Drama Recaps
A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 1
by | May 27, 2012 | 191 Comments

A nice first episode out of the gate for the new weekend drama A Gentleman’s Dignity, from the writer-director pair behind Secret Garden, City Hall, On Air, and the Lovers series. Though the romance setup is your standard fare, it plays out cutely, and the bromance is the thing that really shines. I’m not in love with the characters yet, but I did have a good time and get in some good laughs, so I’m hopeful that it’ll keep delivering.


A Gentleman’s Dignity OST – Kim Tae-woo – “High High” [ Download ]

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We open on four pairs of freshly shined black shoes… pan up to four tailored black suits… and land on our gentleman foursome (which we’ll call F44, since they’re flower, but no longer boys). They’ve arrived at a funeral.

Our hero KIM DO-JIN (Jang Dong-gun) says that theirs is an age when you might go at any second. He says, “The only reason we’ve come is…”

Next to him is CHOI YOON (Kim Min-jong), who continues the voiceover: “…A rich agency executive…”

“…’s model wife…” says IM TAE-SAN (Kim Suro), the next guy over. And LEE JUNG-ROK (Lee Jong-hyuk) completes the thought at the end of the line, “…’s friends are all models too.”

HAHAHA. And then they leer, in unison, at all the pretty grieving women. Jung-rok hurriedly removes his wedding ring. They get ready to make their grand entrance, but suddenly a woman and a little boy run in past them.

Oh noes. It’s the dead guy’s other family. Sure enough, the two widows get into a brawl right there, and everyone at the funeral gets involved. It’s a madhouse. The guys look at each other, and then split up to take care of business. Jung-rok gives their bereavement envelopes and signs their names in the guestbook. Yoon pays his respects. Tae-san tries to break up the tussle (to no avail).

And Do-jin stands apart from the crowd, just watching. He finally offers his handkerchief to someone. A woman reaches out, thinking it’s for her, but no, it’s for the little boy. Aw. Probably a moment just to tell us that cold exterior guy does have a heart in there somewhere.

Then they walk down the street, strutting their stuff. Do-jin says that theirs is also an age where a man can always keep his dignity. It segues into the opening credits. So much eye candy!

Do-jin arrives at work to his bustling architecture firm. Things we learn: he looks good in a trenchcoat. Mmmmm. Wait… what was I saying? Oh right. Things we learn: His assistant comes running up to his car upon arrival, coffee in hand.

He’s a rapid walk-and-talker (of course, since this is a Kim Eun-sook drama). Everyone greets him. Everyone has questions for him. And this place has more employees than a frickin’ sweatshop. What on earth?

Another assistant comes running up to swap coffee for phone, as Tae-san has been calling all morning. Do-jin reluctantly answers, and we see that in the workplace, the two friends can often be at war: Tae-san runs the construction company that Do-jin contracts to build his buildings.

Tae-san is the type to shout furiously (over expectations versus cost of materials) while Do-jin just hangs up in the middle of conversations when he wants to. Dude. I hate hanger-uppers.

And then we meet our heroine, SEO YI-SOO (Kim Haneul), shopping for a batting glove that’ll make the recipient want to hug and kiss her. She walks down the street happily with gift in hand, when it starts to rain.

She ducks under a café umbrella to wait it out. Do-jin is sitting inside that café, and he looks out to see that it’s raining. That’s when he notices Yi-soo, and she turns. Their eyes meet for a long moment.

But then the moment is annoyingly interrupted when his date arrives and literally blocks his view, placing her hands over his eyes to play a round of guess who. When he pulls them away, Yi-soo is gone.

He hilariously tells the woman that their date was for 3 o’clock, and even though she’s early, he tells her that they can start speaking at 3 exactly. Pffft. Who would date this guy?

It turns out that Yi-soo has come inside the coffee shop, which is run by Jung-rok. What is this, six degrees?

She sits down and answers a call excitedly. It must be baseball guy. It is… but it’s also Tae-san. WUT? This really IS six degrees. So she had met Tae-san with a friend at a baseball field, and clearly she’s interested in him, but he’s calling to ask for her friend’s phone number. Aw, poor girl. She says she’ll text it to him and hangs up quickly.

Do-jin sees her again on his way out. Meanwhile Jung-rok conducts an interview for a new part-timer, and when he sees that it’s a pretty young girl, he quickly pops his wedding band off. Clearly going to be his trademark move.

Yi-soo meets her friend HONG SAE-RA (Yoon Sae-ah), the golfer that Tae-san is interested in. Sae-ra only wants to know if Tae-san is wealthy, but Yi-soo tells her that he’s a good person. She doesn’t give away her crush, but she clearly had one.

She looks out at the rain and muses that she’d really like for something to happen suddenly in her life… like love.

Sometime later she walks down a lane of cherry blossom trees on her way to a friend’s shop opening, and stops to take in the air, smiling as the flowers breeze past her.

Do-jin has a meeting with a client, and then as he packs up his drawings, he notices a sketch he did of that woman he saw outside the café. He smiles at it. What he doesn’t notice is that Yi-soo walks past him yet again.

She stops at a street vendor and he passes behind her, but just as he’s about to pass by, she drops something and stoops to pick it up. Haha, are you literally meeting him butt-first?

He knocks into her but keeps going. What neither of them realize is that a thread from her sweater dress has gotten caught on his bag, and it starts to rapidly unravel, butt-first, as he walks away. At least she’s got a slip on.

It takes a while before he sees the thread, and he peers curiously at it. And then he pulls on it some more and finally starts to walk back as he gathers it up into a ball. He ends up at Yi-soo, and gets in a good look before getting her attention.

She has no idea what’s going on and just stares, until he turns her attention to her backside. She screams in horror and backs up into a glass window of a coffee shop, and he’s like, I can’t see but they can?

