AGD halfway mark ramblings + Music Focus: Juniel’s “Illa Illa”

Recently I’d resumed watching a drama which I’d initially considered loathsome crap – A Gentleman’s Dignity. The first 4 eps I considered them super uber BLERH, with immature adults doing childish headbanging stuff, acting as if they were 6/7 year old kids. There wasn’t a single character that I’d truly liked or found endearing (in spite of some decent acting by some of the actors). The tropes were as usual cliched and typical KES nothing new. I’d already trashed the 4 eps and had even rated the drama a 5 out of a 10. Didn’t even bother to continue, and didn’t want to. But after returning from my HK trip, something happened. I clicked DL of ep 5, watched it and the rest is history. No idea why I did that, it just happened all of a sudden, just like how lightning and thunder had struck me earlier on (CK). Now I’m almost caught up at Ep 10. Love? No. Like? Yes. Somehow somewhere sometime, these 4 ajusshis have managed to crawl into my heart. And there they have been staying since.

I don’t consider AGD a good or great drama, it’s…okay. I think it’s better than SeGa but not necessarily a quality up of its predecessor, it’s just sort of relatable but somehow still far-fetched in execution. It has really blatant foibles of character coupled with some glaring KES cliches capable of making one scream. And subtleties are undermined enormously by glossy execution. However, I think I’ve gotten used to the characters and their annoyance (capable of veering most ppl away) and am starting to accept them for who they are in the drama. I’ve ranted about how Yi Soo was being a major turn off for me, and how KHN’s acting didn’t do anything to help earlier on. Nothing’s changed so far, she’s still the same old, and I still don’t like her. But thing is, her interactions and dynamics with Do Jin interest me in some way, in that they’re so open with each other, and yet are so unaware that such open-ness is drawing them closer and closer to each other. The attachment grown over time, the close-ness forged over understanding. I don’t see palpable or sizzling chemistry between JDG or KHN (not as great as KES’ earlier OTPs), but they look great together and are trying. JDG’s a hit and miss for me, his good looks compensate any lack of skill, but sometimes I find it hard to read his emotions it bothers me. Good thing is that I’m invested in their secret-crush connection I am able to put that aside and see things from the perspectives of their characters instead.

Tae San and Se Ra, I actually like them a lot more than I’d expected. I think it’s because they’re such different individuals that they come off more interesting and adventurous as a couple. They’re not necessarily likeable characters (Se Ra can be a bitch if she wants to), but when they come together, it’s like ice-cream under the hot sun. They complete each other in the weirdest ways. Yoon and Maeyang (or Mae Ri?), they interest me the least. I guess I just can’t see past their glaring age gap of 16 years, because if you thnk about it, he’s 40, she’s 24, when he was 16, she’s just a baby! And it’s not because his buddy happens to be his brother (which is further prolonging the complexity of their relationship), it’s the major gap in understanding of the RL world as a whole. But I do appreciate that the writer is trying to deal with it as carefully as possible. If KES wants her OTP to end up together, she’d have to go all out to show that love conquers all, but hopefully not at the expense of Tae San. Rok oh Rokkie, I think he has to be my favourite character of all (thanks to Lee Jong HOT’s versatility). His character is to be damned but his charm is wonders wonders to me. I’m not entirely sure whether he loves his wife, but I think it will be a good ending for both of them. He feels more like a supporting character for laughs when things run haywire, but I’m glad he’s there to cheer ppl up whenever they’re down in the dumps.

But of all, it’s the bromance which gets me hooked all the time. Their relationship may have been exaggerated to disbelief, for laughs and dramatic effect, but I’m not going to deny that they make me feel warm and all cuddly, and sometimes give me the ridiculous laughs ever. It’s just the notion of having someone to be there by your side at your best and at your worst, to tell you the truth honestly, and to let you know what’s best for you. It’s the friendship that counts the most to me in here, and I’m glad KES hasn’t undermined that for the sake of lovey dovey romance. Not implying that the drama has gotten better or that KES has improved (she hasn’t because her patterns are still so obvious), but it’s more to me, in that I’ve sort of compromised all of that for better enjoyment of the drama and the characters.

