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I Need Romance 3: Episode 1

The third installment of tvN’s I Need Romance franchise brings us much of what we’re used to with previous seasons—a buoyant, candid look at dating, romance, sex, love, and being single. It has the same directorial style and writing of the first two seasons, and introduces our characters through contemplative voiceovers that help us engage with them from the start.

Not that Kim So-yeon and Sung Joon are going to give us any trouble with that. They’re as fantastic as ever, and at a delightful 45-minute length, the first episode is like a fizzy cocktail—gone before you know it, leaving you wishing you already had another in your hand.

 
SONG OF THE DAY

Lee Hyori – “Don’t Cry” for the I Need Romance 3 OST [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1: “A Woman Who Looks Like Sing Sing”

As a little girl steps out on a winter day, a voiceover narrates: “On the day I was born, it was the first snow of the year. A seven-year-old Sing Sing left footprints in the snow where no one else had walked, as she came to meet me. I heard it all from Sing Sing. She said that on the day I was born, I was like a sweet potato. I don’t believe her.”

We watch her meet a little baby in the hospital and sigh from the other side of the glass: “How is he going to get through life when he’s so ugly?”

He tells us that he grew up in Sing Sing’s house, and that at a year old she declared him to be a steamed sweet potato, which meant he was even uglier than before. She tries to cover up his ugly face repeatedly, but then she smiles to herself as he falls asleep in her lap.

We fade from baby Sweet Potato to his grown-up version, sleeping on a bench in an airport. This is JOO WAN (Sung Joon), who tells us he’s come back to Korea after seventeen years abroad.

As he scans the girls in his line of sight, he says that in his memory Sing Sing was smart and innocent and kind. “What will Sing Sing be like now?”

Cut to: grown-up Sing Sing, SHIN JOO-YEON (Kim So-yeon), strutting down the hallway with her co-workers and giggling over how an hour-long make-out session didn’t lead to sex.

Her co-worker JUNG HEE-JAE (Yoon Seung-ah) is telling the story, about how she and her boyfriend had to keep moving alleys just to kiss without an audience, and before she knew it, an hour had passed.

They ask why she didn’t just go to a motel, and she says because her boyfriend is studying for the civil service exam, they can only afford to go a motel once a month. At that, Joo-yeon suggests a communal petty fund for Hee-jae’s “needs.”

Joo-yeon gets a call from Mom letting her know that Sweet Potato is back in Korea, and she asks how old he is now and what he’s doing. “Music? He grew up to be a total slacker, didn’t he?”

But we watch him get picked up at the airport by a manager (who calls him by his stage name, Allen Joo), lining up the meetings and photo shoots he’s supposed to go to today. Wan just takes the car and ditches the manager on the sidewalk and tells him not to call, not interested in doing as he’s told.

Joo-yeon sighs at her mom’s request to house Wan for a year, but then remembers she has the perfect excuse to talk him out of staying with her—a boyfriend. Meanwhile Wan drives straight for the beach and takes in the view, declaring his happy return to Korea and to Sing Sing: “I told Sing Sing I would return one day. And I have.”

He beams when he gets a text from her and calls her right away. He points out that she’s speaking to him in banmal when they’re practically strangers now (even though he uses banmal right back), but she breezes that she’s been using banmal with him since the day he was born, which you can’t really argue with.

He wonders if she even remembers his face. Joo-yeon: “No, except that it was ugly.” But he’s surprised when she tells him she hasn’t decided yet on whether or not to house him, because she has a boyfriend who sleeps over often. She figures he wouldn’t want to hear her sex noises all night long, and demonstrates to hilarious effect.

She says she really, really, really doesn’t want him staying with her, and he’s taken aback and asks her directly: “Why don’t you like me?” She admits that he just reminds her of the time in her life when Mom had to watch him just to make a living, and that they had to live off of that money.

She talks a mile a minute the whole time and tells him not to call her again, but he stops her at the very end to get one word in. She sighs and puts the phone to her ear. Wan: “I… missed you. I missed you, Sing Sing.” She hangs up without a word.

We see that Joo-yeon is an ace at the home shopping channel where she works as a marketing director and her team’s leader. They squeal when their latest item sells out, but Joo-yeon tells them not to be so obvious about it, only to run to her sunbae’s office to brag with a dance. She’s adorable.

Her sunbae KANG TAE-YOON (Namgoong Min) smiles at her antics and teases her good-naturedly, but it’s the PD that she runs to hug (cameo by Alex), screaming, “Jagi-yaaaaa!”

Alex kisses her on request, though he doesn’t look especially happy. She’s too excited about their success to pick up on his mood though, and agrees when he asks her to dinner because he has something to say.

The maknae on her team, LEE WOO-YOUNG (Park Yoo-hwan), says he saw Alex at a jewelry store the other day buying a necklace with two rings on it. They conclude that he must be planning to propose tonight. They swoon at a picture of the necklace online, convinced that there could be no other reason he’d buy it.

But curiously, when we cut to Joo Wan who went to his photo shoot after all, the woman styling him (Girlfriend? Handsy fashion director?) is wearing that very necklace.

