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Romance Is a Bonus Book: Episode 3

As our heroine settles into her new job, she finds that it’s not going to be smooth sailing. Luckily, she’s not one to let it get in her way and is determined to make the best of the opportunity she’s been given. And it doesn’t hurt that there’s one person in her corner who’s always willing to lend a hand.

 
EPISODE 3: “People Call Me By My Name”

Eun-ho waits for Dan-yi to explain why she’s hiding in his home, but instead she takes out a bottle of alcohol and downs a glass. She asks if he’s going to kick her out, explaining how for the past year she’s been squatting in her old, condemned home. After secretly taking over Eun-ho’s housekeeping, she’d used his water and eaten his food. Then her house was demolished a few days ago and she’d started sleeping in his attic.

When asked how she’s so calm, Dan-yi points out that crying will only upset him and that’s why she didn’t say anything sooner. Eun-ho argues he’d rather she cry to him, but Dan-yi firmly replies she’s shed enough tears to realize crying solves nothing. Taking the bottle despite Eun-ho’s protests, Dan-yi disappears upstairs. The second she’s out of sight, she winces at the strong booze and dumps the rest out the window. Hee.

Snickering at her deception, Dan-yi thinks her acting will allow her to stay at least 3 months in Eun-ho’s house. Smiling, she whispers, “Thank goodness I have Eun-ho in my life.”

Eun-ho worries about Dan-yi after finding the empty liquor bottle, but she’s already working at her jimjilbang job. Chatting with her coworker, Dan-yi admits that she sent Jae-hui abroad to avoid bullying and that despite landing an office job, she’ll continue her part-time work.

Eventually, Eun-ho goes to wake Dan-yi up. He’s made hangover soup, but admits the taste isn’t right. There’s no response, so Eun-ho steps inside and is dismayed at Dan-yi’s makeshift bed. Returning downstairs, Eun-ho looks around his exercise room thoughtfully.

Dan-yi is waiting for the elevator when Eun-ho arrives at work. She immediately feigns a stomachache from “drinking” but Eun-ho deadpans he saw her walking in when he drove up. She pouts at his lack of concern and Eun-ho lies that he’s stopped worrying about her. Instead, he’s more upset at his lack of privacy for the next few months.

Dan-yi points out that’s what phones are for, suggesting he just call if he’s bringing a girl over and she can sleep elsewhere. Eun-ho starts to argue her things will still be there, but Dan-yi wants to know why he’d be bringing a girl into the attic rather than his bedroom. Hee.

Exiting the elevator, Dan-yi is immediately loaded up with tasks. Eun-ho watches anxiously as Dan-yi flits about the office, texting tips any time he notices her struggling. Finally, Dan-yi gently replies for him to stop worrying and do his own work… only to be stumped when told to prepare for the executive meeting.

Asking around the office, Dan-yi is finally told she needs five “IVLs” but is unable to ask what that means before Hae-rin receives a call. It’s newbie Ji-yul’s mother on the phone, and she requests Hae-rin forgive Ji-yul for sleeping in as the young woman in question cheerfully bounces into the office. Ji-yul giggles when Hae-rin expresses shock over the phone call. Hae-rin snaps at her for responding casually to her superior.

Eun-ho starts to protest when Hae-rin assigns Ji-yul a proofreading task, but she firmly replies, “I have done more difficult things when I was a newbie because my direct supervisor was a real piece of work.” From the way Eun-ho clamps his mouth shut, he’s the supervisor she’s referring to.

Company card in hand to pay for the mysterious “IVLs” Dan-yi is more confused than ever. After chiding Eun-ho for interfering, Dan-yi is unwilling to ask for his help. Fortunately, Eun-ho notices her frantic expression and follows her out to tell her “IVL” is an acronym for “iced vanilla latte.” He teases that being eager isn’t enough and Dan-yi sticks her tongue out as the elevator doors close between them.

Instead of returning to his desk, Eun-ho stops by the library. Hae-rin finds him there and Eun-ho comments she’s being awfully harsh towards Ji-yul. Hae-rin points out she’s just repeating what she’d learned from her supervisor. Turning serious, Eun-ho wiggles his finger to beckon her over. Hae-rin protests, but Eun-ho insists and she steps closer for him to flick her forehead. Ha!

She barks in pain and Eun-ho laughs. Hae-rin pouts about still having to put up with such treatment and Eun-ho good-naturedly replies that he’ll always be her supervisor. He urges her to go easy on Ji-yul before she quits in tears like he’d pushed Hae-rin to do when she was his trainee. She points out that he then begged her to come back and Eun-ho notes she’s become cocky after getting promoted.

They both laugh and then Hae-rin asks Eun-ho to return her clothes she’d left at his place. He doesn’t see much point, saying she’ll just get drunk and come over again. Announcing it’s time for the meeting, Eun-ho walks off and Hae-rin smiles after him.

Dan-yi delivers the coffee to the meeting room and sighs that the world has indeed changed that a simple acronym made her feel like a such a fool. Clearing off the boxes she’d set on the table earlier, Dan-yi has a vision of the mean interview woman leaning against the table.

The apparition sneers at Dan-yi and repeats how disgusted she is at Dan-yi for quitting her job while she’d fought to keep her’s. Eun-ho pauses at the door to watch Dan-yi for a moment before following President Kim inside for the meeting. Dan-yi finishes just as the last of the executives file in. From the hallway, she watches through the glass as her voiceover plays.

Dan-yi:“I’ve decided to come to terms with the fact that the world changed while my life stayed the same. I thought that I had it hardest when I was busy with housework and my kid, but everyone else was working hard and doing their best in their given situations. And that’s why I’m here, and they are there.”

While out walking his dog, Cinderella Prince Seo-joon passes the bench where he’d first met Dan-yi and smiles as he thinks back on that night. Later, he stops by a bookstore and makes a phone call to a publisher about the cover for the reprint of a novel. President Kim is also in the store and, noticing Seo-joon browsing, follows him around to pitch books Gyeoroo has published.

Seo-joon is quick to call him out on his scheme and President Kim feigns ignorance, attempting to play it off like a coincidence. Unfortunately for him, Eun-ho appears just then and cheekily calls out to him loudly. Walking over, Eun-ho sighs that he’s swamped but President Kim is free enough to promote their books to innocent bystanders. Hee.

President Kim shoos Eun-ho away and scoops up a bunch of books, including the one in Seo-joon’s hand. He urges Seo-joon to read the book he suggested before scurrying off after Eun-ho.

The reason President Kim called is because the cover of Eun-ho’s newest book “A Geeky Scientist’s Survival Story in Mars” (haha, is this a spoof of “The Martian”?) isn’t up to snuff. Eun-ho argues that book aren’t accessories, but President Kim insists that they are and uses the book Seo-joon had been discussing earlier over the phone as an example of how book covers should look.

Eun-ho isn’t convinced but President Kim announces he wants the man who designed this cover. He orders Eun-ho to use his connections to bring Ji Seo-joon to their company, unaware that the man in question is listening just a few feet away. Currently Seo-joon works exclusively for a rival company but his contract is expiring soon and President Kim demands Eun-ho bring him to Gyeoroo before he has a chance to renew it.

The following morning, Eun-ho looks over a series of books Seo-joon designed. He asks Hae-rin her opinion and she praises Seo-joon’s ability to clearly express the type of book it is by his design. Eun-ho thinks the content is what matters, and while Hae-rin agrees, she points out that Seo-joon’s covers compliment the books’ contents.

Eun-ho relents that he also sees the merit in Seo-joon’s design but is annoyed that the whole focus on covers seems too commercial. Hae-rin starts to defend it, but Eun-ho teases that he knows she just wants people to read their books and that he feels the same.

That evening Dan-yi checks a potential apartment, but despite the landlord’s claims, the filthy room doesn’t look suitable for living. As she’s leaving, she notices someone exiting the building next door. It’s Seo-joon!

They marvel at the coincidence and Dan-yi explains she’s in the area looking at rooms and guesses Seo-joon lives upstairs. Curious how she knew, he laughs when she claims to sense her green onion plant. Dan-yi admits she saw the light and he offers to show her the plant.

Sitting on his porch, Seo-joon proudly announces the plant is growing well and Dan-yi says she’s thankful for his help that day. Seo-joon warns her not to move into the room she’d viewed, revealing it to be nothing more than a storage room for the past three years.

