Romance is a Bonus Book (2019)


romance is bonus book 2019

Drama: Romance is a Bonus Book (로맨스는 별책부록)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: January 26 – March 17, 2019
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00

Dan-i and Eunho are childhood friends but have drifted apart over the years. When Dan-i got divorced and had no place to go and no money, she met Eunho and applied for his company as a task support team. The drama revolves around the publishing company where they both work, the employees lives and the blooming relationship between Dan-i and Eunho.

Lee Na Young – Kang Dan-i
Lee Jong Suk – Cha Eunho
Jung Eugene – Song Hae rin
Wi Ha Joon – Ji Seo Jun
Kim Tae Woo – Kim Jae Min
Kim Yumi – Ko Yoo Sun
Jo Han chul – Bong Ji Hong
Kim Sun Young – Seo Young-ah
Kang Ki Doong – Park Hoon
Park Gyu Young – Oh Ji Yool

I loved the overall feel of the drama – it felt like winter/spring – something to watch on a cold day. I love books so it was interesting to see how publishing companies work. I also loved the cinematography, the locations, the clothes they wore and the OST. the story, however, was just okay. I did not grow attach to any of the characters except for maybe Dan-i and Yumi. I love the relationship between Dan-i and Eun-ho as friends and i didn’t think it was necessary for them to fall in love. Like, i would not have minded if they stayed friends the entire drama. I also wished there was more depth to Yumi’s story but i loved that she ended up with Jaemin (who i thought was adorable). the 2 other interns – pushover Hoon was okay but didn’t like airhead Ji-yool (but at least she grew up). I think this is the 3rd time i’ve seen Sun Young in a drama and as always, she makes a great secondary character. I didn’t really buy the love triangle between Dan-i, Eunho and Seojun, and it’s mostly because it was just too obvious that Dan-i feels nothing for him other than friendship. and i hate Seojun’s smirking face. He is too arrogant and no match for Eunho. As for Haerin, i loved her character and her one-sided love for Eunho (i cried with her when she got rejected nicely) but i dislike her for being a bit*h boss. She keeps shouting at Ji-yool and not really mentoring her at all. You can’t expect your staff to suddenly know everything – you have to teach them.

Back to the two main characters. I love Dan-i, i felt bad for her and i could feel her pain whenever she gets rejected. I love that she was still positive and was willing to work hard to move up the ladder again. I feel that it’s unfair that the companies do not want to hire her just because she was out of the work market for several years, but on the other hand, i could understand. the other managers worked their butt off to rise up the ranks and here is this lady who used to be great but too outdated, coming in thinking she can just go back and reclaim her position. I don’t know which role she applied for, but i would expect if she was out for 7-9 years, she should apply for a role that is one or 2 levels lower than she used to be. If she is really good, she can easily be promoted and go up the corporate ladder again. I agree, what she did was wrong – she shouldn’t have erased all her experience in her CV and it was just right that she got fired, but i wonder if they would have still hired her for the Task support team if she was overqualified? Oh and what about her daughter? Even when Dan-i and Eunho got together, there was no mention at all about the daughter and how she feels about Eunho and vice versa. Again, i thought the daughter story was just a plot device to give her an excuse why she needs money to work.

As for Eunho, he was the main lead but he was charming, handsome, sweet,great at his job and yet i felt nothing for him. And i think it’s because his character was just too perfect. Like he was there to be Dan-i’s knight in shining armor. that’s it. even his story about the author wasn’t that interesting. and the twist at the end about Seojun didn’t really make a mark.

Overall, this is still a good drama to watch when you have nothing to do, but it’s not something you would want to watch over and over again.

hong gil dong (2008)

originally written in April 2014.


Title: 쾌도 홍길동 / Kwaedo Hong Gil Dong
Also known as: Sharp Blade Hong Gil Dong
Genre: Comedy, romance, action, drama
Episodes: 24
Broadcast network: KBS2
Broadcast period: 2008-Jan-02 to 2008-Mar-26
Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 21:55

Based on a fictional book about a Robin Hood in Korea, Hong Gildong, this drama is very loosely based off of that book and the time it was set in.

Hong Gil Dong was the illegitimate son of a high ranked minister. A local monk took him under his wing and taught him martial arts. Hong Gil Dong was inspired to fight for the injustice in this society that divided people into nobles and ordinary citizens whereby the former enjoyed all the privileges due solely to their birth.

