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Romance Is a Bonus Book: Episode 1

A noona romance starring Lee Jong-seok? Yes, please! I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but this was an enjoyable start and I’m excited to see where things go from here. There’s a lot of ground to cover in this initial episode, so without further ado, let’s jump in.

 
EPISODE 1: “My Noona, Kang Dan-Yi”

A young man we’ll come to know as CHA EUN-HO (Lee Jong-seok) arrives at a wedding and makes his way up to the bridal room. Pausing in the doorway, he smiles as the bride, KANG DAN-YI (Lee Na-young) turns to greet him, but they’re interrupted when a group of women push past to gush over the bride.

Looking on, Eun-ho says she’s beautiful, but Dan-yi can’t hear him. “Forget it if you didn’t hear it,” he smirks and disappears back downstairs. Eun-ho seats himself at the piano and takes a shaky breath as the MC announces the groom’s arrival. Hong Dong-min struts down the aisle to an upbeat pop song and Eun-ho rolls his eyes as the groom dances onstage.

As Eun-ho starts playing the bridal march, Dong-min is informed his bride has gone missing. Eun-ho chases after him, but all they find is Dan-yi’s abandoned bouquet. Dong-min demands to know where she’s gone and grows indignant when Eun-ho asks if they fought… again.

Dong-min snaps that they always fight and Eun-ho runs off to search for Dan-yi. Brushing off some teens hoping he’d autograph his book, Eun-ho jumps into his car and peels out of the lot. As he drives, Eun-ho frantically calls Dan-yi’s phone. When she doesn’t answer, Eun-ho pouts to her voicemail that he practiced for a month to play at her wedding. Dan-yi answers and he quickly asks where she is, confused when she replies, “Behind you.”

Dan-yi sits up in the backseat, causing a Eun-ho to nearly miss a red light and screech to a halt. Eun-ho questions why she crawled into his car and Dan-yi morosely agrees she must’ve lost her mind. They’re interrupted by a call from Dong-min and Dan-yi urges Eun-ho not to answer, lunging to wrestle the phone away when he tries. The grappling results in the phone picking up. “You’re with Dan-yi now, right?” Dong-min accuses, as he watches the security footage of Dan-yi getting into Eun-ho’s car.

Eun-ho quickly assures him it isn’t what he’s thinking, urging Dan-yi to back him up, but she just scoffs. Dong-min orders them back, whining to Dan-yi that he knows he was wrong, but her mother fainted. Dan-yi doesn’t reply, but tears streak down her face and Eun-ho promises to bring her back.

Stopping at a convenience store, Eun-ho assures Dan-yi she doesn’t have to go back. He offers to drive her anywhere, but Dan-yi chokes out that she has nowhere else to go. Eun-ho suggests picking any flight from the airport, and Dan-yi sighs that she had insisted on honeymooning in Spain despite her mother’s concern that the couple is broke. She adds that it hasn’t been long since her father passed and now her mother has fainted.

Dan-yi suddenly shouts, “Your car!” Eun-ho leaps up and chases after the tow-truck, but it’s no use and he turns around to pout at Dan-yi. Her apologetic smile is all it takes for him to relent and they run back to the wedding on foot, hands clasped tight. Dan-yi’s voice narrates, “If I could turn back the hands of time and pick a day to return to, I’d choose that moment. Whenever my marriage stressed me out, I thought of that moment. That day, if I chose not to go back to my wedding… That day, if I went to some faraway country like Eun-ho had suggested… I’d be living a very different life now.”

Dan-yi stands in front of an interview panel and energetically presents her past advertisement successes. Unfortunately, as one interviewer points out, that was seven years ago, and they don’t care that she has been busy raising a child.

The scene breaks into an upbeat musical dance montage of Dan-yi at a motivational seminar, job searching at an internet cafe, patronizing a jimjilbang, working the checkout at a supermarket, and racing to job interviews. The interview panel pops up in each location to question her and Dan-yi admits that she was forced to leave her job after her mother fell ill and she had no one to look after her daughter, and that she divorced a year ago.

At another interview, Dan-yi notices her heel bleeding and asks another candidate for a band-aid, but she doesn’t have one. They’re called into the interview and one of the interviewers notes Dan-yi must’ve felt left behind after giving up a successful career to be a stay-at-home mom. Dan-yi brightly replies that her experiences will only further the company’s success.

Afterwards, in the bathroom, the other candidate hands Dan-yi a band-aid, pointing out that they were rivals before their interview. Dan-yi thanks her, but the young woman gripes that competition is fierce enough among her peers without older women vying for jobs too. As she walks away, Dan-yi sighs that she’s become so nice (by not fighting back).

Dan-yi is startled when the interviewer exits a stall and the woman declares that she’s interviewed many women like Dan-yi, trying to re-enter the workforce after a break. Her tone ices over as she tells Dan-yi it’s insulting to her, when she worked relentlessly to have her current job.

