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My Liberation Notes: Episodes 1-2

The newest slice-of-life offering from JTBC, My Liberation Notes, is an introspective, slow affair that centers on the struggles of a trio of siblings. They’re all lonely, a little lost, and stuck in a cycle of monotony that threatens to overwhelm them. But at least one sibling has had enough and makes a bold suggestion in hopes of changing her situation – or maybe herself.

 
EPISODES 1-2 WEECAP

Given that this drama is by the writer of My Ahjussi, I’m not going to lie, I had high expectations. And it seems my faith in writer Park Hae-young wasn’t misplaced. Here we have the story of three siblings struggling day by day, feeling stuck and like their lives are meaningless. None of them are where they want to be in life and don’t know what to do about it.

The siblings all work in Seoul, but they live with their parents in Sanpo which is quite a hike from the city. Both the commute and the isolation take a toll on each of our siblings, and it’s clear from the start that they’re all exhausted both mentally and physically.

The drama makes the drudgery of their days visceral and stifling. You can feel the frustration and resignation, especially from youngest YEOM MI-JUNG (Kim Ji-won) who serves as our narrator. She’s quiet and keeps her head down, holding everything in and just trying to get through each day, which feels like a job in itself to her.

Mi-jung particularly suffers at work where she’s seen as standoff-ish and “bland.” Her ostracism seems to mainly be for having the nerve to want to leave work at the end of the day rather than happily participating in the social clubs and forced get-to-know-each-other events that “aren’t mandatory.” They’re so “voluntary” that the few employees who didn’t join any clubs are called into the coordinator’s office for a consultation like they’re in school.

Middle child YEOM CHANG-HEE (Lee Min-ki), on the other hand, is loud and passionate. He hates that nothing ever happens in their little town and wants the excitement of the city. Unlike Mi-jung, he makes it known how much he hates living so far from Seoul and not having anything to his name, like a car. It’s hard to date long-distance, and he ends up breaking up with his girlfriend in part due to the strain. And also because she might be seeing someone else behind his back.

Then, we have the oldest YEOM KI-JUNG (Lee El). Honestly, I have the hardest time connecting to her out of the bunch. Ki-jung comes across as petty, the type to blame everyone else for her own insecurities. She’s desperate to find love but her own impossibly high standards get in her way. I can feel for her loneliness and anger, but her behavior doesn’t endear her to me.

She’s the type to talk before thinking, like when she gets herself in trouble for loudly going on about how horrible the notion of dating a man with a teenage kid is only to find a single dad and his teenage daughter at the next table. To make matters worse, he turns out to be Mi-jung’s colleague and fellow abstainer from social clubs JO TAE-HOON (Lee Ki-woo).

After their exhausting weeks, the siblings spend the weekends working in the fields with their parents at home. It’s there we meet the mysterious GU (Son Seok-gu), a man who embodies the word stoic like nobody’s business. He works for the family in the fields and barely ever says a word. In fact, he never even gave them his first name – he just goes by his surname Gu.

The only thing he does other than work is drink. Every night, he downs soju alone outside his house. Ki-jung warns her parents to be cautious since they know nothing about him, but mom KWAK HYE-SOOK (Lee Kyung-sung) insists he’s harmless.

YEOM JE-HO (Cheon Ho-jin), the siblings’ father, is rather stoic himself and leaves most of the talking to his wife. He does appear to have a temper, though, which Chang-hee is adept at bringing out.

Money is a particular pressure point for the family. While all the kids have seemingly stable jobs, they aren’t high-earning positions, so they watch their spending carefully. If they need to take a taxi from Seoul, the siblings wait for each other to make sure they can split the cab fare. Otherwise, they go to work via the train and bus.

Surprisingly, it turns out that Mi-jung is the one in the most financial trouble, although she keeps that a secret. She seems to have cosigned a loan to help a maybe-boyfriend out … then he bailed and went back to his ex. He’s unreachable, and now Mi-jung is left responsible for his thousands in debt.

Mi-jung doesn’t want her family to know she’s getting letters about defaulting on loan payments, so she asks Gu to intercept the letter for her. He lives next door, and he agrees to keep the bank letter at his place. She even changes her address to his at the bank to keep her family from seeing any loan letters.

Gu and Mi-jung seem to have a (mostly silent) sort of understanding – both are people of few words and don’t expect much out of life. Maybe that’s why, when Mi-jung reaches a breaking point, she approaches Gu with an odd proposal.

Does he want something else to do other than drink? “Worship me,” she offers. Huh, that’s not something you hear every day. It manages to wrangle an expression out of him, at least.