As Joo-yeon goes on her date with Alex wearing their matching couple rings, Wan writes music in his studio. In voiceover he tells us: “It was Sing Sing who first taught me music.”

In flashback, Little Joo-yeon plays the piano and Little Wan closes his eyes to listen to the music. She asks him what each piece makes him feel, and they put emotions to each song, naming them things like Happiness and Pain.

Joo-yeon asks expectantly what Alex has to say to her, so excited that I can hardly watch. He hesitates, and finally says, “Let’s break up.”

Little Wan asks, “And what about Sadness?”

We can read the shock on Joo-yeon’s face, but she takes a moment to process it and then just coolly orders dessert as if nothing happened. Alex has to be the one to point out that he just said they should break up, wanting more of a reaction out of her. But she says she isn’t about to hang on to a man who just told her he’s leaving.

“If I hold on, will you be held?” He argues that people don’t hold on thinking it’ll work, but they do it because how they feel is what’s important. But she says coldly that feelings aren’t important to her, at which he gives up and leaves her at the table.

Wan says to himself in his studio: “Sadness is…” and starts to play. Little Joo-yeon says, “Sadness is parting from someone—your heart hurts and that pain grows deep. Something gets tangled in your heart. That’s sadness.”

Little Wan: “Why do people part?” She answers, “There are people who part because they don’t like each other, and there are people who can’t see each other even when they want to.”

Wan says to himself as he plays: “Sing Sing is the woman who raised me. The woman who taught me the piano. And the person who taught me my heart.”

As Joo-yeon sits there at the table eating her ice cream alone, she tells herself: “There is no reason to be sad or hurt. It’s natural for relationships to end.” But she admits that she wasn’t always like this.

We go back through her dating history, starting with her very first break-up with rocker boy John Park, who crushed her without batting an eyelash because what he really loved was rock ‘n’ roll.

Her next love Joo Sang-wook was straight out of a drama, as he told her not to wait for him because he’d have to study abroad and go to army. She cried and cried, but he insisted that she’d be better off falling in love and marrying someone else.

He sent her inside because he didn’t want her to see his back as he walked away, playing the noble idiot to the hilt. Lol, it’s every drama cliché in one scene.

She goes inside and runs back out moments later to shout that she’ll wait for him as long as it takes because she knows she’ll never meet anyone as perfect, except he’s already long gone. She runs after him, still in the height of her romantic moment… only to find him down the street, stuffing his face at a food stand like nothing happened. Hahahaha.

She tells us that a month later she found out he never went abroad at all. She catches a brief glimpse of OH SE-RYUNG (Wang Ji-won) being interviewed on TV as a random college student, and she describes her as a friend, once. (This is the same woman who was with Wan at his photo shoot.)

Se-ryung tells her interviewer that boyfriends may come and go, but the value of the gold rings they bought her will last forever. Joo-yeon says that she never wanted to become like Se-ryung, scared that giving up on love would make her that jaded.

But then by the end of her fifth relationship, when she broke up with the guy because all he ever wanted to do was get her in bed, he followed up her farewell by begging her to sleep with him anyway… and something in her just snapped.

She says she remembered Se-ryung selling all her couple rings in that moment, and despite all her efforts not to become like her, she already had. She goes inside the hotel with the soon-to-be-ex, and tells us in voiceover that since that day, relationships ceased to burn hot, and breakups ceased to make her cry.

Back in the present, she finishes her ice cream and gets up from the table holding her head high. Too bad the hostess ruins her exit when she says that Alex didn’t bother to pay for dinner, and Joo-yeon loses her cool when she’s forced to pay for her own breakup date.

It’s snowing when she walks out, and she narrates: “I didn’t understand. There were things I wanted to ask. But I didn’t ask. There is only one reason for farewell—it’s because the climax of a relationship has ended.”

Woo-young leaves work late that night and catches a post online from a co-worker out drinking with Alex post-breakup. He realizes that Joo-yeon got dumped instead of proposed to, and messages the rest of the team hurriedly.

Hee-jae worries about Joo-yeon and her boyfriend has to coax her to leave the work at work, which she tells him is impossible.

The other member of their foursome, LEE MIN-JUNG (Park Hyo-joo), gasps when she sees the posts online, and then gets back to her plans for the evening—a hookup with a guy she met online.

Her whole philosophy is that relationships are dull and marriage is hell, so she’s basically looking for anything that won’t tie her down, ever.

Joo-yeon walks down the street in the snow, and Wan calls to ask if she wants to meet because it’s the first snow. She sighs that first snow calls for meeting with the person you’re in love with, and tries to give him the brush-off once again.

But Wan says something that makes her stop in her tracks. “You’ve changed. I thought about it, why you’ve become this woman. Earlier today you said you had someone you were in love with, but that was a lie. If you were in love with someone, if you were receiving someone’s love, you would be a person who treasured memories a little more. So if you are dating someone right now, you should break up, because it’s not real love.”

Tears spill out right then and there, though she doesn’t say anything back. He says that they’ll meet again even if she doesn’t want to, because he’s someone who keeps his promises. He hangs up with a smile and looks at the post-it he’s stuck to his window with her address scribbled on it.

