A Gentleman’s Dignity Episode 1 Review

Synopsis

This drama tells a story of four men in their forties as they go through love, breakup, success and failure through their urban lifestyle. Kim Do Jin (Jang Dong Gun) has a ‘rollercoster’ romantic relationship with Seo Yi Soo (Kim Ha Neul). Im Tae San (Kim Soo Ro) is dating Se Ra (Yoon Se Ah) but thinking whether there is the right one for him. Choi Yoon (Kim Min Jong) tries to heal his heart after losing his wife four years ago. Lee Jung Rok (Lee Jong Hyuk) marries an older woman for money but worries about losing his comfortable lifestyle after divorce.

Episode Recap

Four lovely gentlemen, in black suits, attend the funeral because their friend passed away. There is a hidden reason why they do so. They want to meet the widow and her friends who are models. As they want to go in to pay their condolences, a mother and a child barge in and stand in front of the altar. The mother told the child that the person who passed away is his father. After hearing that, the widow gets furious and starts a fight with the mother. This causes a ruckus as many attendees either fight or calm the situation down while the child is crying. One of the men gives condolences money and wrote down the gentlemen’s name. There are: Lee Jung Rok, Im Tae San, Choi Yoon, and Kim Do Jin. Jung Rok is the one who writes down the name. Yoon places a flower at the altar and does his silent prayers. Tae San tries to stop the fight. Do Jin hands his hankerchief to the crying child. After that, four of them left the place and walk happily. This is the start of their stories.

In the office, Do Jin discusses about work with his staffs until he gets a phone call from Tae San. They both work at the same building company but different division. Tae San argues about the cost of the materials for construction. In the end, Do Jin hangs up the phone. Seo Yi Soo is at the sports shop and buys a pair of gloves for someone special. She smiles as she is on her way to someplace. Suddenly, it starts to rain and she has to run to a nearby café. Do Jin is sitting inside the café while doing his work. Do Jin notices Yi Soo. She turns and their eyes meet. A long romantic love sparks start. Suddenly, his date arrive and place her hands over his eyes. She is playing the guess who game with him. When he pulls her hands away, Yi Soo is gone. It turns out that Yi Soo comes into the café, which is run by Jung Rok. She gets a call from Tae Wan as she smiles. Tae Wan wants to go on a date with her friend. She told him that she will give her friend’s phone number to him and hangs up quickly. Do Jin sees her again on his way out. Meanwhile, Jung Rok interviews a new part-timer who turns out to be a pretty young woman. He takes off his wedding ring and starts the interview with her. Yi Soo meets her friend Hong Se Ra, the woman that Tae-san is interested in. Se Ra only wants to know if Tae San is wealthy, but Yi Soo tells her that he’s a good person. She sighs as thinking about her life and one-sided love.

While Yi Soo is on her way to her friend’s shop opening, she walks along the path of cherry blossom trees. She smiles as the flower breeze passes by her. Do Jin has a meeting with his clients. As soon as he packs his drawings, he notices a sketch of Yi Soo on his works. He smiles as he does not notice that Yi Soo passes by. Yi Soo stops at the street vendor. Both of them bump into each other and his bag caught at Yi Soo’s red knitted dress. It starts to reveal her butt as he walks away. He then realized that there is a thread caught at his bag. Curiously, he follows the thread until he meets Yi Soo. She has no idea what is going on and just stares at him. He tells her about the dress. Yi Soo screams and feels embarrassed especially in public. He helps her by going behind her as a shield and asks her to march forward. They stopped at the accessories vendor. Instead of buying accessories, he buys the table cloth. He wraps the table cloth around Yi Soo’s waist. He adds on a brooch pin, looks at his work, and walks off while being very pleased with his own work. However, Yi Soo still says that both of them are at fault.

Yi Soo tells Se Ra about the knitted dress scenario while Se Ra is getting ready for her date. A doorbell rings and Yi Soo gets the door. Tae San appeared while there is still facial cream on Yi Soo’s face. Yi Soo feels surprised and sad as Tae Wan and Se Ra are going on a date. Both Tae Wan and her friend leave while Yi Soo just stands there alone in the doorway. She takes out the gloves she had personalized with his number, and then puts them away with a long sigh. It turns out that she wants to give these gloves to Tae San.
Christmas has arrived. Yi Soo tells her class of high school boys that instead of studying really hard to be smarter, she suggests that they should think of how to spend their youth. One student in particular, Kim Dong Hyup (Kim Woo Bin), swoons at her from the back of the class. She warns the boys to not to cause any trouble during their vacation. Yi Soo went to a cake shop to buy a Christmas cake, and gets a text from Mae Ah Ri. Yi Soo then goes to see Yoon and laughs to see him wearing a Santa hat. Yoon insists that this is part of the company policy. She gives the cake and says that it is from Mae Ah Ri, she gives the drink to Yoon. She notices a wedding ring on Yoon’s ring finger. She tells him that Mae Ah Ri didn’t receive any phone calls, texts, and emails from him. Suddenly, a woman bursts into the room and asks for a divorce even though it is Christmas Eve

