First Impressions – The Romantic – 더 로맨틱


Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new reality show premiered last Saturday and I got curious after I saw that the MBC labor strikes were still going on forcing the network to rerun old episodes or “specials” (basically re-edited old episodes) of Infinity Challenge and We Got Married.  The show is targeted to those in their 20s and 30s  and brought to us by Lee Myung Han, the producer behind 1 Night 2 Days and Quality of Men, and narrated by Lee Seung Gi.

The reality show is a bit similar to Match as a group of men and women are set up with each other.  10 adults who are looking for love are selected and are flown to Croatia for a 1o-day vacation and matchmaking opportunity.  However, they will be selecting their date partners through a “Preference Shuffle” that match the couples based on their tastes.

During the first “Preference Shuffle”, the women were asked to pick their ideal first meeting from a selection of movie choices.  The men had previously made their selection and now it’s the women’s turn.

The choices were: the scene at the train station from the Japanese movie, Between Calmness and Passion;

the park bench scene from the K-Drama, Bad Guy;

the cable car scene from the K-Drama, My Name is Kim Sam Soon;

the taxi scene from the American movie, New York, I Love You;

the airplane scene from the American movie, Love Affair.

After the women make their selections, they will meet the men like a first chance encounter from that movie and have some one on one time together in order to get to know each other.

During their date, they may be given a small mission like initiating skinship by holding hands.  (Although I don’t know what the consequences are if you don’t succeed.  There doesn’t appear to be a penalty for failing to do a mission except you aren’t able to get closer to knowing your date but I think the penalty should be that you aren’t allowed to ask a question during “Midnight”.)

The contestants are not allowed to talk about their age or their occupation until “Midnight” in which the entire group gathers and are given an opportunity to ask a single question to only one person.

The reality series has a 6 episode run and we’ll see if 9 nights, 10 days was enough time to make a love connection.  The city of Zagreb is beautiful as it features an Eastern European charm but the group will also head to Split where the beautiful beaches align the Adriatic Sea.  The show will also feature a new soundtrack of songs made for the series.  The first of which is a song by Superstar K3 finalists, Two Months, called “The Romantic”.  Also Jung Yeop lends his voice to sing the 2nd song which is called “I Want to Kiss You”.

Two Months – The Romantic

투개월 – The Romantic

So far, the show has a very romantic feel to it and I did like the first episode more than Match.  When I started watching Match, it was in the middle of the season and there was a catty, possessive thing going on between 2 of the female contestants over one of the men.  Of course, this show could head in the same direction but I really liked how you were selecting your dates by your tastes and not based on the person’s appearance.  All of the men and women are relatively good-looking but I get that the producers wanted you to rethink about what you think is attractive based on what you choose.  It’s an interesting sociological experiment and the fact that Lee Seung Gi narrates the show in this nature program-esque tone makes it even more amusing.  I always questioned whether romance could really blossom when you’re on a reality show like this.  Could you be yourself when you are aware that the camera is watching you, judging you?  Plus, 10 days is not a very long time.

However, these people are thrown into a foreign country where they aren’t familiar with the language and they are all going through a similar experience.  It’s like bootcamp or MT.  Plus with all the men and women bunking together in one hostel room, we get to see some camaraderie there.  I love that guys will be guys and girls will be girls.  The guy that picked the airplane scene got to be the first one to meet the girls.  He spent the plane ride over getting to know the girl who picked the airplane scene.  Most of the other guys arrived earlier so when he arrives at the hostel they ask him if the girls are pretty.  Meanwhile, the girls who are still waiting for their first meeting decide on which outfits to wear.  Lol.

As for the Zagreb, the first stop in the country, it is gorgeous!  Filmed during the Christmas season, the city is lit up with decorations and lights and the Holiday Fair in the town’s center.



35 thoughts on “First Impressions – The Romantic – 더 로맨틱

  1. Thank you so much for writing about The Romantic! I was introduced to this show while browsing through your posts and have been an avid follower ever since. It’s a pity that Season 1 is coming to a close … can’t believe there’s only one episode left … Is a Season 2 in the works or has that been completely canned?

    How do you find the Turkey arc? To be honest, the editing is quite a bit shoddier than the editing for the Croatia arc and the overall flow/pacing could be better. However I think I have more of an affinity for the participants in the Turkey arc. All of them have distinct characterizations/personalities and interesting interactions with each other. Jae Ho The Sunflower, Clueless Jun Hee, Mr. Popular Jun Ho, Miss I-Want-A-Date-With-Jun Ho-Oppa Jennifer, Miss I-Will-Love-Carrots-From-Now-On Na Ra, the animosity and continuous fateful? meetings between Ji Yeon and Jong Chan, the funny and odd interactions between Na Ra and Jun Hee … etc. Not to mention the gorgeous sights and sounds of Istanbul (The Hagia Sophia, Sufi whirling dervishes, colorful local bazaars/marketplaces) and the breathtaking scenery of Cappadocia (cave suites, magnificent rock formations, hot air balloon ride!). Oh, and the snow … the lovely white snow. The folks there must have been freezing, but everything looks so marvelous onscreen. I’m especially curious about how the Tae Hee-Jun Sung-Jun Ho storyline will pan out. Wasn’t Jun Ho’s Mid-Time Choice a total shocker??? My jaw literally dropped open. Jennifer seems pretty smitten with Jun Ho … prospects don’t look so good for Jae Ho The Sunflower.

    I hope you don’t mind my lengthy post. Sadly, I haven’t seen other sites that have discussions about The Romantic in English. Seems like the show doesn’t have a visible viewer base in the international community? Which is such a pity, since it is a rather well-made trendy program.


    • No problem! The Romantic is a show I started watching because a lot of the other variety shows were on strike. Honestly, it’d be wrong to call this a variety show as it is more of a reality type of show. I’ll be honest. I work in reality tv and kind of avoid this type of show like the plague because this is what I do. But because the producers behind this show were also behind 1N2Ds and Quality of Men I decided what the heck and gave it a try. I like this show waaay better than Match.

