A Gentleman’s Dignity features the lives of an amusing foursome of men that have been friends since high school. A Gentleman’s Dignity is a 24 episode 2012 Korean drama that is fun and breezy without much angst. It is a cotton candy show (fun to watch but does not stay with you long). May I say that shows that are attractive but insubstantial have their places in viewing lists too.
I enjoyed the four friends and their bromance and when the show focused on their insecurities and concerns. Each guy was different and grew on you throughout the series. When the show focused on their friendship, it delivered with upfront and sometimes amusing slices of issues of the modern man. The show had charm, and the actors were willing to look silly when the script called for it. Each episode began with a shared experience from their past as friends. It was entertaining watching these 40 something actors pretend to be in high school in some of these flashbacks.
Our four friends:
a. Do Jin was played with panache by Dong Gun Jang. Do Jin was confident and very surprised when he fell in love. Even more surprising was that he had to work to earn her affection, as his lady of choice initially cared about another of the foursome.
There was a great romantic moment when Do Jin gave the woman he loved a fabulous pair of shoes and told her to wear them when she was ready to accept him and his love.
b. Tae San, played by Kim Soo Ro, was the chauvinist. He was a dominating guy who bossed around his sister and lady love but had a sweet side too. His willingness to accept his feisty lady love’s priority of her career over marriage showed he did want her happiness.
c. Choi Yoon, played by Kim Min Jong, was the widower that was hotly pursued by Tae San’s sister 20 years his junior. His unwillingness to engage in romance with her is understandable. It could jeopardize his friendship with Tae San not to mention the age gap of 20 years. He eventually decides he is ready for love.
d. Jung Rok, played with ease by Jong Hyeowk Lee, was the fluff character of the bunch. Spoiled, womanizing, but with charm and love for his wife. Getting her to believe that he loved her and would stop his womanizing ways was a tough sell.
I was less enamored of the women in their lives:
1. Yi Soo, played by Ha Neul Kang, was a high school teacher that loved her students and was honest and forthright. She took her time falling in love with Do Jin. I felt the actress over acted sometimes but it was consistent throughout the series, perhaps she was directed to deliver that performance. I saw a “making of” show where it looked like the director told the actress to over act and she was concerned the audience would think it was an over-the-top reaction. Made me wonder…how many characters I don’t gravitate to (more often female characters) have their behaviors defined by the director? Nice but dim and over reactive females are prevalent in kdramas. I thought the character’s acceptance of Do Jin’s surprise son from a youthful relationship was forward thinking per the societal norms which indicated a negative connotation. Unmarried parents that have children are so common and accepted in my current society, it was interesting that the show portrayed it as a negative and shameful.
There was a great romantic mirror moment when she gave the man she loved a fabulous pair of shoes and told him to wear them when he was ready to accept her and her love.
Thanks to Pieces of Parchment https://aikawaringo.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/giving-shoes-as-a-gift/ for the shoe moments pictures and the article on giving shoes.
2. Se Ra, played by Se Ah Yun, was prickly and viewed other women as rivals not friends. Her primary focuses were her golfing career and her man. Initially this character was off-putting but grew on me throughout the series.
3. Min Sook, played by Jeong Nan Kim, was the brittle, tough wife of Jung Rok who was mistrustful of her husband due to his past dalliances. This character had a tough exterior but caring interior. I was a fan of this character at the end of the series.
4. Meari, played by Yoon Jin Yi, was difficult to watch. Over emoting, tons of ugly crying, and no character growth at all. Her goal in life was getting Choi Yoon to love her and her brother to accept the possibility of this relationship. That’s all you got out of this character for 24 episodes.
OST. This show had a 7 part OST and 2 OST compilations both with 15 tracks. The album art is above. Two songs resonated with me:
* My Heartache by Lee Hyun (OST 1)
* More Than Me by Jang Dong Gun (OST 2), this is my favorite song, a beautiful ballad. The Youtube link to More Than Me is a music video with “best of” moments of the One True Pair, Yi Soo and Do Jin.
Favorite Songs from the OST in my YouTube Playlist (link or embedded below)