I’ve also got the drama to thank, for I have discovered a really lovely song from its OST. It’s not the main theme sung by Lee Hyun or Kim Tae Woo, but rather a side OST track which only comes out once in a while in the drama. Sung by a 20 yr old upcoming singer song writer Juniel (who has major IU vibes), her song titled “Illa Illa” gives AGD a lighter and cheery feel in contrast of the mostly melodramatic songs which have been played more often. The song doesn’t allude to the relationships of any of the OTPs blatantly, but it’s played more often during Yoon-Maeri scenes?

Check out the official MV of Illa Illa here:

===

There isn’t anything really WOW about the song, but I really like the cheerful and lighthearted rhythm and Juniel’s soothing crisp voice that matches it. The lyrics indicate a sad love story but the hopeful music makes the whole package more endearing and bittersweet. Apparently girl has won a lot of awards prior to her debut and has spent quite some time in Japan before finally hitting it big. Just like her seniors CN. Blue, I think she’s got a great future ahead of her.

credits: photo as tagged / JkMotion8 @ Youtube

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15 thoughts on “AGD halfway mark ramblings + Music Focus: Juniel’s “Illa Illa””

  1. Interesting. The age gap between Y n MAR isn’t my issue at all. I always find age hangs ups rather odd. Not that age shouldn’t be a consideration but if it doesn’t bother those involved, I’m ok too. The issue I have is that she’s an idiot. The fact that where I left off(ep6) it was painfully clear she had no intention of trying to meet him at his level or even try to not act like a baby was very apparent. I was 24 once too but no one I’ve ever known is as silly and ridiculous as she and YS and then have the gall to think everyone should just adjust to them without any effort for compromise on their part. It still astonishes me that YS is so self-righteous, fake and utterly clueless. Also the fact MAR has always been after Y just put a bad taste in my mouth. She’s never seemed to respect his life (marriage, mourning, morals etc). That reality just chafes me. Initially, I felt that she was cute and just what he needed but with subsequent eps she was infuriating. Love may conquer all (the jury is still out on this concept) but is what MAR displays love? She’s rather selfish and petty for me to buy that.
    I’ve said this before, but it’s the women in this drama that make it unbearable. Each and every one says and does things I can’t understand to the point of outrage. From YS and her assumptions(not to mention her ridiculous crush) to Sera and her selfishness, to Noonim and her insecurities, and MAR’s childishness. I think I’d be more understanding if I got the impression these women were going to grow and change, bend and sway with these men to make their relationships work but that didn’t seem promising at all. Ultimately, it seemed the men were going to do all the work while the women remain in their individual bubbles. The only woman that had potential for true change was Sera but she disappointed me so greatly once she “found out” I couldn’t extend myself any farther.
    I just don’t understand why women have to be potrayed as idiots or catty or unaware of reality, while men are fun-loving, misunderstood and hilarious. The men may have their childish moments and ways but each one (save Rok) is constantly and consistently trying. It’s just maddening in my opinion.
    I wish there was at least one female I could root for. One relationship I actually enjoyed watching. (Well Noonim and Rok are hilariously ill-fitted). However, though I dropped the drama weeks ago, I did catch up on the openings last week and 12 was epic!! Absolutely love the boys! It’s just depressing to watch them love and live with women I can’t respect. The pattern concerns me, for if men are looking for women like this and even females think so and condone it (Thank you KES) then it isn’t any wonder there will be more and more single women in the world.

    1. Woah, that’s a MASS of hate you have for the girls to have given up on the boys/ajusshis.. Too bad because they really make the show for me, the way they tease each other and all, the way they put each other down without having to gauge each others’ feelings, they’re so natural. I’m just glad that they don’t dwell on problems too long and always always find a way to peace out everything within themselves.

      I don’t hate the ladies, warts and all. But I don’t like them in particular either, given the reasons you have stated. The men have their faults and foibles as well so I’m not particularly hung up on the ladies’ personalities and how they treat the men (the men also fail in some parts along the way). It’s a fact tho that they do appear less charming or appealing than the men…perhaps due to the fact that the ladies are not in a gang like the men, hence less interesting? MR and Y’s relationship bugs me the same way they do to you… the age gap bothers me, but not as much as how she doesn’t seem to see anything else than him? It kinda downgrades her self-worth and makes her look utterly pathetic. She really needs to think about her own and her self-worth before thinking about Y. It’s her life, not his. Ep 11 dealt with that issue a lil bit, so it’s still OK so far.

