfully she breaks up with him, and ends up dating Tae Woo.

They start off as bickering coworkers who are uncomfortable over the fact that Tae Woo overheard her entire sex life (thanks Dr. Ex-boyfriend!), but eventually she is grateful to him when he helps take care of her when drunk. They don’t begin dating officially, but when Tae Woo moves into an apartment near her building, they start doing activities together and eating together. From there, Ji Hee hopes to “naturally” become a part of Tae Woo’s life. At least she succeeds on that front.

As for Jae Kyung, she had planned on divorcing Jang Woo as soon as it was convenient by citing adultery as a reason for divorce. However, he catches her in the act first by getting a private investigator to tail her when she’s returning from a rendezvous with Jung Min. She and Jung Min get into an accident together, and that’s when they are outed by all the press.

They get a divorce, and Jae Kyung struggles to forgive herself. Her only regret is not having outed Jang Woo first, as she’s now been vilified by all of Korea. (Jang Woo, sleazebag that he is, is still beloved by all of Korea, still watching his news show.) Jae Kyung decides to start over, this time with Jung Min. Her business flounders because the investors are all backing out of supporting “the devil woman” and so she turns to her best friends and Suk Hyun for some help. After some obstacles, she finally launches her new collection, and she ends up being more popular than ever before. Though she may have a bad reputation, one cannot deny she knows how to make stylish and comfortable shoes.

Unfortunately, though she eventually succeeds on the business front, Jung Min is aghast to learn that Jae Kyung moved out of her house and lives in the warehouse. She refuses to live with him, as she’s not ready for that yet, and so he decides to break up with her.

Back to our main couple. Yeol Mae is finally moving on with Ji Hoon, and that’s when Suk Hyun realizes that he’s in love with her. It’s actually kind of ridiculous because you know that he loves her but he’s just trying to protect her; he harbors a secret that prevents him from fully committing to her. Plus the fact that he can’t voice out his feelings with a simple “I love you” makes him a pretty cold boyfriend. His inability to express his feelings was a reason for their break-ups many times over, but finally when Suk Hyun is ready to admit it, Yeol Mae isn’t willing to hear it.

Until… she rifles through his closet one day looking for her shirt that may have ended up in his laundered clothing. Yeol Mae discovers a box that has all their letters and pictures together, as well as their promise rings. She realizes that he still loves her, and always has – even when he said that he hated her. They had thrown away their promise rings during their last and final break-up, but the fact that Suk Hyun retrieved them means something.

She later learns from her grandmother that Suk Hyun’s younger sister died of the same disease his father had. It’s a debilitating disease that’s pretty much like a slow death, and we learn that Suk Hyun fears the disease is hereditary. It can come up at any time without warning. Because of his fear that he might have the disease too, Suk Hyun never wanted to commit to Yeol Mae and then saddle her with the burden of taking care of him until he dies. He could never tell her about what happened to his sister, and he could never really admit his family background to her. Yeol Mae had to piece it all together herself.

Realizing that Suk Hyun was trying to protect her all along, she dumps Ji Hoon. It may seem heartless, but Yeol Mae certainly waffles on her decision. She tries to be supportive towards Suk Hyun after his sister’s death, but she can’t help missing Ji Hoon. After a very thoughtful and long walk home, Yeol Mae visits Ji Hoon. She admits to loving him, but knows that she cannot go back to him even though he said he’d wait. No matter how much she tries to move on, there’s still a part of her that’s holding on to Suk Hyun.

However, Suk Hyun wants to cut her from his life, preparing to move out of the house and back to his family’s country home. He leaves Yeol Mae, and she is left only to wait for him to return.

A year passes. Jae Kyung is leaving for France as her shoes are becoming a worldwide sensation. She invites Jung Min to join her there – not just as a business partner, but her partner for life.