Meanwhile, Eun-ho wraps up his literature class at the university. The students rush to leave, but a collective sigh ripples through the room when Eun-ho piles on more homework. When the students cry that it’s too much, Eun-ho grins. “What? I’m too handsome? I know.” Hee.

A couple girls chase after Eun-ho to give him gifts while a third begs him to read a novel she’s written. Without breaking stride, Eun-ho accepts the gifts and tells the writer to submit her manuscript to his publishing company’s upcoming contest. The other girls ask if he has a girlfriend and Eun-ho pauses to cooly reply that he’ll be getting married soon.

Dan-yi busily cleans house, pausing to smile proudly at Eun-ho’s book as well as a photo of a young girl and boy (presumably young Dan-yi and Eun-ho). While hanging the laundry, Dan-yi marvels at a bra, musing that the size is different from the last one. Oh my.

The house is confirmed to be Eun-ho’s when he receives a text from Dan-yi, claiming his “housekeeper” told her he keeps bringing girls home, and urging him to get married already. Irritated, Eun-ho punches the dial button and tells Dan-yi to fire the housekeeper. Dan-yi can’t understand why, cheekily pointing out the woman cleans well and makes food he likes, as she packs side dishes for him.

Eun-ho grumbles that the woman reports everything to Dan-yi and she grins, asking how long he’s been seeing the owner of the bra. He winces that she even knows the color and says he’s put up with the woman because Dan-yi recommended her, but she’s clumsy. Dan-yi’s smirk vanishes when Eun-ho hangs up, and she sighs that she needs this job.

Dan-yi’s daughter, Jae-hui’s overseas school calls asking for Dan-yi’s letter of employment as well as a bank statement that she has at least 10 million won (roughly 10,000 dollars), since Jae-hui wants to stay another semester. Dan-yi pales and pleadingly texts Eun-ho to keep his housekeeper, assuring him there won’t be further mistakes.

Eun-ho texts back he’s going to change his passcode. He adds that he suspects the woman has been showering at his place, eating his food, and using his laptop, as a montage shows Dan-yi doing all of those things. She even keeps a box of her belongings hidden upstairs.

At Gyeoroo Publishing, a young woman tapes up a meeting sign before promptly being told to take it down by another employee, identified as General Director Ko Yoo-sun, second-in-command, and a “fussy witch.” With a small sigh, the first woman, Assistant Manager of the Editorial Department, SONG HAE-RIN (Jung Yoo-jin), rips it off as her text bubble declares she’s “quickly moving up the (corporate) ladder.”

Eun-ho saunters in next. His text bubble states that in addition to being a professor of Literature at Hanguk University, he’s also Chief Editor at Gyeoroo Publishing, a popular podcast host, and “total eye candy.” Hee. Another man bursts through the doors, screaming into his phone. He’s Bong Ji-hong, Editor-in-Chief of the Content Development Department, and previously a poet.

Last to arrive is Seo Yeong-ah, Marketing Team Leader. Noting that the president isn’t there, she launches into a long-winded list of complaints about her life as she frantically applies makeup. Grumbling at the pointlessness of these frequent meetings, Team Leader Seo doesn’t notice President Kim Jae-min appearing from underneath the table, where he’d been retrieving a box of tissue.

She adds that their boss is practically a dictator and nearly falls out of her seat when he announces that she’s late… again. Laughing nervously, she shoots a glare at Eun-ho for the lack of warning as President Kim adds another tardy mark next to her name.

Soon debate breaks out over the criteria for new employees. Despite the non-discrimination act, President Kim wants to declare acceptance of all college graduates, but eliminate anyone who’s been out of school more than two years. Chief Bong disapproves the sneaky tactics, but is ignored.

Team Leader Seo asks about the “no degree required” criteria and President Kim relents that they should stick to the law for one group. He selects the Task Support Team and although Eun-ho argues that’s only a contract position, President Kim ignores him as well.

That night, Dan-yi climbs over the wall of an abandoned house marked for demolition. Her meager belongings are already piled in the corner of a room and as she sits in her makeshift bed, she flashes back to when the house was new and she lived there with Dong-min and their daughter.

The bright and happy family memories give way to one of Dan-yi sobbing and pleading with Dong-min to start over. He tries to pull his hand from Dan-yi’s grasp, but she holds tight, begging him to think of their daughter and apologizing for saying harsh things when his company went bankrupt and they lost the house.

Dong-min coldly rips his hand free, and Dan-yi snaps, “Then did you think you could solve everything by cheating on me?” With a pitying sigh, Dong-min walks away and Dan-yi chases after him, swearing to never mention the woman again… but he leaves anyway.

Grimacing at her bankbook, Dan-yi starts to text Jae-hui that she can’t swing another semester when her daughter calls, crying about stomach pains. Dan-yi barks at her to go to the hospital. Despite Jae-hui’s protests about the medical bill, Dan-yi assures her there’s more than enough money for her treatment and another semester at school.

