If you’ve been keeping a close eye on the international kdrama community, then you’ve probably already heard about a Channel A drama called “Lies Of Lies.” The drama has been doing tremendously well in ratings, breaking Channel A records becoming its highest-rated drama to date.
If you watch kdramas regularly and have been for a while then this probably came as a surprise because Channel A doesn’t usually have the best selection of dramas.
Speaking from my personal opinion, Channel A isn’t my favorite channel in South Korea, every time I see one of my fav actors accept a project for that broadcasting channel, I give up and for the most part, my opinion on the channel hasn’t quite changed until “Lies Of Lies.”
I still don’t consider the channel close to the other cable channels in terms of quality entertainment but it can get there.
So what is it about “Lies Of Lies”? And why are people talking about it so much?
Today, I am here to discuss my thoughts on “Lies Of Lies” and why it’s become my guilty pleasure.
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title, not a final review. This is a subjective review.
The idea behind “Lies Of Lies” is interesting
The basic idea behind “Lies Of Lies” is quite interesting. Get this, its about a mother who’s separated from her daughter as she serves a prison sentence after getting accused of killing her husband. After she gets out, she finds her daughter and comes up with this master plan to marry the guy and be with her daughter.
Right off the bat, the idea is unique. Usually, female leads in kdramas aren’t as calculative and cunning as Eun Soo. You don’t usually see female characters this bleak. She isn’t outright terrible but she’s deceiving a man to be with her daughter trying her best to get him to like her so she could be with her daughter. She’s selfishly plotting against a man who has done her no wrong.
Usually, it’s the male leads who lead the drama so to speak, “Lies Of Lies” shifts away from that narrative and gives almost full control to Eun Soo and the lead actress Lee Yuri which is probably the best decision script-wise.
This is why the drama has been getting better ratings with each episode, through word of mouth; the ridiculous circumstances surrounding Eun Soo evoke interest. I want to know what will happen to her and her daughter but I am beginning to kinda not care anymore and I’ll explain why below.
What drew me to the drama was the basic idea, it sounded interesting so I ended up watching. It’s my guilty pleasure and isn’t something I’d typically recommend, and you’ll know that if you read my reviews. I value well-written scripts that make sense above all, and “Lies Of Lies” isn’t the best in that regard.
I would say I expected better writing because this idea is quite interesting; it must’ve taken time to convince someone to produce this. I wish it made more sense in the grand scheme of things.
Lee Yuri carries the drama
If it wasn’t for Lee Yuri, I wouldn’t have stuck around. This is not meant to undermine anyone’s hard work but to point out just how vital the main actress is for this particular story. Lee Yuri is so convincing in her role that you actually end up totally falling for her charm, you fall for her character and you feel for her, you want her to win and get reunited with her daughter.
Even if she’s not doing the morally ‘right’ thing, we understand why perfectly and thus, we don’t judge her as harshly as we probably should. We know she’s been through so much and deserves happiness.
“Lies Of Lies” plot doesn’t always make sense but Lee Yuri is so darn convincing that you can’t help but get attached. Everyone else is doing a great job especially the child actress, but Lee Yuri is the star of the show. If Lee Yuri, the actress, didn’t totally embody her character, “Lies Of Lies” would’ve been yet another forgettable drama.
Her transformation and change of expressions as she opens up and get closer to her daughter is such a beautiful sight to see. Lee Yuri really managed to make an unlikeable character tolerable; she’s completely immersed in her role to the point that you might not recognize her at first.
I also want to point out once again just how much I adore actor Yeon Jeong Hun. You don’t know how happy I am he’s found success with this drama, he’s one of my favorite underrated ahjussi actors, he’s simply amazing.
The issue with “Lies Of Lies”- the villain
“Lies Of Lies” is overly dramatic but expectedly so. A woman with a bright future gets married to a chaebol who is abusive of her, she gets pregnant and runs off, he finds her and proceeds to beat the living crap out of her, something happens and he dies. The police pins it on her and she serves prison time.
If anyone was met with such extreme scenario, they would react similarly to Eun Soo, this helps “Lies Of Lies” from becoming borderline comical.
“Lies Of Lies” barely scratches the surface on what exactly transpired the night of the murder, it focuses too much on how Eun Soo plans on marrying her daughter’s adoptive father. The writer could’ve easily made more room to explain in better details what happened that night. Not only we rarely visit it, but the ambiguity surrounding it makes “Lies Of Lies” become ridiculous as time goes by.
We still don’t know if Eun Soo is actually the killer or not, judging by her character, she doesn’t appear to be the type of person who does that. Something must’ve happened as the husband told her to stab him.
You guys know I hate exposition especially when done lazily but this is one of the very few times I am begging the screenwriter for that. Please give me anything to make sense of what exactly is happening instead of having the audience baffled the entire time.