He tucks the ball of yarn in her pocket and asks if she lives near here or has her car. Both no. So he decides there’s no other way around it, and pulls her toward him, basically using himself as a backside shield. Rawr.

She’s still totally confused and panicked, but he just tells her to march forward. They just walk down the street like that, in a moving back-hug of sorts, and she blames him for his yarn-snagging bag while he blames her, asking how he’s supposed to dodge an oncoming rear end (calling it an attack butt), noting that she’s doing it again now. Hey, you’re the one who wanted to make a sandwich.

He stops them at an accessories vendor and asks how much. The shopkeeper assumes he means one of the items, but no, he’s asking about her tablecloth. Ha. He then proceeds to wrap the tablecloth around Yi-soo’s waist, and then style it, like he’s actually trying to design something even in this situation.

He even adds a flower pin for good measure, and then stands back, impressed with his work. He pays for the materials and then walks away pleased, feeling like she ought to be grateful that he saved the day. She stands there flabbergasted in his wake.

It turns out that Sae-ra is her roommate, and she relays her mortifying story as Sae-ra primps for a date. The doorbell rings and Yi-soo runs to answer the door mid-lotioning her face and her hair wrapped in a towel, and gasps to see Tae-san standing in her doorway.

She lights up to see him, but then her heart sinks when he tells her that he’s here to pick up Sae-ra for their first date, thanks to Yi-soo. (He also mentions knowing how to get there because he’s dropped Yi-soo off a few times, so clearly they were close enough that he considers Yi-soo a friend while she wanted more.)

She stammers that she didn’t know they were talking, and then after they run off, she stands alone in the doorway for a long while. She takes out the batting gloves she had personalized with his number, and then puts them away with a long sigh.

About half a year passes and it’s Christmas time. Yi-soo tells her class of high school boys that studying during their break won’t make them any smarter (Ha) and suggests they think long and hard about how they want to spend (or waste) their youth.

One student in particular, KIM DONG-HYUP (Kim Woo-bin), swoons at her from the back of the class (which tells us he’s a troublemaker and likely the class’ jjang). She warns the boys to be good and he whispers that she’s crazy pretty even when she scowls.

Yi-soo heads out and buys a Christmas cake, and gets a text from someone named Mae-ah-ri, who calls her Teach and asks her to tell Yoon oppa that she’s gotten really pretty. It’s unclear what that relationship is.

Yi-soo then goes to see Yoon, (so she already knows two out of our four guys even before having met Do-jin) and laughs to see him wearing a santa hat, which he insists was company policy.

She gives him the cake which she says is from Mae-ah-ri, and a drink from herself. He thanks her for always doing this, and she says she can’t turn down a request from Mae-ah-ri.

She notices a wedding(?) ring on his finger and says that Mae-ah-ri told her he hasn’t been answering her calls or emails. Hm.

Suddenly a woman bursts into the room and asks for a divorce. Er? Yoon tells her it’s Christmas Eve, and she says yeah, she’s got plans on Christmas day. Ha.

At the same time, Do-jin and Tae-san are at a Christmas party. Sae-ra is flirting it up with a group of guys, and Tae-san swoops in to try and cover her up with his jacket, which she pointedly rejects over and over.

Do-jin gets hit on and rejects the woman flatly, leaving the party early. Tae-san and Sae-ra step out to hash things out. He argues that those men were doing nothing but staring at her chest. She’s like, Duh, that’s why I wore this dress, to show the world how awesome I look.

She asks why on earth he can’t just be cool about it, but he asks if watching his girlfriend fluttering with guys surrounding her is her idea of cool and hip. He tells her that she doesn’t even treat him as well as the clothes she’s wearing, and calls it quits.

He calls Jung-rok as he storms out of the party, asking where he is. Jung-rok: “I don’t know… if this is heaven or hell.” Cut to his wife, PARK MIN-SOOK (Kim Jung-nan), dressed like a stripper version of santa’s little helper. (She’s the woman who stormed into Yoon’s office asking for a divorce, so at least that clears that up.)

He doesn’t really know how to react, and she tells him that he likes this kind of outfit—or so his internet history says. HA. She says santa has a present for him and hands him a box. He opens it to find… his wedding ring. Oops.

She says she found it in his apron. He quickly comes up with an excuse but she adds that the new hire is very pretty. She went ahead and fired her. He squirms. She locks herself in the bedroom, leaving him to plead (and strip, heh) outside the door. So clearly he married this woman for her money and she’s the boss.

Yi-soo spends Christmas Eve alone and cleaning. She catches a view of her rear end in the mirror and notes that it is kind of an attack butt. She decides to play around with makeup, and tries her hand at glamming herself up. It ends disastrously, somewhere between crazy eyes and leather-fetish hooker.

Do-jin tellingly spends Christmas Eve working, though it’s with 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 our high school troublemaker Dong-hyup. They ask the ajusshi for a cigarette and when he turns them down, they block his path.

Yi-soo gets a phone call, and she answers with a cringe, “How are you, Officer Kim?”

Cut to a bruised Do-jin, sitting in the police station, Lawyer Yoon by his side, ALSO bruised. Haha. Dong-hyup and three of his buddies are also cut up, and they insist the ajusshis attacked first. Yoon hangs his head, mortified. This is hilarious.

So we see in flashback that Do-jin had yelled at the minors that smoking is terrible for you. He was busy lecturing them when Yoon walked up.

The students scoff that that’s not what happened, and Do-jin takes out his pen, which happens to be a recorder. He shoves it into the officer’s laptop and makes him listen, which verifies his version of the story.

He says he records everything in his life. Um… self-important much? Do you kiss yourself in the mirror too? He tells them that he’ll see them in court—no settling, no way. Yoon evil-eyes him, Really? Really? But he doesn’t budge.