Meanwhile, Eun-ho is working late at home and when he tries to print a document, finds the printer unplugged. Vowing to fire the housekeeper, he plugs it back in and Dan-yi’s resume spits out. He finds it odd, but figures it’s too late to call, not knowing Dan-yi is impatiently awaiting an update from Jae-hui. She finally gets a text assuring her the issue was minor and Jae-hui will be discharged the following day.

The next morning, Dan-yi is jolted awake by a commotion outside. Realizing she’s late for her interview, Dan-yi jumps up but is startled by a window shattering. Outside, she finds the demolition crew at work and the foreman barks at her for squatting, but allows her to retrieve her belongings. Scooping up her things, Dan-yi also grabs a green onion plant she’d kept when she’d been married.

After readying herself in a public restroom, Dan-yi stands at the bus stop and inspects the blister on her heel. The bus arrives and in a rush to get on, people kick Dan-yi’s shoe into the street. Traffic prevents her from retrieving it and when the buses pull away, the shoe is gone. Dan-yi attempt to call and reschedule the interview, but the company is unsympathetic. Dan-yi cries that it would be a hassle to commute and they won’t hire her anyway, so she refuses to attend. Hanging up, she dissolves into sobs.

As if her day couldn’t get any worse, Dan-yi is caught in a sudden downpour. She ducks into a convenience store for an umbrella but receives a text about Jae-hui’s medical bill and decides against it. Instead, she chucks her remaining shoe in the trash in order to run barefoot.

Arriving at Eun-ho’s, Dan-yi finds the passcode has been changed. She attempts to call, but Eun-ho ignores it and goes into a cafe to meet a young woman. After a tense silence, she announces that she went on a blind date and is getting married. Unfazed, Eun-ho muses, “You must’ve been busy, considering it’s only been three weeks.”

Stricken, she wonders if he ever loved her, but Eun-ho replies he’s not one to give way to others and marriage isn’t for him. Eyeing the way she’s gripping her water glass, Eun-ho tells her to wait and then removes his jacket before allowing her to proceed. She throws her water in his face, then grabs his and tosses it on his jacket. Heh. She tells him that he doesn’t know love, or even believe it exists, and storms out.

Soaked, Dan-yi walks barefoot into a convenience store for a bottle of soju. Meanwhile, Eun-ho still sits dazed in the cafe. Checking his phone, he finds five missed calls from Dan-yi. “Dan-yi is why…” Eun-ho’s voiceover says, “I don’t believe in love.”

Walking down the street, Dan-yi stops outside a bridal shop and thinks back to her wedding day. She’d gone back and gone through with it, but hadn’t looked very happy. From afar, Eun-ho had caught her eye and asked if she was okay. She had smiled and nodded, but in the present she takes a bitter swig of soju.

Her phone rings and Eun-ho says he saw she called. She asks where he is, noting his new passcode and Eun-ho reminds her he’s firing the housekeeper. Dan-yi wants to know why he didn’t answer her calls and Eun-ho tells her he was getting dumped.

Dan-yi balks and calls the woman weird. Grinning, Eun-ho tells her the woman said he doesn’t know love. Dan-yi grows thoughtful and agrees that men are clueless about love. “It’s all because of you,” Eun-ho teases. Dan-yi asks what she ever did to him but he waves it off as nothing she needs to know about.

Changing the subject, he asks why she was at his house yesterday, admitting he found her resume. He asks if she’s looking for a job, but Dan-i just sighs that it’s all over. She tells him no one will hire her, “This life… is already a bust.” She continues that she’s not wanted and has nowhere to go and she’ll be wiring Jae-hui all the money she has.

Eun-ho is confused since Dong-min’s business had picked up and asks where Dan-yi is. “The edge of my life,” she answers before squaring herself at her reflection and declaring that she’ll just follow the next man she encounters… only to be immediately accosted by a drunk man.

Promising to call Eun-ho back, Dan-yi unleashes a wave of obscenities at the man, but he refuses to let go until a young man runs over. He’s JI SEO-JOON (Wie Ha-joon) and he apologizes to Dan-yi for being late, pushing the drunk man off of her. Grumbling, the man stumbles away and Seo-joon explains he saw everything from across the street.

Dan-yi assures him she had it under control, but thanks him anyway. His eyes fall to her feet and she wonders if he’s never seen a barefooted woman before. “Not when it isn’t summer,” Seo-joon replies and ushers her over to the bench.

Kneeling in front of her, Seo-joon says, “I may sound insane to you since I think that’s how I sound, but I have a pair of shoes.” Pulling a pair of heels from his bag, Seo-joon assures her he doesn’t always carry women’s shoes. He smiles that they fit perfectly and Dan-yi laughs because they’re hers. A flashback reveals Seo-joon standing on the other side of the street when Dan-yi lost her first shoe. He managed to save it from traffic, only for Dan-yi to be gone by the time he made it to the bus stop.