Meanwhile, Tae Woo’s proposed to Ji Hee; despite his meager salary, he loves her dearly and got her a cheap ring that she accidentally threw away with the cheap flowers. For that, he punishes her by making sure they’ll marry! Na Hyun visits Yeol Mae and encourages her to find Suk Hyun again, and she finds him easily at his country home.

He’s coping fine, realizing that it’s easier to just miss Yeol Mae than try to remove her from his life. He does have a dog that he names Yeol Mae to keep him company. But Yeol Mae the person finally arrives at his doorstep to bring him home. Suk Hyun tears up – no one has ever reached out to him before; usually he’s the one doing the reaching. He’s never accepted the other’s hand before either… until now.

And with that – the friends all gather for a picnic outside Yeol Mae and Suk Hyun’s home, happy and always promising to say “I love you” every single day.


If I Need Romance was more about dating and making sure that they’ve found “the one,” then I Need Romance 2012 focuses more on people who have found “the one,” but what happens after that. I must admit that in the beginning I found Yeol Mae quite abrasive and not at all a female lead I wanted to back. She was loud and selfish, and while I loved her spunk and forthrightness, she was also disagreeable and narrow-minded. Whenever she and Suk Hyun argued, it was always around what she felt and what she thought; she never gave him a chance to think, to respond at his own time, to convey his own thoughts and feelings. Sometimes she’d keep on talking and talking, and I’d be sitting here thinking, “Let the guy breathe! He is not going to have a fully formed answer in the millisecond it takes for you to catch your breath!”

I found myself being on Suk Hyun’s side most of the time when they first argued because it was off-putting how she kept poking and prodding at him. Let the guy have his secrets! Not everything had to revolve around her, as she was keen to think. I didn’t want her to end up with him if she was going to keep acting like this. It took her a while to finally grow up and to think before she spoke. It took her a while to understand that even though she had been with Suk Hyun for so long and had endured his many moods, she still didn’t know how to react to him. In other words, it’s as if she saw a blue bike, learned how to ride it, and when she saw a pink bike, she promptly forgot how to ride a bike.

But eventually she learned that when he needed space, she should give it. But just as she grew up, I had hoped Suk Hyun would grow up as well and learn to rely on someone if he wants to have that person in his life. But he didn’t. It took him a very long time to realize that he needs to vocalize his troubles, his issues, in order to let them go. There’s no reason he had to keep the secret about his family’s illness; if he had said it earlier he definitely would have kept Yeol Mae around longer. As the series progressed to a slow end, I found myself wanting to slap Suk Hyun to wake up, to realize that he was in love with Yeol Mae already and to just open up to someone.

What’s nice about this series is it takes the opposite approach of the first season. In the first season, Jo Yeo Jung’s character chooses to be with her man (Kim Jeong Hoon), especially after his heartfelt apology. She gives him some crap for it, but she’s the one choosing to be with the guy, and he accepts because he’s been wanting her back. In I Need Romance 2012, it’s the girl choosing him again, but this time he’s pushing her away because he can’t accept her yet. This time, the girl is ready to accept him, and it’s only when he becomes mature enough to admit how much he wants her that they can reunite.

I’m very happy that Yeol Mae ended up with Suk Hyun in this season because the two of them were meant to be. They have a clear understanding of each other, but just had the wrong timing in the world. They needed to be in the same place emotionally and physically to be able to get back together – much like in the first season. I’m also glad that Yeol Mae was very honest with herself when she admitted to loving and missing Ji Hoon, and yet knew that she would never be able to go back to him.

Some may say that Yeol Mae just didn’t want to change, but sometimes the man next to you is just right. But because you were together for so long, you need to evolve and change too. Ji Hoon gave Yeol Mae the opportunity to evolve and be the woman Suk Hyun hoped she’d be – someone who’s more generous towards others and a little more trusting. With that lesson learned, she could go back to Suk Hyun. Suk Hyun in the meantime had to learn how to forgive himself and how to be the more upfront man Yeol Mae needed him to be.

