[K-DRAMA] A Gentleman’s Dignity

warning: may contain spoilers

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The so-called male version of Sex and the City..

Plot:

A Gentleman’s Dignity tells the story of four men at the age of 40 and what happens in their daily lives. Each have their own story to tell, but they are all connected to one another due to their friendship.

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The first man is Kim Do Jin. He is an architect, a playboy, and very narcissistic. He often sleeps around until he met this women who changed his life, Seo Yi Soo. This girl actually liked Im Tae San, Do Jin’s friend, but it was an unrequited love. No one knew about it except Do Jin and herself. One time due to inevitable circumstances, she ended up confessing to Do Jin instead of Tae San. Since she spent so much time with Do Jin, she eventually forgets her feelings for Tae San and fell for Do Jin. Do Jin loves Yi Soo from the moment that they first met.

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The second man is Im Tae San, Seo Yi Soo’s unrequited love. Im Tae San is dating Hong Se Ra, also Seo Yi Soo’s roommate, who’s into golf. Both of them are really outspoken and have strong personalities. While Tae San plans to marry her, Se Ra doesn’t think about settling down yet. They often fight but they make up in the end.

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The third man is Choi Yoon who is the youngest but the smartest among the four. He is a lawyer and whose wife died in an accident four years ago. Im Meahri, Tae San’s younger sister, come home from the US and pursued her love for Yoon. She is very clingy and really loves Yoon even if he pushes her away and denied his feelings. They also have a big age gap of 17 years which is why Tae San disapproves. Yoon was also contemplating because he didn’t want his friendship with Tae San to end. Will Yoon and Meahri overcome the big mountain (Tae San) and pursue their relationship?

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The fourth man is the only married man among the four. Lee Jung Rok married a woman who is older and but is very very very rich. The only reason that he would still be clinging to her is because of her wealth. He plays around often and eventually gets caught. His 3 pals help him cover his secret getaways and MIA activities, but still gets caught. The cycle repeats, but as the story progressed, he realises his mistakes and changed for the better. He realises that he loves his wife not only for her money, but loves her wife wholeheartedly.

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Meanwhile, a young man by the name of Collin Black, recently came back from the US to look for his father. One of the four men is his long lost father. Who exactly is his father?

Opinions:

This drama was the talk of the town in Korea and among international fans. I wanted to know what’s the hype all about. The drama’s popularity drew my interest into watching this. This was also Jang Dong Gun’s comeback drama after more than 10 years. And most of all, because Lee Jonghyun of CNBLUE is part of the cast. As a fan, I just had to see his acting for the first time. I’ve watched many popular dramas, but there were only a few that I really liked. Sometimes, I wonder why and how they became so popular. A Gentleman’s Dignity was popular but I will never wonder why. I’m glad that this drama clicked for me.

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What attracted me the most in this drama was the large cast. You will never get bored with many characters and each of them had a story to tell. No one was forgotten but they were all given a time to share their story. Honestly, I got bored during the middle part, but due to the numerous plots and characters, boring suddenly became interesting. I guess this is one charm of a large cast; not just focusing on one character or one pair. Talking about the main cast, I noticed that in many dramas, they usually have 4 main characters. Ex. Boys Over Flowers, You’re Beautiful, etc. I guess 3 is too few and 5 is a crowd?! lol This is like F4 Ahjusshi version! While other people didn’t like this concept of 40 year old men playing around, I liked it. It gets boring when another set of youngsters tell their stories in school. I’ve had enough of school-based dramas. I love how the writer come up with the storyline and each of the character’s personalities. It’s obvious that there’s no overlapping of characters and I love how the actors acted so naturally. It seemed like that the 4 ahjusshi‘s know each other for the longest time already.

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A unique feature of this drama includes a prologue. At the start of every episode, there’s a random scene for about 1-3 minutes. It showed the past events of the 4 main cast and most of them were funny. It’s unrelated with the story but it’s showed the friendship that they have through the years. The funniest was the cameo appearance of Girls’ Generation’s Soo Young. They were sort of ‘fan-boying’ over her. The addition of prologue is definitely a plus and makes the drama more fun.

Characters:

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Jang Dong Gun as Kim Do Jin & Kim Ha Neul as Seo Yi Soo — I have to be honest that this is my first time watching Jang Dong Gun in any drama or movie, but I am familiar with him. Jang Dong Gun is really handsome, I must say, and he didn’t change much. He’s so great and natural in this drama; still the most charismatic! Jang Dong Gun is really cute when he is sulky! It’s his own way of showing his affection and cuteness. I also love the way he stares and then blinks. He really fits acting this narcissistic role. On the other hand, Kim Ha Neul was the weakest among the four leading ladies, in my opinion. I don’t know if it’s because of her character or if it’s her acting. She doesn’t shine in this drama even if she has the most scenes among the four. I prefer a better actress taking the role of Seo Yi Soo.