They walk out of the police station and Yoon tells him to reconsider—they’re just boys. But Do-jin argues that seventeen isn’t a child. Just then, Yi-soo comes running into the station, and Yoon ducks into a hallway to hide.

She and Do-jin bump into each other again, but don’t stop to look. Yoon comes out and says that he doesn’t want anyone who knows him to see him like this, and then wonders if she’s the boys’ teacher.

At that, Do-jin whirls around to go give said teacher a piece of his mind, but Yoon holds him back, reminding him that they may not have been in the wrong, but it’s not exactly something to boast about. “We’re forty.” HA. That’s enough to make Do-jin turn around.

Meanwhile Yi-soo pleads with the detective to give her the plaintiff’s phone number, and they all gape at her crazy raccoon eyes. I love that she sweet-talks the officer and turns around and barks at the boys. Clearly already a routine for all involved.

Dong-hyup breezes that he already stole a glance at the card and memorized Do-jin’s phone number. She snaps sarcastically that he should be proud of himself.

They get released into her custody and she takes them out to a baseball field, wielding a bat. They whimper, “Are you going to hit us?” She tells them to call the police if they think it’s unfair. Ha. So as Teach, she’s pretty badass.

She tells them that there are a thousand baseballs in the carts they wheeled out, and so if they throw and hit a thousand balls, their arms will at least be incapacitated from swinging punches for two weeks. This keeps her from having to hit them (though she’d like to), and keeps them out of trouble.

The minions make jokes, but Dong-hyup keeps them in line. He’s the only who feels genuinely contrite, though this is obviously his crush talking, not his moral compass. He tries to apologize, but she tells him to save it, since she doesn’t believe him anymore.

The other boys shout in horror at the baseball headed straight for Teach, but she shocks them all when she catches it barehanded like it’s nothing. They hurry to fulfill their punishment as ordered.

Jung-rok sighs over his luck at a bar, wait, does he own this place too? Good grief. Yoon and Do-jin walk in and he laughs, asking what happened to their faces. Yoon counters that he’s the one who’s in trouble—his wife stormed into his office demanding a divorce.

But he doesn’t even flinch, “Yeah she wanted a divorce on our anniversary too.” He asks for their story, and then we cut to his reaction, “You expect me to believe that you two fought seventeen guys and won?” Ha, that’s close to the truth.

Do-jin’s like fine, don’t believe us! Yoon: “What, do you think we got beaten up by high-schoolers or something?” Pffft. Tae-san joins them, asking Jung-rok what’s with their faces. “They got beaten up by high-schoolers.”

In unison, they whine, “WE DID NOT!” Tae-san continues to ignore them, saying to Jung-rok, “That must be quite embarrassing.” I officially love anytime the four of them are gathered.

While Do-jin goes to the bathroom, Tae-san spots his recorder pen, and the three guys swoop in to hear what really happened.

Flashback to the events, this time the true version—the boys ask for money then, if he doesn’t have any cigarettes, and instead of that bold lecture from before, it turns out he just lies that he doesn’t have any money, scared and meek like a kitten.

He totally chokes in front of the teenage thugs, and when Dong-hyup tells him to stop speaking in banmal, he actually switches to jondae. Omg. I’m so embarrassed for you. They order him to take his hands out of his pocket are two seconds away from robbing him when Yoon appears.

Do-jin: “Yoon! LAWYER Yoon!” Hahaha. Yoon turns out to be braver, talking down to the high school kids. But just as he tells them to c’mere, their friends show up behind them. Gulp.

Back to the boys listening to all this unfold. They bust a gut. Do-jin comes back to find them laughing over the pen, which leads to a game of keep-away in the middle of the bar. Cute.

He narrates, “We met when we were eighteen, and have been friends for twenty-two years. Though we might look forty, whenever we’re together, we always revert to eighteen. Another new year came and we turned forty. But when we were with each other, we always remained boys.”

We watch them spend New Year’s Day together, eating on the street and playing a giant set of yoot. They end up splayed out on Do-jin’s couch, and he asks why Jung-rok insisted on showering when he doesn’t even have underwear to change into.

Jung-rok: “I did.” Do-jin: “Whose?” Jung-rok: “Yours.” Hee. And then Tae-san appears wearing a pair of Do-jin’s sweats, which are waaay too tight for him. 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’re like, ooooooh and Do-jin tells them to get their minds out of the gutter. Yoon narrates that they may be boys when they’re together, but apart, they’re very adult.

It looks like Tae-san and Do-jin are actually partners in the same company, just running two separate divisions, because when a client comes to discuss plans for her new hotel, Do-jin tells Tae-san that they have to score this deal (which hinges on Tae-san bearing his biceps for the lady who has a massive crush on him, ha).

The next day Do-jin tells Yoon about it while visiting their baseball game. Ah, so THIS is how Yi-soo knows both Tae-san and Yoon—it’s like a community intramural baseball league.

She texts Do-jin asking to meet him (to settle the boys’ case) but he ignores the call. Yoon asks who’s calling, and he just breezes that it’s a woman dying to see him. Yoon: “Can’t you just be faithful to one woman?” Do-jin: “I’m equally faithful to no women.” Dude, so not the same thing.

Tae-san runs up to say they’re short a player, so he’s gonna have to fill in for them. They get him suited up.

Yoon is the pitcher, Tae-san the catcher, and Yi-soo the umpire. Do-jin is useless, letting balls fly past him in the outfield and striking out over and over. He takes particular offense to Yi-soo’s enthusiastic, “Steeeeeee-rike!” and nearly starts a fight with her.

After the game is when he finally asks Tae-san about the umpire, and then sees her take off her giant cage helmet. She does this shampoo commercial hair flip and Do-jin swoons.

