A Gentleman’s Dignity

So this has been billed as the male version of Sex & the City. The bromance between the four leading men is heartwarming to watch, but their ‘bros before hos’ mantra gets tiresome.

Most of the reviews I’ve read for this series points out the blatant sexism in almost every scene, and while I agree this show does the women’s movement no favors, the leading men are all in their forties and from a different, suckier generation. Not an excuse, but they behave exactly how I’d expect creepy, conservative older men to behave.

Let’s start with Kim Do-jin (Jang Dong-gun) an architect by day and playboy by night with a penchant for wearing two safety pins on his blazers. He also has temporary amnesia whenever he gets stressed, so he records his daily life on an audio pen.

Dong-gun is the Korean George Clooney, and while he’s certainly attractive, his asshole behavior isn’t.  The first few episodes are kind of fun because of his one-sided love for Seo Yi-soo (Kim Ha-neul) but when he starts rejecting her because of an honest misstep that she makes, his cruelty makes me wonder how anyone can take him seriously as a human being.

As for Yi-soo, as a fellow teacher I admire her concern for her students and how she goes out of her way to help the troubled ones, even bailing them out at the police station. However, outside of her professional life she’s completely inept, prone to crazy crying spells, and does these weird eye twitches which make me wonder if she’s mentally challenged.  She uses a high pitched sing song cadence which can be occasionally charming if a 13 year old is speaking but is unsettling coming from a grown 35 year old woman. She also has a prepubescent view of sex, squealing in embarrassment when Do-jin happens upon some bras on her bed.

I have the brain of a ten year old.

Yi soo’s roommate, Se ra has potential to be the “strong” woman since she’s a professional golfer, but quickly becomes the bitchy frenemy who you wish would just disappear along with her hyper masculine boyfriend, Tae San.

Did you just interrupt me??

There are certainly some fun moments that make this series worth a glance. Like the guest stars! Girls’ Generation Sooyoung turned the normally quiet, attorney Choi Yoon into a giggly, dancing fanboy.

CNBlue’s Lee Jong-hyun was probably added to draw in younger viewers.

why yes, I am a vampire

And of course, Yonghwa.

My junior high teacher’s here??

Grade: C+

Pros: Several standout comedic scenes, an engaging soundtrack, interesting commentary on how to handle life as you grow older, and great fashion. Also, Choi Yoon’s gentle character and his strangely appealing romance with the much younger Im Meari.

Cons: Sexism that makes you cringe. Ditzy annoying screeching women. Aggressive hypocritical manboys. Extended crying scenes that you’ll want to fast forward through.

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One thought on “A Gentleman’s Dignity

  1. I liked this drama. Maybe it is because of my age. It was definitely frustrating at times, though. Most of the things you really disliked I think I barely noticed. Now I feel like I need to watch it again.

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