      KES’s characters are almost always devoid of depth, it’s her lines and dialogues which make or break her dramas. Gotta live with that I guess.

      1. Haha! Yeah a pretty large land mass somewhere in the hills of some East European country I’m sure. I really find them to be horrible. I can’t imagine acting like any of them and would abhor to be around other women who did.
        And I actually find the men more endearing individually. In their little group there a quirky and hilarious but very childish and stunted. I find it a natural take on long term friendships. And I can relate. However, individually I like them more for I feel I can respect more. We see how they function and take life seriously. Also, I understand their motivations and thought processes, whether I agree with their actions or not. To me with characters, this is what it comes down to. But alas, I have a tendency to identify with males more often than females anyway, especially in romcoms.
        Perhaps MAR thinks about Y too much but I liken it to a 6 year old daydreaming about owning a puppy. I never got the impression she ever considers what the reality of being with Y would be. Ultimately, I think my issue lays with KES. I don’t like the way she resolves scenarios. I can’t wrap my mind around how a person would react or decide to act in the way she desires for me to believe.
        I’m glad you are finding some useful bits in the drama. And I will definitely admit I miss the boys but boy I don’t mind at all that I’m not spending an hour supressing obscenities in front of my TV screen every weekend 😉

      2. The reason why we’re more apt to feel for the men – KES’s focus on them as the titular Gentlemen? She puts a lot more effort into their characters and thoughts in contrast to the ladies I guess. I’m not particularly fond or loving of men individually in the drama (save for Rok who has LJH to play him so wonderfully, his charm more than his playboy ways), but I agree with you that it’s easier to relate to or like them more than the ladies. The latter are reflected more like normal drama caricatures, nothing good to shout out about.

        It’s good that you stopped at 6, because if you’ve seen how YS or M acted to get their men to pine or hurt for them, you’d go berserk LOL

  2. haha. i have moments like that too, where you have no interest in a drama but one day just pick it up for no apparent reason.
    i’ve been watching this drama since the beginning cause i thought it was breezy enough and i couldn’t resist the 4 ajusshi’s. unlike you, i liked the first couple of episodes because the characters were tolerable, the cinematography was nice, and the episodes were easy to get through. also, because the characters were still fresh, i didn’t mind them so much. i’m still watching it now, but my moderate like for this drama has gradually decreased. the more I watch, the more i start finding things i dislike about each character. Yi-soo’s initial adorableness becomes annoying, Maeri’s earnest love becomes pitiful, Jong Rok’s funny playboy ways becomes disrespectful, Sera’s cool perspective on relationships becomes hateful/immature, Taesan’s protectiveness over his sister and girlfriend becomes almost scary…you get the point.
    don’t get me wrong, i’m still watching this drama, but only because i’m curious as to how KES is gonna ruin it…is that wrong of me?…especially since i know that Do-jin’s memory-lapse or the who’s-the-father-plot is gonna wreck everything. i hated Secret Garden (the jerks-of-all-jerks male lead, the weak herione, the lack of whimsy in a freakin’ soul-switching drama, the cliched heroine-hating mother, etc.) and never really watched any of her other dramas since none of her characters really struck a cord with me (no connection whatsoever), so AGD doesn’t seem that bad. there’s no plot, but i can’t NOT watch because i love the interactions between the 4 guys. in all honesty, i think i’m watching this drama because of my love for Kim Min Jong and the gorgeousness (both in looks and charm) that is Jang Dong Gun. haha.
    (side note: i just started watching a Wife’s Credentials and oh my gosh…it’s absolutely amazing. Kim Hee Ae’s acting does wonders and Lee Sung-jae is a ray of sunshine to watch. i’m only 23, but i’m loving the ajusshi actors out there right now. i don’t know why i waited so long! too bad subs are so limited for this drama. i’m dying just waiting for them! i understand your love for this drama now…absolutely stunning in all aspects….directing, music, acting…and character developments…LOVE.)