      I’m behind on The Romantic though. I’ve only watched about 2 or 3 episodes in of the Turkey trip. However, I believe the Turkey trip is considered Season 2. I don’t know what’s going to happen with Season 3. I agree with you though. I found Croatia to be much more organized but I think the producers had a lot more time to find those bachelors/bachelorettes and organize that trip. With the success of the first season, I think they went right into production with Turkey and hence why it feels a bit rushed.

      Oy, I don’t really remember their names. Ummm… From the Croatia trip, I love, love, love the doctor. He was sooo romantic. AND at first he was so quiet and unassuming that I didn’t even notice him until his super romantic gesture at the end. I also loved that despite his career, he was creative and had a photography hobby. My favorite girl was the one that met him in the cab at the very beginning. I just found her personality refreshing as opposed to all the other girls. I just felt like we would be friends in real life. However, I understand why the musician chick ended up with 3 guys at the end. She’s cute. I found Il Young and the girl who was the oldest… their hook up was interesting. In the beginning, I thought she’d end up pissing everyone off with her blunt personality but she surprised me. I thought I’d hate her but ended up kinda liking her in the end. I didn’t like Young Jae, the guy who works for the make up company, nor did I like Hyun Woo. Hyun Woo seemed like a jerk to me and what was with that ugly ass suit at the end?

      As for the Turkey trip, I have some catching up to do and was planning on doing a marathon session this weekend. First impressions, I find Jennifer annoying. She’s too valley girl for me. Ugh, I just don’t get Jennifer’s infatuation with Jun Ho and I’m barely into the Turkey trip for me to not like this couple already. As for the guys, I like Jong Chan and Jae Ho for the moment and goodness Joon Hee reeeally does resemble Woo Young from 2PM. But I’ll come back and comment again once I’ve caught up.

      After seeing Croatia and now Turkey, I have to visit more Eastern European countries. I was considering Istanbul 2 years ago but opted instead for Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Now having seen it like this, I really, really want to go. I wish the show would feature more of the cuisine of these countries.

      I think the reason why there’s not much buzz about this with the English speaking community is because I don’t know if anyone is subbing it. I find that with a lot of Korean cable network programs. If there are people subbing it, it always comes out much, much later so there’s not much buzz as it’s airing. That’s why I started recapping 12 Men in a Year. The K-cable networks are very new but producing some great television and I hope by next year more shows like this and cable dramas will have a much wider audience.

      So until I catch up, I have a question. I really like the preference shuffles, particularly the way these couples meet up. Which meet up would you do or is there a meet up from a movie/drama that hasn’t been on the show yet but you’d like to do? And why?


      • Wow, wow, wow. I just finished watching the Turkey trip and I don’t know where to begin. So it seems you’re right. The Croatia AND the Turkey trip is considered Season 1. Though the Korean articles and blogs I’ve been reading about the show states otherwise. I just don’t get the way Korean broadcaster work out their seasons.

        First of all, I know that when it comes to 1N2D everyone talks about Na PD. But there was a female PD there that was his right-hand person. I found that she asked a lot of thought-provoking questions and she does the same on this show. She must have gone straight from ending 1N2D to doing this show. I’m so glad that she’s working on this show. Some of the VJs also looked familiar too. I believe one of the VJs that gave Jennifer the gift in the beginning was from Running Man.

        The show has some newly composed songs for the series and I love them but I also love the other music choices. It’s fresh, young, hip and romantic. I do like the cast of people here better than the Croatia trip. They are more proactive while the first cast was more passive.

        As for how I felt about the individual people, siggggh… where do I begin? Let’s start with Jennifer and Jae Ho as the show featured them so prominently in the beginning. From beginning to end, I just don’t understand why all of the guys were fascinated with her. Sure, she’s lively and cute but she doesn’t seem to know when to shut up. That made me not like her. You can be honest without having to say every single thought that passes through your head.

        I, personally, really, really, really liked Kim Tae Hee (and for those that haven’t seen the show, it’s not THAT Kim Tae Hee). She seemed genuinely sweet and honest. There was no real baggage with her. I would have loved more guys to have been interested in her. The ones that were clearly saw that she was more than meets the eye.

        Joon Hee… he went from being very doo-doo-roo to being such a jerk. Did I miss something or did they purposely not show what happened between him and Na Ra. I almost thought I skipped an episode somewhere. It’s clear that he really offended her and afterwards, even he was apologetic for his behavior. A part of me wants to commend the production team for not showing what happened between the two because you know the American reality tv is exploitative and would want an entire episode just on this incident. However, another part of me is really curious as to what unfolded between the two of them. That incident was enough for me to say that I didn’t care about Joon Hee’s on the show anymore and the show even cut down on his footage considerably.

        Ha Rang. I didn’t think I’d like her in the beginning but I left the show with a positive impression of her. I can’t really say much about her though. The show really didn’t cover her enough.

        Ji Yeon and Jong Chan. Oy, this is a clear case of where my initial opinions of them changed drastically. Part of this was that the show edited their portions in a weird way. It wasn’t chronological and therefore I couldn’t really get to know them as characters until the very end. Ji Yeon? What a bitch. I’m sorry that Jong Chan offended you but you called Jennifer out in front of everyone and she took it pretty well. You couldn’t call her out privately on the jondaemal/banmal matter? So what if Jong Chan then wanted to defend her because she grew up in the States and isn’t used to speaking that way. I mean, if you’re going to be so hung up on manners maybe you should learn some before you teach others about it. Plus, Jennifer wasn’t using banmal in order to offend you and that’s the big picture here. Then you kept being paired up with Jong Chan because of the random preference shuffles and you kept being offended that you were paired up with him. He gave you his coat because he was trying to be nice. He wasn’t trying to win your heart. He was just trying to be a gentleman. And she threw it back in his face. Screw her. To me, Ji Yeon came off as superficial and inconsiderate. I believe she only like Jun Ho because he was looker compared to Jong Chan. As for Jong Chan, it’s probably because of these first images of him that made me like him but he hadn’t had much of an opportunity with Jennifer. At the end, he decided to go after Jennifer full force and of course, she’s going to be taken aback by that. The cake was a nice gesture but it was bit much. And then he cries at the choosing ceremony. Seriously? Seriously. You only met her 10 days ago. Sorry, but the crying was a major turnoff.