Dan-yi sighs that she’d really wanted to live in this neighborhood, but it’s so expensive. She explains that she’s living with a friend now, but doesn’t wish to burden him. Remembering the umbrella Seo-joon lent her, she promises to return it soon and asks for the dog’s name. Seo-joon tells her he found the dog the same day they met and hasn’t come up with one yet.

Park Hoon arrives at a restaurant and proudly presents his business card for a discount. He’s surprised to see fellow newbie Ji-yul there as well, but she rejects his request to join her, saying she’s waiting for her boyfriend. Hoon returns to his own table and soon Ji-yul is greeting her boyfriend.

The boyfriend declines ordering, darkly adding she probably won’t be eating either. Ji-yul is confused so her boyfriend explains he’s breaking up with her. “I hate everything about you,” he says, “Your mom told me to tell you that.” He chokes out that he actually likes Ji-yul, but her mother insisted he do this and he can’t take it anymore.

Ji-yul whimpers her mother is just looking out for her, but the boyfriend doesn’t want to hear it and leaves. By the time Hoon’s food arrives, Ji-yul is still sitting silently at her table. He wonders loudly how he’ll ever eat all this food and asks if she’d like to join him.

Ji-yul stands and storms out… only to come right back and start eating. She sniffs that she’s only doing this because he said he couldn’t finish it alone, and he smiles. He asks how many times her mother has interfered in her love life and Ji-yul only knows it’s happened a lot.

Hoon asks why she doesn’t fight back and Ji-yul points to her expensive bag. “It costs more than three months’ worth of our paycheck combined,” she says, “My mom buys me stuff like this.” Hoon asks if a bag is more important than love and Ji-yul grumbles she doesn’t know… but it’s pretty.

At his house, Eun-ho sends off a moving truck just as another one arrives. It’s a bed and furniture for Dan-yi and he quickly gets to work arranging her new room (where his home gym used to be) with care. He finishes just as Dan-yi arrives home and sneakily doesn’t answer when she asks if he’d been exercising.

Dan-yi runs upstairs to change and Eun-ho lets her go. She immediately returns and he listens with an amused smile as she accuses him of throwing out her things. Reminding him her father helped Eun-ho with his inheritance after his mother died, Dan-yi even blames him for her father’s cancer.

Finally demanding where her stuff is, Dan-yi flings open the door Eun-ho indicates and her anger melts away. Unable to contain her grin, she takes in the room Eun-ho has created for her. Dan-yi says nothing upon returning to the table. Eun-ho grumbles that she could at least thank him and Dan-yi beams.

Eun-ho scoffs that she’d accused him of giving her father cancer and Dan-yi meekly apologizes, admitting she’d been angry. Unbothered, Eun-ho asks where she’s been and frowns when Dan-yi replies she’d been room hunting. “I don’t mind… that you’re here,” he fumbles, “Living with you isn’t half bad.”

Eun-ho avoids eye-contact and Dan-yi laughs that he blushes whenever he says nice things and wonders how he manages to date if he gets embarrassed so easily. “Dating isn’t about words,” Eun-ho argues. “Is it physical then?” Dan-yi asks and Eun-ho’s silence makes her laugh again.

“Your presence alone gives me so much confidence,” Dan-yi tells him, sincerely. However, she still feels the need to stand on her own rather than rely on Eun-ho. They agree she’ll stay with him six months, instead of three.

At work the next day, there’s an announcement for blurb submissions on an upcoming book and Dan-yi muses that she used to do work like that. When Director Ko calls for Dan-yi to run an errand, Dan-yi tells her she’d like to submit a blurb. “Just stick to your own job,” Director Ko snaps.

In the hallway, Dan-yi smiles that she wasn’t actually told no and pumps herself up to try. Eun-ho gets her a copy of the novel, but warns Dan-yi her ideas will likely be rejected. Undeterred, Dan-yi says she’ll come up with something so great they can’t refuse and Eun-ho smiles at her enthusiasm.

Dan-yi meticulously studies the novel, working late into the night. The next morning, she brings her ideas to Director Ko. Her smile fades as Director Ko rejects each of her ideas. Finally, she tells Dan-yi that her work is outdated, wondering why Dan-yi bothered to do something she wasn’t asked to.

Although disheartened, Dan-yi fires herself back up and heads to the office library to do research. Dan-yi breaks for tea and offers a cup to Hae-rin when she walks in. Hae-rin notices Dan-yi’s papers and Dan-yi admits she wanted to try submitting a blurb.

Hae-rin is surprised when Dan-yi suddenly asks her opinion and starts to look them over as Dan-yi is summoned for another task. When Dan-yi returns, Hae-rin is gone, but she’s left notes. Dan-yi flips through more rejections, but the final page has no criticism, only a star. Eun-ho walks in and Dan-yi cheerfully hands him the starred paper for his opinion.

Director Ko arrives in the meeting room just as Dan-yi finishes setting up. Dan-yi hands her the one good blurb and although Director Ko rolls her eyes, she takes it. Returning to her desk, Dan-yi starts taking notes on what makes a good blurb.

Inside the meeting, everyone discusses what they’re looking for with the blurb. President Kim asks if Director Ko has anything to submit and she passes around a sheet of paper. The reactions are enthusiastic and Hae-rin and Eun-ho are pleased to see that it’s Dan-yi’s blurb. However their smiles fade as they realize Director Ko has no intention of clarifying it came from Dan-yi, not her.

Dan-yi excitedly rushes over when the meeting ends, but quickly gathers what happened from snippets of conversation. Eun-ho is too upset to look her in the eye, but Director Ko levels a cold, unwavering glance on her way out. Only Hae-rin remains and Dan-yi asks her if this kind of thing happens often. Swallowing her emotions, Hae-rin lies that she doesn’t know what Dan-yi is talking about and leaves her to stand there alone.

Leaving work that evening, Hae-rin and Dan-yi share an elevator. Dan-yi’s demeanor is still solemn and Hae-rin reminds her that if she wants to last here, she should stop feeling that it’s unfair. Dan-yi says that more than that, she’s disappointed.

She explains that rather than making a fuss and taking her side, simply understanding would’ve been enough. “Instead of giving me advice or comforting me, sympathizing with me,” Dan-yi says, pointing out that they’re all human. Her words touch Hae-rin and though Dan-yi doesn’t see it, Hae-rin smiles as she walks away.

That night Dan-yi and Eun-ho drink together at home. Dan-yi pouts that Eun-ho didn’t stand up for her. He points out that although her submission was chosen, it doesn’t prove her competency. Dan-yi declares what she’d actually wanted was recognition that she could do well if given a chance.

Dan-yi tells him her favorite thing about work is people call her by her name. For the past several years she’s been referred to by many things, but not her name. “I have a name too, you know,” she says, “No one called me that. But now, people call my by my name.” Eun-ho starts calling her name and they playfully call each other back and forth.

Returning from the bathroom, Dan-yi is surprised to find Eun-ho has vanished. When she calls, he answers from a taxi. He sleepily tells her he’s going home but sobers when Dan-yi laughs that he was home.

The taxi drops him off outside Dan-yi’s old house and his voiceover says, “Whenver I got drunk, I came here… because I missed Dan-yi so much.” Memories of multiple nights stanging outside Dan-yi’s play as Eun-ho continues, “Sometimes, I heard her laugh. Sometimes… I heard them fight. And sometimes… I saw her crying. On those days, I couldn’t even say hi. I thought my heart was going to crumble.”

Dan-yi stands outside, waiting for Eun-ho. Another taxi drops him off and Eun-ho pulls Dan-yi into a hug as he thinks, “I don’t have to go there now after drinking. Dan-yi… is living at my house.”


 
COMMENTS

Excuse me for a moment while I squeal like a piglet. I am so thrilled and enchanted with this drama. The first episode was cute but a bit clunky. Luckily, that hasn’t been a problem in the subsequent episodes and this one made me laugh so hard. I really love Dan-yi because she’s so strong and manages to stay positive without sounding the least bit naive. The poor woman has been through hell and back and she’s still able to slap on a smile and run full steam ahead.

I had briefly feared that Hae-rin would steal Dan-yi’s ideas, but I was pleasantly surprised by the twist of events. I banked on things not going well, but I was worried Hae-rin’s character would suffer a disservice in the process. I’m disappointed how often dramas will portray second female leads as wicked in order to facilitate/justify main romance and move the plot. Hae-rin has been presented as a tough, but competent and hardworking woman and I find her quite likeable. Her stealing Dan-yi’s ideas would’ve undermined all that.