I liked that in this series we knew they were meant to be together, and the entire drama arc was trying to get them back together, rather than a series about a girl who should break up with her boyfriend and how she should go date other men – only to end up with her ex-boyfriend.

As for the other characters, Ji Hee served as the innocent girl well enough, but I couldn’t appreciate how shallow she sometimes was. Her match, Tae Woo, was so much more fun because he was a holdover from season 1. It’s because he left his first fiancee at the altar (played by Choi Song Hyun) that he ends up in this side of the world. I love that there are constant references to season 1, including the fact that Yeol Mae is working on the music for Sung Soo’s films. Jae Kyung was more fun than Choi Yeo Jin’s character Seo Yeon because she had a lot of self-respect despite knowing that she was cheating on her husband. Seo Yeon loved herself too much, whereas Jae Kyung loved herself, but had the capacity to love another without losing her independence.

Overall, I enjoyed this series very much because I really enjoyed the growth of the characters. The cast once again had great chemistry, but it’s not just the girls; what’s great is that the guys fit in just as well. It’s very similar to season 1, and in some ways it’s a little more grown up. It certainly lags a bit in pacing towards the end, but it didn’t diminish my love for the series. I appreciated that these characters needed time to think, to be apart, to grow, and then to come back together. The series is just as fun as season 1, but I certainly don’t think a season 3 should come out of this.


48 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. saltandpepper

    thanks 🙂

    • 1.1 pabo ceo reom

      Didn’t expect a review for this, so yes thanks!

      I do like the entire cast a lot but the characters drove me batty. Both leads were down right irritating at times and hence, not relatable to me. In the end, I kept watching because of Shin Ji-hoon’s character, and I was also invested enough to see if the leads would end up together (and grow up by that point).

  2. Addylovesbwood

    thanks kaedejun. I watched a while ago and I absolutely loved it!! a true underdog storyline! it defies the reputation of Kdrama stiff a** G rated Kisses. lol i think the acting was superb, loved the chemistry between the leads but fell in love with Kim Ji-Seok(2nd lead). He needs a drama of his own!

    • 2.1 ninsarama

      I loved this drama too! I marathoned it after the first episode! Such a refreshing piece! I hope they continue this series! I too fell in love with Kim Jisuk! Woo! That body, smile, mmpphh… (excuse me for a moment) I wanted her to end up with him!!! Lee Jinwook’s character pissed me off so much! Lying, no matter how noble, is unacceptable in my book.

      I remembered later that Lee Jinwook, Kim Jisuk, & Lee Dongwook have a serious bromance comparable to our great Kim Bum, Lee Minho, and Jung Ilwoo. No seriously, they go on vacations together and have been mistaken as gay for each other in the past. They even had a Strong Heart episode while they were promoting this drama highlighting their bromance!

      Anyways… I’m so glad you did a quick recap of this drama! One of my favorites this year besides Queen Inhyun and Nice Guy (well it depends on how it ends). Watch it if you haven’t, spazz if you have!!!!

      • 2.1.1 ninsarama

        Oh and it was such a lovely moment when Jaekyung’s ex-husband gets caught gambling publicly and it’s revealed that he was a cheating lying scum during the marriage. Yay!!!

    • 2.2 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

      same here..i prefer the second lead..i love KJS’s character! 🙂

  3. h0ns

    thanks for the review.. I like this drama but didn’t like the ending.. coz I’m so in love with ji hoon.. he is the sweet guy yet he didn’t get his sweet ending *I know I’m so biased here.. but what can I say.. I’m totally fall for him* 😀

    btw thanks for making this drama as a review and not as 1st episode.. coz I love to read review which gives you full glimpse of the story than only an episode to digest and then will ended by asking is it a worth drama to watch or not..

    once again.. thank you ^^

    • 3.1 dbsklove

      LOL i thought it was just me who was totally into jihoon <3
      when she found the rings i was like NOOOOOOOOOO DONT GO BACK TO HIM STAY WITH JIHOON. sighs.