Tae-san asks what he thinks of her, and Do-jin says he doesn’t really know since he’s only gotten a good look at her backside. Ha. We know he’s referencing the other incident, but Tae-san chides him for spending the game with his eye on the umpire’s butt rather than the ball.

He turns to Tae-san: “Thirty seconds. Thirty seconds till she’s offering me her phone number. Watch.” Tae-san pleads with him not to—this is a woman he has to see for a long time (connection to Sae-ra, not just baseball), and besides, he wants Yoon to date her. Oh interesting. I do too!

She runs up, and Do-jin nudges Tae-san to introduce him, which he does. But she doesn’t even look up at him, and runs off. Tae-san: “Do you need thirty more seconds?” He dies laughing.

Do-jin runs up to ask if she doesn’t remember him, and once he gets her attention, recognition flickers across her face, but she pretends not to remember who he is. She runs off, and he calls out that he met her butt last spring.

She runs away, mortified, with her hands over her rear, cursing the coincidence. But the place she runs off to is his apartment, since she’s trying to track down the guy suing Dong-hyup and the boys.

Do-jin and Yoon head home and Do-jin muses that there were two women whose numbers he really wanted last spring. 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. Then the skirt day, when he had the same feeling, and turned back to get her number… only she had jumped into a taxi before he could reach her.

He tells Yoon that today he met one of those women, and then realized that they weren’t two women after all—but one woman, two times.

And then, Yi-soo calls and he answers this time. He tries to cut her off but she pleads with him to forgive the boys—they’re young and they have their whole lives ahead of them. He counters that he does too, insisting that he’s still at a flowering age, which makes Yoon scoff.

Yoon realizes belatedly that this is about the high school boys, and pulls the car over with a lurch. He yells at Do-jin for not letting them settle, and tells him that the teacher is someone they’re all connected to—Tae-san’s girlfriend’s roommate, the umpire from earlier.

Do-jin’s jaw drops. “That woman is THIS woman?” Yoon urges him to hurry up and settle, and yells at him to get out. He does, and then stoops down to yell at Yoon for not telling him this earlier. “At least before I said flower! You had many chances!” Hahaha.

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, and she asks if he’s the other guy who got into the tussle with Dong-hyup. Yoon quickly denies it, saying he just heard about it from Tae-san. Heh.

She squeals in frustration at her horrible luck, and Do-jin smoothes his hair in anticipation…

And she walks right past him. I love how many times she’s deflated this player’s ego without even knowing it. He gapes to be passed by and ignored by her, yet again.

He ends up following her, and she’s so wrapped up in her frustration that she doesn’t even notice him. 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 Do-jin calling himself a flower, wondering if he’s really a whack job.

I love that he can hear all of her commentary about what a weirdo she thinks he is. She texts him asking to meet and he gets his petty revenge by telling her to show up at his office with a flower between her teeth.

She shows up to his office the next day and he puts up a gruff front, indicating that she didn’t follow his instructions so she can come back tomorrow. She says she brought a flower in case he wasn’t kidding, and then hesitates, “Can’t I tuck it in my ear?”

He grins and tells her to wait, flower-in-ear. She sits down and he steals little glances at her, totally giddy and trying to hide it. From his point of view, they get transported to a grassy field, and spring is in the air.

She sits for a while, and then notices Tae-san’s desk behind her. She sighs at the picture of him with Sae-ra and then smiles at the pair of gloves. She takes one in her hand, mimicking a hand-hold, and smiles lovingly.

Do-jin sees her, and gets the meaning of the look and gesture right away. That brings him back down to earth, as the field fades from the background. Aw.

He storms out with no intention of settling or letting the boys off the hook, and Yi-soo chases him down. He finally turns around to ask her one thing: “You like Tae-san, don’t you?”

She gapes at her secret laid bare, horrified.


The entire first episode was essentially an extended meet-cute, and I enjoyed the multi-threaded way they finally met. It’s basically like laying out one loose thread, and another, and another, until you just cinch them all and they converge. It’s fun this way, since one coincidence is just a coincidence, but then multiplying it so many times turns it into something funny. It’s not until the third time they meet that Do-jin even realizes that Woman #1 and Woman #2 were even the same, and then it doesn’t play out in the traditional way, since they end up having friends in common. Both more interesting, and more complicated.

I love that he falls for her first. Or three times. Or five? I dunno. Anyway, it’s adorable, since it’s not some kind of grand love, since he’s the kind of guy who asks for a number and thinks he can get it in thirty seconds, and yet, the guy who could have any girl is drawn to her multiple times over, and somehow fails at every turn.

For a Kim Eun-sook hero, Do-jin seems slightly less assy than his predecessors, which is a huge relief, since her heroes tend to stretch the definition of ass into new stratospheres. Do-jin is certainly a jerk when he wants to be, but is also very easily cut down to size by his buddies, a pair of high school thugs (so funny), and even Yi-soo though she doesn’t really know it yet. I like that right away he’s not some perfect guy, and even his friends cringe at him freely. For the most part, Yoon and Tae-san seem like good guys (they’re urging Do-jin to stop being such a player), while Do-jin and Jung-rok seem like they hold up the caddish end.

The tone is nice and upbeat, and the writer’s trademark rapid-fire dialogue is a highlight, as well as great cast chemistry all the way around. The couple has sparks, and more importantly, the bromance does too—the four-way friendship is pretty much why I tuned in, and why I’ll keep watching. Always a sucker for good bromance.

There are certainly things that worry me—will Do-jin get in touch with his assier self, as he did by the end of the episode? Will the plot veer into something intensely dire and melodramatic in the final act? Will I be burned for falling for the cute early on? I suppose only time will tell. No commitments yet on recaps, till we watch some more premieres.


191 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. stars4u

    Oh! YEESSS~

    I was wondering if you guys would be recapping this but this would be enough!