At the same time, Do Jin and Tae San are at a Christmas party. Se Ra is flirting with a group of guys, and Tae San swoops in to cover her up with his jacket. But, she rejects his offer. Do Jin rejects the woman who hits on him and leaves that party early. Tae San and Se Ra go outside. Tae San tells her off about her attitude and actions. In the end, he leaves her behind without saying a word. He calls Jung Rok and asks where he is. Meanwhile, it looks like Jung Rok is having a hard time at the moment.
His wife, Park Min Sook (Kim Jung Nan), dressed into a sexy santa’s little helper. She is the woman who wants a divorce with Yoon. She tells him that, based on the Internet history, he likes this kind of sexy concept. She gives him a Christmas present and it turns out to be a wedding. She says she found it in his apron. He quickly comes up with an excuse but she notices that there is a new part timer at his café. So, she fires her. Then, she locks herself in the bedroom, leaving him to plead for her forgiveness.
Yi Soo spends Christmas Eve alone and cleaning. She caught a view of her and decides to glam her eyes with mascara. Do Jin spends Christmas Eve working while having a glass of wine. He gets hungry so he stuffs a bill in his pocket and heads out, remembering to take his pen with him for some reason. But he gets stopped on the street by two thugs—one of them is a high school troublemaker Dong Hyup. They ask him for cigarette and money. Yi-soo gets a phone call from the police station.

Do Jin and Yoon, with cuts and bruises on their faces, are at the police station. Dong Hyup and three of his buddies are also bruised, and they insist that the ajusshis attacked first. The flashback comes: Do Jin lectures them and Yoon shows up. The students deny that it did not happen. Do Jin takes out his pen, which happens to be a recorder. He makes the police officer listen to the real truth behind this fight. After hearing it, Do Jin and Yoon are released. Do Jin says that he does not want to settle with this situation. They walk out of the police station and Yoon tells him to reconsider as the students are just boys. However, Do Jin still does not care about these students. Then, Yoon saw Yi Soo comes running into the station. He hides behind the hall to avoid being seen by Yi Soo. She and Do-jin bump into each other again but do not see each other. Yoon comes out. He says that he doesn’t want anyone, who knows him, to see him like this. He wonders if she is the homeroom teacher. At that moment, Do Jin turns around and goes back to the police station to have a word with the teacher but Yoon holds him back. In the end, they walk off.

Yi Soo pleads with the police officer to give her the victim’s phone number. The students and the police officer look at her racoon eye makeup. Dong Hyup tells Yi Soo that he already memorized Do Jin’s phone number. They get released she takes them out to a baseball field. She tells them to throw and hit thousand baseballs which are in the cart that they wheeled them. Dong Hyup says sorry to her but she does not forgive and believe him anymore. As the baseball goes at her, she catches it instantly. As the students are shock with her amazing moves, they start to do their punishment.

Jung Rok goes to the bar and sighs because of his argument with his wife. Yoon and Do Jin walk in. Jung Rok asks what happened to their faces. Yoon counters that he’s the one who’s in trouble by saying that his wife want a divorce. On the other hand, Jung Rok had an argument with his wife. Basically, those two guys are married to the same woman. He listens to their story about their fight with the high school boys and he doesn’t believe it. Tae-san joins them, asking Jung Rok what’s with their faces. Jung Rok tells Tae San that they got beaten up by high school boys while Yoon and Do Jin denies it. Tae-san continues to ignore them and starts making jokes about Yoon and Do Jin. While Do Jin goes to the bathroom, Tae San spots his recorder pen, and the three guys swoop in to hear what really happened.

We move on to the true story behind the fight, it turns out that Do Jin was afraid of them while the boys ask him for money. Then, Yoon showed up. Yoon becomes brave and talks down on the boys. Suddenly, two boys come behind them. Do Jin and Yoon got scared. That was how that happened. After listening to what happened through the recorder pen, they laugh out loud. Do Jin comes back to find them laughing over the true story of the fight, they started to play catching game. Then, it comes to where they enjoyed themselves during the new year(eg. eating fish cakes, playing yut). They narrate that even though they look old and mature but they are still young at heart. A year has passed and they are going to be 41 years old.
They end up lying down on Do Jin’s couch. Do Jin whines about Jung Rok wearing Do Jin’s underwear. Then, Tae San appears wearing a pair of Do Jin’s pants. He whines that he’s stretching them out, but Tae-san is more curious about something else he found, and presents the group with a pair of women’s stockings, ripped to shreds. They joke and play around like kids. A client comes to discuss plans for her new hotel. Do Jin tells Tae San that they have to work on this big project.

At a baseball game, Do Jin tells Yoon about the project that both he and Tae San will be working on. Yi Soo texts Do Jin asking to meet him (about settling the boy’s case) but he ignores the call. Yoon asks who’s calling, and Do Jin just says that some woman is chasing him. Tae San runs up and tells Do Jin to get change as they are short of one player. They get him suited up. Yi Soo is the umpire. During the baseball game, Do Jin baseball skills are really bad. He almost wants to fight with Yi Soo as he thinks it is unfair that she says that he is out of the game.