  4. DarknessEyes

    yep totally agree. It was nice, but there shouldn’t be a season three. It was a really nice drama and it is definitely worth watching, but the end was kind of annoying to me. Suk-hyun definitely had moments where I wanted to like slap him silly.

    thanks for the over view! 😀

  5. Startulle

    Thanks for not forgetting this wonderful unusual kdrama!
    I really loved it!!!

  6. canxi

    Thanks! I agree!

    I also noticed that Ji Hoon helped her to grow and that Suk Hyun needed to grow too. I kind of interpreted him a little differently where I thought he wasn’t just keeping his secrets but literally shutting her out of what he thought & felt most of the time or just expecting everyone to know his feelings/thoughts without having to say anything. Especially, Yeol Mae and maybe that’s because they have been together for so long. I thought he was quite selfish in his own way where as Yeol Mae put in a lot of effort (sometimes, too much) to try and understand him and he put in a minimal amount to help her. It was like romantic Chinese finger trap, kinda? Both sides were pulling (to try and get one to the other side/point of view) not realizing it’s much better of you just come together (and talk!)

    • 6.1 skelly

      I agree. I thought both of the main characters were selfish. She was wrapped up in her needs and her plan for the perfect relationship, and he was wrapped up in his Big Secret and all his little secrets.
      They both had their weapon of choice: she with the barrage of questions and bargaining, he with the sullen silences and little “tests” to try her loyalty and affection. Oy. I thought Ji Hoon was too nice for either of them.

      I too appreciated the tie-ins with the first season, yet really appreciated this season’s upgrades, especially in the supporting characters. I was afraid that the apprentice writer was going to be another annoying manipulative young thing but she had her own realistic story arc and was actually a decent human being, which is unusual for the female rival in a kdrama. And I thought the other two couples were much more realistically drawn, and more time was given to develop their stories.

      • 6.1.1 canxi

        Yeah, it’s why I like the series, where it isn’t really a fairy tale romance with two people leaping over incredible odds and struggling to be together, but just a look into other types of relationships where people act stupid and are selfish and need to figure themselves out.

        I’m also glad the apprentice writer wasn’t an awful person. I feel like she was kind of a meta at times with all her observations of the mail couple as if saying “Are you two serious?” Lol.

  7. VB

    Thank you kaedejun for the lovely review. I am a self-proclaimed Lee Jin Wook fangirl, so I speedwatched this show with gusto. I agree.. the characters are what really make the drama. I actually liked how Yeol Mae wasn’t the goody-goody perfect heroine. And how could she be, having only (truly) loved one person, she isn’t expected to be the most introspective woman out there navigating the dating waters for the first time in awhile. Her growth, however, reflects life’s lessons, and her girlfriends kept her grounded/prevented her from being too annoying in the beginning.

    One thing that is to note, the directing was excellent, with the music playfully accenting a funny and frank scene, but not overbearing when the show got serious.

    I haven’t watched the first series, so I didn’t know Tae Woo was from there. The drama definitely put me off with the disease (but.. *gasp* it wasn’t cancer! *cheers*), but nothing is perfect..

  8. Duh-duh

    I’m sorry but I hate this series.

    Don’t get me wrong, I watched all the episodes, but could not stand the characters (except JiHoon). I’m glad that the couple stayed together, cause they are equally annoying and behave selfishly. They are totally meant together.

    Watching this drama is like watching a couple of my friends who break up every now and then and would eventually get up together. I’m just there as a friend to provide moral support but don’t give single f*ck.

    Bottom line of the story:

    Women, calm your t*ts and be patient with your man!
    Dudes, speak up, no one can read your mind, and don’t confuse girls !!

  9. tapioca pearl

    Thanks for the recap, kaedejun, but where are screencaps of all the hot kisses???

    Just joking. Nice to see a review of this show. I loved it mainly for Jung Yumi and Lee Jin-wook (who, on a shallow note, is seriously one of the best-looking guys I have ever seen). They had crazy good chemistry and just look nice together. Very frustrating drama at times, but overall, it’s a different kind of story that I’m happy to see out of dramaland. Love the music, the way the show looked, the atmosphere, the main couple.