However, I do think this is a lesson Dan-yi needed to learn about the nasty side of office politics. She was highly skilled at her job in the past, but she’s been out of the business world for 7 years, and has had to learn (the hard way) that things have changed. I loved that her first ideas were brutally rejected because that’s so realistic. Even after research, her second set were flawed. As much as I adore Dan-yi, I didn’t want things to miraculously work out–because that’s not life. I love this journey of re-learning and how the thing she was disappointed in wasn’t so much that her idea was appropriated–or even that Eun-ho and Hae-rin didn’t stand up for her–but that Hae-rin’s reaction was to offer cold advice, rather than simply acknowledging that it sucks. Their moment in the elevator revealed a lot about both characters and it makes me so hopeful for a future friendship between them.

My only concern is that Hae-rin and Eun-ho’s ambiguous flirtation might cause friction later on. I genuinely like Hae-rin and I’d hate for Dan-yi’s relationship with Eun-ho to gum up what could be a really great female bond. Only time will tell, but I’ve been impressed with the drama’s handling of relationships thus far, from Eun-ho’s continued friendship with his ex in the last episode, down to the nice little moment between Dan-yi’s fellow newbies Park Hoon and Ji-yul at the restaurant. Small interactions like that speak volumes and add so much depth: Park Hoon isn’t just a kiss-ass and Ji-yul may be spoilt, but it comes at a cost.

Speaking of meaningful interactions, I am continually delighted with the way Dan-yi’s relationship and history with Eun-ho unfolds. They have such a charming dynamic and I love how much they respect and care for one another. The friendship they share is absolutely lovely and it’s never been a wonder why Eun-ho is so enamored with Dan-yi, or why she is so comforted merely by Eun-ho’s presence. Eun-ho is very aware Dan-yi is his most important person, but since Dong-min entered the picture, he’s had to hold her at arm’s length. It was bittersweet to see that every time Eun-ho was drunk, he would let those feelings lead him to her door. But now that she’s living with him and Dong-min is out of the picture, the feelings Eun-ho locked away are bubbling to the surface.

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I love everything about this show so far. I love Dani. I love Eun-ho. I love that publishing house. I love the bookshelves. I love --you get it :) Thanks for the awesome recap, @sunny! Basically, the recap captures a lot of my specific likes and fears, from the realistic-ness of the workplace to the depth given to the side characters--and the hope (fear) that Hae-rin doesn't end up as the antagonist. I'm torn between keeping up with this live and saving it to binge in a few big batches later. We'll see I guess!

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I have been OVER THE MOON about this drama. It's the first rom-com(ish) drama since Jealousy Incarnate and Suspicious Partner that has made me feel so giggly, and I am REVELLING in it.

I'm not kidding -- I watched the first two episodes, then sat my mum down to watch them again with me just in time for us to catch the third live. And then, the next day, I sat my dad down to watch the first three episodes with me just in time for all three of us to catch the fourth live!! AND THEN after screaming about it to every single person half wiling to listen, I ended up watching along with my friends who were giving me blow by blow commentary.

This is such a wonderful portrayal of what cliches done well looks like. We have so many all jumbled up -- noona romance, workplace romance, best friends since a young age, living together due to external circumstances -- and yet they work seamlessly not just together, but in obvious response to our characters and what they've been through, both individually and together.

The characterisations are incredible; this drama isn't just witty, fast-paced banter and nothing else. Every small moment helps us form a fuller understanding of who are characters are, and how they interact with others. That scene where Dani doesn't know Eunho has moved her belongings over; that she's able to huff about deaths of fathers and mothers so lightly, and that he's able to just watch her half amusedly waiting for the trainwreck to continue. The fact that there's no feelings hurt shows that they were really each other's person through such difficult moments, but he still brings it up half affronted, half teasing, and she does apologise ... but with a huff. Or how Park Hoon asks such important and well placed questions to Jiyul after she's been broken up with; able to comfort her generously but also to make a point.

The soundtrack is also wide spanning and perfectly executed. I sometimes get the feeling that the tone of a scene is ONLY set by the background music, but it works well here. It leads us into expectation, but also allows the beat of emotions to occur first.

And finally, I HAVE to give a shout out to that CEO -- and the actor himself. Man is he a DELIGHT to watch.

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I know! I am SO IN LOVE with this drama!!! It's been a minute since a k-drama has had me THIS in love before the second week is over. I was definitely loving it after episode 1, episode 2 had me hooked, and episode 3 just caught me hook, line, and sinker hehe.

Everything you described is how I feel and the moments I keep rewinding to watch- that whole kitchen scene where she thought he got rid of her stuff was so beautiful and funny. She becomes so CUTE in front of Eun Ho that I just can't haha. And I love her indomitable spirit. If I were there with you I'd be squealing and fangirling along, since I do it alone on my couch multiple times anyway haha. But they are doing so well portraying the long, deep history, the love and ease that they'd feel after such a long time, the genuine respect and enjoyment of each other's company. And LJS is doing a GREAT job of playing his character's love for his noona out; it's so obvious to us, yet done so well that you can see why she doesn't realize it or he doesn't even fully realize it. Just ugh. And like you said, everything is so well fleshed out and no character is empty or one-dimensional. Everything about this drama sucks me in.

And YES! I love the CEO, especially after episode 4- but I won't mention any spoilers! Hehe

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I am really enjoying this drama. I love love Dan-Yi, what a fabulous character. To be honest I kind of don't want this to be a Rom-Com, another beanie said this in previous comments, but just a drama about watching her grow into her own woman once again would be amazing. Lee Na-Young is killing it, I had only seen her in that tragic dram Runaway Plan B, but she is giving me my whole life in this drama.

Eun-Ho is growing on me, but he doesn't do anything for me yet. He is far less of a jerk in this episode than last episode.

I like Seo-Joon. I like Seo-Joon and Dan-yi's interactions. They have good chemistry, not necessarily romantic chemistry, but good chemistry.

Ji-Yul makes me laugh. I liked her character in third Charm and I like her character here.

Hae-Rin had a real come-to-Jesus moment with Dan-Yi and it was beautiful. Compassion goes a long way and Dan-Yi taught her that. Also I find it interesting that Hae-Rin and Eun-Ho both have the same drinking quirk of going to their crushes homes after too much alcohol.

As for Hoon, he seems eager and just very sweet.

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I have to admit, I just don't see the 'jerk' accusation for Eun-ho. Mileage varies obviously but I find it interesting that this show is giving people such polarising views on the leads.

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Hmmm, in the first 2 episodes, instead of being understanding and compassionate. He was rude to her. At least that is how I saw it. As a friend, he just wasn't much of a friend. That is how it seemed to me, ha.

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Yeah I didn't see it that way at all. But then some people hate Dani with a passion verging on loathing so, yeah, it's really interesting to me.

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I have to agree with you @leetennant. I love, love, love Dan-yi, and am literally watching the show for her. And I don't see Eunho as rude at all - he's just been living his life.

And then I come onto DB and read these surprisingly polarized views. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜… The world really is a vast place.

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I don't see it either but hey...to each their own.

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"Enchanted." That's the word. I too, am utterly Enchanted with this drama. Thank you for the review, Sunny.

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I'm still very much on the fence about this show but I'll just make two comments about things that struck me while watching this.

The first is that this show really needs the reality of her daughter in it. It feels like the daughter is just an offscreen reason for so many things to happen but not a reality that she and Eun-ho have to deal with. If the writers think a romance isn't possible without the vacuum left by the absence of her child then... maybe it isn't? If she's a 37-year-old single Mum then make her a single Mum. This is the show's biggest problem for me.

Secondly, what struck me in this episode is how she never feels as though she can truly talk to Eun-ho or ask his help. I can't imagine how awful her relationship with her husband must have been that her first instinct in any situation is to manipulate, sneak around, or abuse. This is a woman who has clearly never had a person to rely on for a very long time. I know some people don't like her for it - especially the alcohol scene - but her thinking that he'll only help her if he pities her and that he will pull the rug from underneath her at any time says more about there marriage than anything else that's happened.

