I Need Romance Week 5: A New Beginning?

While this drama is quite realistic, it’s also a little repetitive and frustrating, isn’t it? Plus it doesn’t help that there’s no clear signal on who In Young will end up with… if she even ends up with anyone at all. Sung Soo is the lead character but they’ve made his character such an ass that it’s hard to root for him.  Regardless, with six episodes remaining, my seat belt has been fastened and I’m sure as hell hanging on for the ride.


So In Young predictably freaks out about Sung Hyun being her boss. She thinks back to all the times she bullied him and regrets every single instance. Which is why there’s always a warning to be careful about how we treat those around us because we never know what tomorrow will bring.

Anyway, he texts her to meet him at different locations but she doesn’t respond nor does she show up at any of the places. So when they finally run into each other at the hotel, he tells her in his boss-voice to meet him in his office.

When she arrives, he’s got breakfast all laid out (this guy is so cute) and before they can really talk, they get interrupted by one of their colleagues.

He finally manages to corner her after work on her walk home. They go to a cafe where she breaks up with him, saying that she never liked him and confesses that she can’t date her boss. Sung Hyun isn’t willing to accept it and suggests that they go to a bar right afterwards. In the meantime, In Young is stressed that Sung Soo – who’d seen her in Sung Hyun’s car – isn’t calling her and begins to imagine that perhaps he hadn’t been going to the hotel to see her but to see Skank Hee,who is a regular at the hotel gym.

They go to the bar and In Young says that they were just playing around because there was no passion and no pain. Sung Hyun tries to explain to her that love is not pain but it’s the only kind she knows so she doesn’t believe him. Sung Soo finally calls and while In Young speaks to him, Sung Hyun does something childish to get her attention. Since he can’t handle alcohol, he passes out after two shots and when In Young sees this and relays his drunken state to Sung Soo, she realizes that he is jealous. It’s a first for him so she decides to milk it.

Sung Soo had been at her place trying to find a DVD so In Young decides to bring Sung Hyun over to really stick it to him. This couple is playing an annoying cat-and-mouse game so of course he gets upset. After much bickering, Sung Soo decides that he can let Sung Hyun sleep there as long as he spends the night with them… which is nowhere near as kinky as it sounds. He basically wants to make sure no funny business goes on.

In Young is in the kitchen gloating at his reaction till he suddenly shows up and says that he’s leaving. What? Does it mean that Kim Sung Soo is really okay with a man sleeping over at her place? She needs to know so she contacts her friends and they chat with her online. Seo Yeon says he’s simply keeping to his promise and allowing her to sleep with other guys but Hyun Joo disagrees. She believes that it must be for another reason and urges In Young to inspect the scene of the crime, which is her bedroom with Sung Hyun sleeping in it,  promising that she will find a clue.

She does that but finds nothing.

We then get to see Sung Soo at home looking very pleased with himself.  A flashback shows us that in In Young’s room, he’d found the pillow with the pillowcase that’s his t-shirt and realized that In Young is still not over him.  Drats. So after putting it in her closet, he left her apartment confident that she wouldn’t sleep with Sung Hyun.

Back on Project Use-It-To-Lose-It, the handyman comes over to fix a shelf but Hyun Joo has other plans for him. She sets up her seduction table which is pretty much her coffee table set up with all the ingredients needed for shots. She wants to play some music to get them in the mood but being clueless, he prefers to watch ping-pong on television instead.  So she takes matters into her own hands. She rubs some lemon on his hand, puts some salt on it and licks it off. Even a man with an IQ of 1 will take that hint. So soon after that, after a few more shots, they take it to the bedroom. He’s gentle and considerate and even though the setting isn’t as romantic as she’d always dreamed, Project Use-It-To-Lose-It is a success.

The next morning, Sung Hyun wakes up at In Young’s place with a hangover. They talk about the fact that In Young is uncomfortable with his position at work and he wonders why she’s got a negative reaction to it unlike gold-digging females. She gets mad that he can say that as her dream is to become the general manager but after 8 years of working so hard that the soles of her shoes are always worn out, she’s still his subordinate because of his family connections.

To appease her, he takes her shoe shopping, lol, and they make up. I felt a little bad for him when he called himself her boyfriend. Sometimes he acknowledges it but other times, he seems to be willfully blind to the fact that she’s not as into their relationship as he is.  After shopping, he drops her off at home but asks for a kiss before he leaves. She hesitates but fulfills his request. It’s really a She’s Just Not That Into You moment.

It’s the reverse situation at Hyun Joo’s. She wakes up late the next morning to an empty bed and while she’s coming to terms with the change to her body, Duk Soo walks in with both breakfast and lunch and even has something for her cat. A few minutes earlier, she’d been relieved at his absence because even though he’s a good person, he’s just too stupid for her so she doesn’t want to get into a relationship with him. Her friends urge her to date him because even if he’s not Mr. Right, he can be Mr. Right Now but she thinks he deserves  better.

