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'The Time We Were Not In Love' Could Be Your New Favorite 'Noona' Romance

BY Adrienne Stanley | Jun 28, 2015 08:33 PM EDT

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There are two new K-Drama umbrella couples and their on-screen chemistry could far exceed that of Baek Seung Chan (Kim Soo Hyun) and Cindy (IU) in "Producer." The June 28 episode of "The Time We Were Not In Love" delivered a crash course in the love lines of the series. Whereas the premiere focused on the seemingly pathetic life of Oh Ha Na (Ha Ji Won), the second episode of "The Time We Were Not In Love" provided introduced the possibilities an older woman-younger man or noona romance involving Sung Jae (INFINITE's L).

L exhibits better chemistry and refined acting skills in the series, following his portrayal of Shi Woo in "My Lovely Girl." 

Throughout the episode, Ha Na suspects that Sung Jae, a marketing intern at her company, could be trying to flirt with her. The opening scene focuses on a chance encounter at a cafe where Sung Jae appears to be courteous but flirtatious. As the scenes between Ha Na leader and intern unfurl, it becomes apparent that he is romantically interested in her, even though she is eight years his senior.

The best moments between Sung Jae and Ha Na are those set within the shoe store. Shoes are prominently used throughout the series as analogies for life circumstances. Fashionable women consider a great pair of shoes to be as important as a stylish purse. In the case of "The Time We Were Not In Love," Ha Na was a nerdy teen who morphed into a fashionable adult. The significance of shoes in daily life is emphasized when Sung Jae helps her retrieve shoes from the top shelves or aids her with her sore feet.

While Seung Chan chased Ha Na, Lee So Eun (Choo Soo Hyun) as in hot pursuit of Choi Won (Lee Jin Wook). Their love line focuses on two flight attendants who could discover that love is in the air, even if Won harbors a crush on Ha Na. After work, So Eun called Won the affectionately familiar term oppa, while Seung Chan was quick to refer to Ha Na as noona.

 The plot line of the noona romance in "Producer" featured the off-balanced relationship between Seung Chan smitten with Ye Jin (Gong Hyo Jin). At times, Seung Chan was depicted as an immature friend who tagged along with his older superior. By contrast, "The Time We Were Not In Love," approaches the concept of an older woman-younger man relationship from a more realistic perspective. Sung Jae is confident in his pursuit of Ha Na, who has reservations about his interest, but is not completely unaware of his crush. This places the series on par with "Flower Boy Ramyun Shop" or "A Witch's Romance" for capturing the emotional rollercoaster of their age difference.

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About the writer: Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor for KDramastars. She is also a contributing writer for Kpopstarz, MTV Iggy and CJ Entertainment's KCON blog. Her passions include a love of K-pop and Asian drama. When she is not writing, she is hanging out on Twitter (@retrogirladdy).

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