[TV Talk] A Gentleman's Dignity

I have so many TV Talks to get to! I still have a "Game of Thrones" post on standby and, of course, "True Blood" has mercifully ended its run. However, before I get to my American TV shows, I've got to cover the two Korean dramas that have stolen my attention these past few weeks. First up is "A Gentleman's Dignity" or "신사의 품격" from 2012. It was my first time watching a drama on Netflix, and if I didn't find this particular drama so amusing on its own, I don't think I would have stuck with it. I love ya, Netflix, but when I watch "Orange is the New Black" or "House of Cards," I have a whole bunch of friends in real life and on social media to talk to. When it comes to K-Dramas, I have no one really, and my BFFs become the comments that appear above the screen on Viki. Half the time, the commenters make the show for me!

That being said, I absolutely loved this drama. It makes reaching my thirties and even forties kind of exciting, especially if I can manage to make lifelong friends like this bromance pictured above. AGD comes from the same writer behind "Secret Garden" and "Heirs," Kim Eun Sook, and while a lot of reviewers have had issues with her writing before, I really haven't had too much to complain about (considering I loved "SG" and never finished "Heirs"). I find her pop culture references and characters funny. This drama, as Drama Beans put it, is sheer fluff, and I absolutely love that quality about it. I'm all for serious dramas that at least try to wrench my heart out, but I've become fairly cynical in my #ForeverAloneness. I don't want something fantastical at this point (aliens, Hallyu stars, singers, composers, first love effects...), and I don't need a huge conflict in order to be interested (secret murderous brother, secret murderous mother, evil competition, angry mother-in-laws). While all of the AGD plot is pretty trivial, it's the most realistic I've seen a drama be in a while (that's a stretch to relate a K-drama to reality, but there it is).

Okay, so the summary: The drama centers around four forty-year-old men who have been friends since high school. The main lead is Kim Do Jin, played by Jang Dong Gun, Korea's George Clooney, in his long awaited return to the small screen. Do Jin owns an architect company, and he is relatively wealthy and secure in his playboy tendencies. He falls for Seo Yi Soo (Kim Ha Neul), a thirty-something Ethics teacher at an all boys high school. Yi Soo is friends with two of Do Jin's friends, Choi Yoon (Kim Min Jong) and Im Tae San (Kim Su Ro). Yoon is a successful lawyer, and Tae san is Do Jin's business partner and co-CEO of their architect company. Yi Soo also frequents a cafe owned by the fourth part of the bromance, Lee Jung Rok (Lee Jong Hyuk). Jung Rok owns said cafe as well as a bar, but his money comes from his older wife, Park Min Sook (Kim Jung Nan), who owns a ton of buildings in Gangnam. Yi Soo has an unrequited crush on Tae San while Tae San dates her roommate and best friend, Hong Se Ra, a pro-golfer nearing the end of her prime. They are joined by Tae San's much younger sister, Im Meahri (Yoon Jin Yi), who is fresh from college in the US and still holding a candle for Yoon. Oh, and throw in CN Blue's Lee Jong Hyun as Collin, one of the F44's son, and Kim Woo Bin as a rebellious student who has a crush on Yi Soo.

Basically, if you were to make a chart to connect everyone, you'd have one. tangled. web. Nothing ever veers too serious (no first loves making a comeback, no angst that lasts more than an episode), and while there are admittedly some flaws (the lack of maturing in Meahri, Yi Soo's odd tendencies, Do Jin's weird possessiveness, the lack of sex despite the constant hints and jokes about it), this show was worth it. Watch it for the hilarious laughs (Yoon's fangirling over SNSD's Soo Young is the highlight), Yi Soo's fantastic outfits (which I will compile!), and for the need to feel okay about growing up. All I know is, when I marry, I hope I marry a guy with a bromance like these guys.

TL;DR Just go watch! It's a whole lotta fun wrapped up in good style. My favorite couple is Yoon Oppa and Meahri. I don't know if its from one too many Victorian Novels, but I wasn't put off by their 17-year age gap (19 for the actors!). In fact, ladies of my generation, sad eyed Kim Min Jong is still unmarried!

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