K-Drama Couch Recap: “Romance Is A Bonus Book” Episode 3
Piercing life reality retrospection abounds the first half of the second week for Romance is a Bonus Book.
Insightful and reassuring, Romance is a Bonus Book should be on your weekend watch for its heartwarming and therapeutic appeal.
Daintily penned, tvN’s weekend drama treat is shaping up to blend ruminative moments and smart characters.
Lee Jong Suk and Lee Na Young effortlessly suit up for their roles and it’s nice that the drama is keeping viewers invested on the love couple’s inner thoughts and back stories.
“Thank Goodness, I have Eun Ho in my life.”
Busted from her secret living at Eun Ho’s house, Dan Yi grabs a bottle of Eun Ho’s wine and runs down the unfortunate events that led to her staying in the house.
Eun ho responds how she seems unaffected of her divorce, losing a house and not having a shelter. Arguing how she should have shared her problem and cry in front of him, she remarks how she has been crying all year. But if there’s anything she learned from it is that the world won’t stop to solve her problem.
Relieved that her secret is now in the open, Dan Yi mutters how thankful she is for having Eun Ho in her life. The next day, Eun Ho wakes up to the sight of the empty liquor bottle Dan Yi carelessly threw the night before. Unaware that Dan Yi already go to her part-time job, he prepares a hangover soup for his noona thinking she drank the liquor.
He goes to the attic to get her for the soup and gets surprised that she is not there anymore. Seeing the cramped space where she has been staying broke Eun Ho’s heart silently.
Kang Dan Yi ssi!
The two meet at work as Dan Yi feigns having a stomach ache. Eun Ho quips he saw her running on her way to the office to stop pretending. Pleading to stay for three months until she can get her own place, Eun Ho gripes at him needing privacy.
She jokes and tells him to just text her if he will bring a girl but he replies how her things are all over the attic. Blushing, she teases why he has to bring a woman in the attic, and it was too late for them to stop the silly conversation.
Flying all over the office because of the endless errands, Eun Ho tries to make everything easier for his noona by giving tips. Wanting to learn on her own, she tells him to stop coaching her.
However, she gets stuck with one errand needed for an executive meeting. Sensing he is needed, Eun Ho rescues her that IVL means “iced vanilla latte”.
After removing the clutter in the conference room, Dan Yi stares at Eun Ho and the top leads casually conversing. Realizing how time changed in the last ten years with her staying the same, leaves a subtle pain in her heart.
“I’ve come to terms with the fact that the world changed while my life stayed the same. I thought that I had it the hardest when I was busy with housework and my kid. But everyone else was also working hard, and doing their best in their given situations. That’s why I am here, and they are there.”
The man who received Dan Yi’s potted spring onion
Walking his dog in the neighborhood, Ji Seo Joon passes by the bench where he received some life-affirming lessons from Dan Yi. He then heads to a book store for work-related research. While browsing books, Gyeoroo’s CEO Kim keeps recommending books from his company.
Eun Ho saves Seo Joon from his boss’ unwarranted privacy invasion and they go to the corner to discuss about their boring book covers. Instructing him to get the best book cover designer, they are both not aware that the man they are looking for is in the same book store.
Umbrella & Green onion meet again
Hunting for her own place near Eun Ho’s neighborhood, Dan Yi bumps on Seo Joon. She stares happily at her potted green onion and tells him that she was looking for a room that’s why she was in the area. Promising to return his umbrella, she also vows naming his dog which he adopted in the night he met her.
Welcome to your new room noona
Ranting about her clean space when she arrived home, it was too late for Dan Yi to take back the harsh words she spewed at Eun Ho. Smiling at the sight of her new room, they eat happily with the packed lunched she bought and kimchi stew he cooked.
Learning that she checked a room, he tells her that he doesn’t mind living with her. Teasing him again for blushing easily when talking about steamy ideas, she tells him that she won’t get to date ladies if he is too transparent about those things.
With a new book coming out, the office announces ideas for the book teaser. Exhausting her creativity to come up with an idea, she brings it to her immediate boss. Before that, she got the approval from assistant manager Song Hae Rin and Eun Ho.
After the meeting, she learns that her idea was chosen. When she asked Hae Rin about the evident stealing of her idea, the former denies having knowledge of it.
Later, they ride the elevator together as Hae Rin tells her about the strong employee attrition rate she reiterated on their orientation day. She advises her to stop thinking what happened to her is unfair.
Speaking her mind out, Dan Yi responds that what she told her is not the only thing she thought to be unfair.
“Without taking my side or making a big deal out of it, just saying ‘I understand how you feel’ would have been enough for me.”
Now, people are calling my name
At home, Dan Yi and Eun Ho shares a soju night. Expressing her disappointment about the corporate world she just re-entered, Dan Yi still finds a silver lining on her situation.
She is happy to be called by her own name. Sharing how she has lived as her ex-husband’s wife, someone’s hey-you, and her daughter’s omma in the last ten years — she is happy to hear her name being called by people at work.
Eun Ho’s drunk habit
Finishing four soju bottles, Dan Yi is surprised to see Eun Ho missing. She calls him and learns that he called a taxi to go home. Dan Yi sobers him up and tells him that they were already drinking at his home.
And that “home” apparently is Dan Yi’s house that has already been under construction. In flashbacks of different seasons, Eun Ho reveals how he has been going to his noona‘s house whenever he misses her.
“Whenever I am drunk, I go to her place because I missed Kang Dan Yi so much. Sometimes, I heard her laugh. Sometimes, I heard them fight. And sometimes, I saw her crying. On those days, I cannot even say hi. I thought my heart was going to crumble.”
Eun Ho arrives home with Kang Dan Yi waiting for him in front of the house. It dawns on him that he will no longer go to her house when he is drunk, because she now lives with him.
Episode 3 Afterthoughts
We are only on episode 3, and I feel like I am going to summon my school girl tenacity in capturing the best screenplay highlights of Romance is a Bonus Book.
I don’t know if it’s because I am recovering from the toxic and heavy plots of the dramas I recently finished, or because over 15 years of drama watching has taken a toll on me – or both; but, this comforting watch feels like a three-hour massage. I don’t need to process a lot of things, but just root for how love will be realized by Eun Ho and Dan Yi when it has been there all along.
Proving her commanding presence, Lee Na Young does not need a lot of convincing for viewers to root for her character. Her character’s optimism amidst the biting reality of what she lost in the last ten years living for her husband and daughter sank too painful yet too true to be disregarded.
The dying sweet moment of Eun Ho revealing his deep connection to the noona he always misses, provided a glimpse of more anecdotes of him with his favorite noona. And I definitely say — YES, MORE PLEASE! to that.
Romance is a Bonus Book airs on tvN and is streamed on Netflix every Saturday and Sunday. All photos and screen captures from tvN.
ABOUT THE WRITER
abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting K-Drama watching as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Gregory House, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.
Recommended Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.