Mi-jung admits that she’s never felt whole and has only dated jerks. She doesn’t want to be loved – she wants to be worshipped. She poses it as a win-win. Gu needs something to do, and she needs to feel worthwhile. He looks like he’s considering it, or is at least intrigued, but we’ll have to wait until next week to hear his response because that’s where we leave off Episode 2.

I have no idea whether Gu will go for Mi-jung’s odd plan, but now I’m curious where things are going to go. It’s clear they’re both desperate at this point. I’m not sure placing your worth in someone else’s affection is the healthiest idea, but on the bright side, I am glad that Mi-jung is taking initiative with something. She’s so resigned and apathetic usually, and this feels like a last-ditch effort to change her trajectory. Let’s just hope Ki-jung’s suspicion that Gu could be some dangerous criminal in hiding isn’t right.

 
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Honestly, I really liked these episodes and just wanted it to be a Netflix drama and they released the whole serie.

I like how the actors didn't wear too much make-up and look liked real persons. It's kinda a breath of fresh air after 39, FLAW or Business Proposal and their overmake-up/filter.

Mi-Jeong is a such a nice character but so introvert. It's sad to see she's kinda invisible in her own family too. She's just doing the housework, helping her parents and listening. The trio in her compagny is pretty fun to watch. At least, the compagny helped them to find each other. Her speech anour worship was really surprising from her. I'm kinda scared by Mr Gu reaction. I don't want her to loose her selfestem even more.

There wasn't to say about Chang-Hee in the first episode but in the second episode, it was nice to see him at this work. He's less load than when he's with his family :p

I agree with you about Gi-Jeong. She's very honest, direct and independant but seems so eager to marry someone. She's so lonely. It looks like she's expecting marriage will save all her problems.

Mr Gu searching the Korean word "worship" was pretty funny. He's a big mystery! He paid a whole year of rent, speaks English, drinks a lot, is helpful... And looks hot because it's Son Suk-Ku :p

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I like how they dress Mi-jung, her office cloths, her shoes, her bags (so plain and ordinary) and her home cloths are so really spot on. Really suit her character.

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I mean, she still has Kim Ji-won's face.... but even there, I appreciate that her makeup is so minimal and neutral, like if she's using any it's really out of social expectation and not to enhance her looks in any way.

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For me PYM had way too much style for a civil servant. And they didn't try to make her looking natural. Her haircut, make-up, clothes were very stylish. FLAW did nothing about gender portryals. The ML was looking very young at the beginning and they changed his style at the end when he had no money. The actor always looks pretty...

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She's a civil servant in a meteo center, she doens't work for the President or an ambassador. I'm pretty sure that the people who give meteo in these countries don't wear Hermès neither. I don't see how a civil servant could buy luxurious clothes with their monthly pay.

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she's a director with high grade tho...i think directors wear pretty much like that..ofc bit more stylish

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If you look her coworkers, they looked like normal civil servants and not like they were working in cosmetic or clothes compagny. Even her chief was wearing simple clothes. I'm pretty sure his pay grad was higher than hers. I think it's one of my issue with PYM (whom I really like as an actress), it's her style looks great but too much for the role she plays.

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@kurama no way you can compare director to normal level workers...compare male and female workers..female workers are always dressing more extra than men lol...higher level civil servants in my country dress well tho

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That’s exactly what I was trying to say. At a directorial level it is not about how much salary they make. They have to invest in optics and always be well dressed (modestly too). She literally had press conferences almost every day. The press would have had a field day if she was shabbily dressed. Even her idiotic cheater ex, since he also had a media facing role was snappily dresses. In fact his dressing was more dapper. In real life, I have worked with many government offices across east Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Au and NZ) no matter the role diplomatic or non diplomatic, at directorial level they are very well dresses, notwithstanding what salary they receive. It’s what’s expected of them. And yes they do spend money on branded wear (even if they are on Low salary) especially in asean, if they have more press facing events.

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Thanks for the weecap @quirkycase

The Yeoms are so quiet amongst themselves. In scenes with the whole family, there's this oppressive silence that makes you feel almost like you're there with them, a stranger among strangers, even thought they're family. They don't really talk to each other except to say the things they need to. In most kdramas, you have at least one loud, boisterous family. A warm family where, even when its members fight, it is clear that they care for one another. The Yeoms aren't like this. They're, like I mentioned before, kind of like strangers. Even the sisters that you'd expect to be a little close have nothing bonding them besides their blood relationship. It's depressing.

I really like this drama and will be looking forward to future episodes. I love the cast, and I like the melancholy tone, and I want to see how how they grow as people.

Also, I know this is a little frivolous, but I couldn't help but admire Son Seok-gu's legs in those shorts. I want to see him in more roles. He needs to be in more roles.

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I agree with you about how depressing the family seemed. They don't talk to each other, they don't communicate in any way, they just eat silently hoping no one disturbs. I didn't like any of them, tbh.