    This review actually makes me like this better than season 1.

    • 9.1 Fab

      Seems to me a fair question.. :p

  10. 10 Yi An

    I certainly loved Jung Yumi and the actor playing Ji Hoon in this one! <3 caught this drama when it aired! I didn't regret sticking through the show at all 😀

  11. 11 Kim Yoonmi

    I do like the turn they made with the disease–they didn’t explain it which was an important statement. If he had it or didn’t have it, it really didn’t matter in the final equation. What made it brilliant was that SH thought it was a huge deal, but by the end of the drama you could see how insignificant it was and what really mattered was that he didn’t trust her and she didn’t trust him and that their trust in their love was what really mattered, not if he got a test or not.

    They also did a fair treatment of adoption (You have no idea how much I was cheering over that) I did have a nitpick with the orphanage thing, but it was actually fair to the sole adoptee. He wasn’t sniffling mess and he liked all his parents and loved all of them.

    I was also worried that YM would end up with JH–I thought their relationship went too fast. She moved from her old place to his straight away–so I was glad of the man detox, which people should do. I thought JH also had his flaws, such as not insisting on her independence. Not telling her to find her own apartment and telling her that independence was more important–it would make the relationship stronger. I was scared she was too dependent on men and wouldn’t get out of it. (She had Man sickness already… she’d just never properly detoxed).

    So I was pleased she man detoxed and got out of man sickness.

    The whole point of the drama seemed to be SH telling YM that he wasn’t going to auto-take her back like he did before. YM kept boomeranging and he needed to know that she would be there for him no matter what. What the drama actually showed was the building of trust and faith in each other enough to be a lifetime commitment.

    Oh and I hated the grandmother’s guts. That whole speech about the distaste for anyone with a genetic disease really made me feel sick–which was effective and made a statement of its own.

    This was definitely an enjoyable watch for me.

    • 11.1 Brandi

      I, on the other hand, rolled my eyes at the disease.

      Instead of making the show about a relationship in which one person expresses too much and the other person doesn’t, which is an interesting dynamic, the writer(s) had to put in this pointless makjang … thing. The show was good until the “disease” came up.

      I too thought that JH/YM relationship progressed too quickly from her end. As for him, he had been crushing on her for a while by then, so it wasn’t. As for her, she was making no sense in her decision-making.

      And I hate grandma too. I mean, I was content with her being an unseen character, but then she shows up, brings up the disease, and acts like she did YM a favor. Basically every character relating to the “disease” got on my nerves.

      • 11.1.1 canxi

        This. I also thought the disease was unnecessary and only used to create a “good” reason for why Suk Hyun was keeping everyone a stone’s throw away.

      • 11.1.2 soulsentwined

        add me to the list of people that thought the disease story line was silly

  12. 12 Denali

    And the best part of this drama was… *cough*my*cough* Jung Gyu Woon’s cameo. 😛 😀

  13. 13 iatetoomuch

    Can I contribute by saying how much I do not enjoy this drama due to the characters? Yeol Mae really grates on my nerves with her me-me-me ways, Suk Hyun and his stiff upper lip attitude isn’t helping either (though Lee Jin Wook is surely hot) and their wishy-washy relationship drive me crazy. I cringe through the f*** buddy phase as it’s so cliche and awkward.

    Having said that, I really like the side characters, especially the strong Jae Kyung who always holds her head high no matter what.

    All in all, I’d say this drama is good fun to pass the time. If you like the main characters more than I do.

    • 13.1 gailT

      I’m of the same mind as you. I cannot judge the entirety of the series, because I dropped it after episode 6 or so. I really disliked the main characters and wasn’t interested in their end game.

      I realize how similar this is to the previous INR: the adoring second lead, the tedious back-and-forth, the final pairing and the interesting secondary characters.