She stands in the middle of the intersection as though his words have frozen her in place, and lets herself cry a little longer.

She shows up at sunbae Tae-yoon’s door and lets herself in, admitting she had nowhere else to go. He argues that he could’ve had a woman over, but she already knows he’s not dating anyone, and beelines for the wine cabinet. She’s obviously comfortable enough to treat it like her own kitchen.

He gapes at the expensive bottle she takes out, but when she tells him she just got dumped, he puts it back on the table. Aw, he’s a good friend. They drink and watch the home shopping channel, chatting away about work, and she thanks him for taking her mind off of being dumped.

The team is surprised when she walks into work the next morning in high spirits, and they rave when she hands them invitations to a party. They get excited to see that Allen Joo is DJing the party, and look at her like an alien when Joo-yeon doesn’t know who the genius songwriter and chart-topper is.

They get decked out to go to the party, and there in that giant crowd, Wan spots Joo-yeon as she’s dancing. At first she just catches his eye, but he recognizes her, and seeks her out at the club.

Her friends notice him looking their way, and egg Joo-yeon on to go snag the hot DJ. Hee-jae counters that she just broke up with Alex and needs time, but Joo-yeon tosses back, “Do you go barefoot to buy new shoes? No, you wear old shoes.”

She smiles back at him and gets ready to approach, but someone beats her to it. It’s her frenemy Se-ryung, and wearing the necklace that Woo-young saw Alex buy, no less. Joo-yeon’s expression hardens and she walks over with her claws out, correcting Se-ryung’s introduction as her friend: “I know you put your lips anywhere, but speak correctly—we’re not friends.”

Joo-yeon scoffs at Se-ryung’s breezy attitude, and says it must be because she’s so easy that she could be happy about running into each other. She turns to Wan and asks if he knows what “easy” means. Wan: “I don’t, but I know that you’re ill-tempered and lack common sense.”

He looks at her and thinks to himself, “Sing Sing wouldn’t have changed this much. This is just a woman who looks like her.”

Se-ryung asks if she’s happy being so hardened, and Joo-yeon throws the question right back at her. Se-ryung turns to Wan, thinking that she seems to really be asking him if he’s happy being with her.

Wan kisses Se-ryung on the forehead as his answer, and Joo-yeon laughs condescendingly. She wishes them lots of happiness in an obviously insincere tone, and walks away.

Wan asks if Se-ryung did something to wrong her, so shocked by the display, and Se-ryung just glosses over it, musing aloud, “You live life so difficultly, Shin Joo-yeon.” He makes her repeat the name, and then it sinks in: “That woman was Sing Sing.”

He runs after her as she leaves the club, but he misses her just as she gets into a cab. She fights back tears, and he watches the cab drive off. “That woman was Sing Sing.”

 
COMMENTS

We’re off to a nice start, and the relationships have some great potential, whether antagonistic or romantic. I don’t know that we needed to introduce quite so many characters in the first episode, but we’ve got time to flesh them out. I don’t love that the I Need Romance franchise is always so obsessed with longstanding first loves (you’d think that in three seasons they’d want to diverge from the expected), but at least in this case we’re not dealing with a relationship that’s gone on for ten years.

Joo-yeon is perhaps Wan’s first love, but she’s more like a childhood ideal of the perfect woman, which makes the reality of who she’s become even more interesting. It has shades of I Hear Your Voice’s pedestal-breaking, where the heroine is so far from the picture he has in his mind that it throws him. The dissonance between Sing Sing and Joo-yeon is what will make him important to her character arc, if what she needs is someone to remind her that she wasn’t always this person.

I like that she starts in a jaded place though, because I was expecting her to be crushed at the breakup, but instead it’s sadder that she isn’t hurt and doesn’t care. It’s great that Wan is already zeroing in on what’s wrong without even seeing her. Sunbae Tae-yoon is going to give the hero a run for his money though, because he was a surprisingly warm, sweet friend, and I loved their easy rapport. They can’t possibly make bestie romance war with noona romance, can they? Those are my favorite tropes! They can’t go to war!

My favorite thing about this season is that the hero seems to be not a jerk, which was never a deal-breaker for me in the previous seasons, but always kept me from fully rooting for the lead couple. Sweet Potato seems to be just as sweet as his namesake, which makes me one happy camper. This time it’s our heroine who veers into unlikable waters, but when Kim So-yeon layers her cattiness with vulnerability, you just can’t hate her. I mean, why would you want to?

 
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thanks for the first impressions.... :)

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Kim So Yeon is fantastic! :)

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I AM SO HOOKED TO THIS DRAMA ALREADY!

The two main leads are actually very likeable characters. Yes, even with her coldness and sassiness. I can relate to her character a lot, and I don't know, I just see her as a character that has been hurt so many times that she's gotten used to it and tries to pretend that it doesn't matter anymore. She's basically lying to herself, but I don't know, her character is just so real.

Anyways, I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK! :D

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I can definitely relate also. I think that's WHY I'm hooked. :)

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I agree she is very easy to relate to.