    • 1.1 JIW_sobangnim

      AND I think this will be the last recap as well? 🙁

      Been checking regularly, but seems to have no updates on Episode 2. Guess I cant be able to save any more screencaps.

      BTW, awesome drama. Love the Secret Garden feel 🙂 Ah….

  2. kewbie

    I actually just finished watching the first 2 episodes about 10 minutes before I saw your review! I totally loved it. I can see this as an American show, actually, if someone over here ever decided to remake it for American audiences. Thanks for recapping, as always!

  3. Joe

    A Gentleman’s Dignity used the idea from Salaryman: Bang talks on the phone with his mother, assuring her not to worry about his future, and fiddles with a string on the Christmas tree. Which turns out to not be trimming after all, but a loose thread… from Yeo-chi’s dress. In the Lobby, Bang winds the thread around his finger absently while Yeo-chi has an argument with boyfriend about ending relationship…she gets up to leave, wondering why everyone’s staring at her… and sees that her hemline is a few inches north of where it began. Hang-woo comes into the lobby and sees the crowd gathered around Yeo-chi. She spots the source of her humiliation, blithely continuing to wind, wind, wind the string around his hand.
    She starts off after him, but Bang’s cell phone signal sputters, so he gets up to chase a stronger signal — forcing Yeo-chi to skitter off after him, lest her hemline get any shorter.

    • 3.1 Kiara

      Yea I watched that part and thought…… hummmmn where have I seen this before?.
      Thank you for the recap GF.

    • 3.2 Deasy

      the writer is always good for making humor….

    • 3.3 lenrasoon

      lol yeah i remembered this scene from Salaryman immediately.

    • 3.4 DaDa

      Yep and they even used a red dress too. Sheesh. Salaryman’s scene was funnier though.

      • 3.4.1 DB5K

        There’s a reason why both women were wearing red dresses. I heard somewhere that in Chinese folklore, two people fated to be together are connected by a red string. Also, the whole dress unraveling scenario has been done before in many other dramas~~

        Quote: “The red string of fate, also referred to as the red thread of destiny, red thread of fate, and other variants, is an East Asian belief originating from Chinese legend and is also used in Japanese legend. According to this myth, the gods tie an invisible red string around the ankles of those that are destined to meet each other in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way.”

        Red string of fate:

        • Lise

          there’s actually a taiwanese drama abt the red string connection, it came out b4 both k dramas, thats where i saw the original red dress de threading thing!

          • leonardswench

            Endless Love, I think, may be the T-drama you are referencing.

          • MJ

            There is a Japanese TV Drama 2008 titled Akai Ito which revolves around “red thread of fate”.

            And, a Japanese Movie 2008 titled Threads of Destiny aka Akai Ito is a remake of the television drama.

    • 3.5 Arhazivory

      Yup…Salaryman. lol

  4. bee

    thank youu!! was waiting for this after watching the eps 🙂 i like it so far. it’s cute and refreshing 🙂 i like the casual pace

  5. Corn Tea

    watched first two episodes already. so far so good.

  6. alien

    Thanks for recap…
    it look good… F44 yay..!!!

  7. Peyton

    Please recap this and not Dr. Jin. I was going to watch that show but then I skipped through the recap for the first ep and was too horrified by what I saw to even give it a shot. And this show seems like it’s gonna be a lot of fun. I have to admit, I’m in it for the same reason you are – the bromance.

    Thanks for all of your insights!

    • 7.1 dbsklove


  8. Noelle

    Yay I was waiting for this! Off to read.

  9. milkmustache

    OMG! YESSS! This has been recapped. I saw it yesterday on Viki and found it to be much better than Dr.Jin. There’s so much bromance and I absolutely love Kim Haneul’s character (which is surprising, considering I hated her in On Air). She’s so adorably nervous with Taesan, but all badass with her students.
    The only complaint I have about this drama is Se-ra, who is really a bitch, imo.

  10. 10 saranga

    yay! i was hoping for this recap:)

    i picked up a coffee-princeish/worlds within vibe from this drama, in that it seemed more laidback and floating-along-the-stream, focusing on little moments more than kim eun-sook’s other works. the zippy dialogue i get tired of, because i know it’s something she does, but it is pretty clever to listen to.

    but i feel like the guy falling for the girl is seems to be pretty standard for this writer… or is secret garden too recent in my memory?

  11. 11 umalily

    Anybody’s seen Bringing Up Baby? That’s Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Hepburn’s dress is torn and Grant holds her to his front to cover her undies from clients at a fancy restaurant. It looks pretty darn funny!

    • 11.1 ulala

      yeap… Grant & Hepburn…

      it’s not an original idea of Ms. Kim…

      you’re right GF.. only time will tell…

      thanks for the recap anyway…

  12. 12 stars4u

    This drama has Kim Eun-sook written all over it, from the music to Do-jin’s accessories. He has the safety pins version of Joo-won’s colored pens. And the thing that I like is that in her dramas the guy falls for the girl first.

    I love the moments when the F44 are gathered together!
    Awwww… I was wishing Yoon would end up with Yi Soo.

    • 12.1 koala

      do i smell … a divorce ?

  13. 13 Ace

    Thank you for the recaps.

    I sort of want to watch this but there are a lot of more interesting new dramas out in the next couple of weeks so I’ll skip this too. I’m just gonna predict that this is going to be a ratings hit (beating Dr. Jin) and I’m pretty sure that there’ll be parodies by the end of it. Kim Ha-neul’s really pretty here and I hope her character doesn’t end up weak, weepy, and whiny near the end.

  14. 14 ravens_nest

    OMG! I thought this was a good premier. Very cute and upbeat. I genuinely laughed the entire episode.

    Thank heavens Do Jin isn’t as douchey as I expected. I recently re-watched Secret Garden and couldn’t for the life of me understand why I liked that dude the first time around. He was a gigantic bag of dicks for 90% of that drama. What was I thinking?