    1. Of course it’s not wrong of you! Ppl watch dramas for different reasons, here I’m just doing mainly for the ajusshi bromance 🙂 and of course, the pretties <33

      And hurraaaaay that you've started watching AWC! It's such a brilliant and amazing gem right? It shines altho it's understated and slow on the surface. It's so realistic you feel a plethora of emotions just from a single scene alone. Everyone played their roles beautifully in here, but you're absolutely spot on, Kim Hee Ae was daebak! Her emotional depth and nuances, so genuinely heartrending and painful. Aiks now I feel like crying already…T_T

      X is awesome, I'm sure his subs will make ppl devour this drama in a gulp. It's a long wait, but it's def worth it. ^^

  3. I found AGD is ok drama… nothing to scream about.. but I do enjoy watching… I found Yoon and Maeri quite cute actually.. the age gap does not bother me at all afterall I married someone 19 years older than me.. I’m never a fan of KHN… i think she is pretty.. and her acting ok… but I found her overacted in this drama.. a little bit better in the later ep.. JDG is ok here as well… Rok is the character I love.. by the way.. who know the song he sang for his wife.. what a charming song…

    i think i enjoy the opening of every ep the most.. love their bromance…

    1. Yeap love the opening sequences the most, prob one of the reasons which made me continue watching ep after ep. 🙂

      Oh, I’m sorry I hope didn’t offend you by the age-gap thingy. Guess I’m quite iffy about that in RL, miahne. 😛 I used to love KHN a lot, but I’ve slowly come to discover how limited a range she has in the acting department. She can do arrogant pissed off really really well, but sadly tho it doesn’t show when she’s doing other emotions. But I find YS and DJ’s interactions quite interesting (more to KES’ dialogues which are doing the job for me), so it’s still good so far.

      And Rok oh Rok, isn’t he the most adorable charmer EVER? ❤ His playful ways are resentful, but he makes me laugh. I LUB HIM!

      1. I don’t get offended by the age thing… I’ve been married for 12 years now and my parents did not even know the real age of my hubby.. they would probably freak out if they know.. lucky that he looks much younger than his age.

  4. I’ve been keeping up with AGD all along and I’m not sure why. I’m definitely not in love with the show, but for some reason I keep watching. Maybe because I like comedy and there definitely are some comic gold moments especially in the opening scenes which are the best. But I do have the same problem as many others have expressed. I don’t particularly like any of the characters, even the men and I find the women bizarre.

    I can’t stand Rok. He’s the type of man who will wear out a woman’s heart while acting like a fun loving little kid, but he’s actually an inconsiderate jerk. Rok needs to learn that love and marriage require loyalty and self-control instead of him running around after everything in high heels and mini skirt, but I don’t see any growth on his part. Not even any effort at all, it’s all just a funny game to him. Min Sook should dump his butt because she deserves better for herself instead of her constantly being the pathetic butt end of other people’s jokes because Rok can’t get over all the pretty girls.

    Me Ah Ri is a child and she needs to grow up and get a life (literally) before going crazy and devoting herself to anyone none the less someone 16years older than her. Yoon seems to be attracted to her. Why? I have no idea since she seems like and acts like a little child, but at least so far Yoon has been sane and told Me Ah Ri to basically grow up. The last straw for me was when she hurled herself into oncoming traffic like a crazed, tween, boy band groupie because Yoon was… on the other side of the street. WTH. The show never shows us why these two like each other. They’ve never had a scene where they looked like equals who could be in a relationship and rely on each other. Me Ah Ri is always just whining. And boy is she thick skinned. How many times does she have to be rejected before she gives up or at least changes her strategy? You can’t whine a man into a relationship…can you?

    Yi Soo had the potential to be the woman who we all could relate to, but something about her is off. She’s like those women who pretend to be innocent or offended when they aren’t and sorry, but innocent is not cute at 30-something, especially when you’re not playing it up for sheer laughs. It makes you look emotionally stunted. Harsh, but true. Plus when she pulled that stunt on Do Jin when she wore the heels he gave her for the first time she just came off as a totally callous a-hole. Another WTH moment for me.