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I admit that I was hooked off the first episode as well which makes me happy because I rather like the I Need Romance collection on the whole.

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Its soooooo good. I get that feeling too, like damnit, its over already. We've been robbed. I wish it has an hour air time.

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You people need to stop making me watch this *cries*
I have exams coming up and I do not think that my heart can handle Sung Joon AND Kim So Yeon either... *cries more*

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This show is horrible! It makes you weep, it makes you sad, it makes your heartache, it gives you withdrawal symptoms, it makes you feel things, it makes you unproductive!

Do not watch unless you are very free.

Watch at your own risk.

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I'm not being a bad influence but, but, its only just a few minutes, and like she said, its gone before you know it. Haha.

Goodluck on your exams though :)

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It was so fast, I was like "that's it? I have to wait a day for the next episode?". I don't know how I'm going to wait for a week.

I love it. Both the lead was awesome. I like the chemistry between the group, they look friendly and just so cute.

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im in love with this drama!! so pretty

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This is so good <3

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I felt so frustrated when it ended...I love Sung Joon!!!

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Now I can't wait to watch the first ep for myself! I've never been interested in the I Need Romance franchise tbh, but this instalment somehow sounds more interesting than the first two, so fingers crossed!

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Oh my. That was a beautiful start. I'm waiting for ep 2 recap. Please, please, please continue recapping this. Is there only 1 ep per week?

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I'm glad it's not the same as the previous two times.. I couldn't get behind the lead couple the last two times.

I like Shing Shing a lot... and Kim Seo Yeon is such a treat to watch. I also saw glimpses of IHYV with Joo Wan's ideal of her. I love the bff relationship with Nam Gong Min as well. I just about like everything from this show. Their Ost is nice as well.

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Yay, good things! I'm here for it.

First Love. I kinda get it. I mean it is kind of sweet and romantic to think that someone has had you in their heart and thoughts for so long. Or that you met the one long ago and haven't realized, haha. I don't mind it. I think I just expect it to be there. At least it's not like...they didn't date anyone else until they met that person again. I think that's stranger, LOL.

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Didn't watch the first 2 season, but I was reeled in by the female lead. And I must add I was NEVER attracted to Sung Joon until watching this. Lie To Me (Which I drop) and Gu Famiy, kinda down played his handsomeness, if that made any sense. anyways of to watch ep 2.

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You didn't try White Christmas and Shut Up Flower Boy Band ?

Okay, I just can't help promoting these two dramas whenever. :D

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do you know how to watch White Christmas online? I've watched SUFBB but have been trying to find White Christmas, without much success... I absolutely loved SUFBB.

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Try Good Drama.

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lol, nope. I've never tried any of those yet.

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gooddrama.net and drama.net are the sites that i watch korean dramas and movies, i prefer drama.net more than gooddrama.net because the latter has stupid advertisements stuck from top to bottom page. It's good to know these two websites because some dramas or movies that are not on drama.net are available on gooddrama.net and viceversa.

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Absolutely must watch Shut Up Flower Boy Band. The name doesn't quite convey how wonderful this drama is. Well, at least for me. It is one of my all-time favorites.

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Recently watched shut up flower boy band. Definately a must watch. An all time favourite of mine aswell.

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FINALLY someone is writing about this!

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I can't pinpoint what it is but ep 1 didn't grab me as much as I thought it would. But I am interested enough to check out ep 2.

What caught my attention was the OST. I never would have thought it was Lee Hyori's but now that I am listening to it again, I can recognize her voice now.

So far, I am liking the relationship between the Shing Shing and the two male leads.

Was I the only one who was cracking up at the cameos of ex bfs? John Park's I love rock reminds me of Jung Jun Young, and Jo Sang Wook's was so cheesy.

Also, I dislike the Gag Concert guy reprising his character from Gag Concert. I never found that segment funny, rather it's irritating.

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I agree. I'm going to watch the show, and I know that I will probably end up liking it, but so far I don't LOVE it.

For me it is pin pointed to Kim So Yeon and Sung Joon's chemistry. If I'm going to have to follow them for the next 7 weeks and be on board with their romance, I better start seeing some sparks. I just really hope the brother-sister/friendship feel is intentional. Every time she tries to "flirt" with him, it just feels so awkward...

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I wouldn't even call it a brother sister vibe. She just didn't want to see him or hear from him, period. There are no sparks because she doesn't know him and all she's getting is a voice on the phone so there won't be any underlying attraction there or banter. He doesn't know her either beyond a childhood crush.
Episode 2 is where we'll get the official first impression I think.

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Thanks GirlFriday for the recaps and commentary.

I'm definitely hooked! I can totally relate to Joo Yeon, I only wish I had my own sweet potato to thaw me out. ;)

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Well, I hope you continue recapping ! :) Thanks anyway.

I was reminded of What's Up, Fox ? instead of I Hear Your Voice. Perhaps because the noonas took care of the boys when they're much younger.

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"How will you get through life when you're so ugly?"
:D hahahaahaahahhaha
Episode 2 feels better than episode 1. Finally, a good rom-com.!