After the game, Do Jin asks Tae San about the umpire, and then sees her take off her giant cage helmet. Do Jin is mesmerized at her beauty. Tae San asks what he thinks of her, and Do Jin just acts cool about his perceptions about her. He says that he can get her phone number in 30 seconds. Tae San says that it is not a good idea as he wants to put Yoon and Yi Soo on a date. She runs up, and Do Jin nudges Tae San to introduce him. But she doesn’t even look up at him, and runs off. Tae San dies laughing of Do Jin’s failed attempt to get her phone number. Do Jin runs up to ask if she doesn’t remember him. However, she pretends that she doesn’t know him and leaves. She feels mortified and questions about whether he will tell Tae San about what happened between he and her. Yi Soo is his apartment to ask him to settle the boy’s situation.
Do Jin and Yoon head home. Do Jin talks about the woman (Yi Soo) that he met at first sight. Flashback to that first rainy day, when after leaving the café, Do-jin had ditched his date to come back and get Yi Soo’s number. But when he came back, she was already gone. On the dress incident, he tried to get her number after helping her. However, she had jumped into a taxi before he could reach her. He tells Yoon that today he met Yi Soo again.

Yi Soo calls and he answers this time. He tries to cut her off but she pleads with him to forgive the boys. He hangs up and Yoon is angry after noticing that he has not settle with the boys. He yells at Do Jin tells him that the teacher is Yi Soo. Do Jin’s jaw drops. Yoon urges him to hurry up and settle, Yoon yells at Doo Jin to get out of his car. He goes out of the car and tells Yoon that he should have told him earlier about Yi Soo.
He walks up to his door and then stops in his tracks. Yi Soo is standing right in his path, walking towards him. At the same time, Yoon calls her to tell her that Do Jin is the guy she’s trying to contact to settle with the boys. She asks whether the middle-aged man was him but Yoon denies it. He said that he heard the fight from Tae San. She feels frustrated at her horrible luck while Do Jin makes himself look good towards her. However, Yi Soo walks pass and ignores Do Jin.

She is in frustration while Do Jin follows her. She picks up her phone to call, and he excitedly readies his phone. But then she puts it away, and he sighs. He follows her all the way to a convenience store, and just as he’s about to open his mouth, she laughs out loud to herself at the phone conversation with Do Jin. Yi Soo decides to text him asking to meet. He gets his petty revenge by telling her to show up at his office with a rose between her teeth. The next day, she shows up at his office. He acts all grumpy and tells her to leave as she does not follow his instruction. She takes the rose out from her bag and asks whether she can tuck the rose at her ear.

He grins and tells her to wait, flower-in-ear. She sits down and he steals little glances at her. From his point of view, they get transported to a grassy field, and spring is in the air. She notices Tae San’s desk behind her. She sighs at the picture of him with Se Ra and then smiles at the pair of gloves. She takes a glove and mimicking a hand hold. Do Jin sees her and finds out that she is in love with Tae Sane. That brings him back to reality. He storms out with no interest on helping the boys out. Yi Soo chases after him. He finally turns around to ask her whether she loves Tae San. Upon hearing that, she is shocked about Do Jin who knows her secret one-sided love.

Point of View

This reminds of ‘Sex and the City’. However, this is the male version one and I love it. It depicts men talking about life and relationship. I enjoyed the bromance between these four men. They talked and laughed about their life including mostly dating and relationship. Although they look mature and good looking but they do enjoy hanging out like children. I do admit that they are seriously good looking especially Jang Dong Gun who is one of my favourite actors. He acts really well in portraying Do Jin to have both serious and cute personality when it comes to work, friends, and relationship. For me, it is my first time seeing him another side of him when it comes to acting. Kim Soo Ro, as usual, brings up the laughter and seriousness on the first episode. In the fighting scene with high school boys, I was able to see that not all men are perfect as they have a few weaknesses. All I could say is that these four men show their classy and funny looks and personality that audiences will enjoy.

In this episode, I like the coincidences on the connections between Yi Soo, Do Jin, Tae San, and Yoon. It is a small world that all of them knew each other. You can see that Yi Soo knew these three men. I am sure her connections with these four men will become closer on the next upcoming episodes. At the moment, I think the first episode focuses on Do Jin and Yi Soo as they met and Do Jin fell in love with her. He tries to get her number at three incidents (café, dress incident, and during the baseball game). The romantic scene which I really like is the skirt incident as Do Jin saves Yi Soo from humiliation including Do Jin sort of giving her the back hug. At the moment, I am confused with the relation about Jung Rok and Yoon of having the same woman. I think I am going to think that this woman is taking advantage of these two men. She is really selfish and wants attention. Wonder what she will do next.

So, in this episode, I can see a love square relationship (Do Jin, Yi Soo, Tae San, and Sera). However, I hope that Do Jin and Yi Soo are together. Anyway, I am looking forward to this couple as there will be love sparks between them. On the other hand, I wonder what happens if all four men fell in love with Yi Soo. Who knows? We will just have to wait and see. I also want to see their side of their stories in the next upcoming episodes.

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