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That disappointed me as well. They wanted to make her a single mom to make her situation more dire, but didn't want to have to deal with the complications having a child brings into a woman's working/dating life. (Which is a lot). It does feel like laziness on the part of the writer. I hold out hope the daughter will come back at some point.

I didn't even think about how it reflected her marriage, but that's spot on. I didn't see it as manipulative in a callous sense, I saw it more as her being terribly desperate and knowing that Eun Ho would understand and forgive her for acting that way. After he lets her stay you can see her relief. "I'm lucky to have a friend like Eun Ho" she says over and over. I would like at some point for her to work through this tendency, though, as it will stop her from having a really healthy relationship.

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It really struck me when she gets home and thinks he's moved her out and starts yelling at him. She really believes he'd toss her out on the street without a moment's notice. Like, this is a thing she thinks a person would do to another person.

And when she's yelling that he gave her father cancer, she's hitting back reflexively like somebody who's used to being let down like this but only has insults to throw back.

It is what makes her character kind of unlikeable and I understand why some people respond badly to it. But, for me - maybe because I'm older - I know how you can get there.

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I don't think there was any heat in her voice in this scene. "My father for cancer because of you" is such a ridiculous thing to say. ๐Ÿ˜… It seemed to me like she was half-joking, half-ready to leave if he said he really did throw her things out.

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I see the lack of heat in her voice as how resigned she was to it. Like, "Oh yeah, he's kicking me out onto the street, penniless and alone. Completely expected".

Her husband must be even more emotionally abusive than we realise.

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Yeah. To think he didn't even offer child support. Not even a phone call to ask how his own daughter is doing - he simply doesn't care.

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I don't think she thought he was really going to throw her out, as much as feared he was. And I do feel like the cancer thing was played for jokes. But I also do think it was totally reflexive, like you said.

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I feel that she really believes that Eun Ho will throw her out because it's basically already happened with her husband. The same way she told him on her wedding day that she had nowhere else to go.

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Also, not having a child in the picture eases the romance a fair bit. How does Eun Ho feel about being a stepdad??? Children definitely play a role in any kind of romantic relationship. I wonder how they will address, if at all, this situation.

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I hope they do address it and soon.

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Yup. The absence of the child is the most striking disappointment I have with the show. I REALLY hope the writers bring the daughter home soon.

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It's a glaring hole for me. Strangely, the child abroad worked in My Ahjussi, but so far it's not working for me here.

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To me @egads, My Ahjussi wasn't a romance. The child missing worked for me because he had all these paternal feelings and no outlet for them. I saw his antiseptic, childless life as being part of the reason for his depression and part of the reason he was so drawn to helping Ji-an. But then I always saw his feelings for her as paternal.

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I'm curious if the child likes Eun Ho. He obviously kept them at an arm's length because of his feelings for Dan I so does she even really know him. I'm sure Eun Ho and Dan I talked on the phone a lot but that seems to be all they did.

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I don't think that's true. In the final scene, we hear that on days where she was crying, he wasn't able to approach her. That is, on other sorts of days, there were days where he would approach. He and the ex-husband are obviously very familiar with each other, and Dan-yi was comfortable with his ex too. They've been regulars in each other's lives for a long, long time.

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kit, I agree they were regulars but Eun Ho was friendly with the ex before the wedding. I don't think they hung out much after she was married.

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If anyone is aware of the child Eunho would be. Whether we see the daughter or not it has to be part of this story.

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This writer have done the weekend drama five enough that dealt with a single mom and single dad, step parents, second marriage (both lead have been married before) and how they handle extended family. witch is a touchy subject to a conservative country. My point is that it is not a foreign theme for this writer. So I do think they gonna handle that in this drama also, but I guess they wanted to show them first as just a woman and a man before dealing with her kid and other external conflict.

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As an aspiring author and artist, and current librarian, who one day wants to design and illustrate her OWN book covers, this episode was really interesting to me.
I appreciate Eun Ho's sentiment about it's what's inside the book that counts, but I think everyone knows at this point, the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" when taken literally is hogwash. People DO judge books by their cover. All the time. How do you think people choose a new book of unknown topic and unknown author at the library? By the cover!
If the cover isn't interesting, and the blurb not engaging, people will not read the book. Many people like to read the first page or chapter instead because of this, or of course, word of mouth, topical interest, or previously known, but even then people browse and judge by cover and blurb. If you're a big name author you don't really need a good blurb or cover, because people buy you for the name alone.
However this episode also highlighted why I want to self or indie publish. These days publishing houses are large machines. The marketing makes the blurb, the designer the cover, and often in a big publishing company the writer will have very little say at all.
Not only that but the kind of mainstream covers and blurbs that come out from big houses areโ€ฆ well theyโ€™re kind of horrible.
I judge book designs on a regular basis. Poor font choice, campy model photography, colours that won't age well, or how there's just a specific kind of cover and blurb for every genre and they're all carbon copies and it's boring, and so you HAVE to be the aforementioned well-known name to sell that kind of book, because by the blurb and cover, theyโ€™re all the same. Itโ€™s shocking really. The cover and blurb are so important from a marketing POV and yet apparently book cover designers can't design and blurb writers canโ€™t blurb... (Free the unconventional book cover designs! People like pretty engaging covers! Weโ€™re magpies!)

Because I want to be both- illustrator and author- the restriction of large corporations, and the subsequent churning out of less than quality work, both written and design- has always frustrated me.
Why can't I design my own covers? Write my own blurbs? I look up to people like Tolkien and Terry Pratchett because Tolkien DID paint his own book covers (the original editions are all his water colours), and if you tell me Terry didn't write his own blurbs, when they're some of the best, and most misleading but brilliant blurbs I've ever read, well, I'll eat my hat.

My dream, my goal, unrealistic though it may seem, and hard though it may be, for my work is to make the ENTIRE book, cover to cover, a work of art that I am happy with. Where it is not just the reading material that is the important part of the book, but everything, from the cover design, to the blurb, to the acknowledgements, even the publishing details page, to make the entire book a piece of art, a project, something that...

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I hope you do it. What would be your genre of choice? I love stories, my favorite medium to enjoy stories are books, so this is interesting to me.

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Most fall under fantasy, some heavier, some lighter.
Some are fusion- my most finished project is like a murder mystery lite fantasy fairy tale hybrid, it's kind weird. It has talking cats in it lol.
There's several more crime thrillers/ crime comedies set in modern times or lite sci fi. (definitely not heavy sci fi- just like kinda spoofy sci fi, because I don't have the physics degree to be able to write hard sci fi)
I do tend to gravitate towards fantasy the most though.

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You had me at talking cats.

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Multi coloured talking space cats, a serial killer that wears a plague doctor mask and a top hat, magic knives made out of diamond and a princess with a phobia of cameras... still onboard or nah?

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... that has my . From back to front, the entire book makes a statement and is important to the story.
This is a very alternative view of mine I know, since most people just want to make money these days from a book (also seen in the drama), but I wish making books (and all forms of entertainment actually) was more about the artistic endeavour, rather than sell sell sell.
Hence why I will have to go an alternative route for publishing because no mainstream publishing house would buy that pitch *snorts* Maybe Iโ€™m an idealistic magpie. Oh well. I don't want to sell out to them anyway.

Oh and if you want to see book cover designs done WELL- look no farther than Noma Barโ€™s designs for the Vintage publications of Haruki Murakamiโ€™s works. Really simple, but they use really good design techniques (three colours, central circles, and negative space), and are striking, memorable and just all round well done. *I may spend too much time under the product design tag on pinterest*

... -.- this has been up for like 3 hrs and I only just now noticed it got cut off. oops.

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OMG, my favorite genre is fantasy. Mostly in books though(oddly enough). Brandon Sanderson makes me happy. I do judge a book by their covers, but usually other genres, rather than fantasy. Fantasy I usually look at the blurb first. That is awesome, when you do get around to writing your first novel, please mention it in dramabeans and I will look for it.

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I found my favorite sf author because a bookstore had a kiosk and the cover caught my eye as it was so colorful, purples, pinks, etc all smeared across the cover. I actually met him, we've corresponded and he always sends me a copy of his newest book, autographed of course. But if it weren't for the book cover catching my eye in the first place, I wouldn't have discovered his writing. And btw, what kept me interested was this: it was a trilogy taking place far in the future where you can store your memories etc so the body can be replaced. The first book he's a 40 year old Caucasian solving a crime. The 2nd book he's a Jamaican mercenary in a war. The 3rd book he's on his home planet as a Slavic-Japanese. I found this concept so fascinating. It took him 10 years to first get published and then won the Philip K Dick award with that book. So never give up!
Funny thing about Haruki Murakami. I used to love his books but recently while trying to re read one I got a little miffed because I'd not realized before how much he writes from a man's pov (duh). At least the women in South of the Border West of the Sun were peripheral to his male ego and I was quite put off.