Seo Yeon meets with her photographer, Joon Hee, for a shoot. After their banter which is getting more pleasant and flirtier as times goes, they arrive at the site. He asks her to help carry a bed over some rocks but she slips and falls into a spring. He’s worried about her but she’s worried that the photoshoot is now a bust. He then notices a cut on her hand but again, instead of worrying about that, she’s more worried about the commercial she’s shooting the following day. When they get back to the car, he tells her an anecdote as a way of illustrating that people who are always strong end up losing out in the end but Seo Yeon is not phased. Then he praises her by saying that although she’s not his type, she’s admirable and gets a peck on the cheek as a thank you.

To show Seo Yeon that he’s not like other guys who fall for her cheap seduction tactics, Joon Hee pretends to leave her stranded by driving off before letting her get into the car. It’s cute that he wants to stand out from other men because he so clearly likes her at this point – despite what he says.

At work, In Young learns that Sung Soo will be shooting his movie at her hotel and is understandably displeased with that development. So while taking him to his complimentary room, she points out Sung Hyun’s to rub it in his face. Sung Soo retaliates by calling her a gold-digger, and he’s mad because he always spent all he had on her. Was that not enough? Then he tells her not to be so easy with her new man seeing as she’d practically thrown herself at him on their first night together. This causes her to call him a 30-second-man and they have a lover’s spat.

She’s glad when he says that her new relationship hurts him but he also wants Sung Hyun to hurt her. That way, she’ll come crawling back to him. She spits back that the chances of that happening are low since Sung Hyun is pretty much perfect. Hmmm. Is this foreshadowing his imperfection in a later episode?

Sung Hyun and In Young have breakfast together where he reads aloud her very positive 6-month evaluation of him. He’s very giddy but she points out that those were her feelings for him on a professional level. But he wants to hear what they are on a personal level. More importantly, he wants to hear those three words. But she doesn’t give them up because she doesn’t want to lie. He’s hurt and tells her so. Sometimes, I kind of wish he’d just let it go. Is he really okay only getting this half-assedness from her?

After Seo Yeon explains to her friends that she has no problem saying “I love you,” to anyone, she meets up with Alex, then with Joon Hee.  She bought a new camera and shows it off to him then he shows the photos from their first shoot that might make it to his exhibition. She’s miffed that none of them show her face so he explains the beauty in seeing what is not there. lol. Anyway, they seem to relate to each other. They spend the rest of the evening listening to music as they enjoy looking at photos. These two are cute. More time on them, please.

In Young is at home playing the guitar when Sung Hyun calls because he wants her to listen to a song. He puts it on and of course, it’s another trip down memory lane for her. It takes her back to a time when she was watching a movie with Sung Soo and he began to cry. He was touched by its proposal scene so later on, In Young suggests they act out their own proposal scene. They play but as these things happen, fiction turns into reality and Sung Soo is really asking her to marry him. She plays hard to get and he gets mad. They end it with her saying that she’d gladly marry him as long as he promises to never cheat on her. He claimed that “goes without saying” but we all know how that turned out.

In the present, In Young cries. The song she hears over the phone was the last song in that movie. She’s in bed lamenting the end of her relationship when she gets a text message from Sung Hyun calling her outside. After hearing her cry, the “perfect man” has come over to cheer her up and take her for a drive. He parks on some bridge and starts to rap like an idiot. LOL. This cheers her up and she starts to laugh and dance with him. They just made their own song memory and she says she’ll probably remember it someday.

The next day, In Young comes across Sung Soo and his crew shooting a film. Skank Hee keeps screwing up her lines so he yells at her. She spots In Young watching them and after flubbing her lines some more, runs off the set like a baby. Sung Soo then catches In Young’s eye and to her surprise, ignores her.

The sight of those two working together makes In Young crazy so she starts to harass Sung Soo via text message. Skank Hee, on her part, is having a breakdown so she’s locked herself in her car. Sung Soo goes to see her and basically, she’s acting like a baby because she can’t accept him scolding her in front of In Young. Like, hello?!?!? You’re the one who came three hours late and are screwing up your lines. How about you don’t screw up so he doesn’t have to yell at you?

She tells him to treat her with more respect and says that she’ll wait as long as it takes till he comes back to her. She then ends it by saying that one day, he’ll regret hurting her. Whenever I start to feel bad for her because no matter what, she’s being sincere with her feelings, I remember that she’s also the one who decided to force herself into someone else’s relationship.

