I Need Romance 3: Episode 7

Aaah, we’re hitting all of the classic noona romance beats—unrequited love, puppy love declarations galore, and more cuteness than I can handle. Oh, let’s not kid ourselves. Give us us cute! Lines start to blur and just as Sweet Potato gains some ground, he faces his first real challenge: tell the woman you love that she loves another man, or keep your trap shut and hope it goes away? h, I love that he decides to tell her. I really expected him to hold out a little longer, but when he actually steps up and puts her heart before his own, that seals the deal for me that his love isn’t just selfish or childish or a connection to some idyllic past. Maybe she began as a fairytale for him and she’s the reason he returned, but the stuff that gets to me is that the expression of his love is everyday and practical—he feeds her breakfast, he listens to her, he pushes her to be a better friend, and he waters her plants and worries about her. One of my favorite things about noona romances is an unabashed hero who wears his heart on his sleeve, because they do that thing that’s so impossibly difficult to do in real life—declare your love freely knowing full well it’s not returned. But after Joo-yeon’s early heartbreaking confession that nobody loves her, it feels like he’s watering her heart one “I love you” at a time. It might not be appreciated and she might not believe him, but he does it anyway. Of course it’s better that he’s human and petty and not some saint, but despite the grumbling, he does the difficult thing and puts her happiness first. Sometimes she still shocks me with her level of coldness and her inability to empathize or give a little of herself for a friend. She’s obviously an extreme case, and this is a huge part of her character arc—to learn how to be a real friend by Sweet Potato’s example. The more we see of Joo-yeon in this light, I can see why her falling out with Se-ryung has two sides. It doesn’t help that Se-ryung clearly has such an issue with her pride that she can’t even defend herself to someone when there’s a misunderstanding, and her idea of a true friend is absolute unwavering trust—not exactly a thing that the distrusting, insecure Joo-yeon just hands out willingly, hence the impasse. I was hoping they’d patch things up, but now that Se-ryung has gotten back together with Tae-yoon, I worry about those odds. Despite her lack of empathy, everything about Joo-yeon shutting herself off from her own emotions and being clueless about them is feels like a natural result of being a survivor and feeling alone in the world. Sure it’s extreme that Wan needs to act as an interpreter for her heart, but isn’t it great that what he’s doing is connecting her to herself? I’m just going to brace for impact when she hits rock bottom, but at least I know she’s got a Sweet Potato around to pick up the pieces. by girlfriday

Oh! To be ALIVE!! What a blessing!
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