What do I mean by baffled? For me personally, I don’t understand the justification behind why Chairwoman Kim behaves the way she does. They say a drama is as good as its villain and “Lies Of Lies” villain is one of the worst written ones of 2020- thus far.
The issue is that it doesn’t make sense, why is Chairwoman Kim so keen on continuing to ruin the life of her son’s wife. Why?
The screenwriter doesn’t paint her as the evil woman who’s out to destroy everyone in her path. She’s a mother who lost her child and in pain. However, she’s powerful enough to do what she pleases. Since she doesn’t particularly go after other people to harm them unless they somehow relate to Eun Soo makes her the most unconvincing villain there is. She seems so normal yet orders people to do the most evil shit that no normal functioning member of society would do, we needed more insight into her character to better understand her aside from the fact that her son died and that she’s pissed at Eun Soo. Her reaction is so extreme…. it’s unwarranted.
Eun Soo served prison time for her ‘crime.’ She lost her daughter whom you allegedly ordered to get killed. What more do you want to do? Why are you so obsessed with Eun Soo? Her life is ruined beyond repair and without your help (if she hadn’t found her daughter) she would’ve probably attempted to kill you and later killed herself, why are you this obsessive? Eun Soo doesn’t have anything to be destroyed anymore.
The screenwriter doesn’t even attempt to give us exposition about how their relationship dynamics were prior to the death of her son. We don’t know if she has always hated her or not. It’s more puzzling because from the little exposition we get, her son falls for Eun Soo who’s doing a presentation at their company.
So in her mind, Eun Soo is a capable hardworking woman and judging by the way Eun Soo carries herself and by how smart Chairwoman Kim is, it doesn’t make sense why she’d go after her so badly.
Her son is obviously a raging maniac; couldn’t it have occurred to her that maybe just maybe someone else wanted him dead? If she lifted a finger with a little suspicion, with her money and power, she could’ve easily uncovered the truth. But her lack of even trying combined with how smart the screenwriter portrays her to be, as a character, she doesn’t make sense and comes off cartoonish. Like one of those cartoonish villains who exist just because, no character, no arc, nothing. Just there so the hero can beat their ass.
The script doesn’t always make sense
You know I like it when my scripts make sense. “Lies Of Lies” has many moments that made me go ‘what?’
The first thing that comes to mind is the way Eun Soo dealt with the initial ‘death’ of her daughter. A newborn ‘died,’ and that newborn was in the custody of the chairwoman. The first logical string of thought that should come to anyone’s mind is, report to police.
Not only does Eun Soo ignore that possibility, she proceeds to try and exit in the most dramatic way possible. Killing the chairwoman should be the last resort, destroy her empire instead. Report to the media and police that your daughter was killed, even if she pinned it on that assistant, she cannot escape the public scrutiny, to top that off, she will be easily charged with negligence of a child. Even if she doesn’t serve jail time, it’ll damage the façade she worked so hard to cultivate.
Eun Soo treats her like the almighty that can’t be brought down but then reacts weirdly when trying to take her out.
There are also many instances where the script is overly dramatic for no solid reason or the dialogue just doesn’t make sense, like it’s not written by a human who understands human interactions.
The existence of the golfer Kim Yeon Joon is also pretty useless and annoying AF, he’s basically there to drive the plot forward with no basis for existence on his own, if he didn’t exist, the plot wouldn’t be that affected to be honest with you.
This isn’t about hating on “Lies Of Lies” but to express my frustration with scripts these days. I appreciate it when screenwriters try to come up with unique ideas but for the love of god follow through with it. The idea is super interesting and honestly, it wouldn’t have hurt to revise the script a couple of times more in order to make sure everything made sense.
This is why I said “Lies Of Lies” is my guilty pleasure, I want to know if Eun Soo will succeed in reuniting with her daughter and fooling Ji Min, but at the same time, much of the script doesn’t make sense to me.
The plot is moving at a faster pace now but I am losing interest. At first, Chairwoman Kim was a bigger threat, but now, what can she possibly do? She can’t just kill the child…. she also can’t harm Eun Soo beyond tarnishing her reputation to her daughter, as the second half approaches, I am losing interest. Even if her entire scheme gets uncovered, Ji Min is too kind to just cut off a mother from her daughter, she remains her biological mother who has the right to see her, beyond tarnishing whats left of Eun Soo’s reputation, there isn’t much the chairwoman can do that doesn’t involve doing something illegal that’ll eventually get her arrested.
The child itself has a family beyond Eun Soo, something the chairwoman can’t control. If something were to happen to Woo Joo, so many people will care and her father is a journalist.
“Lies Of Lies” is one of those dramas I wanted to be good so badly. I don’t know if I’ll watch the next episodes, but if I do, I’ll probably put out a final review.
So these are my thoughts on the first half of “Lies Of Lies,” do you agree or disagree with me?