Senin, 13 Agustus 2012

[RECAP: A Gentleman’s Dignity] Episode 19 & 20: A Happy Ending For All

We have to be honest.

That two week postponement due to the Olympics hit us really badly and unfortunately killed a small part of our obsession with A Gentleman’s Dignity.

That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy the last two episodes of the drama (because we did), but it would have been more amazing if it weren’t for those two weeks’ worth of emptiness that filled our hearts. Just saying.

As usual, we start our A Gentleman’s Dignity weekend run with laughter-filled prologues.

For episode 15, our gentlemen sit at a nice restaurant, talking about this and that, when their ladies start strolling in.

The men’s eyes bulge out in shock as Seo Yi Soo (Kim Ha Neul), Im Mae Ari (Yoon Ji Ni) and Hong Se Ra (Yoon Se Ah) are all wearing very revealing dresses. Lee Jung Rok is the only one smiling in approval since his wife, Park Min Sook (Kim Jung Nan), is covered up, but as soon as she sits down next to him, he gapes in shock, as her outfit has a huge cutout in the back.

Immediately, all four men grab their napkins and cover their ladies up, as Kim Do Jin covers up Seo Yi Soo’s face, saying that she’s pretty much only allowed to show a small percentage of skin every day.

The girls, disgruntled, all head for the bathroom, but while they’re gone, a woman wearing a long sleeveless dress with a large slit on the side walks into the restaurant and all the boys’ attention shift to her. The men even bend down, trying to look through her legs and Kim Do Jin narrates that no matter what, boys will always be boys and while it’s not okay when their women are showing skin, it’s fine to stare at someone else.

“There is no consistency and it’s always ironic.”

Try hypocritical. Only if their women were there to witness all of this. It would have been awesome to see all four men get beat up.

Episode 16 takes us back to the men’s high school years – the first day the four of them meet to be more exact.

Im Tae San takes Jang Dong Gun out, after finding out that Kim Do Jin is the best fighter in class, while Lee Jung Rok, who is the student head, takes Choi Yoon out due to a problem with his sneakers.

They meet on the grass field, where the men demand to use the field first, but it ends up just being a bragging competition, where Kim Do Jin, Lee Jung Rok and Kim Soo Ro try to prove he’s the number one fighter in the neighborhood. In the midst of all that, Choi Yoon, the study bug, pipes up that he’s actually number one… in studying.

Kim Do Jin gets angry that Choi Yoon pushed him to the number two spot, as Lee Jung Rok pushes Kim Do Jin away, saying he’s going to borrow Choi Yoon’s shoes for the day. Im Tae San tells Lee Jung Rok not to steal Choi Yoon’s shoes, as Kim Do Jin bickers at Im Tae San for trying to act all tough.

One stupid argument leads to another and the boys start rolling around on the grass, fighting with each other.

And that is how their friendship was born.

So remember boys, if you want to become best friends with someone, get into a fistfight.

Kim Do Jin (Jang Dong Gun)

We already knew this to an extent, but Kim Do Jin proved to be the cutest little boyfriend and the coolest dad ever once again in the last two episodes.

When Seo Yi Soo’s mother contacts him, Kim Do Jin goes to tell her that he is her boyfriend and that he does have a past. Seo Yi Soo’s mother tells him that she has no right to reject him but implies that he seems like a good person for her.

Just then, Seo Yi Soo appears at the restaurant, cries a bucket of tears in embarrassment that she has to show her ugly family history to the one she loves, then storms out.

Before Kim Do Jin goes to chase after her, he tells her mother to not worry about Seo Yi Soo, because he’ll do his best to make sure she receives all the love in the world. As he leaves, Seo Yi Soo’s mother weeps, perhaps regretful for leaving her only daughter alone and grateful that she’s found someone that loves her dearly.

Kim Do Jin later gets a call from the police station that Collin (Lee Jong Hyun) has gotten into a fight with a group of students. When he gets to the station, Kim Do Jin finds out that Collin is friends with the same bullies who threatened him for cigarettes.

But it turns out that Collin and his friends did no wrong, since the other students had started the fight, bullying Collin’s classmate, and Dong Hyup (Kim Woo Bin) had only stepped in to stop the bullying.

The father of the bully leader comes and smacks Dong Hyup on the head, asking him if he knows who he messed with. Seeing that, Kim Do Jin asks Collin who hit him before hitting the father on the back of the head.

“As an adult, I can’t hit a kid,” says Kim Do Jin. “If your son is precious, why can’t you see that other people’s sons are precious as well?”

Then Kim Do Jin states that he’s the guardian of both Collin and Dong Hyup, surprising Dong Hyup in the process.

When Dong Hyup asks why Kim Do Jin did that, Kim Do Jin responds, “Because I’m an adult and you are still kids who need protection.” Then he coolly gets into his car and drives away, leaving the kids touched.