        Joon Sung. Super sweet. He knew who he liked and went after her. He wasn’t too forward or not forward enough. I only wish he got what he wanted. Out of all the guys, he became my favorite.

        Jae Ho. I respect Jae Ho. He knew what he wanted and he went after it with all his heart. I have to admit being turned off when he chose the Mickey Mouse shirt. It was so obvious who that shirt belonged to and Jennifer gave him a really hard time about it. However, I liked how when it came to the girl he liked, he had tunnel vision. There are so many people on this show who have said they are a one woman guy but I felt he was the only one that truly lived up to that.

        Case in point, Jun Ho said he was a one woman guy but he changed his mind several times. Jun Ho’s a tough one to figure out and I don’t completely trust him and his intentions. Yeah, he said he was interested in Jennifer then his mid-time selection TOTALLY threw me off. It threw the girl off too! And secretly, I liked seeing Jennifer squirm a bit when he didn’t choose her. But that incident confirmed my feelings about him. He looks like he says one thing but feels another. I don’t trust him.

        Na Ra ultimately made her choice in the end but I don’t think she really had strong feelings for anyone.


  2. So I watched the finale for the Turkey trip and was floored by one crucial part of the final choice sequence. What the WHAT happened there??? The resulting situation looked like it was due to a combination of really messed up editing, that particular person having a change of mind at the last minute/acting on a whim/compromising for the sake of the program …??? Anyhow, the way it turned out just felt much too contrived and weird. It’ll make for a lot of detailed discussion once you catch up.

    Hmmm … about the meet up preference shuffles … let’s see …
    Calmi Cuori Appassionati has been a sentimental favorite of mine for a long time. It’s by no means a great film, but I really like the tone, the setting, the way the story unfolds, etc. And of course, the gorgeous Takenouchi Yutaka! When I saw that scene from the Milan? train station being shown on screen, I literally squealed in delight. Also, I’ve always enjoyed trains as a mode of transportation. There’s something old-fashioned and nostalgic about trains and train stations but also a sense of comfort/familiarity that you can depend on. Encountering that other person, exchanging meaningful glances, walking towards each other while everyone else around is immersed in motion amongst the hustle and bustle of everyday life at a train station … Yep, this sort of meet up would work for me.

    The let’s greet each other on the telephone first and then let’s find each other at the busy bazaar/marketplace meet up would be okay for me as well. I think having the initial contact being limited to each other’s voices adds to the anticipation and leaves some room for imagination. And looking for each other in a public open area would be amusing and fun. It would be kind of like an instant ice-breaker.

    The airplane and taxi scenarios wouldn’t work for me. Sitting in close proximity to someone I’m meeting for the first time in a limited space, I’d probably feel pretty queasy and uncomfortable. Especially if it’s on a transcontinental 10+ hour flight. What if I run out of things to say? … Cue awkward silences that last 20 minutes … What if I drop food on my lap and get an ugly stain? Darn those unwieldy plastic utensils! What if I fall asleep and wake up with drool dribbling down my chin? Oh, the horror! Yeah, so I’m not brave enough for these meet ups.

    The cable car meet up wouldn’t work because I don’t think my poor myopic eyes can withstand the challenge of making eye contact with the other person in those 2? 3? short seconds.

    The park bench meet up … I’d be weirded out. Momma always told me to run away if a stranger ever sidled up to me in the park. Can’t blame childhood lessons for having an impact.

    Alright, so back to you. Which meet up(s) would you choose and why?


    • Ha! I realized I didn’t even answer my own question. Okay, it wasn’t shown in the program but I’d choose Amelie. Take a picture of yourself in costume and rip it up for the other person to find and piece together. Then see if you can find each other at a busy marketplace. Although, I’d feel like they’d have to still remain in costume because if you’re in a Eastern European country, a Korean person is probably going to stick out. Nevermind the fact that a camera crew is following them around. But the thrill of seeing that person and then discovering the face behind the mask.

      I love both movies with the airplane meetups but I love the movie and would never choose that for myself. Traveling somewhere is hard enough and then you gotta do this date for how many hours the flight is? Plus, what if the date doesn’t go well? There’s no distraction. You look out the window and there’s only clouds. You can’t really get up and walk around a plane these days as the flight attendants won’t allow.

      I loved the drama Protect the Boss. And the idea of a guy having people give you random presents as you walk along is a cute idea but honestly, I’d rather do that with someone after you start dating. Or are at least acquainted with the person. I’m a New Yorker and do you know how many times a day I reject flyers? I think it would just end up being in my nature to then reject a random gift giver on the street.

      Okay, if I had to pick something from the show, I’d end up picking the random cab date from New York, I Love You. The setting is intimate enough and you’ve the stimulation of seeing the places you’re driving by to.


  3. I watched the Croatia episodes marathon style a few weeks ago so I decided to rewatch them to jog my memory. And since the Turkey episodes have finished airing, I can compare/contrast/organize my impressions of both trips/groups of people.

    A major difference was the amount of airtime allotted to the Midnight Sessions.
    For the Croatia trip, each Midnight Session was given ample airtime. It seems like they showed most of the footage that was shot. 10 people asking each other pointed questions, one at a time, back and forth, back and forth with the intentionally suspenseful BGM playing on. I thought that these Midnight Sessions dragged on for too long though. Too much talk and too little action. I would have preferred that more airtime was given to showing the dates and interactions between the cast members. On the other hand, the Midnight Sessions for the Turkey trip were too short and poorly edited. One Midnight Session was edited out completely (the one that took place on the ship after the cruise dinner date in Istanbul). Bits of it were shown on the preview from the previous episode, but none of it made it to air in the actual episode.

    A major reason why the Croatia trip doesn’t resonate as well with me has to do with the fact that there isn’t a single person among the ten whom I really really admire/adore/like/love.