Seo-joon had searched for Dan-yi, but found the other shoe she’d tossed instead. Figuring he couldn’t throw out a perfectly good pair of shoes, but unsure what to do with them… he’d miraculously ran into Dan-yi again. “How was that story?” Seo-joon grins, “I just made it up.” Dan-yi answers that every woman loves the story of Cinderella, but she’s too old to believe in fairy tales and knights in shining armor–she’d rather write her own story.

The rain starts up again and Seo-joon quickly holds his umbrella over Dan-yi. He wonders if she isn’t cold and Dan-yi shrugs, agreeing that she is, but life has its cold days. She also gives him her green onion plant as a thank you for returning her shoes. Seo-joon insists she take his umbrella and despite Dan-yi’s protests that she won’t be able to return it and is already soaked, he hooks it over her shoulder before running up the street.

Having returned home, Eun-ho is surprised when the doorbell rings and a dripping wet Dan-yi shuffles in. He asks why she’s wet and eyeing her bag if she’d fought with Dong-min. Ignoring him, Dan-yi curls up in a blanket and asks for warm water.

Finally, she announces she’s sleeping over. Eun-ho blinks and asks her to repeat herself. Dan-yi asks to say the night and he assumes she’s run away from home. Without answering, Dan-yi starts dragging her bag upstairs. Eun-ho tries to stop her, but she rounds on him, shouting that she’ll just stay one night.

“I really… don’t have a place to go today,” she tells him. Her words echo what she’d said on her wedding day and he relents. Upstairs, Dan-yi pulls out her box of things and extracts some dry clothes. In his own room, Eun-ho wonders what’s wrong with Dan-yi and if he should call Dong-min before deciding against it.

The next morning, Eun-ho tries to question her again, but Dan-yi only continues to shovel food into her mouth until Eun-ho promises to stop asking before she chokes. Instead, he tells her to find a new housekeeper and Dan-yi offers to do it. Eun-ho asks if she’s not going home and Dan-yi admits she has no home to return to–she got divorced a year ago. Eun-ho chides her for fibbing, pointing out there’s no way he wouldn’t have known about it. Oh…. honey.

He tells her to wash the dishes in return for staying over, but pauses to ask if Dong-min cheated. Dan-yi goes back to shoveling food in her mouth, so he leaves, but outside mutters that it can’t be true.

While cleaning up, Dan-yi finds the recruitment packet for Gyeoroo Publishing. She sighs that she’d probably just get rejected again, and grumbles that having a college degree is useless and that she’d be better off having no qualifications. Something catches her eye, and flipping back through, Dan-yi zeroes in on the Task Support Team, which doesn’t require a degree. Back upstairs, she pores over the documents again, her resume and a college diploma beside her.

That evening, Eun-ho returns home to find Dan-yi’s shoes gone. He calls her, but since she’s still upstairs, she doesn’t answer. She does read his texts, though, and smiles when he vows not to let it go if Dong-min really did cheat.

The next morning, Director Ko, President Kim, and Eun-ho sit at the interview panel desk as Hae-rin organizes the interviewees. She calls the first three names and Dan-yi stands up.

Eun-ho flips through the list of candidates and President Kim warns him to keep questions short. Eun-ho grumbles that’s not how to hire employees, but trails off when he sees Dan-i’s name. He quickly flips to her resume, confirming it’s her. As she walks into the room and stands in front of him, Eun-ho looks up and they lock eyes.

 
COMMENTS

How many drama cliches can we tick off in one episode? I feel like this should be a drinking game. Rich, geeeenius male lead. Poor, hard-working female lead. Most adorable puppy second lead. Childhood friends trope. Noona romance trope. Potential living space hyjinks. All we need is a marriage contract and someone to get amnesia and I think we’ve got a BINGO! Which is not to say I’m complaining. I’m just a little unsure of what to expect going forward. This episode was enjoyable, but uneven. The tonal shifts at the top of the episode gave me a bit of whiplash, but luckily I feel the drama had gained its footing by the end. Because while I enjoyed the random dance sequence after the time skip, it was random and felt out of place, especially when the drama didn’t do anything else in that vein for the rest of the episode.

I was surprised at how dark things got for Dan-yi, suggesting within the first five minutes that her marriage wasn’t going to be a happy one (even if we knew it had to fizzle out if Lee Jong-seok was gonna get a shot). But it really makes you wonder why did Dan-yi go through with it? Was it really because she felt she had nowhere else to go? And then the aftermath of her divorce is so extreme. We knew Dong-min was a skeeze, but worse than cheating on his wife and leaving her penniless and homeless, he doesn’t seem to be doing anything for their daughter either. Being a single mom is hard enough in the best of circumstances, but Dan-yi has gotten every short stick the universe could offer.