When the four gentlemen find out that their women went to throw Im Mae Ari a bachelorette party, they storm into the club and each take their women out.

Seo Yi Soo asks if he doesn’t trust her, and he replies, “I trust you. I don’t trust those men hitting on you, since I’ve already done all of that.”

She asks if she looks pretty today, and Kim Do Jin smoothly says, “The earth is round, the sun rises from the east, and Seo Yi Soo is pretty.”

That’s all he has to say before Seo Yi Soo’s no longer upset with him crashing the ladies’ night out.

This only convinces Kim Do Jin that he’s ready to marry Seo Yi Soo, and each time they meet, he gives her a present with the same proposal. But Seo Yi Soo isn’t buying it since he seems very insincere, and Kim Do Jin gets upset and refuses to answer her calls and react in the way she thinks he will.

Seo Yi Soo finally tells him that whenever she’s happy, she becomes worried that something will happen where all that happiness will shatter as it did before.

“I’m confused with whether your strange presents are sincere or just jokes.”

Kim Do Jin asks her how many times he’s proposed to her and how many times he’s told her that he was being sincere. Then he gets his pen recorder to prove that he has been sincere this entire time.

He plugs the pen recorder into the café speakers and his previous proposals are heard all throughout the block.

Then suddenly, Lee Seung Gi’s Will You Marry Me? starts to play, and out of nowhere, Choi Yoon and Im Mae Ari, along with the rest of the couples come out and start a flash dance, joined in by Kim Do Jin’s company employees dressed in character costumes (we hope they’re getting bonuses for this).

Even Collin, Dong Hyup, and some of Seo Yi Soo’s students and co-workers arrive, all dancing along to the song.

It’s so cheesy and cringe-worthy, but we can’t stop smiling.

As the song winds down, Kim Do Jin appears with a bouquet and the blueprint of a house he’s outlined with the red yarn from the dress that brought the two of them together.

“I’ll build you a house like this, so live here with me,” says Kim Do Jin. “I won’t leave you, because an architect has to take responsibility for every line he draws. This blueprint has 130 lines, so you’ll be happy for the next 130 years. I promise.”

He looks at his clocks and says it’s 5:25 pm. “From this time onward, spend it with me and don’t even lose a second.”

Seo Yi Soo is already in tears as he kneels down and officially proposes.
She hugs him in affirmation and the crowd eggs them on to kiss. They obey and the crowd cheers.

As Seo Yi Soo takes a flower from her bouquet and puts it into his suit, Kim Do Jin narrates, “The hole on the collar of a suit jacket was created as a flower hole, where usually the flower placed there is called a boutonniere. The origin of the boutonniere comes from when a woman inserts a flower from her bouquet into the suit hole, positively responding to a marriage proposal.”

On a hilarious side note, Dong Hyup asks Collin who he lost his first love (Im Mae Ari) to, and Collin replies, “My dad’s friend.”

Dong Hyup then says, “I just lost my first love to my friend’s dad.”

Awww, poor puppies.

Im Tae San (Kim Soo Ro)

Man of the hour (sort of).

Im Tae San gave us the go that we’ve been oh-so-patiently waiting for and it’s like a breath of fresh air where we can whisper, “Finally.”

He comes home one night to find Im Mae Ari had cleaned and organized his entire house while he was out. It’s as if the rock of realization has hit him, that if his baby sister can take care of a house, she can take care of a husband.

If cleaning the house was all it took to get permission from Im Tae San, Im Mae Ari should have done it a long time ago.

While talking with Kim Do Jin, Im Tae San says, “This game was something that I was going to lose. Even at the beginning, it was already a lost game.” Kim Do Jin shakes his head and replies, “Even if you knew you would lose, you tried your best to fight and did everything in your power. So now let’s just let Mae Ari and Choi Yoon lead their lives together.”

Im Tae San calls the nervous couple out and tells them that they have his blessings, but he doesn’t want to see them date only to break up in tears, since if that does happen, it’ll become harder on him to see both of them.

“So… get married. The faster the better.”

No disagreement from the couple here, as they both enthusiastically hop on the offer and run off to start wedding plans.

Im Tae San tells Kim Do Jin and Lee Jung Rok that he’s lost a long time ago, and Kim Do Jin replies, “No, you won.”

The funniest thing about the Im Tae San-Im Mae Ari-Choi Yoon relationship is that once their marriage is sealed, Im Tae San turns a 180 degrees and starts favoring Choi Yoon more than Kim Do Jin and Lee Jung Rok, calling him, ‘Choi Hubby’ or ‘Brother-in-law.’

Im Tae San is so adorable as he treasures and even babies his best friend/brother-in-law that it’s almost crazy to think about how much he was against this relationship even just one episode back.