    • 14.1 Zie

      LoL I know right… I too was like why did I like him again? The more I think of Secret garden, the more I realise I don’t actually like the story..

      I think Boong Do affects me more than I realise it to be.. xDD

      • 14.1.1 Biscuit

        Its the Binnie effect.

        I watched it for Hyun Bin. Never liked his character.

        • Aquila

          Binnie effect! XD

          But yes agree that it was the actor not the character!

        • ravens_nest

          I know, right? Hyun Bin had me star struck and starry eyed. Cuz honestly if my girl came home and told me she was dating a dude like him, I would probably punch him in the face…repeatedly.

          • daniela

            LOL! Yes! I already prepared a baseball bat in my closet :)))

            I did liked the SG for HB and HJW, and the music.

  15. 15 jude

    Haha I probably will check this out. The bromance sounds awesome.

  16. 16 trixicopper

    How scary is it that I know guys like these in real life? I’ve seen the first two episodes and laughed my ass off. 🙂

    Here’s to hoping the show can keep it up! Thanks GF!

    • 16.1 mardie

      are they nearly as sexy as these F44?

      if yes, what do i do to get their number? do you take cookies for bribe?

  17. 17 Gbo

    seriously , all this writer’s heroes are so ass-y. and yet all the shows are hits. I’ll take the nice guy any day.

    • 17.1 anotheraddict

      I haven’t watched all of Kim Eun Sook’s dramas, but she did create at least one hero who wasn’t an ass: Kim Joo Hyuk’s character in Lovers in Prague was a nice, tender-hearted man. Both he and Jeon Do Yeon’s character were such decent, grounded people– it was pretty hard to believe that they ever could have been attracted to their exes who turned into total whack jobs. (The actress who plays Sae Ra in AGD was the female whack job in LIPrague, which makes me kinda nervous.)

      It’s a hard time to be a hero in k-dramaland these days because Boong Do has set the bar sooooo high…

      • 17.1.1 mardie

        i agree with you. Kim Joo Hyuk’s and Jeon Do Yeon’s character are very nice people. i luv LIPrague better than the other Lovers. but then, it’s the only good one in the Lovers trio, IMHO.

  18. 18 VanillaLee

    I love it when dramas play with the red thread symbolism. I think I might watch this drama just because of the Bromance. 🙂 Thanks for the recap GF!

    • 18.1 risa

      Yes, ’twas the red thread of fate!

      I’m sure I wasn’t the only thinking “He’s a kdrama hero, so why isn’t he tying his jacket around her?” But I guess they thought “been there, done that” and that the walking back-hug would be a more entertaining way to establish intimacy between them.

      • 18.1.1 asianromance

        I was thinking about the jacket too! But then we wouldn’t get that impressive Project-Runway-esque scene, then. Who wouldn’t want a guy who can create a fashionable skirt of a tablecloth?

      • 18.1.2 becca_boo

        I thought he’d give her the jacket, too, but I’m so glad they did it this way. And not just because of the hilarious tablecloth skirt bit – the back-hug walk was the best part for me. Who wants to bet that Kim Eun-sook is a Cary Grant fan? Because that had to be a nod to Bringing Up Baby.

        • anzu

          agree, reminded me too.
          I’ve only watched ep. 1 so far, and don’t mean to say that do-jin was modeled on cary grant – but (with a drama called “gentlemen’s dignity”…) it might be fun to check whether this is, among other things, also a comment on the cary-grant-image. in the variations-on-a-theme sense.

      • 18.1.3 tarianant

        KES didn’t do the jacket thing, because his previous drama hero has done it, CSW in CH.

        but why didn’t she just buy herself a dress/skirt? she had her purse with her and there were stores and street vendors lining both sides..

        • tarianant

          *her previous…

        • daniela

          Why? a mystery …

  19. 19 audrey

    I always think of Won Bin when I hear Kim Do Jin

    • 19.1 aya

      Jang Dong-Gun who act as Kim Do Jin is Won Bin favorite actor..

  20. 20 annashee

    i like yoon the best! i think this series might be worth it 🙂

  21. 21 Zie

    Thanks for the recap GF… ^^ It looks good, thou I’m not sure if I’m gonna watch it or not..

  22. 22 minnie

    thanks for the recap!! please continue!! i loved the first two episodes. i normally don’t like kim haneul but i love the bromance and her chemistry with jang dong gun!

  23. 23 kyla

    Episode 1 is quite interesting, love the bromance and accidental meetings of the main couple. I also love the music they incorparate on every scenes.

    Thanks for the recaps.

  24. 24 whatis

    I LOVED the first 2 episodes!! oh my god… I laughed SO MUCH! I love the the script. Seriously I laughed every 5 minutes it was so funny.

    Thanks for recapping. Because I was getting confused with all the relationship and the way they know each other. Still confused with the exact relationship between Yi Soo, Yoon and Tae sun. Because they don’t seem like normal neighbors. Which neighbor goes to your office with cake and a drink for Christmas?

    LOVE the show!

  25. 25 jane

    have watched the first two episodes. I LOVE it. way way more that Dr. Jin.. 😀

  26. 26 OohLola

    i’ve been waiting for this ever since they casted JDG !! looks great! but where can you watch this with eng subs?

    • 26.1 anotheraddict

      Viki already has eps 1 &2 subbed available for viewers in the Americas.

      • 26.1.1 OohLola

        thanks a bunch!

      • 26.1.2 July

        Ooooh, thank you for the info. I found myself laughing throughout the whole recap at all those embarrassing moments. I hope it keeps being that way. I’m going to give it a try, hopefully it won’t disappooint me.