    Joo Young – She stands out with her bold and sharp fashion sense, not to mention her height. I like how she carries herself with confidence and is straightforward and speaks her mind unabashedly. I can imagine hanging out with her and having a good time. I liked her the most out of all the girls. Too bad she wasn’t given enough airtime. I would have liked to see more of her with Young Jae. The two of them looked pretty chummy together, even if not as romantic interests.

    Hyun Woo – I don’t like the way that he talks. He gives off this buttery/oily feeling. And that SMUG look on his face all the time … ewwwwww. For someone who works on accessories, I’d expect that he have a better fashion sense. That weird bowler hat, ugly sweater with like 17 different colors, and fugly uncoordinated suit for the final choice sequence really took a toll on my poor eyes.

    Young Jae – Pretty neutral about him. I get that he’s Mr. All Around Nice Guy. All the girls seem to have decent if not favorable thoughts about him. But he just seems kinda bland to me. Nothing about him really stands out. And his sense of style … it looks like he raided Gramps’ closet and did a lot of random mixing and matching. However I did like how he made the conscious effort to sort out his initial misunderstandings with Min Sul and even helped her “clear her name” among the other guys. It was nice seeing the two of them declaring each other as besties by the middle of the trip.

    Yoo Rim – Cute as a button with a bright and engaging personality. Not a surprise that 4 out of the 5 guys were interested in her. Comparable to Jennifer from the Turkey trip in that sense but a lot more likeable than Jennifer. She was so obviously smitten with Il Young right from the start. He had her at “Hello”. That look of joy and surprise on her face when he first greeted her in the airplane? Priceless. Oh and she was absolutely adorable when she rolled around in his bed and said, “I wanna sleep here! This is Il Young sshi’s scent!” It was cool how she was aware of Il Young’s progressive change of heart but still decided to stay true to her own feelings when making her final choice. She was a good sport and didn’t harbor ill feelings towards Il Young and Min Sul. Gotta give her props for that.

    Jin Seo – A real gentleman. It’s admirable how he didn’t make his interest in Yoo Rim known from the beginning because he didn’t want to be the third wheel between her and Il Young. But when he finally made his move … wow … who would have thought that this soft-spoken and modest guy had it in him to carry out such a grand and sweet gesture to openly declare his affections? He seems like the type that would make for great husband material. His nice-looking eyes are a bonus.

    Min Sul – Had negative feelings about her in the beginning. Seemed too emotional, prone to moodiness, and a bit self centered? Turns out she’s much less of the “mature woman” type than expected. Joo Young actually fits that category more. It was surprisingly to see her act so girly and giddy since she kinda has the glamorous look going on. I don’t particularly care for her or Il Young, but it’s a positive thing to see that she has the courage to bridge the 9 year age gap.

    Il Young – Didn’t get his appeal and why Yoo Rim was head over heels for him and why Min Sul returned his feelings. Even though he and Yoo Rim shared mutual interest in each other from the beginning, I never felt that he was into her the way that she was into him. Whereas with Min Sul, he was the one who took the initiative more. During the interviews, it was kind of agonizing and yet kind of amusing to see him assign percentages to his feelings for Yoo Rim and Min Sul. From 95:5 to 60:40 to 55:45 and his final choice.

    Eun Ji – Poor baby. She’s like the Jae Ho of the Croatia trip. Both of them are like ducklings, the first person they meet = the person they give their hearts too. Too naive and too honest with her feelings. She wore her heart on her sleeve and only had eyes for her Jong Ik oppa. Felt sorry for her when it became obvious that his affections had shifted to Yoon Jung and she tried to keep up a brave front amidst her tears. This trip was probably a good learning experience for her. She deserves better. At the very least, a guy who returns her feelings on the same level.

    Yoon Jung – It was soooooo annoying every time she stuck out her tongue and/or rolled her eyes in reaction to something Eun Ji did or said. The two of you are the same age and are from the same school … So what? What’s with the nasty competitive streak? Do you have to be so calculative and petty? Her little tantrums got on my nerves. You pampered princess. Fine, you and your prince charming can live happily ever after.

    Jong Ik – Can see why Eun Ji was so attracted to him. He’s the capable, caring, protective oppa type, not to mention clean-cut and sharp-looking. I really didn’t like how he continued to lead Eun Ji on and give her false hope even when it was obvious that he had moved on to Yoon Jung. I mean, was that dinner date on the last night even necessary? Why’d you have to trample even more on the poor girl’s heart. That crestfallen look on her face when she said she wanted to go on a boat ride and you replied that you’d already gone on one with Yoon Jung earlier that day. Ughh … as if she wasn’t feeling apologetic enough already …

    To sum it up, my rankings for the cast of the Croatia trip.

    1. Joo Young
    2. Yoo Rim
    3. Eun Ji, Min Sul
    4. Yoon Jung

    1. Jin Seo
    2. Young Jae, Il Young
    3. Jong Ik
    4. Hyun Woo


  4. So I’m back with some more questions and thoughts ~

    1. Do you think there should have been more episodes for each trip? Say 8 episodes each for Croatia and Turkey, bringing it to a total length of 16 episodes for Season 1. Just the right length for a trendy drama. I would have liked to see more of the folks from the Turkey trip, most notably Tae Hee (LOVE her!) and Jun Sung (and him too!). Also wanted to see more Tae Hee – Jun Ho interactions after his SHOCKING mid-time selection. And definitely more time devoted to Ha Rang and Na Ra, who really got shafted with paltry airtime. BUT no more excessive airtime for Jennifer. Please no.

    2. Ha Rang and Jun Ho were originally supposed to participate in the Croatia trip, but scheduling conflicts made them join the Turkey trip instead. So that got me thinking … Imagine if the Croatia and Turkey participants were combined together and all 20 of them went on a single trip. What pairings would be likely to form? Yoo Rim vs. Jennifer. Who would hang on to her title of Miss Popular? I’ve got the feeling that Ha Rang’s the type that many of the guys from the Croatia trip would be interested in.

    3. If/when there’s a new season of The Romantic, which countries would you want to see as future destinations? A Central Asian country like Uzbekistan (I really liked the film Wedding Campaign with Soo Ae.) would be cool. Scandinavia and the Baltic States would be refreshing choices as well.

