I Need Romance 2012: Episode 2

AHHH – this drama is addicting. I don’t know why – the shortness of each episode? The charming Lee Jin Wook? (So sadly wasted in Spy Myung Wol.) The briskness of the story? Episode 2 is a better episode with its development, with some surprises, some explanations, and plenty of cute flashbacks. I’m glad I got to satisfy whatever curiosities I had from episode 1. And yes – I’m recapping as I watch so I have yet to catch up to all 6 episodes of the series just yet.

If I could name this episode, it’d be: “2. Sex is a Sport.” It’s a line from the drama – I’m not that pervy! (Although this drama’s overload of kissing makes me sometimes feel like a peeping Tom, just like in season 1.)

This drama still does a lot of back and forth in timeline, with plenty of flashbacks to solidify our understanding of the characters. I don’t mind it so much, as the stories are framed as anecdotes, experiences, or memories.

So we start with Yeol Mae listening to her band perform their new song. It’s all good, until the very last note, when she realizes that something’s off – the band didn’t practice did they!? She yells at them to take a break and practice more, but they’re not allowed to go eat because it makes them sluggish. It also starves them to death, but she doesn’t care. As a 33-year old woman, she is a spinster who’s less embarrassed about herself.

That also means, when she arrives late to a coffee making session at Coffee King, she’s barely sheepish about it – even though the class is taught by none other than Shin Ji Hoon!

Flashback to the arranged date night, and she finds out that Ji Hoon’s been tricking her the entire time. They haven’t dated at all; rather, she signed up for coffee making classes a week ago, and he remembered her. He pokes fun at the fact that she’s always late – late to the date, late to class. Her band just so happens to stop by that Coffee King, searching for snacks, and she catches them, chasing them out the cafe. (Poor band kids.) She walks herself right into the closing glass door – even Ji Hoon feels the pain for her.

On top of the growing bump on her forehead, she also managed to wipe some coffee powder over her upper lip, making her look like she has a mustache. Ji Hoon passes her a towel to wipe it, and she initially misinterprets it to mean he’s going to wipe it for her. Yipes.

Yeol Mae ends up waking up the next day from an erotic dream that she had – imagining that she had sex with Seok Hyun! It shocks her to the core, but her friends wisely say that she must still have the hots for Seok Hyun. Jae Kyung suggests that she casually suggest sex with him, as if it were just a sport, or a game of catch. Ji Hee would rather play hard to get – a game she always plays with her doctor boyfriend Ho Joon, but always gets found out at the end.

Yeol Mae’s solution is to just go to the nearby park and work out all her sexual frustrations. Hah – like that works.

As for Ji Hee she tries to prepare a special meal for Ho Joon when he comes to her home for dinner. But everything is actually store bought, and she doesn’t know how to make a single thing without a recipe book. In fact, Ho Joon even catches her for it, but teases her on how cute she is. (He knows how to make jap chae from scratch, natch.) He’d rather sleep with her than eat, so off to the bedroom they go!

Yeol Mae prepares dinner at her home, and Seok Hyun helps her out, which only increases her burning desire for him. He even touches her nose a lot, which actually turns her on, and causes her to stare at him dreamily. She tries to casually ask if he would sleep in her room sometimes. Seok Hyun: “Why? I have my own room.”

He goes to get an ingredient in the fridge and finds a condom pack in there. HAHA – he laughs at her, but they end up bickering over the first time they slept together. She remembers a motel, where he had said that she should not cross an invisible line lest he “pounce” her; she ends up finding a condom in his bag and realizes he came to this trip prepared. He remembers it being at a motel when he was on military leave. Either way, both have been caught with condoms in somewhat embarrassing situations. She even made him buy a pack of condom from the grocery store, making him blush in front of the female cashier (they were so young then…).