But moreso than Dong-min and Dan-yi’s failed relationship, I’m curious about Dan-yi and Eun-ho’s. They seem super close, and have known each other most of their lives, if that photo is anything to go by. On her wedding day, Dan-yi sought out Eun-ho for comfort, but she kept her divorce and the gritty fallout to herself. Now, even when she tries to tell him the truth, Eun-ho has trouble believing it. Because as far as he’s known, things were peachy-keen. I’m really unsure how it’s been an entire year and he hasn’t caught a whiff of what went down, but Dong-min seems to be absent and if Dan-yi was his only source of info, then it’s possible, albeit strange. And things are only going to get more complicated from here on out as Dan-yi carves out a place in more facets of Eun-ho’s life.

I liked this episode, and am hopeful going forward. There’s a lot of promise for cute antics. I just hope things keep to the lighter side and we don’t dip too far into dreary. As long as we keep a good balance, we should be in for a fun ride.

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I LOVE IT! I'm hooked right away! :)

Am I the only person who thinks Wi Ha-joon is swoony? :)

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A complete 180 from his character in Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food. I hated her younger brother. (Then again, I hated everyone in that show including Son Ye Jin and Jung Hae In.)

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I found the encounter with Wie Ha-joon swoony as well!
I love that shoes fit Cinderella because they were hers to begin with!! 😂Can we count that as a plot twist?

I wonder though what part of the story he made up. Was it really happenstance that he found the shoes in the trash, and ran into her when she was accosted by the drunkard or had he been following her all day?

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I think that line about he just made that up was a joke.

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I doubt Seo Joon made up any part of the story. He was kidding when he said, "I just made it up," and Dan Yi knew it. It really was happenstance fate. If he had been following her all day, then stalker alert.

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Aaah yes, the good ol' "F" word! 😆
Has there ever been a relationship with the Second Male Lead touched by the hands of Fate?

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In what way is Romance Is a Bonus Book a rom-com? This first episode was Misaeng-levels depressing. When Dan Yi said, "This life is screwed," I related to her so much. Eun Ho knows nothing about his noona. Seo Joon's "made-up" shoe story, my heart skipped a beat. Double the noona romance: Second Lead is even younger than Eun Ho. A big thanks for recapping, @Sunny!

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Yes. I feel the same way. This might have gotten alot of check marks on the cliche K-drama tropes, but I feel this was done pretty good. I don't know after the first two episodes, I feel this show would be better served if there wasn't a romantic element in it and focus more on how a down on her luck female protagonist can get back up despite all the hardships she may face. I prefer a no romance but good supporting friends over a rom-com. I feel like throwing the male protagonist in this story makes it alot fairy tailish, a good looking, smart, apparently decently wealthy in this story fealt a bit out of place.

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This would be amazing, but alas we are in a kdrama.

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I felt the same way. Perhaps a slice-of-life with a sprinkle of rom-com?

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I liked the episode. I think the second episode is much better, but this was good. The fact that they've known each other a long time is a change from normal kdrama tropes, so that is good. I like Dan-Yi far and away more than Eun-Ho, so we will see how this goes. Also this drama isn't actually funny. I think I chuckled, but this seems to be going the healing drama path as opposed to the romantic comedy, but we shall see.

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Add throwing glasses of water to your cliche-count. But, since they were plainly making fun of that one, I'll *guess* that they are deliberate and self-aware on the others too, including the ones in day 2.

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Oh noes! It's not available on Netflix until Feb 2

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I really wish Netflix understands drama fans' addiction and commits to follow the live airing schedule that it has done for other shows like Mr. Sunshine and Memories of the Alhambra for Asian dramas. I wanted to wait to watch this show on legal site like Netflix but couldn't wait any longer when I see DB's recap for the show has been posted.

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I'm the same. I was preparing to wait and be good but the recap is out now and everyone has seen it. I don't think it's entirely Netflix's decision though since it's able to fast track certain dramas. So I don't blame them, just the reality that sends me to pirate sites.

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Did you see it or not?

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I'm watching the first two tonight. I ran out of days off. Unfortunately work won't pay me to watch dramas full time.

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I can wait!! Better than no streaming since it's not on Viki in the US.

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I thought the first episode was super fun! (Childhood friends is my kryptonite). I like that the female lead is strong. I got Twenty Again vibes by how the lead has lost her voice because of an overbearing jerk face husband. I don't mind tropes as long as they're done well. This rom com SEEMS like it'll be breezy and peachy. All aboard.

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i skipped most of the musical scenes since they give me lotsa secondhand embarrassment lol

sadly what dani faces is a common issue- husbands running off and washing their hands off their ex-wifes and kids, struggling single mothers having to re-enter the workforce while raising their kids single-handedly.. for some reason, whenever a relationship failed, the woman always have the shorter end of the stick. i personally knew several women in this situation, tho most of them are luckier since they still have their families to help

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Hahaha I actually love the ahjumma power dance sequence! As an ahjumma, I might go back to watch this (and possibly dance along with it 😅) when I need a little pepping up!