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Love Love this drama. It have fun very very much. Can't wait for next week .

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Thank you for the recap! I already love our heroine, and Kim So Yeon is doing such a great job!

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not quite feeling the chemistry yet..
and strangely, though I'm usually drawn by intense and dramatic OSTs, this drama's OST which is in general, lighter, and has a more k-indie feel, actually sounds awesome so far! I even rewatched the first episode just to listen to the songs again... lol.

I'm hoping the pace will pick up, but maybe that's because I'm too used to the fast action in Man From the Stars...

and could I just add that I love Sung Joon, after his role in SUFFB? He is just so endearing there, he and Lee Min Ki, so real and realistic..

also loving the other lead-- she's very good at acting and bringing out extra emotion not directly written on script.

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re the OST, it does sound like it right? The song posted above reminds me of Soulmates's somehow.

Between this and the piano pieces in Could We Love, my ears are jumping with joy. :)

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Soulmate had by far the best OST's and soundtracks in kdrama world in my opinion.

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Just hearing Sung Joon's voice over is enough for me to be hooked on this drama!
I didn't see season 2, but yes thank goodness that the lead is not a jerk. I remember rooting for Bae Sung-Hyun up to the very end.

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Me, too! The voice.

Plus the puppy dog look behind his hardened expression at the end. He wants her to be his Sing Sing so badly.

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I Need Romance 3 has finally premiered. This is my first time watching the I Need Romance franchise. I definitely enjoyed Episodes 1 & 2.

I am fond of Kim So-Yeon and it's nice seeing her as the lead in a drama again. I am a fan of her previous work in All About Eve, IRIS, Athena: Goddess of War, Prosecutor Princess, and Two Weeks.

My first introduction to Sung Joon was in Lie To Me. In Gu Family Book, he was entertaining as Gon. Choi Ji-Hoon is fresh in my mind because over the holidays, I watched White Christmas for the first time.

My first exposure to Nam Goong Min was his cameo in Cheongdamdong Alice [aka Alice in Cheongdam-dong]. I really enjoyed him as Kim Jong Dae in the recent kdrama Unemployed Romance [aka Unemployment Benefit Romance]

I have been looking forward to Kim So-Yeon, Sung Joon, & Nam Goong Min as the leads and the romantic triangle that will probably arise with their characters.

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Second lead syndrome ALL the way for me!

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Ha, ha, me too. It's like Namgoong Min and Kim So-Yeon are already a comfortable, old couple. Some spark could change this to a perfect relationship. She already got what she is looking for and she doesn't know it.

Sung Joon's character is just too unbelievable and borderline stalkerish. I mean, who in his right mind would yearn for seventeen years after a much older girl he last met when he was nine?! It might sound romantic on the paper, but it's downright creepy in drama reality. *eek*

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Thanks, girlfriday, for your great recap. I also am torn about the best friend romance vs noona romance. While I adore Sung Jung, I also find the best friend second lead adorable. Also, I love the potential for real personal growth in the female lead. This promises to be a fun watch.

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WOW! This should be my next drama hooked.
Thanks for recap girlfriday.

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I don´t really care about much else than having Sung Joon sing at some point, and was that a guitar, so please, I will do anything, if he doesnt sing next episode I am going to tramp my feet and scream and pull a tantrum. please.

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Yes, please !

I enjoyed Sung Joon in SUFBB OST very much !

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Appears not to be on Viki in the USA? Anyhoo, anywhere to watch that's subtitled in English?

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Try Good Drama.

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It's under i need romance 3 on viki.

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Thanks! Got it :)

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I get the feeling that I will grow to love this show, but right now, I don't know…the writing feels a little thin to me. Or maybe it's a writer/director combo? Like the show is going through the motions of typical romcom hijinks without rooting them in realistic characters. Joo-yeon is fabulous & compelling, but Wan right now (much as I adore Sung Joon) is such a one-dimensional character. I wouldn't mind the whole childhood love thing so much if the writers had developed Wan more strongly as an adult. As is, all we really know about him is that he's a GENIUS composer and he's obsessed with Sing Sing. He also reacts to basic situations in kind of bizarre ways. Like the first encounter with Joo-yeon at the bar--why did he kiss Se-ryung's forehead? I got the sense that there should have been more subtext to justify the move, but as it was, it just seemed random and weird to me. I don't always understand the internal logic of his character.

I do love Joo-yeon, though. She's smart & ambitious, with lots of protective layering that's built up over the years. I can tell that Wan & she have the potential for crazy chemistry down the road, as long as the writers develop Wan into more of a person and less of a singleminded Joo-yeon-puppy.

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c'mon it's just the first episode but i do agree sung joon in the present is just shown to be a puppy, i will see how they flesh out his character in the next episodes, for now it's just starting and they focused more on kim so yeon's character and revealed almost everthing about her, her past relationships, breakups, her friends and how they interact, they have showed everything and everyone around her life in the first episode so obviously viewers might be more invested in her character in the present, compare that to sung joon's character who is still a mysterious character to me, only thing i know is he is a popular singer and has love for the noona, i hope the writers flesh his character well because i want to know what he did in those 17 years abroad, most of the time in dramas either the male lead or female lead character are written very badly without any depth, i hope this is not the case for i need romance 3, i'm hopeful...