Via text message, the exes agreed to meet to exchange their belongings. Both show up empty-handed and it’s just another excuse for them to have the same argument they’ve had for like four episodes now. His heart hurts because he’d seen her at breakfast with Sung Hyun looking happy. He asks that if he hurts just like she wants him to, will she stop liking Sung Hyun? Instead of answering his question, she wonders if men appreciate their women after cheating on them. After that, it’s the usual, “I don’t want to lose you,” and “You should have treasured me when you had me,” then Sung Soo tells her that she can come and get her stuff when he’s not at home.

On the bus ride home, In Young wonders if there’s a way her relationship can be salvaged. When she thinks of one, she gets off the bus and goes to his place. Her solution is simple: get rid of Skank Hee.  He can’t go along with that because they are currently working on a movie together but In Young says that if he really wants to, he can find a way. For me, I would like to know why he got an apartment in her complex and if he at least said he would move, that would be a start. Although her request might sound unreasonable, I understand her. How is she supposed to feel secure in their relationship or even forgive and forget if the skank is always around? After what he did, why doesn’t he make a huge gesture to show her just how much he wants her back?

Instead of trying to come up with a compromise that might work for them, he begs her to just trust him and I wonder if he thinks his promise has any value these days. She’s still pleading with him to do what it takes to save their relationship when Skank Hee punches in the door code and walks in. Apparently, they are watching DVDs “for work” but In Young doesn’t buy it and walks out. She keeps giving him chance after chance to prove himself to her but he never does. Watching DVDs together at night for work? In your apartment? Whatever, Dude. In Young, a ten-year relationship is not easy to let go of but sometimes don’t you wonder if he really is that into you, Dear?

In tears, she calls her friends for support and they congregate at Hyun Joo’s house. They cheer her up by telling her to marry Sung Soo. Not because he’s awesome but because life is too long for just one marriage so she might as well marry him to get the first one out of the way. lol.  They talk about how men can feel intimidated if their woman has only slept with one guy over a long period of time when Duk Soo, the handyman, shows up.

Hyun Joo goes out to see him and he’s mad that she’d left him a gift at his job. She’d gotten him an expensive watch and left a note saying, “Thank you and goodbye.”  He’s mad because he can’t see what she should be thankful for. Since when did it become a bad thing to say thank you for services well rendered? And it could have been a lot worse – at least it’s not a $5.99 watch from Walmart. Anyway, he’s pissed off because he sensed that their night had been a first for her and the watch seems to be the payment. He asks her if that is the case and when she starts to say that he can interpret it anyway he wishes, he interrupts her with a slap across her face. Ouch. Suddenly, her gay fiance isn’t looking so bad, is he?

He immediately apologizes and asks her if it hurt. Dude, what do you think? Did you hit her with a feather?

He’s trying to act caring after HE JUST SLAPPED HER which is typical batterer behavior but she tells him that they should just end it there. Then he acts hurt, wondering if it’s so simple for her because he’d only slept with her because he liked her and thought that they might have something.  She tells him she never liked him and only wanted something casual. And that he should never show up at her place again.

So here’s my thing:  HOW COULD HE SLAP HER? Sorry, but this is unacceptable. I’ve read other comments, people saying if the genders were reversed and frankly speaking, I don’t know if I would react the same way in that case but what I know is that this just feels wrong. I’ve seen dramas where women get slapped and managed to turn a blind eye to it but regardless of how hurt he must have felt, to me, this slap was just unwarranted. Nope. For him to raise his hand to her… and they are even at the early stages of their relationship. Just no. And the worst part is that after this, I suspect that Hyun Joo will end up with him at the end of the series. We already had that guy slap In Young at the beginning of the series and while that wasn’t right, I didn’t have to watch her fall in love with him in subsequent episodes. Now I’m going to have to watch Hyun Joo fall for the slap-happy handyman? I wish the handyman could have kept his damn hand to himself. But oh well… let’s hope that all his strangeness and weirdness were just to show us the signs we need to be careful of as women. I think it’s a futile exercise but I’m going to cross my fingers hoping that Hyun Joo doesn’t end up with this guy. Ugh. Now, seeing his face makes me ill.

Yes, Hyun Joo, keep to your word and have it be the end. How can he slap you and still want to date you? He must be fucking crazy.

I remember something like this happening on Sex And The City where Carrie has a one night stand with a French guy who leaves her $1000 on the nightstand before leaving the country. Of course there were no slaps.

The next day, Sung Hyun and In Young are on the tennis court when Sung Soo and Skank Hee show up with rackets in their hands. Even after the incident at his apartment, he can’t keep some distance from Kang Hee? They decide to have a match of employees vs guests with dinner at stake and the exes are determined to win. Sung Hyun keeps screwing up which gets In Young mad and he just finds this adorable so he pulls her cheek. A jealous Sung Soo sees this and hits him on the head with the tennis ball. Sung Hyun falls to the ground and while In Young is freaking out that he’s unconscious, cursing her ex for his actions, he pulls her down to him and kisses her. When they are done, he tells her that he likes her so much.