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... What is this trilogy? It reminds me of one I really love, but I'm not sure it's the same thing...
Thanks for the encouragement though!! ^-^

I honestly haven't read much Murakami. I skimmed his latest book, and thought it was just average. Nothing spectacular. I do love the prose in Kafka on the Shore though. And I'm obsessed with the Noma Bar covers pfft.

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It's the Altered Carbon series with Takeshi Kovacs. Certainly not for everyone as it has explicit sex and violence. His message is never trust anyone in authority and power corrupts. The series on Netflix not so much good as the books. He likes his protagonists to be messy, anti-heroes, but it kind of backfired with Takeshi because fans loved Takeshi.

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There is an hilarious joke ?flow chart? I think it was about reading Murakami books. I wish I could find it again because it was just so true. His female characters are pretty awful and, like, dude likes cats. He's always at his best when he's asking questions but not so great about answering them. I inhaled the first two books in IQ84 but found the final one laughably awful.

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This could have been it

Murakami Bingo - I put it on my fan wall
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/leetennant/activity/714014/

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These days your dream is actually much more feasible than it was when Tolkien wielded his paintbrush. Thanks to graphics programs and other technical advances self-publication is actually doable- there are even printers who specialize in printing self-published works. Probably the only really tough hurdle is marketing. So go for it.

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Everyone else: *talks about Dan Yi and Eun Ho and characterizations and on a scale of one through magpie on the fence to pleasant frolicking how much they love the show *
Sic: SO BOOKS! and ART!
Excuse me fellow book wyrms, where are thee?

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My issue is that at the moment I feel like it's two shows slapped together and I'm not sure how they mesh (other than some of the visual metaphors from the next episode that I felt were a bit broad frankly).

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Honestly I'm enjoying it but haven't really thought about why/why not yet. I try not to judge shows till after the fourth episode and it feels like some kind of relief after all the rest of the things I'm watching and social dramas of lyfe

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I'm glad you're liking it. I usually give things four episodes as well although Boksoo took six to gel for me. I'm hoping this is the same. But to answer the question, whenever they switch to the book stuff I'm left wondering what they're trying to say so I'm yet to get caught up in the book porn. I do like the image of LJS in glasses leaning against giant stacks of perfect books - that's exactly what I look like at work.

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And then some shows never gel but I watch the whole thing anyway... *Clean With Passion For Now* *squints at self*.

I explained why I loved the book porn jargon up above hahaha- I relate to it. I was judging blurbs and book covers right along with them.

Do you have men and women tripping over themselves because of your brilliant, nerdy smexiness? I am inspired :P

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Do you have men and women tripping over themselves because of your brilliant, nerdy smexiness?

Of course I do. This is the internet so you just have to take my word for it.

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Also @sicarius: I just gave Touch Your Heart two minutes. She was about to swallow 30 pills (suicide?) when her ass't came in to interrupt. She said I'm just taking vitamins - it says to take 30. No, he says, the bottle contains 30, it says to take one. What is this, the dumb blonde show from the 50s? That was it for me.

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I liked to playfully refer to this show as "Book Porn" before it began, and I have now stopped calling it that because it's a rom com with a sprinkling of books here and there. I'm one of the frolicking magpies who enjoys the romcom part, but man, I was so excited to get elbows deep into how books are written and made and published and to have all these references to literature and etc etc etc

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Yes. Please bring on more book porn hahaha.

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There hasn't been much book porn. Episode 4 almost made me cry, and the library is nice, but the American drama You has more book porn to me.

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@linda-palapala oh no! That does not bode well! I was looking forward to seeing Yoo InA as lead again finally!

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I haven't exactly given up. I'll go back later once I calm down...just to make sure she isn't really that dumb. If she is, then I'm really getting tired of the same ol' same ol' that we've seen too much of lately. If it's something new and different, then okay. Oh, wait, there are no new stories, it just depends on how well they're retold.

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@ your last line, Hehehehe, so true.
yeah I haven't started it yet so I'll see!

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Okay, my next complaint after watching a few more minutes...why is his lipstick almost as red as hers??? That drives me to distraction.

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Lmao please just live react to it here that would be most amusing

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A reviewer on another site said the first episode was so cute because she was ditzy. Ya know, that words does not have a "cute" connotation for me.
Out of curiosity I might watch more to see if this is just an inane vehicle to showcase the two leads.

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A few minutes later: Gaak, I'm sunk. They have too much chemistry to not be cute and I love the ensemble cast. What to do.

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So this is actually the first time I've ever gotten 2nd lead syndrome. But, oh, yeah.

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OOOOOOH

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One more comment then I'll try to stop bugging you...imo, excellent writing, excellent pacing, great comedic timing. Only two episodes and they're already softening towards each other, which is nice for a change. We'll see if it keeps up. Normally, romcoms bore me to tears after a certain point. One of my favorite scenes is when the female lawyer has a crush on this kid that works at Subway so she goes there everyday to see him. Then he says she reminds him of his maternal grandmother. Deflated. Heh!

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Just so everyone knows, I'm still talking about Touch Your Heart (Reach of Sincerity) not the Romance thing.

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I continue to like this show more and more with each episode. I almost wish the writer had laid some of this groundwork earlier on, because there is all this tension and backstory we're just getting into this week that might have drawn me in in the first week.

In some ways Eun Ho and Dan Yi are so wonderful. They clearly care for each other and have a deep bond. I actually loved how nonchalant he was about her basically squatting in his apt for a week and pretending to be her housekeeper--he seems used to her shenanigans and was more concerned about her situation. They seem to have no problem being blunt with each other about issues, and often wear their heart on their sleeves about how much they care for each other.

But in other really important ways they are so closed off. They struggle to show intimacy and weakness in two different ways--her with needing help and him with expressing love. Rather than see that as some reason they are unhealthy or will never work, I see it as something for them to work together to help each overcome. Or at least I hope the writer goes there. If not, then I'll just keep staring at all those lovely black turtlenecks.

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I liked that you hit the nail on the fundamental weaknesses of both characters- he clams up and has a hard time verbalizing and outwardly showing his affection, while she has a hard time verbalizing and outwardly showing herself struggling or feeling down. What's already drawing me in is the ease and comfort of their relationship, the love and respect already present, and how they accept each other as they are and like/love the parts of each other that would probably annoy someone else who didn't know them as well. As you said, all they need to do is help each other with those basic weaknesses and they'll be such a beautiful couple. I mean, they've already got me squealing and excited and they're not even anywhere near together yet lol

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I'm loving the show! And I think I understand where the distance from Eun-ho comes from... As his best friend got married, he didn't have the freedom to say or do as he pleased in his relationship with her, she was married after all! So it was a difficult spot for him to deal with his feelings and the reality.... And he even did a good job to stick around... It would be so much easier - and less painful! - to just leave her and start something new somewhere! He was by her side in the only way that was possible!
I'm not saying his character is without flaws! But that's what makes him real, and that's what makes Dan-i seems like a real and normal person too :)

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"They struggle to show intimacy and weakness in two different ways--her with needing help and him with expressing love."

You're so right! I can't wait to see how the writer is going to deal with this, while making the characters grow and start communicating more :)

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So far so good- I am loving this show. And it is nice to see that we will indeed have a love quadrangle with proper second female who is not just a cardboard cutout nasty lady. Hae-rin is clearly head over heals for Eun-Ho. She also seems to be a decent, even likeable, lady. She will lose out not for any bad character reasons but simply because she waited too long- and she cannot possibly compete against Dan-i's long history with Eun-ho. Hae-rin is no loser- she is simply up against an impossible situation.

Hae-rin is destined to be an antagonist to Dan-I but if the writers are smart she will also be her fiend- and this fact will be the basis for some very good internal conflict. But, if the writers want, they could make that conflicted friendship the path that puts her together with our second male lead (and his lovely dog). Hae-rin will hopefully realize that she had a crush on the wrong guy, and now has found the right one. Just a suggestion. One that shows that I like my rom-coms extra fluffy.