    4. What did you make of Jun Ho’s final selection? The general consensus among viewers (from browsing around discussion boards, blogs) seems to be that he “settled” for Jennifer and his original choice was Tae Hee. Yeah, the boy changed his mind AGAIN, at the last minute. When he turned around and saw Jennifer and Ji Yeon standing there, he let out a deep sigh and obviously looked disappointed. It was just soooo odd when he hugged Jennifer, she looked confused and uncomfortable and didn’t know how to react and even asked if he had originally chosen someone else. It is really strange that out of the 5 guys, Jun Ho’s final choice interview is the only one that isn’t shown. Why was it edited out? No wonder there’s rampant speculation that Jun Ho had named Tae Hee as his final choice in the interview.

    5. What if the situations were reversed during final selection time and the girls were the ones waiting for the guys to come to them instead of the other way around? Would the results be different? 1st – Na Ra. None of the guys would stay. 2nd – Ji Yeon. None of the guys would stay. 3rd – Ha Rang. None of the guys would stay. Can’t decide if 4th should be Tae Hee or Jennifer. If 4th is Tae Hee, Jun Sung would stay. Jun Ho would stay? or move on? The others would move on. If 4th is Jennifer, Jae Ho, Joon Hee, and Jong Chan would stay. Jun Sung would move on. Jun Ho would move on? or stay? It all boils down to Jun Ho’s decision again. Boy is he a tough nut to crack! Jun Ho would be really frustrating to deal with in real life. But in reel life, he’s interesting to watch because he can be so unpredictable.


    • 1. I think considering it was… a 10 day trip? It might have been a good length of episodes because I think the editors would have a hard time finding interesting footage to use. I do wish their vacations were longer though. 10 days… is just not enough. Maybe 14? And in that way it would give the production time to do some more shuffle preferences. And I agree, equal time wasn’t given to all the people but I wouldn’t want to spend more time with Ji Yeon. However, Ha Rang and Na Ra I would have liked to get to know them better. I don’t know why, maybe it was because I marathoned the Turkey episodes (with a combination of the weird editing) but the Turkey trip felt shorter than the Croatia trip. I just don’t think there was enough time or activities for the group to get to know each other.

      2. Oooh Yoo Rim vs. Jennifer. Yoo Rim’s sweet and I personally like her but Jennifer is pretty quirky and the guys seem to dig that. As for Ha Rang, I’m not sure. She didn’t make much of an impression on me. The show didn’t really feature her that much. I just can’t say. She seems nice but I don’t know her enough to decide.

      3. I do think the choices for the locations are probably based on the distance between Korea and finances. Eastern Europe isn’t as expensive as Western Europe and a lot of places they stay are in dorm or boarding houses. I never thought about Uzbekistan. I think Greece might be nice but I’d like them to move away from Europe and maybe head down south to Southeast Asia. Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines. I’ve seen the snow and the winter but now I’d like to see summery places. If finances weren’t an option then Brazil, Argentina, even San Francisco would be cool.

      4. Ayyy, Jun Ho. My opinion of him is that he’s one to be wary of. My skepticism wants to think he wants to make a TV show, similar to the candidates on the Bachelor that play it up for the cameras. So I don’t trust his choice at all. I feel like the Tae Hee came out of left field and just because she didn’t reciprocate he wasn’t going to try to win her. Of course, she saw him as a friend but he doesn’t seem like the type to put any effort in the relationship or a girl he likes for fear of being rejected. So in that way, to me, he appears like a coward and lazy. He knows he’s good looking to a certain extent but he’d rather not risk it for love. I’d like the cameras to go back to these people and see who is actually dating now. The issue with Korean tv is with this almost live shooting method whereas the Bachelor production wraps months ahead of airing. So you can go back to the couple and see if they made. I reeeally want to know if Il Young and Min Sul made it.

      5. If the roles were reversed, I think it would be more interesting to have Tae Hee come 4th and Jennifer last. I don’t think Jun Ho would stay with Tae Hee though. He knows he’d be rejected so he’d rather walk on and try with Jennifer to see if a match could be made there.

      6. You know, I think it’d also be interesting to see footage of the plane ride back to Korea after they’ve all paired up. We got to see more with the Croatia group than the Turkey group. Jong Ik talking to Yoon Jung over webcam. I’d still like to see weeks later what happened to these people but if we can’t do that then I’d like to see the plane trip home. Would Jae Ho send dagger eyes to Jun Ho and Jennifer? And would Jun Ho look longingly over at Tae Hee noona? Hehe, I’m writing a drama here.

      7. So who would you like to be paired up with yourself? I could see myself digging Jong Ik at first but then I’d probably end up choosing Jin Seo from the Croatia trip. From the Turkey trip, I ended up not liking most of the guys with the exception of Joon Sung so I’ll go with him.


  5. 1. Oh yes, more preference shuffles would have been nice. They’re fun and really build up the anticipation/curiosity/excitement levels. And of course, they’re a great vehicle for showcasing the production team’s creativity/originality. The handwriting/writing style one … it’s something that we all come across in our everyday lives. “Look at that sloppy handwriting!” “Wow, she’s got such a graceful hand.” I really liked how the first date in Istanbul preference shuffle combined sightseeing/famous hot spots and common dating venues. (It was cool how they introduced that segment with a scene from Art Museum bythe Zoo. Shim Eun Ha! Lee Sung Jae!) A museum (The Hagia Sophia), a river cruise, a soccer match, a street date, an outdoors scenic cafe. Which venue would you have picked? The Hagia Sophia for me. Yep, I’m a nerd.

