I normally write about music on Thursdays but I want to take this opportunity to talk about the new K-drama I’m watching. Now, if you’ve been reading for a while you probably know about my obsession… err, I mean love… for Coffee Prince (커피프린스 1호점) and Gong Yoo (공유). You see, I have Coffee Prince to thank for my Korean listening skills and vocabulary. Turns out if you watch a show three or four times in a row, you pick up some words!
But this post isn’t about Coffee Prince! Recently, I started watching A Gentleman’s Dignity (신사의 품격) which stars Jang Dong Gun (장동건) and Kim Ha Neul (김하늘) among others. I’ve been looking forward to this K-drama for ages as I’ve long been a fan of Jang Dong Gun. I think I first saw him in Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War (태극기 휘날리며) and have been a fan ever since. I’m also a fan of the female lead Kim Ha Neul from when she was in my favourite Korean movie, My Tutor Friend (동갑내기 과외하기). So I knew I had to watch A Gentleman’s Dignity with such a great cast.
I watch all my K-dramas on DramaFever now that I’m back in Canada for a variety of reasons but mainly because as a subscriber I can watch them commercial-free and the subtitles are great so it’s a great way to practice my Korean listening skills. What? You thought I watched K-dramas for the eye candy and great stories? Nah, that’s only part of it… I mainly watch them to study Korean! ^^ Seriously though, there are some fabulous K-dramas and DramaFever is my go-to place to catch them all!
If you’ve never watched a K-drama, they are longer than the normal North American shows. Most K-dramas are just over an hour an episode while most North American shows are about 45 minutes if you take out the commercials. So two episodes in a row – which is how I’ve been watching A Gentleman’s Dignity – is like watching a movie each week.
But wow, I loved the first two episodes of A Gentleman’s Dignity! They totally sold me on the show. It was cute, funny and I absolutely loved that the four main male characters were all OLDER than me! But they aren’t too old of course, just old enough that I can call them “oppa” (오빠). They are all 40 and have been friends since they were 18. Love, love, love how they interact together. Plus it doesn’t hurt that they are all attractive.
I’ve now watched episodes 1-6 and I’m hooked. I can’t wait until next week so I can see the next episode… especially after seeing the preview at the end of episode 6. But wait, you haven’t seen it yet? Let me tell you why I love the characters (without any spoilers so you can watch it yourself).
Okay, apparently it’s being billed as the Korean (and male) version of Sex & the City. I don’t get that from it but… there are four male leads. There are also four female leads and two young guys (19-20ish) that you’ll get to know. Because the characters in this rom-com drama are the reason you should be watching it.
Who are they? First the main guys…
Jang Dong Gun (장동건) as Kim Do Jin – I love this character! And I’m not just saying that because Jang Dong Gun plays him. Do Jin is like someone took the classic Korean rich, bad boy and made him human. Oh, he’s still cold and an ass at times. But he’s also romantic, sweet and his friends can make him look like an idiot/ass too. I love how multi-faceted Do Jin is, it makes him seem real. And sexy (the bathroom scene)! Except for the maroon suit… what was up with that? Oh yeah, he is an architect and owns a huge construction company with Im Tae San.
Kim Min Jong (김민종) as Choi Yoon – This is my second favourite character. He’s just so sweet, caring, responsible and smart. The perfect husband material… I keep falling more for him each episode. He’s a widower and a lawyer who at times seems so sad that I just want to give him a hug. Because he’s the quietest of the four, I wondered if he was a pushover but it’s just the sadness that makes him quiet. I can’t decide who I like best – Yoon or Do Jin?
Kim Soo Ro (김수로) as Im Tae San – Tae San is the other half of Do Jin. They share a company and Tae San is warm, friendly but tough (basically the opposite of Do Jin). He’s nice but clueless at times. For me, his character hasn’t yet been fully fleshed out – he’s nice but not really memorable. Oh yeah, he’s dating Hong Se Ra.
Lee Jong Hyuk (이종혁) as Lee Jung Rok – Jung Rok is the only married one of the four but he’s married to an older woman. It’s an obviously unhappy marriage as he’s constantly flirting/cheating but it also appears that he truly has feelings for his wife (who doesn’t really appear that much older). A very one-dimensional character at the moment but there are hints there might be more to him. We’ll see. Right now he’s the least likable male character by far.
Then the main girls…
Kim Ha Neul (김하늘) as Seo Yi Soo – Yi Soo is really the main female lead (although you see the others lots) and her character is quite developed. I love how she’s quite in charge while in teacher-mode (she’s a high school ethics teacher) but just a little awkward in social situations. It makes me feel like I have a kindred spirit. The baseball punishment scene was killer!
Yoon Jin Yi (윤진이) as Im Mea Ri – She’s the youngest of the female characters and is the (much) younger sister of Tae San. She is also in love with Yoon. Personally, I think she’s perfect for Yoon, despite the major age difference, because she balances out his seriousness. She’s cute, peppy and full of confidence in her love for Yoon.
Yoon Se Ah (윤세아) as Hong Se Ra – I dislike this character, I really do. She’s a pro-golfer who really doesn’t seem to do much of anything except dress sexy, flirt and hit golf balls in a driving range. She treats Tae San like crap and is probably only dating him because of his money. Basically, she’s the typical gold-digging female character who’s using her beauty and body to get what she wants. Personally, I think Yi Soo is prettier.
Kim Jung Nan (김정난) as Park Min Sook – This is older, rich wife of Jung Rok. It’s unclear just how much older she is supposed to be but she doesn’t look that old (somewhere in her 40s). Her character is pretty one-dimensional so far. I would love to know exactly what went wrong in their marriage as it kinda looks like they both love each other even as they treat the other like crap but maybe that’s just the romantic in me?
And the two young guys…
Lee Jong Hyun (이종현) as Colin – K-pop fans may recognize him from CN Blue… I knew he looked familiar. Colin is young (20 perhaps) and has popped up in several scenes looking mysterious and adorable. He is from the US (hence the English name which is my brother’s by the way), although there was some reference to Japan too, and has a picture of the four main guys with a mystery lady in the middle. I’m guessing he’s looking for his father???
Kim Woo Bin (김우빈) as Kim Dong Hyub – Dong Hyub is one of Yi Soo’s senior high school students and a born troublemaker. He’s also good-looking enough to charm his way out of most situations and the class “leader”. Love the cute crush he has on Yi Soo.
I’m a people-person and LOVE character-driven shows. A Gentleman’s Dignity has some great characters (and some that still need some more fleshing out) to watch and fall in love with. Plus, as a romantic, how can I not watch a show with so many interesting love plots, one-sided loves, crushes, and kisses??? Because you know there will be kisses. Oh yeah, episode 6 rocks!
Have you seen A Gentleman’s Dignity? What did you think? Who do you like best?