Maybe it is the smell of his sweat or she finally sees that he’s hot or she’s horny or  maybe she has no similar memory of Sung Soo to compare it to (Thank God!), whatever it is, something finally clicks with her and her heart begins to flutter. As she stays in that position, with her body on his and his arms around her, it dawns on her that a new love has begun.  A tentative yay?


So now I really wouldn’t mind if one or more of the girls ends the drama single. Seo Yeon talks about how at the end of the day, she’ll always have her girls and perhaps that can be part of the message the show imparts. Sure, I wasn’t really rooting for this last week but this thought has been slapped into my head.

One guy wants to have a secret affair and another slaps. So what will Joon Hee’s “flaw” be? Is he a thief that will rob Seo Yeon blind? I’ll be waiting for the other shoe to drop with him.

Till next time!


  • madzgo says:

    Thanks for the recaps.. I’ve been waiting for the subbed episodes but since its not coming this early, its great that you have recapped the episodes so detailed that I don’t need to watched the again, I guess ( though I have been known to back out from my words time to time ;p).
    It’s so sad about the slapping incident, it’s so out of character for that friendly handyman. I think its disgusting for a man to hurt a woman physically that way bcoz there’s no turning back from that moment on. I don’t know if the writer of the drama is a woman or a man but I watched fairly enough kdramas that I begin to accept that slapping someone is just not so a big deal anymore.
    But I still want to hang on till the end bcoz this drama is much more realistic and relatable than other kdramas out there.

    • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

      Lol. You should still watch when subs are released. I think episode 9 subs are out now. I don’t know why the writer had to ruin it with that slap. They could have still got the message across without it. If he’d thrown the watch away in a fit, it would have been more acceptable.

  • yumi says:

    Thanks for the recap. I appreciate your perspective on this drama.

    I was really loving Duk-Soo until the slap and now my appreciation of that relationship is ruined. I don’t know how the writer will return it from this low point. Perhaps Duk-Soo has an evil twin, who this the slapping or he suffer from disassociated disorder.

    Not relevant to the slapping, I sometimes wonder if the things that makes Hyun-Joo uncomfortable with Duk-Soo aren’t affectations he assumes as a way of testing her.

    I like Sung-Soo. I think he is a lousy boyfriend, but I do like him. However I will surrender my high speed connection if In-Young ends the drama with him. Unless he and his lower head is being controlled aliens from another galaxy, it just not acceptable to forgive cheating twice in the same relationship.

    There is something a little off with Sung-Hyun’s perfection. I’m not sure what it is but as much as I like him i suspect that he will end up hurting In-Young. Despite this thinking I am shipping the pair.

    Minority opinion her, I just don’t find Seo-Yeon interesting. The photographer yes, but not her.

    Regarding gendered response to behavior. Skank-Hee, love the name, and Sung-Hyun’s behavior are similar in that both propositioned people they thought to be in committed relationship. Yet I find his action less detestable, perhaps because I think In-Young needed his focused attention and he had enough information to know that the Motorcyclist wasn’t treating In-Young well. Also In-Young was the first one to bring up the idea of having an affair-even though she did it in jest. Additionally, the fact that the In-Young and Sung-Hyun connection began after Sung-Soo broke their relationship makes me give Sung-Hyun some slack, even though it shouldn’t.

    My response to Skank-Hee is different. She was told the relationship was good, and she persisted, even after Mr. Surrender to all temptation told her no. Then again, his lips said no, but his lease said yes.

    • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

      You’re welcome.

      It’s funny because last week with all Duk Soo’s strangeness, I thought it would be funny (but very sad) if he turned out to be a set of twins playing Hyun Joo.

      I also like Sung Soo and if this were his first cheating incident and he really seemed remorseful, I might root for him but he’s not trying hard enough at all.

      Oh, I think there’s spoiler on soompi about Sung Hyun and the real reason he wanted to date in secret so I guess he’s not perfect after all.

      I think Seo Yeon is alright. I prefer Hyun Joo to her but right now, I’m looking forward to her relationship with the photographer most.

      I was quite disappointed with Sung Hyun for suggesting a secret affair but was able to forgive him for the reasons you outlined.

      I just hope whatever ending they give us is not unsatisfying.

  • pof says:

    I read many recaps about this show from many pages because i cant get enough of the show, and I have to say you r such a very gud writer with humor way to look at things… looking forward for the week 6 of your recap.
    what I love abt the show is its reality, nobody is really a bad guy, yeah they does bad things sometimes becos who does not, ever? and the acting, hardly see that kind of in other korean dramas these day… I prefer this to ‘sex in the city’
    Thanks again for your works

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