    2. Yoo Rim’s a sweetheart and seems pretty genuine. Gotta love a girl who’s at ease strumming a guitar and tickling the ivories. Jennifer … like you said before, she’s too valley girl (she’s from Hawaii? so would island girl be the right term?) for my tastes. I don’t know if it’s because she has trouble expressing herself in Korean, but she has a tendency to overexaggerate her speaking mannerisms and some of her comments border on the vacuous. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see much of Ha Rang and Na Ra. They both seem like nice girls who are easy to get along with. Ha Rang’s got the classic beauty look and Na Ra’s got the cute maknae role down pat. I admired Ha Rang for staying true to her feelings and having the courage to choose Jun Sung even when she knew that she’d be rejected. Na Ra’s comments about “Carrot-noomin” during the fruit preference shuffle made me laugh a lot. I admired Na Ra for having a big heart. She confronted Joon Hee when he offended her but was able to put the incident behind her and behave amicably towards him afterwards. Remember how she initiated the handshake with Joon Hee in the cave suite room? All the while, I was thinking … this is how you’re supposed to act, Ji Yeon, take a chill pill and learn from Na Ra.

    3. San Francisco would be cool? heh. Since you’ve mentioned my hometown, I’ll have to ask. What activities would you plan for the group in Baghdad by the Bay? Which 5 locations would you pick for a first date in San Franciso preference shuffle?

    4. BTW, are you still watching Jjak on SBS from time to time? They recently did a 3 episodes overseas special in Kyushu, Japan with returnees. I watch Jjak out of habit more than anything. For me, how much I enjoy the show really hinges on whether I take to that particular group of participants. The premise of the show doesn’t allow for much variation so it really helps if the participants have vivid personalities/do memorable things. Like how one time there was one bachelorette who was a North Korean defector. Boy, did the dynamics between her and the bachelors change once she revealed her identity! Another memorable scenario happened when one bachelor (26), wanting to show his sincerity and maturity to a noona bachelorette (30), decided to make her samgyetang from scratch. It was sooo funny when he arrived at a chicken farm, went into the chicken pen, and struggled to catch a chicken with his own hands while muttering “sorry” to the chickens. The fact that he had bleached blonde hair and looked like an idol made it even more endearing. Needless to say, that noona bachelorette’s heart sure started thawing once he placed that big pot of samgyetang filled with devotion in front of her.

    5. I would go for Jin Seo from the Croatia trip. I like how he’s such a caring and thoughtful guy. Underneath that modest and unassuming demeanor of his, there seems to be a lot that remains to be discovered. He’s the type that becomes more attractive the more you get to know him. From the Turkey trip, Jae Ho would actually be nice to meet in real life. He’s good-natured, loyal, straighforward, doesn’t play mind games. What you see is what you get. Now if only he possessed some more finesse in expressing his feelings and carrying them out … Jun Sung would make for a good partner, both in life and romance. He seems to be a well-adjusted, well-rounded guy. A good listener, someone you can have meaningful conversations with. You get the sense that he’s someone who makes you laugh and laughs together with you. He can be serious and sincere when the situation calls for it and then lively, playful and full of aegyo on other occasions.

    6. For Jun Ho, his pride comes first before everything. He’s not willing to really put himself out there. For the shirt preference shuffle, he was like “Oh, I really wanted to reach for that yellow Mickey Mouse tee, but my pride wouldn’t allow it.” I find it interesting how in the Midnight Session before mid-time selection, Tae Hee named him as one of the two guys she’d like to continue meeting upon returning to Seoul, but she specifically said that she didn’t see him as a member of the opposite sex. He had a pensive look on his face after hearing her thoughts and protested saying, “I’m a guy with many charming points too!”. And then the next day, he chooses her as his mid-time selection. Coincidental, much? So his pride was probably pricked by her words and that made him wake up and start to see her in a different light?? I do have to admit that the footage he filmed of her dancing in the snow was really beautiful to look at though. Anyhow, I’m surprised at the number of viewers who support the Tae Hee – Jun Ho pairing. There sure are a lot of them who’ve posted at various discussion boards/blogs.

    – “And would Jun Ho look longingly over at Tae Hee noona?”
    hehe. The editing team made sure that in the episodes after mid-time selection, we got to see quite a few instances of Jun Ho peering over at Tae Hee noona during Midnight Sessions, attentively listening to her words, and carefully observing her reactions. And that wistful/contemplative look he had on his face while Tae Hee and Jun Sung were playing that “patty-cake like” game after the hot air balloon landed? Absolutely priceless!

    7. Yeah, I would love to see more “after-the-show” footage. It’d be fun to see if the dynamics between any of the pairings have changed and how they’re progressed since the show ended. The plane ride back to Korea … well at least we got to see that adorable clip of Tae Hee being held back by Jun Sung from going to Jae Ho. hehe … that was really cute. So was the footage of them playing around at the airport with Tae Hee tapping Jun Sung’s head with something and Jun Sung pulling her in for an arm hug. I just love how their interactions are full of chemistry and comfy vibes.

    After “reel life”, which couples made it in real life?

    Things are looking rosy for Yoon Jung and Jong Ik.

    Not sure about Min Sul and Il Young. Min Sul and Jun Sung are actually previously acquainted. She’s the one who recommended him for the Turkey trip. There are pics of Min Sul and Il Young meeting up with Jun Sung in late March.

    Jennifer and … Joon Hee?! sighted in public acting all coupley-like???

    It’s great to see that the folks from both seasons are on friendly terms.
    Yoo Rim and Ji Yeon are actually friends from the same school. So are Eun Ji and Jennifer. Jun Sung’s like the head of the social committee. Everyone hangs out at his place. Jae Ho and Joon Hee even sleep over. The Turkey group appears to be especially close-knit … with Jong Chan being a noticeable exception. Jun Sung, Jae Ho, Joon Hee, Ji Yeon, Na Ra form the core members who frequently hang out together. Jun Ho, Jennifer, Ha Rang join in sometimes. Tae Hee’s been temporarily based in Singapore since early April and busy hopping all around Southeast Asia for work. They don’t call her 대한민국 최고의 커리어 우먼! 보석보다 빛나는 김태희 for nothing!

    Viewing party for the final episode of The Romantic.

    Have you checked out The Romantic’s offical blog?