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I was enjoying this show until Joo-yeon ordered ice-cream when she heard the word "break-up". CLICHE! and boring.
So far the 1st episode is full of cliche and I was so bored. Since I adore Sung Joon and Kim So Yeon, hope it'll get better. (Haven't watched ep 2 yet, Viki kept giving me an error message)

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Anyone also find the fashion in this show is horrible? What is up with that ORANGE coat that Sung Joon was wearing INSIDE a club?

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OMG, at first I totally rolled my eyes at the ice cream thing, until I realized that she was not drowning her sorrows in ice cream, she was showing how unbothered she was about the breakup. Then I fell in love with it.

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Okay, so that's what I missed? Interesting. In the recap, girlfriday also said she just ordered dessert, but then they could have made it something like tiramisu or whatever... I think it's still a bit too illogical for me to buy that she is jaded. They did show how happy she was when she thought he was about to propose. She did expect a happy ending out of this relationship, she was totally unprepared. Therefore, for me, her appearing to be jaded or unbothered comes across more like initial denial or self-defense more than a cold-headed take of the blow.

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That's interesting, because I think the one thing the show has done really well (for me) is show how jaded Joo-yeon is & how she got there. I think she is exactly that jaded, but I also don't think her cynicism is at odds with her genuinely caring for Alex or hoping deep-down for a happy ending. That she would have developed this protective layer to show the world that it can't get to her makes a ton of sense to me on a character level. After getting hurt and taken advantage of by every man she was with, she tries to toughen up and take power back by showing men that she can't be bothered. She did let her guard down with Alex a bit in allowing herself to hope for a proposal (SPOILER: you'll get a little more of a taste of where this hope is coming from in episode 2), and then as soon as he dropped the bomb on her that he wanted to break up, she immediately put the armor back up.

For me, her ordering the ice cream was also about saving face and walking away from the relationship with dignity as much as possible. Alex expected her to break down and weep, and she wasn't willing to give him the satisfaction of showing him how much he'd hurt her. So what does she do? Act like she doesn't care by ordering dessert and calmly sitting there to eat it with him. It makes total sense to me that a woman who believes that strength lies in not allowing oneself to be vulnerable (and therefore hurt) would do everything she could to avoid coming across as weak or emotional in front of the person who's breaking her heart.

Wow, I didn't know I could write so much about the ice cream! Lol.

For me, her character is very well-developed. I just find Sung Joon's character to be the weak link at this point, and really hope that the writers step up their game w/r/t Wan in the coming week. Because his lack of development is really dragging interactions that should be cute & swoon-worthy into blah-territory. These two actors are too sizzling to be in blah-territory. Get it together, writers! :)

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I wrote my comment after watching both episodes (episode 2 is actually worse in terms of Wan's development, IMO), but I'm definitely hopeful that they will give both characters more depth as the story progresses. I think I was just surprised, because for all its faults, one thing this franchise normally does really well is create rich, dynamic (flawed!) characters and I'm not seeing that so much here. Obviously the premise is wildly different for this show compared to previous seasons, as there's no long-standing relationship to give us a window into the characters, warts and all.

Which is to say, hopefully the foundation has been laid with these two episodes and the show proceeds with more character development!

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Second that. (Thanks for the warning. I'll lower my expectation for ep 2 then).

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I agree! I'm so happy that the lead is not a jerk for once. Sung Joon does look mean (well, when he has a straight face) and he's someone who you'd think will get mean roles. It's refreshing to see a warm male lead this time.

I haven't seen the first two seasons so I won't be able to comment on similarities. I wouldn't have started watching this one if I wasn't subbing it but I'm so happy I did! 45 minutes for an episode is really good too.

Ahhh, can't wait for next week. For now, let me hug little Goguma. >.<

Thanks for the recaps, girlfriday!

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i loved the cameo by jung myunghun as his normal guy/dog boyfriend character from gag concert! i thought it was hilarious!
i'm going to keep tuning in my i do kind of wish it went a little faster. still, we're only 2 episodes in so I don't want to judge too early. :)

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Strangely, I like 'Don't Cry'. If it was sung by maybe Younha (a more softer and powerful voice), I'll love it. Lee Hyori voice sorts of remind me of Miley. Quite annoying. Maybe it'll continue to grow on me.

As for the drama, HOLY COW! It's out! I thought it was airing maybe next week. I guess I haven't been keeping up with Kdramas since my business.

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But I want that Girlfriday, bestie romance and noona romance go to war! That would be dramalicious!

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'bestie romance war with noona romance', I'm gonna end up rooting for both! The bestie is so sweet and understanding and the dongsaeng is a reminder of how different she was. Got myself a new favourite Monday/Tuesday drama in quite a while.

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I liked this first episode!

I haven't watched the first 2 seasons and I was wondering if this was a new story with new characters or if there was a link with the previous seasons.
Do I need to watch them? Because I was only interested in I need romance 3 because of Sung Joon.

