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A Gentleman's Dignity: An Enjoyable Beginning


A new weekend drama, A Gentleman's Dignity, kicked off a couple of weeks back. Four episodes in and I'm hooked. I love, love, love, luuuuuuurve the show~. A good enough series to help with my The King 2Hearts withdrawal therapy. I like everything about this show so far. It's laugh-out-loud funny, the storyline is engaging, the cinematography's prettyx10, the casts are spot on. The witty dialogues are such a gem. And maybe because two of the main male characters work in an architectural firm, they really put some efforts on the designs and ambience of the building and space that they are putting in this show,which are mighty fine. I loike! 

The story centers around the lives of four men in their early forties, played by Kim Dong Gun (All About Eve), Kim Soo Ro (God of Study), Kim Min Jong (The Return of Iljimae), and Lee Jong Hyuk (Green Rose) - and here I wonder why they don't cast Cha Seung Won while they are at it. Haha. Kim Dong Gun and Kim Soo Ro play business partners of an architectural firm, Kim Do Jin and Im Tae San. Kim Min Jong is Lawyer Choi Yoon, while Lee Jong Hyuk is a cafe shop owner Lee Jung Rok. Besides being best friends, they are linked to one another by being the tenants of the office building owned by Lee Jung Rok's wife. All four characters has their own stories to tell, but major emphasis is on Kim Do Jin and his love interest, which directly or indirectly connects other characters by consequence. 


Kim Ha Neul (On Air) stars as an Ethics teacher Seo Yi Soo, the love interest of Kim Do Jin. At this early point in the series, Kim Do Jin is having her as his one-sided love, while she herself is crushing on her friend's boyfriend, Im Tae San. It is love at first sight for Kim Do Jin. They first make eye-contact on a rainy day at a cafe owned by Lee Jung Rok. Later he meets her again when they accidentally (or shall we say, fatefully?) bumped into each other literally, in which his bag's zipper caught the rear end of Yi Soo's red dress and it starts to disintegrate, exposing her bottom (almost!)


In both occasions, he finds himself attracted to her, but somehow misses the chance to ask for her number every time. The following year, he meets her again at an amateur baseball game, where she is the umpire. He recalls the "red-thread" incident, and asks if she remembers him as the guy from before. Obviously, it's an embarrassing occurrence for Yi Soo that she refuses to admit having any recollection of him at all. That hurts his male pride, which is used to having girls asking him that question instead.


After some thoughts, he finally realizes that Yi Soo is actually the same woman he saw at the cafe during the rainy day a year ago. He confesses to his friend Choi Yoon that he was once attracted to two women, only to realize that they are the same person. A surprising finding for him, it seems.


It so happens that some time ago, he was assaulted by a few high schoolers, who turn out to be Yi Soo's very own students. Both of them don't know the connection yet, and Yi Soo has been trying very hard to meet with the man to apologize on behalf of her students and ask for settlement. Do Jin refuses to meet her every time, and adamant that he will pursue the case. However, Choi Yoon who knows the teacher personally reveals to Do Jin that Yi Soo whom they meet at the baseball game is the very teacher who's responsible for the students. Do Jin is surprised and annoyed that the fact is not made known to him earlier. When he returns home, he finds Yi Soo near his neighborhood, engaged in a phone call with Choi Yoon, who informs her that Do Jin is the person she's looking for. He looks at her expectantly, only to go completely unnoticed. I like how they play this part. It's hilarious how he keeps being obscured from her line of vision because she is so preoccupied with her students' problem.


As a 'revenge', he agrees to meet her and discuss the matter about her students. But every time when she comes to find him, he keeps up a pretense like busying himself with work, or conveniently forgets to mention prior engagement that he has to attend, which leaves her by herself to fume at his dismissal. For Do Jin, he uses the assault case as an excuse to keep seeing her, privately enjoying himself while delaying the settlement matter. He is very happy and keeps peeking at her, all the while pretending to be working. But the happy bubbles get burst when he catches her one day looking and holding Im Tae San's gloves with tender eyes and a smile. It dawns on him that the woman he's secretly admiring is in fact in love with his very own friend.


He confronts her immediately and confirms his suspicions, that she is in love with his friend Im Tae San, who is also the boyfriend of her friend and housemate. She denies it at first, but it's plain obvious what the truth is. Do Jin then uses that fact to continue having the upper hand over Yi Soo.


I like this setup, if only for the fact that the guy falls for the girl first, regardless that he's being such a pain in the a** around her. He is not a complete jerk though. Perhaps a little sharp-tongued, but in a way, he's forcing her to face her own demon, so to speak. By end of episode four, the cat seems to have gotten out of the bag. Her friend finally connects some dots and comes to the conclusion that Yi Soo is carrying a torch for her boyfriend. And looks like the hero is going to save the day. Or maybe not. Will have to see.

This is Jang Dong Gun's second drama for me, the first one being The Last Game. He was so young back then.  I'm not sure what's the buzz about Jang Dong Gun, but at least I'm enjoying his acting here. I love his evil look, for one. His character is also interesting. Not quite a gentleman, but not a complete a**h*** either. He really provides the funny.

As for Kim Ha Neul, I gather this would be her second drama of hers that I will follow in earnest. The first one was Romance with Kim Jae Won. I don't know why I watched it back then because now that I think about it, Kim Jae Won's character irks the heck out of me. All their conflicts about student-teacher relationship can be avoided if only he has a little patience and wait for a year till he finishes school. Spare the teacher some unnecessary problems. Anyways, I never quite like her acting before, for some reason unknown. Her acting seems awkward. But awkward somehow works in here. So I'm hoping I will continue to enjoy it.







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