TvN drama I Need Romance is creating a lot of buzz for its striking similarities to the American cable television hit Sex and the City.
I totally buy the comparison. Both dramas focus on a group of successful, 30-something career-oriented women, and in both series, the characters go through the trials and tribulations of love while living it up in their respective cities, Seoul and New York City.
And if you’re still not convinced, just take a look at the two opening sequences — could they be any more similar?
The characters, too, are nearly carbon copies of each other — Sun Woo In Young’s troubled 10-year relationship to her boyfriend bears a lot of similarities to Carrie’s on-and-off relationship to Mr. Big.
Seo Yeon’s devil-may-care attitude towards sex reflects the predatory habits of Samantha while Hyun Joo (the 30-year-old virgin and lawyer by day) is a hybrid of Miranda’s no-nonsense professionalism and Charlotte’s age-inappropriate naivete.
But I think we should draw the line there — I Need Romance and Sex and the City may have similarities, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the two dramas are one and the same. There are enough core differences between the two dramas that someone who hates Sex and the City might actually enjoy I Need Romance.
There is an element of fantasy in Sex and the City that isn’t as prominent in I Need Romance, which tends to be more realistic. While Carrie would buy an offensively expensive pair of designer shoes to remedy a bad day, INR’s Sun Woo In Young isn’t as reckless with her plastic: she purchases a simple coffee machine instead of a $1000+ espresso machine for her boyfriend’s housewarming gift.
Another point of difference: Sex and the City focuses mostly on the perspective of women while I Need Romance operates between the viewpoints of both sexes. If Sex and the City is the female soapbox, then I Need Romance is a well-nuanced debate between men and women.
There have been a lot of users on DramaFever that seem to give up on I Need Romance because at first glance, it appears to be just another rehash of SATC. But in this writer’s humble opinion, you should give I Need Romance a chance — there is storytelling and character goodness to be found.