But they have an unexpected guest that evening after dinner – it’s Ji Hee! She’s all sad because Ho Joon just left for the night. They had sex – except, it barely even started for Ji Hee when it ended for Ho Joon! She’s so disappointed by the sex, and on top of that, Ho Joon didn’t even stay for the night, saying that he had to fly early to Jeju for a seminar the next morning. Ho Joon is oblivious to the fact that he’s unsatisfying in bed – because Ji Hee faked it! Seok Hyun is surprised – girls can fake it!? He gets worried that Yeol Mae may have faked it, but Yeol Mae insists that she never did. She never had to – because she realizes that she never had a “bad in bed” problem with Seok Hyun.

Jae Kyung and her hubby Jang Woo go golfing with some colleagues and display more of their perfect marriage, with Jang Woo expressing political aspirations and Jae Kyung already “studying politics” to support him. She’s so perfect that he even massages her later that night, servicing her for a job well done. In exchange, she asks for help from Jang Woo in helping her secure a job.

Yeol Mae returns from one of her exercises to see a pair of shoes in the house. She thinks Seok Hyun might have had a girlfriend, which she’s ok with. But then she finds that her condom pack is gone – that she’s not ok with! She listens through the door and hears moaning, and is ready to barge in when Seok Hyun comes down the stairs from the shower, wondering what she’s doing. She accuses him of stealing her condom pack for his girlfriend. He opens the door. The moaning is from his radio as some girl group sings; the shoes in the doorway are the pair that Jae Kyung had designed and given to Yeol Mae; the condoms were tucked away in a drawer, since they shouldn’t be refrigerated with food. Heh.

Yeol Mae realizes on the way to dinner with Jae Kyung that she just might be wanting Seok Hyun even more. They arrive at the restaurant, where Ji Hee is waiting inside for them, when suddenly Jae Kyung tells Yeol Mae to call Ji Hee out. She quickly texts her husband, who’s inside on a date with another girl! She saw his car parked out front, and quickly warns him that her friends are inside.

Too late – Ji Hee has caught Jang Woo with his arms around another woman. Ji Hee quickly runs out, and she and Jae Kyung try to usher Yeol Mae out to another restaurant. However Yeol Mae smells something fishy. She barges into the restaurant, and finds Jang Woo kissing the hands of his “cousin”.

The girls return to Yeol Mae’s house, where Jae Kyung and Seok Hyun try to lighten the mood and forget about the scene they just saw. No dice – Jae Kyung must explain. Three months into their marriage, Jae Kyung found out he was cheating on her. So she let it happen. In exchange, she’d cheat too. She will divorce her husband though, right after she launches her new show, and accuse him of adultery. She promises she won’t get caught for her adulterous ways, so Jang Woo can’t blame her. In fact, he thinks he has the most perfect wife in the world.

Yeol Mae isn’t even sure if Jae Kyung is really dating anyone else, but either way Seok Hyun tells her to butt out. Instead of criticizing her best friend, she should understand how Jae Kyung is feeling and support her. Instead of forcing Jae Kyung to admit to a truth, she should just let Jae Kyung have her secrets. When friends are going through an emotional roller coaster, it doesn’t matter what you’re feeling about the situation – but what your friend is feeling. Yeol Mae admits she needs to be a nicer person, and finds herself liking Seok Hyun more because he becomes a really good friend at certain times like these.

Her favorite song comes on (Sara Bareilles’ Bottle it Up), and she starts dancing. Seok Hyun teases her awful dancing, but at 33, she doesn’t care. At 33, she knows who she is – she knows what makes her happy, and she knows she doesn’t care about what others think. And having dated Seok Hyun for a while, she knows he thinks she’s very beautiful at that moment.

She gets him to dance with her – and after a minute of dorky dancing, he asks her: “Do you want to sleep in my room sometimes? It doesn’t always have to be your room.”

He’s totally still holding a torch for her.

Three notes:

1) Seok Hyun is cute being “one of the girls.” As the adopted 4th Sex and the City member, I’d call him the “Miranda” of the group.

2) I like that it retained the old touches of the first series – with the freeze frames and the photo-wash on them. Although, this one is cooler in color and more saturated than the first season’s freeze frames, which had warmer tones.

3) I love the music in this show! Good thing Yeol Mae is a music director, but it means that the soundtrack has to be amazing.


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