‘Romance is a Bonus Book’ preview: Eun-ho is great, but we definitely have Second Lead Syndrome for Seo-joon

Korean drama aficionados are all too familiar with the term Second Lead Syndrome. Some of us even catch it every so often, and Wi Ha-joon’s Seo-joon from TVN/Netflix drama ‘Romance is a Bonus Book’ is inducing this in us. Charming, handsome and earnest, Seo-joo is the man of our dreams, but as always, the show is centered on yet another eligible bachelor, in this case Eun-ho (Lee Jong-suk), bagging the girl, aka Dan-yi (Lee Na-young). 

Do we want to see Eun-ho with the woman he has been yearning for? Sure. However, do we want it at the cost of Seo-joo’s happiness? Not so sure anymore. And that exactly is the conundrum that Second Lead Syndrome lands you in – you start falling for the near-perfect second lead of the show, even as the female lead falls for the male lead. 

There are many reasons for us to love Seo-joo, starting with the fact that he is a kind and considerate human being. He did save Dan-yi’s shoes and gave it to her when he coincidentally ran into her the first time. In a way, this gesture gave Dan-yi a glimmer of hope when she was down on her luck – to say the least – that day. He is also, always up for a conversation over ramen, and shows genuine interest in what Dan-yi has to say.  

We love rooting for Dan-yi and Eun-ho, even though we can't help but fall in love with Seo- joon (Netflix)
We love rooting for Dan-yi and Eun-ho, even though we can’t help but fall in love with Seo- joon (Netflix)

He is successful, but on his own terms. Having been one of the most popular freelance book designers of his time, Seo-joo has been approached by Eun-ho and Dan-yi’s company Gyeoroo Publishing. However, he is in no hurry to comply, despite the enticements of wealth and fame. He is also very secure in who he is, which of course is an attractive feature. 

Most importantly, unlike Eun-ho, Seo-joo is very direct about his feelings. Without any pretext of friendship or coincidental run-in, he asked Dan-yi out on a date and that is the primary reason for us to believe they might make a better couple that her and Eun-ho. 

He sounds almost too perfect? Actually, he does have a goofy, fun side to him. In the preview for the upcoming episode 7, we see him chocking on ramen, when Dan-yi directly and bluntly asks him about their date. The incident is not only funny and cute, but it also humanizes him and shows a different side of the usually always put-together, and perfect specimen of a human being. 

As the episodes progress, we are falling even more in love with the second lead of ‘Romance is a Bonus Book’. We assume, as is the case with most K-dramas, Eun-ho and Dan-yi will end up being the happy couple for whom Seo-joo gives way. That being said, we have a lot of takers for Seo-joo, in case he needs a supportive shoulder to cry on, after the woman he loves, potentially runs off with Eun-ho. 

New episodes of ‘Romance is a Bonus Book’ will be added to the Netflix library and aired on TVN, Saturday, February 16.  

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