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*friend (not fiend) - right?

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Yes, Friend not fiend.

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I also thought Hae Rin and Seo Joon would be a good match, not to tie everything neatly in bows but because their vibes really seem to fit and if for whatever reason he comes to work in the same company, the 4 leads would conveniently been thrown together. I just think this both lead having someone else vying for their attention is so over done...

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Hae Rin even gets Seo Joon's book designs. I hope she likes dogs! 😆

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She likes puppy Jong Seuk so I don't see why not. ๐Ÿ˜œ

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I like it- she trades a puppy for a full grown retriever

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For once, we have a heroine with A Past. Drama Land's female leads are usually clean and have made no mistakes. And then the male lead comes in and they live happily ever after. To me, dramaland usually reinforces the idea that you have to be "pure" to find that perfect, handsome, chaebol fella. But here is a rare drama where we're finally presented with something different.

Note: I'm not saying this is the first, only that it's a rare one.

I also appreciate that Dan-yi is not perfect. Very often I feel like I have no friends to talk to (and so I come and pour my feelings on the fanwall ๐Ÿ˜…) and rely upon in real life, so her sneaking around and doing things entirely on her own kind of makes sense. It seems to me like Eun Ho has never given Dan-yi any reason to believe he thinks of her as more than a noona anyway.

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One of the things that strikes me about the accusation that she doesn't talk to him, confide in him and trust him as a friend is that they're not friends. Their relationship seems very set in a noona/dongsaeng dynamic - despite his obvious feelings. In fact, I was getting annoyed with the translations in this episode because the fact she constantly calls him her dongsaeng is important for understanding their relationship.

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I agree that the word dongsaeng is very important here. And I actually sort of appreciate that Eun Ho knows this and didn't "interfere" in dramaland's typical way in her romance and subsequent marriage to her scum ex.

As for them not being friends, here I disagree. They may have been in touch, and Eunho may care for her deeply - but she had a husband and child. Many women lose sight of their friendships when husbands and children take over their life. For her, it's been 11 years. It may be that she doesn't feel like she can rely on Eunho because it's been so long and so much has happened. Its easy to understand from all the nights Eunho watched her cry alone.

From her pov, with her saying she's lucky to have a friend like him, it's more like a reminder about something she'd forgotten. They ARE friends.

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I agree with you! I just wrote to @L3xiLou that the fact that she was married made all the difference in their relationship...
He must have liked her since ever, but lost his timing due to the age difference stuff, as he was younger (maybe 20yrs) and she was around 25-ish? She was ready for commitment and he needed to take his time and enjoy his youth...
But going back to the marriage thing.. There was a limit of what he could say and do and even participate in her life, as she was married and all..
I like that he stuck with her, sometimes even in a distance, when he could have go somewhere else and maybe deal with less suffering....

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Yeah. Plus he'd have his military service ahead of him when she started dating. I think mismatch in timing makes perfect sense.

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How old is he btw? Has anyone done the math?

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On this one point, I take her not confiding the divorce to him as more her own sadness and shame at what happened, and almost a sense of pride in taking care of everything herself. Because I think she knows he would be concerned and try and help her, and she is clearly tired of being helpless. I can see her thinking she'd quickly find a job and a new place, and then as things got worse she got more desperate, and then it got harder to tell him.

Other than keeping that from him, she's not really kept much secret from him.

I do think she views him as a younger brother, but I do think siblings can be friends, also, and it's some combination of the two of those things.

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I forgot to write after episode 2 recap as it had been a while since I watched the episode but there is also the fact that she knows her husband borrowed money from Eun Ho behind her back and lied to him that business is going well. The former is the reason she does not want to burden him further or feels ashamed, the latter is the reason he did not immediately believe her when she said they are divorced and she lost the house.

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The relation ship of Eunho to Dan-Yi had to be shaped as dongsaeng/noona precisely because of when it was formed- They were both still children, with Eunho very much a young child.

Good point that Dan-yi has made some huge mistakes in her life- I agree that this not only makes her more human but should make the story much richer, and more real.

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Very true. And Dan yi started dating Mr Scum when Eunho was still in high school, and she in her 20s. If anything has to change, it should change now.

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"It seems to me like Eun Ho has never given Dan-yi any reason to believe he thinks of her as more than a noona anyway."
I agree but I completely understand why he never confessed. She's older than him and she met her future husband while Eun ho was still in high school. He probably she wouldn't take him seriously cause he was so young and then she wasn't single anymore. This is probably the first time she's been single while they are both legally adults.

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He probably ^ thought ^ she

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It's a given Dan-yi and Eun-ho became very, very good friends early on. However, I'm curious about the development of other feelings between them earlier in their relationship. Eun-ho has clearly been head over heels about Dan-yi for years but ..... did he simply never let her know? or did she simply never pick up on this fact? or did they both realize they liked each other more than friends but fell into the classic situation of "not wanting to mess up our friendship?"

On a different note, President Kim cracks me up.

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I say he never let her know. He was in high school when she started dating her husband. Then once he's beginning to be established, she's getting married. He cares too much for her to step in and it seems that he knows she really only thinks of him as a sibling.

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This is a noona romance- and when Eun-ho fell for Dan-yi he was still at a very inappropriate age (and being a very bright kid, he knew it). The older Dan-yi would never have thought of younger Eun-ho in a romantic way then- so he just became her little brother. Once these patterns are put in place they are very hard to break- because they become fixed habits.

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@thatstp & @oldawyer You're right. Eun-ho was definitely too young, especially for Dan-yi to think of him in any other way other than a younger brother. Three episodes in and already, the fact that he was a high-schooler when she was dating her future husband obviously skipped my mind! Oops! ..... *must pay closer attention*

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Yet you really did have a point- Eunho may not have felt that he could share is feelings before, but time has changed the rules in his favor- he simply has to realize that what was inappropriate before is now ok- and he can now love the woman who has always had his heart.

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I think even if he had let her know, nothing would have happened back then; he was too young. That being said, I don't think he ever let her know. But I ALSO think that she knew. I think she just chalked it up to puppy love and nothing that serious. I DON'T think she knows how deep his feelings ran or that they still linger.

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You are probably right that she knew- at a subconscious level at least- and wrote it off as puppy love.

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I'm all for strong female characters, and I understand a person could act a certain way based on his/her past experiences. But why did Dan-yi get upset at Eun-ho, as soon as he found out she's been squatting his place? Why did she immediately scold him when she didn't see her stuff in the attic room? Eun-ho hadnt said anything yet.
Is it really what she experienced through her failed marriage that made her distrust her long time friend?

This episode also made me wonder how often Eun-ho actually got drunk and hang around Dan-yi's house. It hasn't happened recently, else he would have known about the house being emptied.

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I think, as a Beanie said in another comment above, that it is a reaction of her marriage. IDK if you've been married (and I haven't), but my mom is my closest friend and has been in a bad marriage and it completely changed her, not for the good in some ways. When you're with someone who is obviously emotionally abusive, hot-tempered, and selfish and uncaring about your feelings to the point of callousness, you always have to have your defense up and be ready for whatever they have prepared to do to you.

The fact that her husband could so coldly cheat on her, leave her and sell the house, and not even help support THEIR child or even try to get in touch with her about the child- that has to create serious abandonment issues and self-worth issues. Plus she's the Noona, and she saved Eunho's life and kind of made him her personal errandboy lol, and their whole friendship was built on that foundation. So I can see why she'd want to keep that dynamic going- probably the one stable thing she can rely on.

No matter how close a friend is, they can't beat the effects of marriage. At least from what I've seen!

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I agree, and also about her "my father got cancer because of you" scolding. I thought she was half defensive, half joking and entirely resigned to leaving if he really had thrown it out.

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Sadly, L3xiLou, you are entirely right. Both with family members and in my profession I have witnessed these very things. I could not have expressed them any better- and these effects will probably be shown in this drama.

But I have also witnessed people who overcame them, and we must hope that we will see this too.

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Eun-ho speaks like a man who has never had to worry about money or what it takes to earn it. He truly sounded like a trust fund kid.

And I really enjoyed the interaction between Hoon and Ji-yul. Hoon could have been written as creepy, bumbling idiot and Ji-yul as a spoiled young lady with not much else going on. I really see growth with them as the series goes on.