The heroine, Heo Yi Nok, had just returned to Korea from China with her grandfather. They made their living by putting on shows and selling their special brand of medicine in the marketplace.

Lee Chang Hwi had been told since he was young that he was the rightful heir to the throne which had been usurped by his half brother. He had also returned from his exile in China and was plotting to overthrow the emperor.

The three got entangled in love, hate, loyalty and betrayal and only one side can win.

Main Cast
Kang Ji Hwan as Hong Gil Dong
Sung Yoo Ri as Heo Yi Nok / Ryu Yi Nok
Jang Geun Suk as Lee Chang Hwi
Choi Soo Han as young Chang Hwi
Kim Ri Na as Seo Eun Hye

Short Review 

I finally got the chance to see this old Hong sisters drama called Hong Gil Dong from 2008 starring Kang Ji Hwan, Sung Yuri and Jang Geun Seuk. I have watched almost all of the Hong sisters drama — Chunhyang (2005), My Girl (2006), Couple Fantasy (2006), You’re Beautiful (2009), My GF is a Gumiho (2010) and Greatest Love (2011). (i didn’t bother watching Big since I heard it’s a bad drama while I’m still saving Master’s Sun for later). I love their sense of humor though sometimes it’s over the top. Hong Gil Dong is different because it’s like a fusion of historical drama but using modern language.

First off the cast – Kang Ji Hwan is always a delight to watch, whether he is screaming like a girl or emoting or fighting like a boss (and he’s so handsome). I love his character Hong Gil Dong and his love for Yi Nok, I like that he started fighting for his right and his life instead of running away like he did before. I love how he is passionate and his love for the people. Honestly I thought he would have made a better king but overall, it wasn’t how the story is supposed to go. I haven’t really watched Sung Yuri’s dramas, i recognize her more for being the pretty one in FinKL. I like how she portrayed her character. She is so cute and sweet to Gil Dong – she and Gil Dong are a perfect match. I did feel that after she “became” Ryu Yi Nok, her character got stagnant, and was stuck to being on the sideline except for some crucial moments. and i like how she still became friends with the young prince despite the situation. as for Jang Geun Seuk, i only watched his show You’re Beautiful which i also loved, his succeeding dramas were blah and he just keeps getting stranger as he gets more popular. Hong Gil Dong is one of his earlier dramas and unfortunately i wasn’t impressed at the start.. he only had one expression — that stony glare/stare brooding whatever look on his face – which mostly confused me because i didn’t know what he was feeling (i dont know if it is just bad acting or it was just meant to mean he is also confused?) but eventually in the last couple of episodes he improved a little, showing more expressions on his face. unfortunately, like Yi Nok, his character didn’t get better — i dont really like how the writers portrayed the king in the last 2 episodes but it was necessary for the story.

side characters – Madam Noh is perfectly portrayed by the actress, i didn’t like her character but i could sympathize with her (and her big red plump lips were very distracting!), the young miss — i understand what Hong Gil Dong meant when he said “at first i talked to you because i pity you but now i feel sorry for you” or something like that. i did like her because she helped HGD when necessary but i also hated how desperate and pathetic she was when she threatens HGD (esp the last part where she tried to get him killed after he rejected her yet again). at the same time i felt bad for her when she realized what she had done. his father, the actor seems to always portray the same characters in historical dramas (that pesky “core of all power” with a hidden agenda and that annoying fake laugh!!!) HGD’s dad – i definitely dont like him – i understand his loyalty to his king but i hate how cruel he is to HGD and his last attempt to “protect” HGD by taking the blame for the crimes and getting killed was just bullshit. too bad HGD still liked him even as his dad was such an ass to him. finally the Hwal Bin Dang crew – loved all of them!!

overall, the story felt a bit long (24 episodes!) that i ended up fast forwarding some parts. the first part was half funny half serious but the second half became serious-serious and darker. there were some parts/themes/storylines that repeated itself (hence the bloated storyline) but i like that the story kept moving and there’s always something new happening.. even in the last couple of episodes so it kept me interested to find out how the story will end. the ending wasnt what i was expecting but it was still satisfying even though it’s a bit sad. i give this 6.5 stars!