      Both INR have their fans, and there are likeable elements. I’m in the minority who, sadly, didn’t love it.

  14. 14 Ruthie08

    Oh man…I love this drama! It so refreshing and new. Wishing to have a boyfriend like ji Hoon is like a dream come true for me I wonder if they really exist? I always giggle and get excited about everything he does for yeol me. But in the end he still got hurt. But anyways, this is an underrated drama.

  15. 15 Rin

    Oh wow!! I JUST finished watching this series today and here you wrote a recap on it lol. I usually don’t comment but I have to say a little something about this series.

    I honestly haven’t watched INR season 1 so I can’t compare but I really did enjoy this series after the first episode. I was hella addicted actually. Yeah there are flaws and stuff like that (but what drama doesn’t?) but I enjoyed it overall… of course there are moments I just wanna slap all the characters in the series. Oh gawd, I do not have enough time to write out what’s wrong with all of them but let’s just say if they all just communicate with each other a little better then it would have saved tons of tears and heartache. Or you know, be like Ji Hoo a little. I loooove his character!! Though I found him a little too perfect for real life… but whatevers.

    OH! I really enjoyed the OST for this drama!! Sorta reminds me of Soulmate~ or maybe it’s just cus of the song by Lasse Lindh? Lol.

  16. 16 Fab

    I Love this drama too and marathond(if that’s a word) the eps as soon as I got time on my hands… But it did disappoint me towards the end. The revelation of the ”secret” Suk Hyun was keeping the whole series wasn’t as satisfying, and he just decided for her that she wouldn’t want to marry him if she finds out, but that way he was just deceiving her and himself. I didn’t watch the final episode, because I just couldn’t decide which guy she should pick, lol. Cuz either way it would be not satisfying, but then again it could be definitely better than last year’ series.

    Thank you for the review JB.

  17. 17 Lila

    I just finished this not long ago. It was good, but a lot more angsty than the first one. Love Kim Ji Suk (Lee Jin Wook’s not bad either, but didn’t like his character all that much). I always like second lead better than first in these dramas. Great soundtrack.

  18. 18 HallyuFan32

    that is so funny that you just wrote this, an i just finished this drama like yesterday. hahahaha………….thanks for the recap, and reading my mind. i loved this drama because of all the sex. lol. not gonna lie, the sex in the drama is what made me enjoy it the most. thanks for the recap!

  19. 19 Lovebug

    Ok I realy enjoyed this drama except for the ending! Lee Jin wook was like super duper hot in it and can rock any hairstyle known to man (and he just about did with all the flashbacks).
    I had a really hardcore case of second lead syndrome with Ji Hoon (kim Ji suk should get a lead role stat! he so freakin adorable). To a degree he was a little too good for Yeolmae (and too perfect all around) but he actually made her a better person. which is why i thought they should stay together. She and Suk hyuk just kept hurting each other over and over again. Also he was the best character but he was the only one who didn’t get his happy ending!! Not cool…

    I also really liked the storylines with the friends (especially when the one girl got drunk but acted completley sober except for the utter nonsense she was saying!).

    Overall I liked that these characters and their neurosis seemed more real to me than a lot of kdrama characters. I like that Yeolmae really did grow in a realistic way. I just thought the ending was a bit of a let down/cop out even though they had somewhat set them up as being “the one” for each other. It would have been really great and more realistic if she had ended up with Ji hoon, because in real life your “the One” changes.

    Anyway I love Ji Hoon( and Kim ji suk) and that character is now tied for first place with Yoo Gongshik from Queen of reversals as the Kdrama character I most wish was real and would like to date in real life.

    • 19.1 canxi

      That’s true, but also in real life, your “the One” does not change and despite shitty things that happen, you’ll go back to that person. So, I don’t think it would be “more realistic”, but certainly another reality.