And Ji-yul's boyfriend, I mean, I wanna hate him, but dude looked broken. Between that and calling her daughter's boss. Wow. Just...wow

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That cameo with Ji-yul's (now former) boyfriend was so well done. And you are right- you cannot hate someone who has obviously tried but could not overcome the obstacle that is Ji-yul's mother.

But did we just see the groundwork for a side romance with the rest of the scene? Park Hoon may just have enough flexibility and, above all the desire and fortitude to go the distance. He will need to learn some new things as well as change a few things (like growing a backbone) but he seems smart enough to do it. We shall see.

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He can be a great friend to her (poor girl's life seems very superficial and lonely) or he can be the dude that can be her boyfriend for the sheer fact that he has it in him to persevere and has a ton of determination. He can see Ji-yul's Mom as a work task and nail it.

Either will work for me.

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Either does work, just as you say. But if the writers want a side couple romance then this has potential for just the reason you have noted: Mom becomes a task.

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It's not just Hoon who needs to change though. Ji Yul also needs to get her priorities straight and give up on pretty things if they come conditionally for her to toe her mother's line. In fact, she needs to put more effort in than they guy who will persevere against her mother.

Regardless, I am finding Ji Yul's story interesting with or without a romance.

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It the old standby in kdramas @moonbean; one does not come to growth on their own, there has to be someone on the side to guide the way.

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Thanks Sunny.
I find this to be a sweet, charming show, and I'm quite charmed by it, notwithstanding some negative view on characters. I believe that I a certain familiarity and closeness makes it understandable and acceptable even, for friends to be both sneaky and impose on each other without malice and yet deep down caring, and that this is known and understood by both without rancour. In the complexity of being human persons, it's real that the same one who can be self-serving can also be other-centred, and in the realms of deep friendship, there is trust that over-stepping the boundaries will be generously forgiven.

Eun Ho and Dan-I's friendship reflects this wonderfully.

I'm amused that the older person here is the one who is childishly thoughtless and rash (but not in anyway mean) and probably brought on upon herself some of her troubles. She obviously flies with her feelings and not always with wisdom. Her very act of saving Eun Ho as a teen and her marriage/or attempts to get out of her wedding demonstrate that. She is more a menace to herself. I was heartily amused many times but how she let fly verbally, any thoughts that came to mind, and how Eun Ho's micro-expressions changed as he reacted by turning red with embarrassment over and over again.

One theme of interest in this show is the questions of names and identity. Dan-I's reveling in being called by name. After 7 years being called by her role, she is slowly coming back into herself. I found it revealing that her past flashbacks of the roles/titles she'd been called by were only in audia, but that we had video flashbacks of her recent times of being called by name.

Pseudonyms: It's cute that Seo Joon and Dan-I do not know each other's names (and have not asked!!) and that the dog has not been named. They are only Mr Umbrella and Ms Green Onions to each other and that's enough (for now?). What does it mean if they know each other's names? Will their relationship need to make a change? What does it mean that Seo Joon wants Dan-I to help name the dog for him? For one thing, the dog will be forever linked in Seo Joon's memory to Dan-I.

Book Covers: Does how the book look on the outside reflect it's contents? It may not, but should it? We so often say, we cannot judge a book by its cover, but people when likened to books, actually are judged by how they look, until they open themselves to us, or allow us to open them.

This brought to mind how Dan-I was judged to be an experienced office worker by the newbies and to be boring/out-of-date because she looked dowdy. As a sign of how difficult it is to judge from the cover, in the first case, appearances were wrong but in the second case, they were right. How a person presents himself is how he wants to be judged. Dan-I never let on about her true circumstances until she had no choice.

Seo Joon's identity - Eun Ho and wacky boss Jae Min meet Ji Seo Joon but they do not know that he is the...

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Seo Joon's identity - Eun Ho and wacky boss Jae Min meet Ji Seo Joon but they do not know that he is the very book designer that they want to work with. And Seo Joon does not reveal himself although he hears them speaking about him. He is already judging Eun Ho and Jae Min from what he sees and hears of them.

Mystery Identity: We still do not really know who Writer Kang is. This looks to be a mystery that is going to run for some time throughout this show. No proper clues have been dropped yet!

I like how this show has interesting side characters and it's fair share of wacky people with their own quirks. There are:
Ahjummas in the jimjilbang doing the power pose with Dan-I.
Dan-I who dances in the street and can be (unwisely) generous to a fault.
Seo Joon who apologies to the onion plant.
Jae Min stalking Eun Ho and bookstore clients.
Ji Yul being a spoilt mama's girl
Hae Rin who leaves clothes behind in her supervisor's home when she's drunk! (yeah, she has a crush on him)
And Eun Ho who goes to Dan-I's old home when he is drunk (he's besotted with her)

He's going to have to live down that hug he gave Dan-I!

Other things I liked: Great colour combination and music. For instance the beautiful balance and matching of colours in the conversation between Eun Ho and Dan-I at home after her idea was stolen - she's in red against a brown background and he's in brown against a red background, and the accents of blue in the curtains and door in the background are mirrored in her sleeves. So pretty.

And the music that played when the many flashbacks to Eun Ho's going to Dan-I's home was lovely!

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I'm so in love with this drama. I love Dan-yi. She's so strong, fragile, and relatable to a woman in her age... Looking at Dan-yi's struggle while listening to Jannabi's song even made this drama more relatable.

I love how she's the happiest when people call her by her name... As in most Korean drama, when a woman married, she becomes someone's wife, someone's mother, someone's daughter-in-law, etc. Well, I guess that happened in most Asian countries when a woman usually "lost" her identity (name) once she got married.

In "Sky Castle", every woman character was called by her oldest child name.. even other characters' saved their phones number as the oldest child's mom: Yesuh's mom, Woo-joo's mom, etc.

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This is totally superficial and just one of things like when characters wear a different coat every day but only has a small wardrobe in their room or packs one bag to move. I wish they would stop with the elaborate hairstyles on men. I just don't see Eun Ho getting up extra early to style his hair like that. It requires clips for goodness sake. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

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clips? I thought they put gel and keep it in place.

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There's one particular time, IIRC, when saw her in the interview. If you look at the front, they used clips and hairspray to achieve that look. If you watch various behind the scenes you'll see guys with clips during and after styling to hold it in place.

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I loved both our leads

Dan-Yi & Eun-ho are love.. I love their friendship, the ease they have, how Frank they are with each other but still they are not that open.

Isn't it how we are with our best friends? We tell them mostly everything but there are always many things that we hide..Those secrets become our comfort..

I am surprised how can anyone call Eun-Ho selfish, rude or jerk? His reaction was understandable..He was angry that his Noona didn't trust him to tell her the truth, then he was angry at himself for not learning about Dan-Yi situation early on..So his reaction was fine..

I am loving the fun Dan-Yi & caring Eun-Ho..

Oh! How I love LJS heart melting stares..The way he looks at his leading lady & that last scene of Eun-ho going to Dan-Yi house whenever he is drunk is heart breaking. This scene just makes you realise that Dan-Yi is Eun-ho's home.. That's where he belongs..

Loving the show so far..

Also, I love the President/CEO..He is one wacko character in a good way..

I find something off about second male lead..Not liking him that much

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This show reminds me so much of BTIMFL. I can understand why some people don't like Eunho and others don't like Danyi, but I like them both. All people are flawed...these two are no different. And their flaws play off of each other. But their strengths do as well, and I think this drama is going to be about learning to overcome those flaws to be a unit, which they clearly are not right now (even though they obviously love and care for one another). In BTIMFL, every single character was flawed...in some cases, rather deeply, but that drama (for me) was all about how they came together anyway and were stronger in the end for it (though I have to pretend that several events that take place in the last episode largely didn't happen...I go to my happy place when I think about that!). I'm hoping this one continues down that same path. I think these are characters with exactly the kinds of human failings that make them seem cold and hard right now, but will warm up and become relatable by the end.

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If Eun Ho had been secretly going to Dan Yi's house whenever he was drunk, how did he not know that she had been homeless for a year?

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Maybe he stopped drinking XD

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he must be really drunk to do that. I guess he does drink that much.. just a drink or two and so never went there.
; )

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Maybe he hasn't gotten really drunk in the last year? Or maybe he only did that early in her marriage.

