Earlier this year I wrote a post called Korean Kandie Kisses about my disappointment in the kissing scenes in quite a few Korean TV shows. I felt they were too sanitized, there barely seemed to be any passion, or maybe the actors were afraid? I don’t know. I am quick to admit, I’m no Korean TV expert, I’m just starting out. It’s only been about 7 weeks since I’ve started watching, and I must admit it’s getting a little better.
Part of the problem is I’m so excited about a change in pace in watching romance shows. American romance TV bores me to tears here. I used to crave the push and pull that I’d get from romance novels that was lacking in the TV equivalent. I always felt reading a story was way better than any movie version, as my imagination could paint a perfect backdrop, and I had the ability to do that quickly and simultaneously when I would read a book. Korean shows give me back that push and pull, and I stick to my guns when I say “no one tells a love story like Korean TV“ .
With the build up of the story, I want the kissing to match, where the moment feels right and perfect, with the viewer having that satisfied smile on their face when the boy finally, really gets the girl. Dry, passionless kissing kills the mood, makes it feel stiff, and sucks me right out of my happy place, killing my focus on the love story and dragging me through that annoyed muddy space where I’m left wondering “why in Gracious name are they so stiff?”
My first perfect breakthrough was when I watched the show I Need Romance. That show did not disappoint. I loved it, not because there was tons of good kissing scenes, not only because those kissing scenes involved Choi Jin Hyuk, but because it was a wonderful blend of humor, exploration, relationship struggles, friendships, feelings and – perfect kissing. I thought I’d just lucked up on a good one, but tonight, I Need Romance 3 showed me that the I Need Romance franchise knows exactly what they are doing.
I’ve just seen the first 2 episodes, and there is kissing and fighting, break-ups and sarcasm, partying and drunkenness, friends and foe, all done with passion and feeling, including the kissing. Jung Hee Jae seemed to always have a maul-fest with her boyfriend whenever she’s with him, and this is just the first two episodes. Lee Jung Ho kissed Shin Jo Yeon so tenderly (and perfectly) on the stairs, hours before breaking up with her. And because the kiss was so perfect, his eyes having a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi sexiness as he looked at her, when the break up came, your mental response was more like – WTF? If that’s not push and pull I don’t know what is.
The I Need Romance franchise knows how to keep your attention with the passionate and believable kisses to go along with the love story. I’m never focused 100% on the kissing scenes when done right. They are like the cherry on a perfect ice-cream sundae with all the right ingredients. The cherry belongs there, and you’ll never notice it – or any other ingredient – is missing until someone serves you a sundae without the cherry. I swear halfway through episode one I had a thought which was:
…They must have auditioned these actors on their kissing abilities ’cause they sure look like they know what they’re doing