But the big kicker in Im Tae San’s life is when Hong Se Ra returns from her golf tournament, only to faint at the airport due to nausea. He rushes to her side at the hospital, only to be informed that she fainted due to exhaustion…because she′s PREGNANT.

As Hong Se Ra agonizes the fact that she’ll be forced to retire, Im Tae San cannot hide his glee as he hops around ecstatic like a kid whose parents told him that they’ll take him to Disney World.

Hong Se Ra continues to argue, but even so, she doesn’t deny the fact that she’s pregnant and that she’ll get married to him, although she wants to have the wedding after the baby is born. Im Tae San is a-okay with that because now he’s gotten the girl of his dreams and is going to be a baby daddy.

Choi Yoon (Kim Min Jong)

After confirming his love for Im Mae Ari, Choi Yoon takes her shoe-shopping.
While most of the time when a guy gifts a girl shoes, it just means that she’ll end up running away, Choi Yoon notes that these comfortable shoes are for when they climb the most difficult mountain together – Im Tae San (San in Korean means Mountain).

But he reassures her that at the top of the mountain, there is the most beautiful Yahoo – a mae ari or echo, which makes Im Mae Ari smile.

To show his sincerity about his feelings for Im Mae Ari, Choi Yoon visits Im Tae San and asks again for him to bless their relationship. When Im Tae San turns away, Choi Yoon falls to his knees, putting Im Tae San in a shocked daze.

“I can make her happy. I won’t make her cry, so please give her to me. I will always remember that she was a very difficult person to get,” begs Choi Yoon.

Im Tae San replies with a punch in the face to wake up and get up from his knees. It seems that more than Choi Yoon trying to get his sister, Im Tae San is hurt that Choi Yoon has kneeled down in front of him.

Even with the punch, Choi Yoon continues to ask for Im Mae Ari… And cue the aforementioned marriage blessings from the older brother.

Choi Yoon and Im Mae Ari can hardly believe that Im Tae San has finally given in and Im Mae Ari is especially shocked because this is the moment she’s fantasized about since her childhood.

Choi Yoon asks about her ideal wedding, and Im Mae Ari replies that she’s never imagined a dream wedding, but always knew that Choi Yoon was her husband at the ceremony.

He smiles and promises her that he’ll live without regrets as a good husband and with gratitude every day.

Before his wedding, Choi Yoon visits his wife’s memorial hall to say good bye.
He apologizes to her for wanting to be happy again and asks for permission and forgiveness.

“I’m going to let you go now,” and he leaves his wedding ring by her picture.

The wedding is a small one with just friends and family.

Choi Yoon and Im Mae Ari face each other as they read their vows to each other, promising not to overuse the credit card, not to get a pot belly, not to chug down bottles of soju, and to always treat Im Tae San as the older brother-in-law even though Choi Yoon’s birthday is faster.

“I promise to be Yoonie oppa’s proud dream.”
“I promise never to forget the hearts of those who allowed this marriage.”

This is so beautiful that we’re going to burst into tears. It’s actually happening.

Collin even serenades the new couple, looking past the fact that he’s losing the ′love of his life′ to his dad’s best friend.

Unfortunately for Im Mae Ari, their first night as newlyweds goes down the toilet, as the four best friends drink the night away and completely pass out on the couch and Im Mae Ari cannot do a single thing.

Boys will be boys…even on their wedding nights.

Lee Jung Rok (Lee Jong Hyuk)

These last two episodes confirmed that Lee Jung Rok and Park Min Sook are our favorite couple. We just absolutely adore their relationship and how far they’ve come from episode one.

After crying over wanting a divorce, Park Min Sook leaves home and finds a room at a hotel, when she runs in Seo Yi Soo and Kim Do Jin. Kim Do Jin, who realizes that Lee Jung Rok was serious when he told the guys that Park Min Sook wants a divorce, sends Seo Yi Soo to tie Park Min Sook down, while Kim Do Jin tells Lee Jung Rok to come over.

Seo Yi Soo and Park Min Sook talk and when Park Min Sook reveals her lack of faith in her husband, Seo Yi Soo replies that Park Min Sook has been in a one-sided love relationship.

“You didn’t wait for him to act, but instead acted first, giving him everything you needed. That’s why you’re shocked to receive love. You’re thinking, ‘Why me?’ ‘Why all of the sudden?’ but maybe Lee Jung Rok just got the chance to give his love for you.”

Sometimes, it’s great to have a high school ethics teacher as a friend to tell you all the right things.

Before Park Min Sook has time to let Seo Yi Soo’s words settle in her thoughts, Lee Jung Rok barges in, asking her what she’s doing. Park Min Sook takes out divorce papers and tells him to sign, and to everyone’s surprise, he does. But he rips out the paper about property settlements, since he liked his wife with money, not money without his wife.