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Kim Soo Ro as Im Tae San & Yoon Se Ah as Hong Se Ra — Kim Soo Ro is the only actor that I’ve watched before and that was in Master of Study. I love how he always gets roles that are very masculine and strong. I love that he’s always in a fighting mode or ready for action. I’ve seen Yoon Se Ah in We Got Married and contrary to her strong personality as Hong Se Ra, she is very much feminine in real life. I like how these two strong personalities clashed with one another yet they managed to fall in love.

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Kim Min Jong as Choi Yoon & Yoon Jin Yi as Im Meari — This is the cutest couple in my opinion, and also has the cutest story. Their story is quite ordinary but it was wonderfully portrayed. It just tells us that big age gaps doesn’t matter, but love is greater! I love how persistent Im Meari was and she was so determined. Kim Min Jong was great in this drama and is my favourite ahjusshi among the four. He’s suitable to act a nerdy or brainy guy. He’s also funny when he’s trying to be funny. Yoon Jin Yi surprised me because she had no prior acting experiences before this drama and she was simply great. Out of the four leading ladies, she was the best for me in terms of acting and even looks. What surprised me the most was her age as well. In real life, she’s the same age with Lee Jonghyun. Her role as Im Meari was memorable and she totally deserved the awards.

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Lee Jong Hyuk as Lee Jung Rok & Kim Jung Nan as Park Min Sook — Lee Jung Rok is the funniest among the four. He was the most talkative yet he speaks a lot of useless stuff. I definitely laughed a lot whenever he’s around. I really think Lee Jong Hyuk was suitable for this role. Kim Jung Nan was a stranger to me, but I also liked the way how she portrayed her character as Park Min Sook. Their love story is also quite typical, but still the outcome was funny yet touching in the end.

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Lee Jonghyun as Collin Black — Coz he deserves a special mention. In spite of being a rookie actor, he portrayed his rebel character very well. There are times though when he delivered his lines with little to no feelings, and while his co-CNBLUE members laugh about his acting, never mind about that. Just seeing him appear in this drama was enough for me. There’s always room for improvement. A Korean drama needs to have a young idol-turned-actor included in the cast. lol I’m glad that Jung Yonghwa persuaded him in taking this role or else he’ll still be a hidden gem until now.

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Soundtrack:

The official soundtrack comes in two volumes, and I must say that it’s worth buying the album especially if you’re a fan of this drama. Many songs remain memorable still up to this day. I like the opening theme, “High High” by Kim Tae Woo. It’s literally a high and cheerful song. “My Heartache” by 8eight is a typical ballad but it’s one of my favourites as it’s often played in this drama. Some actors have contributed in this soundtrack. Jang Dong Gun’s “More Than Me” is worth listening to. “Beautiful Pain” by Kim Min Jong is one of his popular songs in the past and he was known for his distinct and unique voice. Many people even tried to imitate his way of singing. This was really beautifully sung. Another memorable song was the theme song of Im Meahri and Choi Yoon called “Illa Illa”. This was not included in the soundtrack as it’s the debut song of a female singer-songwriter, Juniel. I love how her song was used often in this drama. Last comes my ultimate favourite: “My Love” from Lee Jong Hyun. This song was in the charts for more than a month and even won as the Best OST in one of the awards. This song was the most popular among all the songs in the drama. Even the instrumentals are worth listening to. The music really helps build up the mood and emotions in the scenes. I could never imagine no music in a drama.

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Ending (spoilers):

One reason why I don’t like romantic comedies is because I know exactly how the story will end. The writer will always end it happily and it’s very unusual for the writer to actually kill one of the lead actors unless it’s a melodrama or action genre type of drama. The challenge now for romantic comedies would be a satisfactory ending. Ending it with a kiss or hug? That’s boring and forgettable! I really find A Gentleman’s Dignity’s ending very enjoyable and satisfying. I can even remember it until now. All the cast got together in the end and they dance along while Yi Soo accepts Do Jin. It’s one happy family indeed. I really love how even the smallest or minor characters come together during the ending. Great job wrapping up the ending!

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Final Thoughts:

This drama is superb! No wonder it was a big hit in Korea. It was also watched by several celebrities. I love the cast, the storyline and the music. Although there were some moments that were pretty boring along the middle such as the love line between Seo Yi Soo and Kim Do Jin when they were playing push and pull. But as usual, dramas always have these scenes that we don’t like and we feel bored. I had high expectations from this drama and A Gentleman’s Dignity didn’t fail to amaze me. I was even surprised myself because I’m not really into romantic comedy dramas. I had a good laugh with the comical cast and their funny lines. I really recommend this drama especially for K-drama fans!

Rating: 9/10

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