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It is a new story, so you don't need to watch the previous seasons. But the leads in those are by no means less interesting to look at, mind you...

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First a question: Does anybody know the title of the first song in that episode, the one sung in French? It's charming, but I am somehow unable to find out anything about it. Even SoundHound is helpless.

As for the drama itself, the first episode wasn't as captivating as the initial episodes of the previous seasons. Maybe because it is winter and the whole lacks the feeling of cheeful relax in the sun? Or is it that I simply haven't taken to the characters yet? Anyway, the much loved Sung Joon has yet to earn my recognition. I failed to watch any of his dramas that the kind fellow Commenters recommended :|.
That is not to say I am dropping the thing right away! It did have it's good moments, a portion of humour (it must be there in I Need Romance!) and a potential to turn out surprising. What I wish for is, as ever, well written, layered characters.

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Sorry, it was meant to be a separate post, but I got some error message and it somehow landed here.
It's a bad day, I even typed my own name wrong! Twice!! LOL

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About the song: I am French and I never heard it, I even tried to look it up with the lyrics.... but nothing

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Oh, thanks :)
it must be new - I tried typing the words that I could hear and spell, but to no avail. I thought I spelled them wrong, which in turn is nothing strange, because almost all French I know is from songs and it is only a little.

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I also want to know the name of the song but i'm sure they'll release it as part of the OST soon.

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I looked forward to this mostly because KSY is an awesome actress with depth and a rom-com is always better with actress of her caliber and not just another young pretty girl who are usually an idol.

She showed more real emotions in the last taxi scene than most other do in a whole series.

Really good,cute series so far ep 2 is even better!

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The premise is great for some squishy moments! I love the actor. The actress not so much... She is a very good actress but somehow she doesn't tick for me... She plays strong roles very well but I don't know why I cringe seeing her in romantic-comedies...She overdoes her character... I'll watch few more episodes and maybe I'll start to like her role here...

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Just finished ep2. Amazing chemistry between KSY and SJ. They are so adorable.

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Aww....little and big sweet potato are both cute~
Sung Joon...his voice.
I die.

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Finished INR2 over the weekend. Loved it more than first season's just because their ending made more sense. LOL!

I like the childhood flashback scenes in INR3... the little girl is uber cute and so is the baby boy. The rest of the episode was too fast paced for me storywise for a premiere episode. At best, I do love the idea "Sweet Potatoe" kept vivid memories of his innocent and more pure "Sing Sing" (means starry or stars, right?) in heart. I'm already sold and committed to watch Wan bring back the ole "Sing Sing."

Just wondering when will the clothes actually start flying off and choco abs starts seducing my smartmedia. Kekeke~

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For the first time, I am fully hooked on a season of this show..ep 2 was even better. It's just so...so so so good. Haha

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I made the terrible mistake of watching this on Viki and now I have to live with the torture of waiting an entire week to get my fix. I do agree that Wan needs fleshing out but I love his tenderness and determination. Plus that voice! Love the. Heroine because of the flashbacks and her rapport with her team. So crushing on the Director and the only boy on the team. Basically the men in this drama are working for me big time, if on different levels.

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Yaaaaaaaaay!

Thank you so much for the recap!

I loooooved this first episode! <3

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I love how slick the camera work is and how mature the narrative and dialogue are on love and relationships.

Best of all, KSY will be filling the scenes. We'll be seeing a fashionable KSY, unlike what her last two dramas made her wear.

I just love KSY since her Iris days. Seems like she hooked onto a good project. Hope it doesn't disappoint.

Initially I didn't care much for the male lead, but the warmth and strength in his voice makes it credible that he could warm her heart.

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you and me are the opposite lol, i only care for the male lead and watching the drama because of him, don't care for the female lead kim so yeon too much, although i generally like her in roles and think she is very beautiful i never seem to get into her acting deeply, i like her in cold hearted roles like in iris and two weeks but i can't seem to get into her romantic roles, still i think she's a decent actress but that is all, i wouldn't have watched this drama because i had watched i need romance 1 and 2 and although i liked both the stories were similar, nothing new and nothing fancy, i was thinking this will be the same, but since sung joon got casted i thought maybe i'll watch it but if the drama starts going to the same direction as 1 and 2 i will stop watching it, sorry sung joon.

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@tippytoes I'm in bcoz of Kim So Yeon too, while her fans since Prosecutor Princess. She so splendid in romcom. No regret with her perform in INR3. I know most people stuck their mind about this actress just cold and aggressive character. But she well done in romcom from my point.

First two episode very good started. Plot, Acting, Songs everything so good. Look forward the next ep.

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love it...thanks dramabeans!!!

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i am totally sold to watch the dreamy. the 3 lead stars really delivers!

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I don't understand it. Did they get a new writer for this season? I don't like the script writing at all! And the chemistry between LSY and SJ isn't quite there, which makes me :( I hope it gets better.