  20. 20 hellochloe

    I liked INR 2012 well enough, but still contemplating on finishing it ’cause I found out MY SHIP SUNK 🙁

  21. 21 Anya

    I watched this drama and it was nice, except i really felt pity for the coffee guy, if only they didnt make him perfect, at least give me a reason to hate him then iI would be very happy for the OTP’s ending together.
    Lots of kissing in this drama and openly talks about sex.
    It would be appropriate for 25 more something girl audience.

  22. 22 Carinne

    I watched S1 and was unsatisfied w/ the ending so I held back watching S2. Now that I’ve read this, I am willing to give this a go.

    Thanks girl. 😉

  23. 23 leslie

    The two leads were so full of ANGST! I couldn’t stand it and just.stopped.watching. I zipped through most of their scenes. It didn’t help that I LOVED the second lead, jihoon, and felt that it was so unfair that, inevitably, he wouldn’t get the girl despite being the most perfect guy ever.

    I did enjoy the two best friends’ stories especially the one with Tae Woo who was so adorable. Jaekyung was quite likable despite her having the “darkest” story complete with adultery, divorce and scandal. I especially liked the fact that she didn’t seek revenge against her husband. In the end, she still came out on top and I thought that was a nice touch. Jaekyung was what I wanted Soyeon from the first season.

    I vastly prefer the first season because I actually liked the main couple there. However I still have hope for this franchise. I’m hoping a third season will create more likable characters and continue with the same basic premise, dating. It’s quite interesting to see something like this in an asian setting. I’m tired of fairy tale love stories with all its makjang and implausible circumstances.

  24. 24 Sunny

    I found this season really laking compared to the first one… I really enjoyed the first 8 episodes or so but it just went downhill so quickly for me :/ I thought the illness thing was really dumb, and I was annoyed at Sook Hyun’s attitude of you don’t love me cuz you can’t read my mind. I think the ending makes sense though, it was a nice wrap up but by that point I had stopped caring about the drama. I also thought the two friends were very under-developed compared to the 1st season’s friends. Their stories barely got any screentime imo and I wasn’t as invested.

  25. 25 Janelle

    Wait… they’ve been together since high school, practically live on top of each other since they were children, and she *doesn’t* know about his sister dying a slow death from an unnamed degenerative disease? How does that happen?

  26. 26 E

    i actually really enjoyed this drama till, the “disease thing” occured and it turned pretty wishy-washy……but still finished the drama bc i really like jung yumi / lee jinwook. also their interactions were cute, so i wld still finish it regardless i guess…?

    just thought that it could have been better without the disease storyline

  27. 27 Cath

    Your review MAKES me want to scour the Philippines to look for a copy I can touch and place in a DVD player. If not, I’d go nuts.

    I look forward to being touched and satisfied with the drama.


  28. 28 Cath

    I really really loved Shin Ji Hoon. I knew from the very beginning that his romance with Yeol Mae won’t last so I turned to my mental tv drama where I can turn things around however I want to.

    Anyways, I think it was a good thing that Yeol Mae dated Ji Hoon otherwise she’d still be that sweet yet insecure and a bit self-pitying woman. My favorite scene would be that one where Suk Hyun dumped Yeol Mae’s bike who happened to be Ji Hoon’s present. Heh. It was “the moment” I was waiting for.

    Geez, I’m going to watch it all over again. I’m suddenly craving for coffee.

    • 28.1 Cath

      I just realized I was the last one to post about this and DID say I’d scour for a DVD and I found one. Hahahaha.

      This review helped me a lot.


  29. 29 jomo

    It always interests me when folks have varied, even opposite reactions to the same characters and plotlines.

    I can’t really even compare INR with INR (2012) they were thematically so different. For me INR tried to be hip and flashy, and talk to the “Sex and the City” audience with its frankness about sex and dating and men. The leads felt hepped up on stuff, being so cool and edgy and very self-aware. The OTP made NO sense to me at all — her choice at the end completely pissed me off. I prolly didn’t like the cast enough to like the characters. All in all, it didn’t feel real.