    Tae Hee and Jun Sung Interview

    Jun Sung, Jun Ho, Jae Ho, Joon Hee Interview

    Ahh … I ended up writing another lengthy piece again. Hope you don’t mind me being so long-winded. When it comes to The Romantic, there are always endless things to rave and rant about. 🙂


    • 1. You know… The nerd in me would have probably picked the museum. However, I would have considered the soccer match and cafe date. I like soccer and it’s a different kind of date. Also, I’m addicted to coffee and views.

      3. Aaah, the Bay Area. I love San Francisco and it would totally be the city I choose to live in if I were on the West Coast. 5 dates? 1) The Pier – for street dating? 2) I don’t think it should be too far out of the city but the wine country. 3) Golden Gate Park – evening/daytime doesn’t matter. Although it might be more romantical in the evening? If it’s daytime maybe bike across the bridge. I also found Sausalito to be a cute town. 4) A Cable Car Tour of the City 5) Catamaran sailing in the bay **Sidebar: I want to list The Rock because I’m so fascinated with the history of it but I just don’t think it makes a good date.

      4. No, I watched one episode of Jjak and that was it for me. Although the trip to Kyushu sounds interesting.

      6. Jun Ho – I think Jun Ho would be trading up if he ended with Tae Hee but Tae Hee would be trading down. I do think that Tae Hee could be good for Jun Ho but I want Tae Hee to be with someone better.

      Oh my god that balloon ride. I just wanted to go up to him and go, “Remember, you’re on a date with Jennifer. Hello??” And that snow/ice ring he made for Jennifer after watching the Tae Hee and Jun Sung. Oy.

      7. I did hear that after the first trip, things were going well for “one” couple so that must mean that things didn’t go so well for Min Sul and Il Young?

      Haha, that viewing party photo. As usual, Jae Ho is next to Jennifer. Oooh my, I can’t believe that Joon Sung has his Facebook page open to all viewers. I guess Joon Sung is the social butterfly that brings this crew together. Jae Ho, Joon Sung and Ji Yeon still hangout? That’s an interesting threesome. Sooo looking at his Facebook page, Joon Sung was in a relationship and is now single. 😦 Guess that’s the end of Joon Sung and Tae Hee. I feel so stalkerish looking at his Facebook page. I guess Joon Ho’s American name is Louis? Okay, stop, stop. Must look away!

      I’ve glanced at the blogs but haven’t really read them.


  6. 3. Do you like San Francisco’s weather? It’s common to experience four seasons in a day and different neighborhoods have distinct microclimates. For a cosmopolitan city, it’s unique for being quite compact. 1). The Pier would make for great street dating. Lots of sights and sounds to indulge in. The Musee Mecanique, with its extensive of antique arcade games, is a really cool place to visit. Not to mention the delicious food. Freshly steamed Dungeness crab, clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl at Boudin’s, hot fudge sundaes at Ghirardelli’s. Yum! 2). Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge for a day trip in Napa takes about and hour and a half. Mmm … fine food and wine. 3). Love the serenity and elegance of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. The Academy of Sciences is always really fun to visit. Just as its self description proclaims, it’s the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a 4-story rainforest! The observation tower at the de Young Museum offers spectacular views of the City, the Pacific Ocean, Marin. 4). Sausalito is a charming little town. The ferry ride over takes about half of hour and it’s always nice to partake of the picturesque setting. 5.) Apart from the three cable car lines, the F historic streetcar line also makes for some great sightseeing. It starts out from the Castro, passes through the heart of downtown, the Financial District, the Embarcadero, the Ferry Building, North Beach, and ends at Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s always interesting to see which streetcar you end up boarding since they hail from all over (San Diego, Chicago,St. Louis, Boston, Philadephia, Milan, etc.)

    6). Yep … it was sooo obvious that Jun Ho was all too aware of Tae Hee and Jun Sung’s interactions during that hot air balloon double date. Didn’t he sound totally envious when he said the two of them were engaged in yaja time? He kept glancing at them and paid way too much attention to what they were doing instead of enjoying his date with Jennifer. During the balloon ride, there was a lot of footage of Tae Hee and Jun Sung conversing and laughing togehter but barely any of Jun Ho and Jennifer. I LOLed when he offered to piggyback Jennifer (after seeing Jun Sung do the same for Tae Hee) and then nearly collapsed under her weight AGAIN. His agonizing cries of “Aigooo!!!” every time he gave her a piggyback ride … hahaha.

    7). Thank goodness for Jun Sung the social butterfly providing a convenient place for peeps to glean juicy tidbits about the current happenings involving the Romantists. Nah … no need to worry about stalker tendencies … it’s called a healthy dose of curiosity! About the Facebook page relationship status change, Jun Sung and Jae Ho were in an open mock relationship for a couple of weeks. Folks had a riot poking fun at them and the two of them enjoyed prodding fun at themselves as well. They “broke-up” a few days ago.
    Jun Sung’s farewell message to Jae Ho.


    So no, it doesn’t signify the end of Jun Sung and Tae Hee. What a relief, right? Actually, have Jun Sung and Tae Hee even started? 🙂


    • 3) I love San Fran weather. It’s the weather we’re having right now in NY. I like having all 4 seasons here in NY but I also particularly like that sunny, jacket weather. Ghirardelli’s! Yes, I forgot about that. I have to take another trip to SF because last time I did this whole drive from LA that I really didn’t spend too much time in SF. I did have a good time at the Japanese Tea Garden. The Academy of Sciences sounds cool. Must put that on my list next time I go. Then there are a couple of places that I have to hit because I didn’t get to go last time like Alcatraz and then I think I’d have to do a day trip to Hearst Castle which I think is halfway between LA and SF. All I can think about is Citizen Kane when I think about that place.

      7) I saw the pictures that said Jun Sung ❤ Jae Ho. Lol. So if Jun Sung and Tae Hee are still together? There are no pictures of them or much of anything. If anything I see him hanging out with Jae Ho and Ji Yeon more. Hmm… Okay, maybe they want to start off slooowly but when does he find the time between traveling (maybe for work?) and all this hanging out? AND updating his facebook page. I have not been able to make my way to the gym for a week and a half now! But yeah, I don't think they are together. Whenever she does make an appearance at one of "The Romantic" get-together events, they never sit next to each other. It seems like they're just friends. At Jennifer's b-day party, why does Jae Ho have his arms around Tae Hee and Na Ra? Lol, Jae Ho says he has "bad manner hands". Lol. And of course…

      Ji Yeon is sitting next to Jun Ho in this pic again. Hahaha… And my, my… Il Young is attractive. I could keep watching this bunch.