And I think Park Hyo Ju's role as sidekick is the only one that really makes sense and works. I mean, I love the idea that one sidekick is male, and the other is a fresh twenties...but it doesn't make sense that they're relatively green interns. In a realistic K-business world, LSY and PHJ wouldn't be buddy buddies with these two. Is it the roles or the acting that makes something seem forced? It's soo important to me because the INR franchise is heavily centered around the close friendship between the leading lady and her sidekicks! :(

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Yeah... I don't like the writing either. I feel like everything is either paint-by-numbers or forced, and I agree about the lack of chemistry of the leads :( And I wasn't even expecting much from this, since I was disappointed with the previous season (only decided to check this out when they cast KSY and SJ) :/

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"paint-by-numbers" ...so well put. And I cringed at all the flirty banter btwn the leads (this is more true in ep 2).

But I loved Season 2!! Probably more than Season, even though Jung Yumi was so heartless and cruel to the second lead. What didn't you like about Season 2 out of curiosity?

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*more than Season 1*

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This is Kim So Yeon not Lee So Yeon!!~ If you don't like that much. Why don't quit?

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Hahah, yah meant to say KSY, my bad. BECAUSE I kind of like her as an actress...watched All About Eve back in the day, Autumn Shower, Gourmet, Iris, Doctor Champ, The Great Seer, Two Weeks...not the biggest fan of Prosecutor Princess but still watched it for her. In addition, I am a HUGE fan of Season 1 and 2, so I might be in a bit of denial. I am not a easy quitter when it comes to kdramas. Sung Joon's easy on the eyes, but eh...

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Love Love Everything in This drama. Cast, Song,Story are so lovable.Hope viewers in Korea get recognize this drama and get better rating.

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i've got to try to watch this. Thanks for the recap.

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I liked this first episode a lot, except for the voice over. I don't know, it didn't feel compelling at all.
Does anyone know the name of the first song, the French one sung by a woman? I wrote down the lyrics to find more about it, but Google wasn't my friend.

(J'ai une fleur chez moi qui pousse, qui pousse,
Sans l'arroser vraiment, en douce, en douce,
Inexorablement, elle pousse, elle pousse
Et son parfum me prend.
Et je ne la voyais pas d'abord, d'abord
car elle a pris son temps, elle sort, elle sort
un peu en hésitant au bord, au bord de mes sentiments.
Et un jour on ne peut plus faire semblant
quand tous les petits riens sont devenus grands.
Les (princes ? printemps ? prin...?) se font sans un bruit
Tous ces petits riens qui m'a I thought it might have something to do with the Little Prince because I know there's a musical, but I must be wrong and I couldn't fice anything.ttachent à lui,
aux petits petits riens (??)

That's all the lyrics I have for now, and I feel like I know the woman's voice but I can't place it.
A rough translation to show the cuteness of the song:
I have a flower at home growing and growing without really being watered on the side/quiet, unrelentingly, "she"/it grows and her/its perfume wraps me up. I first didn't see her/it because she/it took her time, she/it springs up a bit timidly at the edge of my feelings. But one day you can't pretend anymore when when the small trifle becomes big. (something is done) wiht no noise, the trifle that makes me care about him...)

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I'm not sure if this is accurate, but another website mentioned that the artist was Peppermoon and the title of the song was Peu à Peu.

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Yes, it's Iris' voice that you can hear in the 3rd season of the Korean tv series "I Need Romance". The composer of the song is M. Kim Heejin. Then we wrote French lyrics based on the feelings of the main female character (so it is really tailor-made for the show), and Iris recorded her vocals in Paris just before Xmas. The song is titled "Peu à peu" (= Little by little) and it's part of the OST of the series, to be released digitally next wednesday (in Korea at least). We thank our label Chili Music and the music supervisor of the show, who allowed us to get this opportunity (we've been told it's the 1st time a song written in French is used in a Korean drama). And we hope that we'll be able to watch it soon!

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I'm glad a Korean drama actually made me discover a French band I've never heard of in France... I'll make sure to check their songs out and buy them.
Someone released the song on youtube (not sure if it was allowed or not, sorry to relay that if it wasn't) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqDkwuCkbEI

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I am intrigued by the song too! But I tried looking up Peppermoon as suggested but cannot find that song in their playlist nor the lyrics anywhere online so far.

I think I hear what you wrote but why can't I find it? Hope someone does because I love that song.

(Still on clear about what are now 2 pieces of French associated to this series, the "J'ai besoin de romance" in the teaser being the other one)

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What is post on peppermoon Facebook page

Yes, it's Iris' voice that you can hear in the 3rd season of the Korean tv series "I Need Romance". The composer of the song is M. Kim Heejin. Then we wrote French lyrics based on the feelings of the main female character (so it is really tailor-made for the show), and Iris recorded her vocals in Paris just before Xmas. The song is titled "Peu à peu" (= Little by little) and it's part of the OST of the series, to be released digitally next wednesday (in Korea at least). We thank our label Chili Music and the music supervisor of the show, who allowed us to get this opportunity (we've been told it's the 1st time a song written in French is used in a Korean drama). And we hope that we'll be able to watch it soon!

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The song was wrote for the drama ( was said on peppermoon Facebook page) will be release next Wednesday in Korea

Hope the will help

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