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I loved the dancing Ahjummas, and as a back-up-dancer-pep-squad for her job hunt, they were fabulous. It was the silly interspersed with the depressing reality of her life that made this first episode watchable for me. If it hadn't been there I probably would have turned it off because my drama escapism at the moment is decidedly reality-lite.

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Yay for the power pose and power dance. It’s a much welcome mood lifter out of that Misaeng-level depressing moments.

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Hii do you know what's the song? Thx a lot

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The single fastest route to poverty and homelessness for a woman is divorce. But there was just something so... contrived... about the whole thing that didn't sell it for me. Maybe it's just the glossy cinematography and her permanently-perfect hair and make up. But I kept having to remind myself that this is the reality some women deal with - especially if their husbands take off, declare bankruptcy and refuse to pay child support.

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I raised 2 daughters like this. Only I had a job and I left him but I still struggled. He moved to another state and got a new family. Has 2 daughters he fawns over but ignored ours. Very much a reality.

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I think what makes it feel the most off for me, is that the daughter isn't there. Yes it's explained, but it's a contrivance that falls flat for me, and also somehow lessens the urgency of her situation. Maybe that's the mom in me.

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Yes! That's it! It's supposed to create another level of conflict with the school demanding more money but that's what the problem is.

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I didn't mind that the first episode was darker than expected but then it really took me by surprise when I read Sunny's comment as
"even if we knew it had to fizzle out if Lee Jong-seok was gonna get shot" 🔫
I then was trapped in the W-verse and couldn't get Kang Chul out of my mind!!😭

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Yeah, I can see why Dan-yi did not tell Eun ho or she dropped hints and he did not listen. Dude has his head up his own backside. It was apparent throughout the entire episode. It seems through his adult life, he ain't had a struggle and could not identity even a childhood friend having one themselves.

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It seems to me that, rather, Danyi deliberately hid his situation before his friend Eunho, perhaps avoiding telling details of his personal life or perhaps pretending to live his life normally
They communicate very frequently and familiarly, but despite this level of trust, I feel that Eunho respects the decisions of his friend. (Even if she makes the decision to marry someone that Eunho does not admit) and that may include respecting Danyi's position of not talking about her personal life.

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Then him not taking her saying she has been divorced for a year and struggling to find a job makes no sense.

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My thoughts and feelings about Danyi's situation before Eunho are perfectly summarized in the comment made below by MoonBean.
And to that comment, I add that, just as Danyi had the courage and ability to hide her academic skills and vast work experience to get a job, she could also cheat or hide her real situation before Eunho

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that's why I think that Eunho's reaction can be incredulous or eceptic to Danyi's words.

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I think this is unfair to Eun Ho. She must have taken great pains to hide her divorce and everything else from him to the point that when she started dropping hints for him it came so out of nowhere that he didn't believe it.

Reminds me of a story with my best friend and me. Year two of college, she had new roommates at the dorm. The first day I met the roommates we were chatting while my friend was getting ready. She told me she broke up with her boyfriend. I must have had a very blase "whatever" reaction as by that time I had already lost the number of times they had broken up and gotten back together. Months later when such a break up happened yet again her roommates told her that when they first met me they thought I was a very weird best friend given my reaction to her break-up news, but they finally totally understood it after witnessing firsthand their numerous breakups. I got the same sense from Eun Ho's reaction to their fight on the eve of the wedding. This couple was constantly fighting, yet she still married him (despite his offer of sending her away to faraway lands). So in the absence of a major difference he is thinking this is just more of the same. He has no reason to think differently yet.

This is pure conjecture at this point but I also strongly suspect due to his dislike of the husband and love for his noona he did not see them together very often so all his information came from her.

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Yes he doesn't seem to like or have a relationship with the husband at all. And I imagine a man like her husband has a BIG problem with his wife having this young hot best friend - especially after what happened on the wedding day.

TBH, I didn't have a problem with Eunho this episode simply because of his response to her leaving the wedding. He was there for her, listened to her, gave her options but ultimately went with what she wanted. He was very respectful of her through that whole sequence.

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I agree, she living at his place, eats his food, drops hints left and right and he is so oblivious. Plus getting angry that she doesn't seek better employment after she explained how hard it is for her to find work, he don't listen to her in this episode at all.

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Whether it was because her husband-to-be was a self-centered jerk or because he was in love with Dan-yi himself, I thought Eun-ho's body language made it pretty clear he was dreading Dan-yi's wedding and only took part for her sake. Then he made the remark about not believing in love because of her. Since I don't think her bad choice could be enough to sour him on love for the rest of his life, I think she must have broken his heart. She probably never knew it, and he maybe never even admitted it to himself. So this whole setup is opening the door to his second chance to win the girl.