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I said after Episode 2 I havenโ€™t seen evidence of Eun Hoโ€™s love yet, well we saw plenty in this episode. Him ending up in her house every time he was drunk made his feelings pretty clear.

I donโ€™t know what happened but after week 2 my excitement about the romance line started to wane a bit. I donโ€™t know whatโ€™s missing. It just feels like the same old noona romance where the noona is clueless, donsaeng has been in love with her forever and he will try to persuade her. For once I would like to see the noona fall in love first, not know her feelings are returned and struggle to come to terms without knowing she is loved back.

This doesnโ€™t mean I donโ€™t like the relationship between Dan Yi and Eun Ho or find either of them lacking. I do like their relationship in a brother-sister way. I like how Dan Yi tries to trick Eun Ho into pitying her to let her stay by drinking the whole bottle of alcohol or blames him for her fatherโ€™s death when she thinks he is turning her out but Eun Ho knows her so well, sees right through all her efforts and knows her anger and accusations arenโ€™t real so he doesnโ€™t get affected. Maybe they act too much like siblings?

However, once Dan Yi shared her troubles Eun Ho became the swoony younger man, he decorated a very nice room for her and had no problem with her staying for as long as she needed. Some people pay pure lip service, ready to offer things they are not willing to deliver. Others may grumble and complain but are secretly happy to help. Eun Ho is in the latter group. He complained he was losing his privacy but was happy for Dan Yi to stay with him for as long as she needs. He told her not to expect help from him at work but kept looking out for and helping her.

I donโ€™t know what to make of the postscripts. Usually this kind of thing gives you a fresh perspective or more information. In this drama it is giving us explicit thoughts and feelings of the leads but because of the format (writings on screen) they donโ€™t seem to integrate with the story or carry a punch.

One aspect of this noona romance I am looking forward to is Eun Hoโ€™s relationship with Dan Yiโ€™s daughter. So I hope she comes back at least by halfway point of the drama. When one part of the couple has a child that relationship becomes critically important for the fate of the relationship. Yes the father seems to have completely abandoned his daughter as well so there is no love lost between father and daughter, but how will Dan Yiโ€™s daughter react to a potential romance with a younger man? A man she presumably knows and might even have a crush on.

I share your anxiety about second leads Sunny and I also would rather see a female friendship not marred by jealousy.

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I like the both characters and I like their friendship. So I think I would prefer to see Dani and Eun Ho to fall in love with a new person. I can't picture them as couple for now.

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There's something about this drama, Dan Yi in particular, that made me sob like an idiot for unknown reasons in the first 2 episodes.

After reading this recap, it just struck me why - Dan Yi as a character resonates so strongly with me because she reminds me of the shit my mum went through as a single mum trying to raise 3 kids. I did not realise at the time how tough it must have been for her, but now that I'm also in my mid-30s, the strength required to go through that astounds me.

I became intrigued by this drama because of LJS - and while he's been doing a stellar job as always with his own character but also the way he somehow manages to improve the performances of the cast he works with - Danyi is what has me hooked!

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I'm intrigued because struggling single mother divorcees are usually not the main characters in dramas. So we get to see her re enter the workforce and rebuild her life after divorce.

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This was so sweet and cute! My eyes were little hearts when I saw were he went when drunk. It is so sweet and sad at the same time to think that he always went there and that he could hear them laugh or see her cry unable to do anything for her.
For me this is the first rom com after Fight my way that makes me smile so much.
I love the romantic part but at the same time I love all the little things DY is learning. Step by step she is learning so many things about herself and about the people around her. When she said she likes that people call her by her name after so many years of being only a mom/housewife/noona. She is getting back her identity as DY.
By the way...how old if the kid? I am a little bit confused about that. 12?

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I completely love this drama. It is enchanting. Lol
My favourite part was when Dan Yi took the alcohol I thought she was going to drink it all only for her to throw it outside the windows. I am enjoying this drama. Can't wait for next episodes.

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This show improves episode after episode.

I felt really sad for Dan-yi when she found out that time passed and things changed and she is now a sort of newbie, as if the past doesn't count.

And I'm finding that the relationship between the two is sweet, as Eun-ho's feelings and the fact that, when drunk, he considers "home" the place where Dan-y is.

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I love this drama. I love both leads and all the casts. Looking forward to the development of the drama and the mysterious writer kang...think i kind of figure it out... good job LJS n LNY (1st time i am watching her show, i am impressed).

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First off, I am blaming the uninspired blurb I read during promotions ("a new romantic comedy drama about the employees of a publishing company"??? ) for it not getting the ratings I think it deserves! ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Kidding aside, I am sooooo happy the drama is getting lots of love here. ๐Ÿ˜

LNY and LJS are no doubt the stars of the drama! I am amazed at LNY's portrayal of a struggling divorcee but a playful Noona to LJS, and LJS's portrayal of a mature and successful editor but still a supportive Dongsaeng to LNY.

Looking forward to the next episodes and will, undoubtedly, "squeal like pig ๐Ÿท" as well. ๐Ÿ˜

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sigh, Eun-ho. you're just sweet and sweet and sweet >.<

also, that copy 'stealing' scene got me in the feels because... as an RL copywriter (yes, i am), i know what it's like to have other people claim credit for my work/idea =\ at the same time though, ghost writing is also something that's part of my scope, but that's pretty clear and i won't take offence. it's when it's *not* supposed to be ghostwritten...

anyways :) we've got a few ep 3 locations lined up on KDL! in the meantime, other locations can be found here: https://koreandramaland.com/jobs/?search_keywords=%22romance+is+a+bonus+book%22&submit=

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RANT (ish): I'm an avid DB fan but recently i rarely check because the tone of discussion is a bit different (i still love the recap). I can't exactly pinpoint why, but some beanies seems to aim perfection while i'm just here to enjoy. LOL. I wonder if it's the same beanies i interacted like, 5 years ago.

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@Endo Maybe we've become more analytical (with practice LOL) and therefore more critical. We've also learnt to try on different spectacles in our viewing and maybe just want to voice our opinions from different perspectives. (I think I get that way sometimes).

Still there are those of us who want to have a not so overly critical discussion on the great things about a show. 😃

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I sometimes stop reading the recaps and comments if I'm enjoying the drama but the other people here are not. It kinda ruins to experience.

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I do that quite often.

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Yeah, it can be like that sometimes. I enjoy the fluff and like how it lets me escape. Sometimes the comments take what is (to me) lighthearted fair and pick it apart to justify driving it into the ground. When I feel like that happens I just read the recap and move on. It's already starting to happen with Lee Dong Wook in Reach of Sincerity. I think I'll stay away from the comments on that drama. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

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Avoiding comments for such a reason makes sense.

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Dan-yi is simply amazing. Her quick recovery after her ideas were stolen is astounding (maybe just because Iโ€™d have blown my top if Iโ€™d been in that position). But experience has made her a wise person, and the things she does, the words she says (especially her conversation with Hae-rin in the elevator) just make me want to root for her again and again. I have to say, I was disappointed in Eun-ho this episode. He loves her enough to show up drunk at her house numerous times but not enough to put in a word for Dan-yi when her ideas were stolen? Itโ€™s not like heโ€™s holding a low position in the company, and itโ€™s clear he has lots of influence and power (perhaps more so than Director Ko). Then why did he not say anything? It irked me to no end, especially his nonsense about her ideas not being equivalent to her competency. That speech in no way justifies the fact that she lost credit for something she wholeheartedly deserved to get praise for. Iโ€™m more than a little annoyed at Eun-ho for that, but his little speech at the end about being able to be near Dan-yi now didnโ€™t fail to touch me.
I love watching this romance play out, but I am a little concerned about Jae-hui. Dan-yi has said that her number one priority is her daughter (something I adore about her), and I worry about her relationship with her daughter will fit in with her relationship with Eun-ho. Is he ready to be a father? And the father of his first loveโ€™s ex-husbandโ€™s daughter? I feel like he will, but I really want to see that interaction and hope the writers donโ€™t forget about Jae-hui.

One of the best things about this drama is the little ways they get so much meaning across. Dan-yiโ€™s statement of how sheโ€™s never been called by her name didnโ€™t make much sense at first. But when they had that little montage of all the different names sheโ€™s been called over the years from โ€œHoneyโ€ to โ€œMomโ€, I sympathised so deeply with her. Itโ€™s these little moments that just make this show click for me.

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