      8) I keep checking the news to see when the next season will start and all they keep saying is that they're looking for a new cast. 😦


  7. 3). Yep, Hearst Castle is located just about smack dab in the middle between LA and SF. One summer years back, we had relatives visiting from overseas and mom made me go on a 3 days 2 nights bus tour of Yosemite and Hearst Castle with them. Whew, that sure was tiring. One thing I have vivid memories of is the indoor swimming pool at Hearst Castle. I think it was modeled after an ancient Roman bath.The tiles were made of gold and were all glittery and bedazzling. The opulence! 😯

    7). Overall, they’re quite a personable bunch so it’s enjoyable to keep watching them. If anything, they seem to have formed solid friendships so it’s always nice to see them being all cozy and chummy at their various get-togethers.

    Tae Hee temporarily relocated to Singapore for a work assignment in early April. The Turkey trip ended in early March. That means she was only back in Korea for a little over a month. And considering what a busy and career-oriented girl she is, I wouldn’t be surprised if she and Jun Sung are taking things slooowly. Or it’s just as likely that they’re only good friends at this point. Anyhow, Tae Hee seems like the type who’s pretty low-key about her private life and reserved concerning her personal relationships. Unlike others of the bunch, she’s not much of a SNS enthusiast. So even if she and Jun Sung are together, I doubt he’d be sharing lotsa lovey-dovey couple photos on his Facebook page. Jun Sung gets questions from curious and well-meaning viewers (like us? :lol:) all the time about his relationship with Tae Hee and he’s good at playing coy and keeping mum.

    What I find interesting is the way he addresses her/mentions her. He just calls her “Tae Hee”. Not “Tae Hee noona”. Not “Tae Hee sshi”. So apparently, they’re on good enough terms that he can address her as an equal?:? On the other hand, Jae Ho still calls her “Tae Hee noona”. Hmmm … you know how guys are reluctant about addressing their (older) romantic interests as noona. 😉

    Heh … judging from the photos taken at Jennifer’s b-day party and her own going-away party, Tae Hee’s fondness for Jae Ho hasn’t decreased one bit. 😀 It’s cute how she makes no qualms about her good-natured crush on him, he takes it all in good stride, and it doesn’t affect their friendly noona-dongsaeng relationship in the least.

    I like the photos of them in this article. They look lovely, both individually and together.
    And the article’s pretty informative and in-depth as well. Nice to see them share thoughts about themselves, the show, how the show’s affected them, etc.

    Seems like Tae Hee’s got quite a few fangirls. 🙂

    A rare one where Tae Hee and Jun Sung are both facing the camera, smiling, and looking like a couple ?:?. Taken by Tae Hee’s Japanese friend who was visiting Seoul.

    8). I know, what a bummer! In the meantime, I’ve taken to rewatching. It’s fun when I notice various details that I missed the first time around and go “Ah hah! So that was it! So that was what he/she meant!” And with rewatching, since you already know how things will end up, it’s easier to discern everyone’s actions/reactions/feelings.

    I sure hope that there will be a new season and they don’t run into any production problems. Looking for a new cast shouldn’t be that difficult. It seems like they’ve got hundreds of applicants lined up to be the next Romantists. Do you know why they switched the timeslot from 10:50 pm (Episodes 1 – 8) to 12:00 am (Episodes 9 – 12)? I remember reading in the news that by Episode 2 or 3, ratings went over 1%. Since the show was doing so well in that timeslot, I’m surprised that they decided to move it to a later, less favorable timeslot in the middle of the season. It just seemed like an odd decision to make.


  8. So was the timeslot move actually beneficial for the ratings? Ah right … young people do tend to hang out late into the night at all sorts of venues in metro E. Asian cities since places stay open until the wee hours of the morning. So different from the nightlife here. Well, unless you’re into the clubbing scene and the like.

    Finally, some concrete news about the next season.

    It sounds like they’re in pre-production now and will likely start filming in the summer? If all goes well, maybe we’ll get to watch new episodes come late summer! Or early fall. Like you mentioned before, it’d be cool if they decide on summery places for the destinations to match with the actual season.


    • You could probably tell from the comments above what happened but if you haven’t read them yet… I’m not telling! It’s worth finding out from the program. 🙂 As for what happened to them now, I’m not sure. There’s a Facebook link in the comments above that links to Jun Sung’s facebook page.


  9. OMG!! Really!! Hi Jun Sung! I just found this site today abt this show and when I finished reading, the Star appeared! Thanks!! Really made my day wor!


  10. I just love TVN the Romantic..
    it’s like watching a drama but with REAL emotions and situations going on…
    I don’t really know what happened to Jiyeon and Jongchan because obviously a lot of things got cut, so I hope they settle things out like Nara and Jun hee..

    I really like Jeniffer she’s so child-like so maybe that’s why she acted like that, but my favorite is Nara I just like her bubbly personality.

    and as for the guy Oh gosh I just love the Doctor in season 1 (Croatia) his proposal just take my breath away that’s so SWEET!
    and for the season2 I think Jae Ho’s gesture is the best, when he dries up the shoes that Tae Hee borrowed from Jennifer EPIC…

    I just hope all of the contestant will remain friend and hope someday they’ll find there true love…


    • I posted the raw torrent links for both seasons above. I’m not sure if there are any seeders now though but I’d still give it a try. Though I did hear that somebody did sub them. Perhaps someone at the soompi forums knows where you can find them.


  11. I’m wondering whether I should watch the original. The idol version was good but I heard this is really interesting! I thought I’d share a post I wrote on issues that bring upon K-Pop relationship variety shows with fans and such! Feel free to leave comments 🙂

    Issues with relationship variety shows The Romantic & Idol is included in it!


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