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“In scenes with the whole family, there’s this oppressive silence . . . “ You’ve hit the nail on the head! In the scenes with the whole family, I remember thinking, what’s wrong here? Why does the sound of chopsticks clinking against the bowls sound so loud? As someone who grew up with a very large and loud extended family (think My Big, Fat Greek Wedding), the silence of this family is deafening.

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This is what extending that moment - where 'you fear to say something in case it becomes true' - out for an eternity feels like.

They are all to scared to say something, because existing is hard enough, and one little word will mean the can't ignore it any more.

I suspect too many people think the portrayal of those struggling as poor but happy is true. The world over, in a class ridden society, on the edge of a metropolis, there always seems to be some of the most jarring desperation.

Sure, this family is not destitute, and there are still levels of hell below this one. However, at this point we don't know if there are underlying event/s that mean their existence is more precarious than we assume.

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I forgot to add to your comment on Mr. Gu’s legs. They are nice, and with his stocky build, he looks like an athlete. It has me inventing a wild backstory for him, like he was a former boxer whose knockout punch killed his opponent in the ring. That’s why he drinks every night, because he can’t forget it. Kind of like John Wayne’s character Sean Thornton in The Quiet Man.

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Ooh. I can totally picture that being the case. From his demeanor and vibe I suspect that whatever it is that's turned him into this stoic, it's got to be a Big Deal. Fingers crossed it isn't something like manslaughter.

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I assume his drinking because of grief, too. I noticed that he always has a second glass out for soju, as if he's drinking for the dead as well.

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Interesting, my read on the family isn't that they're strangers at all. They're just tired people who know eachother very well and have a fixed routine they can carry out in silence. They might not be the happiest, loudest family out there, but theyre clearly accustomed to eachother and show their care for the family by working in the field together. The familiarity shows by how they're willing and able to yell and nag at eachother, you can't talk this rudely with anyone other than your closest friends and family. I admit dad has a quiet, almost oppressive presence, but that doesn't mean these people don't feel like a family. The sisters also don't have "nothing" bonding them except blood, rather they have too much, they are too used to eachother and know eachother too well.

It's a very familiar family setup in my eyes and I didn't really think of their family as particulary depressing or cold? Sure, their financial situation probably isn't great, but theres been much colder depictions of families who didnt lack a single thing except love. This family doesn't feel like that at all to me. The reason the siblings still live in Sanpo is because despite everything, they care about their family. But that's just my take on it all.

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I agree with you, the quiet didn't seem to represent strangeness rather familiarity. They are so jaded in their routine. However, I think both Ki jeong and Chang Hee want to move out. For Ki jeong it is in the form of marriage and Chang Hee when he is promoted to a team leader and has enough money to settle in Seoul.

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The counterpoint to the home silence is the never-ending chattiness of the office girls, which seems to make our heroine feel even more isolated than than the silence.

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I feel like they are not moving also because their dad wouldn't allow it. Plus, they are helping at home when they get a free time.

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When I look at it from your perspective, it does make sense, your saying that they're tired people who are used to each other. But I just can't help thinking that there's a sort of detachedness amongst them where they're a family but that's it. They live together but there's no closeness. They don't have to be all up in each other's business, but it would be nice if their silences didn't feel so oppressive.

I think their living in Sanpo might be less about caring about family and more about not having any other option. Maybe their parents made them stay back instead of moving to Seoul. That's my theory anyway. Let's see if and how the show addresses this later on.

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Some families are just quiet. It doesn't they don't love each other, or they won't be at each other side when in time needed, even be the 1st person to come. They seem not close to each other or even seem cold because they are not bickering. It is amazed me when I visit other family and their home is so lively, and sometimes I wonder how it feel like to have that kind of family. My family, when we spend weekends/holiday together, just go quiet and look bored. Boring should our family middle name. Ha ha ha

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I see the family like this as well. They are close, but the kids are all grown ups now and still living with and from their parents. It is high time for the children to lead independent lives and in a way it is their failure that they can't afford it. The father's reaction about the car purchase shows that he still does not and cannot trust his grown up son to make good financial decisions. That must be upsetting to the parents, they must worry about the future of their kids. No wonder the father always looks so grim.

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"In scenes with the whole family, there's this oppressive silence"
I believe the silence is a dramatic device for when the multi-way outburst happens (which I *know* it will).... it's THAT much more cathartic. I want the kids shouting their heads off at Dad. I'm so ready for it! xD

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It also is really effective cinematically, because the sounds you do hear--of people eating, dishes and cutlery clanking--make it seem like you are actually there at the table. Of course I know these sounds are miked, or at least their volume raised, so its artificial. But I found the use of sound at the table scenes and elsewhere contributing to the shows "realism" -- not something you usually hear in a television show. Makes me wish I had bought that soundbar that my son wanted!

