“Lies Of Lies” is considered one of the most talked-about Channel A dramas ever.
It currently holds the record for the highest rated Channel A drama, a huge feat. Its final episode was able to surpass 8% in ratings.
But is it worth the hype, and is it a well-written drama or not?
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
Screenwriter Kim Ji Eun worked on this drama, she has been writing for a long time but this is probably her most memorable project in recent memory and I must say she’s done a good job.
Despite what I believe to be a okay-written drama, “Lies Of Lies” is far from being one of the bests because the screenwriter was mainly obsessed of withholding information for as long as possible and this led to frustration on my part.
The way you receive “Lies Of Lies” will depend a lot on how immersed you become in the story, the more immersed you are, the less likely you’ll notice its flaws and vise versa.
Screenwriter Kim Ji Eun spent a lot of energy writing the lead characters while reducing the supporting roles into caricatures, shells of actual human beings, by withholding information and delaying truth reveals for as long as possible, she was able to maximize suspense and draw more eyes, so at the end of the day, despite some obvious flaws with the script, she was the ultimate winner.
“Lies Of Lies” plot in the first half moves at a fast pace, it’s a story about a flawed female lead and her mysterious past. Falsely charged for killing her husband, she is separated from her daughter and is only able to reunite after spending a lengthy time in jail, and even a reunion comes at a hefty price.
I think we can call “Lies Of Lies” a makjang, because to a certain degree it does fit that narrative.
The female lead attempts to seduce the male lead to end up with her daughter, at face value, this is something that most female leads wouldn’t do in kdramaland, so Ji Eun Soo (played by Lee Yu Ri) is already separated from the majority of female kdrama leads in that regard.
But the uniqueness of the show ends here. For the entire plot runtime, the screenwriter threw every possible ridiculous and over-the-top predicament at Ji Eun Soo and a lot of them felt not only unnecessary but illogical. The initial scenario is already a far-stretch from reality but not highly unlikely, however, the rest of the story became more ridiculous as time went by.
The delay of revealing crucial parts of the plot for me personally to remain invested is largely because of episodes count. The drama doesn’t deserve 16 episodes, 10 concentrated episodes would’ve been far better.
And if you’re paying attention, you’ll end up concentrating more on the flaws rather than the story because it becomes more nonsensical as time goes by.
But for the average viewer, “Lies Of Lies” will be an intense but fun watch, perfect for binge-watching.
What made the show shine was the lead actors, specifically Lee Yu Ri, which leads me to the next point
The Performances and characters
Lee Yu Ri not only had the best performance in the series but literally saved this drama and made it what it became. She was the center of the show and had she not taken the role seriously, the drama would’ve easily flopped.
Lee Yu Ri is a pro, an amazing actress who is able to embody a character so unique and complex, the character might appear like the classical damsel in distress at times, but she’s a fighter and takes charge of her life for as much as she could.
Yeon Jeong Hun complements her well; he’s the perfect male lead for her. The two bounce off of each other’s energy well. The child actress Go Na Hee was also a good pick, she is actually a good convincing child actress, it wasn’t an easy role to pull off and it required skills on her part.
The casting choices for this drama was great, however, not all characters were well-written.
Lee Il Hwa plays the evil mother-in-law, you will hate her guts during the drama, even though I withdrew slightly from the atmosphere the drama created, I still couldn’t stand her face. She is a good actress.
The issue is not with her performance, but with the way she’s written, her and Lee Yu Ri are the focus point in the drama, however, Lee Il Hwa’s character felt mostly cartoonish, because at times, she went after Ji Eun Soo for no apparent reason, terrorizing her in most scenes felt over-the-top and exaggerated, like I was watching a drawn-out Cinderella story without understanding the context behind her actions.
The screenwriter butchered what could’ve also been a complex character; she reduced her into this tool used to terrorize Ji Eun Soo to incite emotions and reactions from viewers, which worked.
Actor Kwon Hwa Woon’s character also felt unnecessary for the most part. The issue is, at times, it felt as if the characters were tools rather than individual beings, they’re used to the accelerate the plot. I don’t mind extras or supporting roles, but if the majority of the drama is around such one-dimensional characters, it tends to become a bit ridiculous.
Despite the issues I found with the way the characters were written, every single actor in this drama did AMAIZNG, all of them performed so well and exceeded expectations. Kwon Hyuk Hyun (plays the evil-mother in law assistant) and Song Jae Hee (who plays the dead husband) did so well and truly shined. I can’t wait to see their next projects.
Kwon Hyuk Hyun has a bright future ahead of him if he picks the right roles.
Should I watch this drama?
If you’re into makjangs, then please do. This will be very enjoyable to you.
I think this drama binge-watched will be a lot more fun, I watched it as it was airing which gave me more time to question parts of the script, but for the average viewer, I don’t think they’re that noticeable or annoying.
This is a drama I’d recommend to new kdrama fans, I think it’ll get them hooked on kdramas even more because it highlights a lot of what I’ve come to love about kdramas when I started.
So these are my thoughts on “Lies Of Lies,” have you guys seen this yet? if you have, let me know your thoughts on it.