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Thanks for the recap Sunny and a hear hear on a noona romance featuring Lee Jong Seuk. Two thumbs up from me so far.

Can't comment much about episode one yet as I can't separate the spoilers so I'll wait for next recap for more comments but a few points to note that are all in this drama's favor so far:
- I'm getting I Hear Your Voice vibes in a very good way
- It's great to have a noona romance where the donseng is not a high school student but is successful, famous and has three parallel successful careers.
- I love the relationship history between the leads and the warmth of their bond (and the fact that Eun-ho speaks banmal to noona) The friendly banter including the red bra conversation cracked me up.

On the negative side:
- As usual I'm not looking forward to a love triangle. I wouldn't want anyone to "settle" in a relationship due to lack of alternatives but leads that "try" different people or don't know their minds or have feelings for both frustrate the hell out of me.
- I did find Dan Yi's current situation to be extremely depressing and too extreme to be successfully hidden from Eun Ho so long but I guess she had to lose her house and come to the end of her rope for everything to be revealed.
- I cringed at the scene of Dan Yi begging her sleazy cheating ex not to leave her. Thankfully she did tell her mystery man she's too old to believe in fairy tales and knights in shining armor and she will make her own way.

I don't have a sense yet what Eun Ho's feelings for Dan Yi and love yet. Is he/has he always been in love with Dan Yi? Or just watching Dan Yi's relationship made him skeptic about love?

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Ahhh I understand perfectly, I also have difficulty separating the two episodes.
but what I can say for sure is that I love how this story is developing. I enjoy their relationship and trust level. I'm also loving your performances, it feels so natural. And I feel clear and strong the chemistry of LJS and LNY

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I know it's Lee Jong-seok as male lead, but foresee that I might have SLS here..

still in dilemma either I shall continue this or not.

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Dan-yi seems to be the kind of person who falls in love whole heartedly and then becomes blind to the other person's fault. She doesn't do things half-baked, which can be seen as both a positive and a negative thing.

I could really relate to her character in the first episode. I was once in a similar position when I was nearing my thirties and I had to really pick myself up off the ground and start from zero. I'm really looking forward to the whole of the series and the relationship between the two leads going forward from this point. I don't expect there to be any kinds of knight in shining armor scenes. This seems like the kind of show in which the male lead takes on an emotional support role while the female lead gets her life in order with her own strength.

I'm also looking forward to the moment when her daughter makes an actual appearance. I'd like to see what her dynamic with Eun-ho is like.

On another note: could her ex-husband come back at some point and get bitch slapped by Dan-yi? And kicked in the shin by his daughter? You have a responsibilty towards your daughter damnit!!! (also a punch in the face by Eun-ho but that's just wishful thinking. this drama doesn't feel like the bitch-slap, kick in the shin and punch in the face kind of drama ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

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Lee Jong-suk's visuals are not of this earth. He is an angel. That's kind of all I have to say.

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Right?!
His visuals pulled me back in the brink of giving up kdramas this year.

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Oh I'm happy they did! Kdramas are wonderful you shouldn't give them up. LJS's visuals are always waiting for you.

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I’m loving his winter wardrobe, he looks good in everything.

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It definitely ticked a lot of trope boxes, but I really enjoyed these opening episodes. I think the leads chemistry is quite good, for how little we’ve seen them.

Felt pretty awful for Dan-Yi though...lord did she ever marry a douche. I like that she’s layered though. Whereas I like Eun-Ho as well...he’s presented as a little too perfect so far. Definitely looking forward to more next week.

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bonus bonk is a mess.
That's what you usually expect from a kdrama romance.
This is my 1st week impression of the show.
All events looked too manufactured. Pretty faces don't last long. In the end you need good story and plot to make an impact.

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@catocat
Same.

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Sadly, its not working for me as well. I can't seem to get past the first 15 minutes without dozing off.

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For me it's a mixture of things I like and things I don't...
I also see these first 2 episodes as a set up... thus waiting for this weekend for the story to actually start... so far liking all the quirkiness 🙂

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Is this a tribute to Cha Eunwoo from Astro? Cha Eunho = Cha Eunwoo Hong Dongmin=Lee Dongmin ;)

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I didn't like this episode that much, mainly because the writer portray of main leads, making heroine so miserable it's almost feels unreal, and best friends relationship where they talk but not communicate, but second episode is better, and I hope they focus on the publishing company a lot, because I like side characters.
P.S. I can't help myself but comment on LJS's new nose, I like a lot, hope it's here to stay.

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Thank goodness for the new nose! I had massive difficulties with the last iteration, and I'm glad they were able to redo. He needs to stop here,

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how do you guys even notice the changes? not being critical here, i'm genuinely curious, bc he has looked the same to me since i hear your voice.