While he acts tough and indifferent about the divorce to his friends, Lee Jung Rok weeps silently in pain in the back.

But this doesn’t mean that we’ve lost our immature and playful Lee Jung Rok, because as Park Min Sook returns home to pack some clothes, she finds him in the middle of taping their items.

“I changed my mind. I want a third of everything we own.”

He then proceeds to tape down a third of everything they own, while saying things like, “Do you want the left butt or the right butt of the cushion?” or “Do you want cold or hot water?” as he tapes the water purifier at one-third.

Park Min Sook thinks he’s absolutely crazy as he literally takes out a saw and is about to cut everything into thirds to keep. She dashes into her bedroom, only to find that everything has already been taped down and Park Min Sook can’t help but to laugh at her husband’s immaturity.

Even thought she seemed adamant about filing for divorce, we find out that she hasn’t sent in the papers yet.

Lee Jung Rok tells her, “A couple of days ago, you were my woman, but now, you’re the woman I want.”

When Park Min Sook doesn’t really falter, he says, “You went through a lot living with a man like me. I’m sorry. Be really happy from now on.”

Appearing to let her go, we soon find out that this is all part of his silly plan to get her back.

At the bachelorette party, Park Min Sook is on the dance floor, when Lee Jung Rok joins her.

“I’m a divorced man here at a club to seduce a divorced woman.”

Why do we love Lee Jung Rok so much?

Instead of listening to loud club music (although Psy’s Gangnam Style is so fun!), Lee Jung Rok takes out a pair of earphones and slips them into his and her ears.

And…. Is that the Macarena we hear??
Why…yes…it is….

As absurd it sounds, Lee Jung Rok starts dancing to the song, to the laughter of the young club-goers that surround them. Park Min Sook stares at him as if he’s completely out of his mind, before giving in and dancing along with him. The entire club is laughing at them, but Lee Jung Rok and Park Min Sook Macarena the night away, dancing in their own little world.

She might have the signed divorced papers in her hands, but Park Min Sook does not do anything with them, as she goes to Im Mae Ari’s wedding with her husband and even shows up at his baseball game.

Lee Jung Rok becomes confused by her actions and asks her why she’s still living at a hotel. “What kind of relationship is this?”

“Temporarily divorced,” replies Park Min Sook. “All married couples are living in a state of temporary divorce. We’re just like other couples. From now on, we’re going to live as a temporarily divorced couple, until our heads turn white.”

She then tells him that she’s given up on having children. She’s too old for it and there’s no point in hoping for a miracle.

“Instead of holding onto an impossible hope, I’m going to hold onto a hopeful possibility.”

She informs him that she’s used the third of the property that Lee Jung Rok was willing to give up and invested in a hopeful possibility.

“Congratulations. You’re a father.” She hands him a booklet filled with pictures of ten kids in third world countries that she’s decided to sponsor together.

“For now, there are only ten, but who knows how many more will come in the future. A child is supposed to be born out of love. The sponsorship is through the money that I was going to give you, so you take care of the kids.”

Being completely touched by Park Min Sook’s deed, Lee Jung Rok breaks into a smile as he states that she’s definitely worth more than him and he tells her that he loves her.

“If you must,” replies Park Min Soo, as cool as ever.

Final Thoughts

Forget about choosing the best gentleman in these last episodes, because in all honestly, all four of them were just perfect in their own little ways.

Each of them made our hearts flutter and our eyes tear up as they learned their own ways to love and take care of their women. They experienced self sacrifice and went through a lot of conflicts to get to where they are, and it was just perfect how the drama ended – a decennial friendship photo shoot, except this time with the women they love and cherish.

A Gentleman’s Dignity set the bar pretty high for the next romantic comedy to come in 2012 because it covered everything from comedy to angst to so much heart-fluttery goodness that we weren’t sure if our own hearts could take it.

And the biggest thing that impressed us about this entire drama was that it didn′t need young idol stars to steal our hearts (even though, yes, CN Blue′s Lee Jong Hyun took the focus sometimes). The only main actor in her twenties was Yoon Ji Ni, and while her name was put on the map with this drama, she wasn’t the focus at all.

All it took was some touching writing, experienced actors, and awesome direction to create this completely enjoyable drama. We know that we’re making the drama-making progress a lot easier than it really is, but these days, it’s so hard to find a drama that tugs straight at our heartstrings instead of trying to trick us into watching with the eye candy of hot idol stars as bait.

We should have known this drama was something else when Jang Dong Gun chose to hop on it for his drama comeback in 12 years.

When we first started this drama, all we knew was that it was about the friendship of four 40-year-old men and their love stories. It did not interest us at all, but we are so glad that we took the chance to watch it.

So thank you A Gentleman’s Dignity for allowing us to spend some of the most rewarding, heart-touching, and just plain hilarious ten weeks, watching all 20 hours or so of it.

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