“My Liberation Notes” is currently my favorite kdrama and I am here to talk about why I believe its on its way to becoming a masterpiece.
“My Liberation Notes” might not be making the most noise among the international kdrama community, but I’ll tell you this, almost everyone watching it right now is obsessed with it, something I don’t always see in kdramaland.
Note: this is a subjective review. I will share my personal opinion while keeping in mind how others might perceive it. This is a spoiler review
The script and performances
“My Liberation Notes” is penned by Park Hae-Young, the same woman who gave us the masterpiece that is “My Mister.” I rarely walk into kdramas optimistic because of its screenwriter but this time, its different.
“My Mister” is one of the best kdramas ever made and one of the best kdramas I’ve seen in recent memory. While when it aired, it didn’t get great ratings, it has gained critical acclaim from every drama critic across the board, not to mention viewers raving about it. Besides the great acting, directing, and cinematography, the writing truly shined in that kdrama.
So when I heard the same screenwriter who wrote that is working on a new drama named “My Liberation Notes,” I was over the moon, I was ready to give it 100/100 before it even began. Jokes aside, I was super excited.
The premiere was fine, I didn’t think it was particularly special but I know Park Hae-Young has a way of pulling you in so I held off my judgment.
I am not going to sit here and pretend this is the type of kdrama everyone is going to enjoy, aside from being slow-paced, its about the harsh mundane reality most of us live in. Some people watch kdramas to escape that not be reminded of it.
I personally don’t like slow-paced dramas because I feel like screenwriters see that genre as a way to get lazy with the script and not give enough of a plot to keep it interesting. Screenwriter Park Hae-Young doesn’t do that.
Every episode feels special, every episode leads somewhere, you don’t finish an episode at the same point where you started which I realize is difficult to pull off in a slow-paced kdrama especially considering how the genre gives you a pass to do that sometimes.
Park Hae-Young also writes beautifully. You can tell she’s carefully thought of what to add and what not to add, and how to phrase everything. If you begin to pay closer attention, you’ll discover just how much she put thought into every single line.
One of which is the line ‘worship me,’ which feels cringy I admit but its genius. I’ve seen this on a forum so this is not my conclusion but I had to tell you guys. There is a huge difference between ‘like/love’ and ‘worship,’ in one you expect something in return, in the other, you do it for yourself, you do it to make yourself feel full without expecting much in return. When you worship a god, a huge part of it is about finding piece and meaning in life. This is brilliant, the fact that she thought of it like that is brilliant to me.
This isn’t the only instance where you can see clearly just how much thought she put into it, I could go on and on for hours. There are many other examples.
The conversations between Mr. Gu and Mi Jeong specifically are out of this world, they’re so good I repeat them multiple times, something I honestly never do unless I am writing a review and I need to double-check on a thing. I repeat those beautiful scenes because I enjoy them so much.
The screenwriter has the ability to make you care about the littlest things, to make you appreciate what an outsider looking on would call ‘average,’ but because you know the meaning behind it, you feel happier to see it play out.
My favorite character is definitely Mr. Gu, aside from being a huge Son Seok Gu fan, this character is just…. HE IS AMAZING. Whoever picked him for the role deserves a raise.
My second favorite character is Mi Jeong, I didn’t like her much at first but damn it, I really like her now. Chang Hee really grew on me and I now like him a lot. Same goes for his adorable friend Du Hwan. Gi Jeong is still not my favorite character but I don’t think she’s set to be that by design. I enjoy Lee El’s performance so much and she’s doing amazing, I am still curious to see how the character ends up even if I don’t particularly like her.
Lee Min Ki’s performance here is amazing, he’s so annoying it becomes enduring after a point, I just can’t with him sometimes, the character reminds me of my brother a lot. Honestly, everyone is doing an amazing job, there is not one weak link.
Added to that, when I watch “My Liberation Notes” I don’t feel time passing and I only realize its been some time when the drama is about to finish. Its been difficult to wait weekly for new episodes but also in a way rewarding. Its a nice way to enjoy the weekend and just forget about everything else for a while.
Comments on future episodes and hopes for a happy ending
Knowing the screenwriter, I honestly don’t expect the happiest of endings.
Here is the thing, what Mi Jeong did with Mr. Gu shouldn’t ever be done in real life. If I look at it from another perspective, Mr. Gu is extremely sketchy. Mi Jeong had reached a breaking point where she acted out and asked him to worship her but in reality, this could have played out very differently, in a bad way.
Also, I like that the screenwriter didn’t also shy away from also showing how this will turn out to be a bad idea.
Right now, viewers are speculating that Mr. Gu is a gangster, a while ago, it was a chaebol ousted by his family. I think its somewhere in between and I believe him when he says he’s a dangerous person. In real life, if anyone tells you they’re dangerous, believe them.
The fact that he’s drowning in alcohol, the fact that he’s very closed off and doesn’t even tell people his name, the fact that he’s paid the rent for a year upfront. These are serious red flags that typically mean he’s a wanted man either by authorities or a bunch of scary people. Even if you’re an introvert, you wouldn’t go this far to conceal your identity unless you’re being chased by someone.
I expect “My Liberation Notes” to get a lot more serious and scary towards the second half and I don’t know if our fav couple will actually end up together.
Knowing the screenwriter, I know it has something to do with murder, thats for sure. I don’t know what the details will be but I highly doubt it will be cliché or stereotypical, there is a chance this could be the case, but I don’t see her taking a very cliché stereotypical direction with the plot at this point.
Regardless, I have high hopes for the second half and can’t wait to see how everything turns out. Hopefully, it remains this amazing.
So these are my thoughts on “My Liberation Notes”, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.