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Uhm, like you can't see his nostrils anymore?
But seriously, I usually not notice such things myself unless it's blatant, and in this case it's blatant, his old nose was perky, upward pointed, and new one is bit longer and pointed down.

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I thought I was crazy, but his new nose looks so much better. They narrowed it too much the first time and the cartilage got all wonky, but the new doctor did a good job.

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Agree, whoever did it, is really good, he debuted it in "He, Hymn of Death", and I almost didn't recognized him from some angles, but in good way, after all he is really good looking, so I'm glad that this nose disaster was reversible.

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much, much cuter than i thought it was going to be... a very nice surprise!

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thought it's interesting that Eun-ho and Dan-i both know each other at the get go! the synopses that i've seen online makes it seem like they didn't. looking forward to learning more about their relationship :)

locations:

HS Ville (wedding venue): https://koreandramaland.com/listings/hs-ville-hs%EB%B9%8C-%EC%97%90%EC%9D%B4%EC%B9%98%EC%97%90%EC%8A%A4%EB%B9%8C/

Hyundae Supermarket (where they went to after leaving the venue): https://koreandramaland.com/listings/hyundae-supermarket-yangpyeong/

Miss Gee Collection (where Dan-i met her 'knight'): https://koreandramaland.com/listings/miss-gee-collection-cheongdam/

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I wasn't fan of the heap of miseries of our heroine... and was considering to drop this... but then I liked the funny dance... and the publishing team (there might be some bias from Just Dance & Lingerie Girls 😊)... and after seeing episode 2 I think I'm cautiously in.

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While I could have done without the some of the scenes in the beginning, it was a good introduction to our main characters. I'm curious to know why our two leads are the way they are as individuals and with each other. Hopefully we'll get to find out.

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I really liked it. First I thought it was the usual story about how they will end up at the wedding but it all changed quite fast. I do like the dramas that touch more real life issues and her trying to go back to work after being a housewife for so long is interesting. I assume in Korea such a thing is even more difficult than it is in the west.
Eun Ho not knowing what was happening to her will probably be hard on him, although I don't understand how he did not notice. She probably did not want to loose even more of her pride after her life fell apart but it is still so weird to see how she managed to live off him without him even realising it. ahahah

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I couldn't help feeling depressed by Dan-Yi's story and life, and I was perplexed by dances and other eccentric scenes.
But I like LJS, the shoe-guy (it's incredible how he is different from the character in Pretty noona, where I didn't like him) and noona romances, so, I'm in.

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If we are playing bingo, is the 'Truck Of Doom' always the middle free square?

I've been looking forward to this drama. I really hope it's good!

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I've really been looking forward to this drama since I'm a LJS fan. Will miss him a lot when he's in military service.
Enjoying this drama so far. I like that the female character doesn't feel sorry for herself even though she's in poor circumstances. I've been through some bad days too and I especially can relate to her saying "Bad days will come, but the sun will rise again." I said that to myself on some bad days last year. I came to this drama for LJS, but his character so far is a bit bland. He's totally adorable, but I wish his character would be more in tune with his best-friend. Can't wait for the cute antics to begin! I'm ready!

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This first episode was a bit of a downer with Dan-Yi ‘s tragic backstory and circumstances. I’m glad things started looking up with the potential job and moving in with her best friend.

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I really want to watch this drama but I can't because I have TvN network channel but no have while I find this drama at Tvn channel . TvN network in Televisyen malaysia dont have this drama 😔😖

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Netflix has it too. :)

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Lee Jong seok always has his best chemistry with older actresses. I finally saw what the fuss was about when it came to Lee Na Young. It's my first time watching her in anything and she just blew me away. Wow! I fell in love with her acting - it's so real!! This is one of the few occassions where I love the leading actress more than the lead actor. I had given up on k-dramas lately, cause I really couldn't get into them. But this drama just reeled me back in. And the second lead is shaping up to be some swoony guy. Thank goodness I found this drama when I did, bring it on!

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Ahh, what a great first episode! Hearing that LJS was starring in this drama, I naturally made it a priority on my to-watch list ;) But after this first episode, everything’s been turned on its head, and I’m here, more than anything, for Dan-yi and her story. I actually hadn’t noticed the number of cliches they managed to pack into one episode and it made me laugh out loud to see them listed out, very accurately. Yet, somehow, this drama seems to be, so far, so very far from cliche. Dan-yi’s character is one that you just naturally feel compelled to root for, and in particular,the moment where she gave her plant as a gift to the man who returned her shoes, struck a chord with me. I found the beginning dance sequence a little out-of-place as well, but other than that, I like the melancholy, yet at times, cheerful vibe the show brings so far. I am more than a little annoyed that Eun-ho seems to be lacking in nothing so far (why do you always play the perfect prince, LJS??) so I hope we get some more depth to his character than just - “I can’t love anyone because of my first love Dan-yi”. But the pace is good and I’m eager to see where the show takes us from here!

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