    INR (2012) took the frankness and talk about sex and men and made it normal, which I believe it is. Just the girls talking about birth control and condoms and kissing and orgasms. It felt more intimate because the characters felt more natural.

    The OTP, hmmm…They proved that intimacy breeds contempt. That sometimes people hurt the other person out of a frustration because they can over long simmering issues. That at one point unresolved differences will destroy a close relationship if the pair cannot forgive and let go. The fight scene in the market was scary and authentic. You could see how desperate they were to stop hurting each other, but couldn’t figure out how. They needed a referee, or a different perspective on the same old issues.

    As unrealistic as it was, I like that they lived in the same house. I think a lot of times people who date and fall in love and break up are forced to remain in proximity because they have the same group of friends, or they work at the same place. I have lived walking down the halls of a company dreading running into the ex, dreading seeing him with another person. And while you are dealing with the pain of the loss, your pride tells you to hide it so you don’t appear to be a loser!

    I am in the minority that is happy she stayed with SH. JH was a total rebound boyfriend. Neither of them should have given their heart so completely so quickly. They were awesome together, but the timing was wrong.
    But who am I to judge? Feelings aren’t wrong, the just are.

    I didn’t know anything about this show before I started it, just how completely hot LJW is, was and ever will be, and how fabulous Jung Yumi is, too. I am very glad I gave it a chance, and enjoyed it immensely.

    • 29.1 rabbityrant

      I actually started watching the series after a week worth of reading Jomo’s yobosayo recap and watching Nine simultaneously. On a shallow note, I must say nothing beats Lee Jin Wook’s hotness in Nine just yet, but I only came to love his character in INR 2012 in the final few episodes. I don’t know how he always manages to wring my heart whenever he cries – with or without tears, sob or without sobs.

      I’ve read many reviews which say that watchers are unable to relate to the story or character. I’d say I didn’t like Yeol Mae in the beginning as well. But having been in a 10-year relationship myself, going through high school-college-working life transition, I can totally relate to Yeol Mae and Suk Hyun’s cross-timing and growing up problem. It is not a relationship that outsiders or even close friends and families can judge, it is a very emotional attachment instead of logical most of the time. I can relate to the reasons leading to their break-ups, their immaturity, and Yeol Mae’s fickleness.

      I believe I wouldn’t have liked the characters if they weren’t played by Jung Yumi and Lee Jin Wook. Jung Yumi just has this oddball charisma to her acting, a similar feeling to how Gong Hyo Jin always have a certain feel to the characters that she played. I love them and think that they’re perfect together. And the kisses!!!

  30. 30 exquisitemelody

    Heh, I checked this out after realizing my lover from Nine is in it 😀 But I only made it to ep 11 before I had to just read how it ends. The bickering and friends with benefits was fun for a while before it started getting tedious. There was only so much I could take. At least I got to see her grow up somewhat – when she started accepting the apprentice writer, I was like WOW! She deserves some credit – she’s finally starting to grow up!

    But I just couldn’t wait for everyone to grow up a bit.

    Well, it was fun while it lasted. Thanks for the review so I could at least get some closure for this drama!

  31. 31 Millie

    “The series is just as fun as season 1, but I certainly don’t think a season 3 should come out of this.”

    LOL oh the irony…

  32. 32 kikidee

    There is a scene in this where they talk about how they could never be the leads in romantic movies because they’re not calm and act cooly dignified. They bring up the movie “In the Mood for Love” and Jae Kyung has a fit about how annoying it is that the two main characters wouldn’t get together even though their spouses were having an affair. I just about died laughing because I saw that movie and had the exact same reaction!

  33. 33 sarang bi

    both season 1 and 2 is really frustrating..
    You know why? ’cause of the other male lead roles that always left alone in the end.. (season1 ‘Bae Sung-Hyun ; season2 ‘Ji Hoon).. So frustrating..
    No offense but I like drama like this less
    when someone is left alone without anything.. I can be satisfied if they just put a scene where they met someone for them..

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