  27. 27 Deasy

    JANG DONG GUN IS BACK !!!!!!!!!!!
    Hope the rating always be #1 as the first episode until the end……

  28. 28 Krissy

    Thank you GF! I thought no ones going to make a recap of this drama. thank you! I love how you recap K2H. Thank you!

  29. 29 Niki

    Is it weird that i took an immediate liking to Yoon?? I absolutely want him to end up with Yi Soo though i know that’s not what the drama synopsis says. And i thought Kim Haneul looked nice with the crazy-panda-eyeliner. hahahahaa

    • 29.1 July

      Ditto to everything you said 🙂

    • 29.2 Alvina

      omg Yoon. He’s like the grown-up version of “Yoon Ji-Hoo” from BOF. My heart aches for him already

  30. 30 koreampuff

    KIM MINJONG. UGH T________T I’m falling for someone who’s old enough to be my dad….

  31. 31 kami

    gentlemen will walk they’ll never run…

    • 31.1 dd

      but they run in episode 2 to save one of them from his scary wife

      • 31.1.1 graygirl

        hahaha… I was thinking about this also…

    • 31.2 mtoh

      But they run so fast… 😉

  32. 32 Biscuit

    Kinda upset that everyone just happens to be connected, owns every building (hello Kang of 49 days, you just happen to be everything and own everything), because we need more realistic people.

    But I kinda expected that. Issue aside, yay for bromance! For some reason, the older the guys get, the more entertaining the bromance seems to be. hmmm….

    And finally a heroine I love! Not overly confident and fierce, but not a push over either.

  33. 33 anotheraddict

    First episodes are often a little awkward, but in my book, this one was a winner. I’m totally hooked on the bromance and the OTP’s relationship is already a lot of fun. It’s refreshing that he’s not nearly as cool as he thinks he is and that he’s falling for her already. The office in the meadow scene was reminiscent of SeGa’s whimsy– as long as they keep the makjang out of this one and keep the assiness to a minimum, I think I’m gonna be a GeDi fan.

  34. 34 kathy

    Loved the first episode, so funny. I’m laughing so hard when KDJ asked YS if she doesn’t remember him and then YS said “Are you a parent of one of my students? And when TS was dying of laughter when DJ was snobbed by YS, that was epic.

    Thanks and hope you’ll recap the next episode.

  35. 35 AnnaBanana

    I was wondering whether Gentleman’s Dignity will be recapped. I liked the first episode of it better than Dr. Jin, which I honestly couldn’t help but cringe at certain scenes. I also a huge fan of Kim Ha Neul.

    I can’t help but wonder if Kim Min Jong’s character and Kim Ha Neul’s character will have some type of love line in the future although the chances are unlikely… but I still remembered watching Bimil and couldn’t help but spaz over their chemistry when I was younger.

    Anyways, I am enjoying the current 2 episodes released, and I plan to continue watching it.

  36. 36 mellowyel

    From the recap, I can pick out a few things that could hold me to this drama: firstly, Kim Han-eul; possibly Kim Suro, by extension; and Kim Woo-bin (see below). Possibly also the CNBlue kid when he shows up, and if he’s good. Secret Garden failed to hold my attention, but I’ll try this one out for size since I have time now (yay for summer). i’m skeptical because, like Secret Garden, the premise is sparse and the story will likely end up being a straight romance with some comedy thrown in, which in SG was largely frustrating to watch, despite the fun bickering. but since there’s a cast of characters – not just a couple – at the center of the drama, I’m hoping that at least one of the stories will hold my interest

    Is it typical for this writer-director pair to cast a hot young flower boy in a supporting role? Secret Garden had Lee Jong-seok, who I liked (before I dropped the show), and now this one has Kim Woo-bin. Haven’t seen him in anything, (though I plan to check out White Christmas and some Vampidol episodes) but I swooned over his first screencap. Funny how with a great cast of attractive older men, I end up swooning over the younger ones. KWB and the White Christmas crew are all around my age, save Sung Joon, but still – is there such a thing as a noona complex? cos I might have it.

    • 36.1 sally_b

      @mellowyel – re: now this one has Kim Woo-bin. Haven’t seen him in anything…

      I quite like him. He was excellent in White Christmas (as was pretty much everyone) but also…in Vampire Idol he was quite earnest in his role.

      I actually watched EVERY single episode…raw. Though I can’t judge on delivery of dialogue (not speaking Korean)
      ……I can say for the “most often able to stay visually in character award* …it goes to him.

      Besides, he fell in love with a bunny….and was so endearing you forgave him for being a bit…thick. heehee.

      • 36.1.1 JIW_sobangnim

        Why Kim Woo Bin, when there is JONG HYUN? 🙂 HAHA.
        Raving fan hormones now 🙂

        That fair skin. Supposed to be on a girl, not a man. Is he even a man? Pretty Boy? 🙂

  37. 37 asianromance

    Thank you so much for the drama! I’m in love with this drama already and watched the second episode multiple times. The first episode was unexpectedly slow and leisurely compared to past Kim Eun Sook dramas. Even the dialogue has chilled out a bit. Maybe it’s to go along with having the story focus on older characters. I was thrown off at first, but seeing the guys playing with the giant yut set won me over! And how sad did Kim Do Jin look when he realized that his crush has a crush on his friend.

    It was sort of hard keeping track of all the new characters that were introduced at first. Luckily, they all have distinct personalities, so I was able to get to know them by the episode’s end. I have a particular fondness for Yoon. He’s like the super nice one. Even though Kim Do Jin is the main character, I feel like Yoon is the linchpin of the group.

    And I love how Do Jin falls for Yi-soo first and I love how it is Yi-soo with the unrequited love. Too often, it is the main guy who has the girl-in-his-past/present that the female lead has to contend with.