    I don’t know if it’s this writer, but Do Jin is physical in a way that makes me uncomfortable. Whenever he hits on Yi Soo he’s always doing it in a physically invasive way, all up in her space, like when he stuck his chest on her face in the bathroom at the hotel. By the way, I soooo would have given him the worst nipple crippling purple nurple ever and told him to get the hell out of my face! >:-( It’s like they are saying if a man forces himself on a woman, it’s manly. Do Jin is always grabbing Yi Soo however he wants and constantly making sexual innuendo jokes which I think are suppose to be fun and sexy, but they come off as kind of perverted to me, especially when coupled with him grabbing her. I mean, how many times do we have to go on a trip? We get it already! You want to sleep with Yi Soo!

    Tae San is probably the only “normal” one, being the “good guy” older brother, friend, and boyfriend. Unfortunately Se Ra is a frightening catty woman. What about her is at all attractive either as a girlfriend in the manipulative way she treats Tae San, or as a friend in the totally unloyal way she treats Yi Soo?! I couldn’t believe when they made Se Ra turn a complete 180 on Yi Soo when she found out Yi Soo had a crush on Tae San. Even though nothing had happened, Se Ra was ready to drop Yi Soo and kick her out the house in 1 second. Why do men like women like her? O.o

    And lastly, the other thing that bothers me is this latest storyline with Kim Eun Hee’s son. Who is this Kim Eun Hee chick and why are they making the father of her son a mystery? I think it’s weird. I really hope there isn’t some mystery about which one of these 4 guys has some grown son he doesn’t even know about. And if the 4 of them don’t immediately know which one is the father then that. is. a. problem. How could they not know?…BFF doesn’t mean you share everything.

    …Yet, despite my complaints I watch every week and groan and complain about what I don’t like or understand, but still laugh at the funny stuff.

    1. Haha, I complain loads about my dramas too, but I still end up watching and finishing. Drama addict to death eh?

      I get your dislike of Rok, he’s callous, insensitive, inconsiderate and always thinks he can get away with things. I don’t think his wife is not to be blamed as well (she’s a tad too strong and demanding?), cos it’s him who’s doing more damage in causing the rift in their relationship. It’s not healthy in any way. But what to do I have such a soft spot of LJH and his wonderful adorable playboyish antics, he’s totally rawking the character! I wish he’d grow out of his womanizing ways but keep his youthful and playful ways around his chinggus and his wife. They need him to be all cheery and happy.

      I can’t see why Yoon would like Maeri as well, but the same goes to the other relationships in the drama, why do these men love the women so much and why do they reciprocate? Altho I’m not particularly fond of how their relationship is developing (more to MR’s over-pushy and persistent ways), I like that Yoon is realistic in his actions and rationalises the possibilities before taking steps forward in getting together with MR. I’m not gonna bother with the reasoning (because KES never gives logic reasons for love in her dramas, or rather, perhaps you don’t need a reason to love someone?), at least Yoon is aware but still urges MR to break out of her fantasy and find “herself” first before thinking about “him”. I think it’s really important, as to base your everything on someone else, it’s plain stupid and ridiculous.

      Do Jin’s pervert jokes don’t bother me too much because he’s always been like that since the beginning. But I do get the uncomfy feeling when he goes a bit too overboard when hanging out with YS. And the fact that YS seems to be okay with it (altho she expresses her discomfort all the time)… it kinda makes me go HUHHH??! They’re fun when they’re together, but when you really go into details and break their dialogues down, it seems a bit too explicit and err well corny. Lucky I still like KES’s wit a lot, if not, who knows how much I’d blast this drama to no end.

      Agree with your take on Tae San, he’s the most “reasonable” character. He may be shouty and sometimes OTT, but I think he has the best grasp of reality amongst his friends. Sera is bitchy and annoying, but she doesn’t grate me to an extent as much as YS does sometimes. Her bluntness and straightforwardness hurt, but at least she’s honest about how she feels and she tells it all out. Right now I can see no light end to their relationship, but they’re my fav OTP to end up together. Their bickering and problems are likely to exist forever as long as Sera isn’t willing to let go of her ambitions in golf and pride, but I have a feeling she will give more as the drama progresses.

  5. MiSook is turning my fav girl in this drama.

    Meari cries too much, no, cries ALL THE TIME. So.annoying.

    And YS is just…. bleh Meh, go die girl.

    I love the bromance ❤

    And funny, I also line Sena and TS! They are cute in their own weird way LOL
    ''Now come and hug me! Come to my arms!'' lol and awwwwwww.

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