    • 37.1 mtoh

      Me too…ep 2 was so funny to watch…He’s in the spot but she isn’t….hehaaa

  38. 38 graygirl

    Wow!!! Thanks for the recap!!! I was still worrying that you won’t be doing this…

    This is really good in my opinion… hehe… Like this a lot!!!

  39. 39 lenrasoon

    i like the first two episodes of this drama a lot, but that’s expected since i adored City Hall and On Air lol.

    • 39.1 lenrasoon

      oh thanks for the recaps GF!

  40. 40 Mel

    GF!!! Thanks, ‘tried to watch this but the net’s soo a painfully slow!! But I loved this first episode that showed no matter what age men can be boys.. Love that Do Jin fell in love with Yi Soo first, over and over again.. And she just blows him off, glad that finally the female lead is not suffering the unrequieted love and I hope there won’t be a reversal where she ends up the puppy dog after Do Jin in the future episodes..

    The elder F4–love how all of them are taking on this humorous drama… The legendary Jang Dong Gun who is awesome as an ass. Kim Han Neul–love her as the heroine, hope it takes a while for her to fall for DJ. Hmm will all the elder F4 fall for her in the end? Can’t wait for next epi…

    Thanks GF….

  41. 41 mtoh

    Watched 2 ep raw…So far so good to me…
    I love that she’s into someone else and he’s into her..so funny.
    I had smile on my face…hoping for the best…I need something to pull me from TK2H thinking…but not forgetting… 😉
    This seems like my cup of tea….soon to tell…hmmm…

    • 41.1 mtoh

      O GF you are recapping AGD…Thank you…I smell fun… 😉

  42. 42 Aquila

    Thank you thank you for the recap!!

    There’s something about Jang Dong Gun that makes me smile all goofy… I just recovered from the movie My Way and now I’m forced to grin my way through this!!!

    I think I can die happy…

  43. 43 becca_boo

    Thanks for the recap!

    I’ve still got reservations about the drama as a whole (I really liked Secret Garden, but it was pretty flawed and drove me nuts). If writer Kim can continue in the vein of episode 1, though, I might just fall in love with this drama because ep 1 was exactly what I wanted it to be.

    • 43.1 la_tofu

      Totally agree with everything you said. I watched the second episode and I’m completely in love with this drama. I still have reservations as I never finished Secret Garden despite my love for Hyun Bin. I did however love On Air and City Hall was pretty good (sorry guys, I can never take CSW seriously). Fingers crossed that the writer and director team can keep up the same tone and witty dialogue/events. This drama has seriously been a breath of fresh air for me in dramaland.

  44. 44 whatis

    Just wanted to say that Jang Dong Gun totally did his homework.

    Architects speak with their hands. In one of the earlier scenes where he was speaking to clients and motioning stuff with his hands… wow… I thought that was amazing that he added the detail. It’s not as fluid as I’d like it… but it’s in there. I approve. ahhahaha!

    Also… Architects in general, in my experience are total self absorbed, ego-on-steroids divas. So, for me, it makes sense that Do Jin is the way he is. ’cause they’re ALL like that.

    Architects all think they can save the world with their buildings and planning.

    That said… I love his office. Where can I submit my resume?? lol!

    • 44.1 mardie

      i agree on all u said about architects. im an ID, so most of my frens in college are architecture students and lecturers are architect. boy these people(mostly) are such divas, even before they became architects….. =P

      • 44.1.1 whatis

        yes… sometimes I have to take care to watch my behavior! LOL!!

    • 44.2 Mystisith

      I love this comment… Very much. 🙂

  45. 45 nonski

    this drama has potential! i’m beginning to love it… thanks for the wonderful recaps!!!

    dss is subbing this drama too, link here:

    • 45.1 sana

      It might also be picked up by WithS2 http://withs2.com/projects … we’ll see how its goes, they do have a lot on their plate from just looking at their possible upcoming projects

  46. 46 gzenitram

    I’m incredibly excited about this show and I can’t wait ’til next week~! I hope I’m not getting my hopes up too early OTL

  47. 47 Jules

    Thanks for the recap, girlfriday! I may have to check this one out, too (and here I thought the days of watching four or five live dramas a week were over…).

    Oh, and something I noticed for the first time this morning: Comments from the Beanut Gallery. Has that always been the title of the comment gallery, or…?

    • 47.1 Shiku

      I noticed it around Monday, I don’t know when they changed.

  48. 48 Marjalov

    thank yoi GF

    Don’t tell me all the f44’s will fall for the sme girl – yi soo !.

    I like how she umpired the baseball game, hilarious !!..

    Yes, so far yoon got the least dialogue and I am wondering whether he will fall for the same girl too because do jin and yoon seems to be more closer buddy than the other two.

    Do give yoon more meaty dialogues miss scriptwriter ? be fair to your “germinate” characters.

    Looks like yoon is the driver for do-jin !!.

    • 48.1 dd

      all of them will get their own lady, so they won’t fall for yi soo only
      dojin with yisoo, tae san is yiso’s friend boyfriend, yoon will be with taesan’s sister, and jungrok was married man

  49. 49 daniela

    I enjoyed this first episode much more than Dr Jin’s. I feel more at ease with characters in their 30’s, with normal clothes, life, reactions, friends, problems. And the bromances is so funny.
    I just hope there will not be any birth secret (it feels like every Korean men had secret-kids all over Korea 20-30 years ago:D)

    • 49.1 bee

      SPOILER ep 2. **

      i think the guy on the airplane next to taesan’s sister might be taesan’s son..

      • 49.1.1 dd

        he maybe dojin or yoon or jung rok’s too,

        • dd

          i mean one of them maybe his father…

      • 49.1.2 Hagar

        I think he will be yoon’s son

  50. 50 Arhazivory

    Definitely interested but I think I’ll marathon it after its run.

    Thanks for the recap GF.

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