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I ❤❤❤ the 1st two episodes. The scene which in it Min-jung talking to her self in commuter train about inventing someone because her life is so lonely hits me so close at home. So I am not alone in this loneliness game? 🥲
And why can they leave introvert people alone? 😅 so true.
Now I miss my commuter time, I used to spend 3-4 hours just for commuting now I dont do that anymore. Hate it but love it at the same time.

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You're definitely not alone in inventing someone lol Group Hug!

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I even name my loneliness. Sometimes it is talking to me. 😂

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Definitely not ;-)

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@pohonphee, I'm so sorry to hear that you are lonely, but I also appreciate how annoying it is when people assume you need company.
On the other hand, please extend some sympathy to us insecure "extroverts" who would continually annoy you with attempts at small talk. In fact, I can just picture you entering the bus/train, glancing down the aisle, seeing me there, and clearly trying to avoid me--that chatty old man who is not wearing headphones, and will be sure to disturb your peaceful commute!
It wouldn't just be you--both men and women tended to do that when I had a mass transit commute, though of course most did have headphones on. I just don't get why people don't like spending an hour in meaningless and boring conversation!

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😀 the thing about commuting is sometimes you can strike up interesting conversation with stranger. And you can pretend to be someone else (happy-go-lucky-candy LOL) or being 100% honest (bored, crazy, & little depressed) with stranger. But mostly I was just too tired to have any conversation with anybody.

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Those two lines resonated for me as well.

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You find it hard to connect with Ki Jung but she's already the one that had my full attention and support. I can feel her loneliness and desperation, and I just want her to find peace and comfort.
I identify more with Mi Jung tho. We think and feel alike. She's already my friend. I have a warm smile on my face everytime I see her. She's having a hard time but I know she'll be fine. I'm looking forward to her interactions with her cute "introverts are cool too" group and dude Gu.

Maybe that's why I feel so bad for Ki Jung... because I can't understand her. No one seems to understand her, no one seems to feel the same, she's completely alone. That makes me sad.

I still don't know how I feel about dude Gu and Chang Hee. I need to know them a little more. They seem like nice guys tho.
I like to see Chang Hee work, he has a nice relationship with the owners of the stores.

I think I'm gonna love all of these characters with all my heart.

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Is the writer spying on me? Really, where is she? Why am I Mi-jeong?
Introverts really can't feel whole because our imaginations and inner world is richer than what humans and life can realistically give us. I don't want the show to go anywhere near romance but I was sceptical while reading the synopsis. I shouldn't have been, she chose a wise word for what Mi jeong really needs. Plus given how in My Ajusshi, IU too had some declarations for love but I always thought they were platonic and not romantic. So I'm expecting worship me, does mean sth profound and we'll see that later on.

Other than that, the small town problems, the quiet commute with your family, the jaded characters, everything is dreary and all of it hits close to home.

I actually don't have as much issues with Ki Jeong except that she only talks about herself. Her friends are totally annoyed while talking to her lol. Her worries may seem petty but she really wants to settle down and when you're past an age but still want to marry, it can haunt you. Everyone has different dreams and currently Ki Jeong's is to marry, that is also the dream running far away from her.

On the other hand I found Chang Hee a little irritating. This writer always has one or two characters that can either improve later on or remain irritating. Maybe because he talks and whines a lot in a family where noone really talks that much. I'm least interested in his story right now but let's see where he goes. At least with this writer, I can hope that we're in good hands.

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I think IU and Lee Sun-kyun relationship is platonic, more like older brother and little sister. I like My Ajjusi, and this is also having similar vibe. Chang-hee when he talks he is kind of annoying, but when he is alone and silent, I can feel his desperation.
Swear God, if they are in my country, each will have their own motor bike. Ha ha ha

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Their's was definitely platonic. Let's see where this one goes. I guess commuting on the motor bike would also take quite long.

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but isn't romance is the purpose of this drama...i can feel their tiredness with life..love is for them to escape from this darkness... especially mijeong she wasted her youth at work and home without giving time for herself

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I think we're headed for romance, too. I want it, though. I didn't want it in My Mister, but I loved the romance in Another Oh Hae Young that this author also wrote.

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And main leads are closer in age too. I would go as far as to say that My Mister showed a relationship that was beyond love and friendship, but at its core it was still the relationship between a 20 something woman and a man in his late 40's. Thus, it would have never worked out in a long run.

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That is the most depressing household I've seen.

As an introvert myself, I really identified with Mi-jung. I've spent my whole life smiling awkwardly in social settings and trying to look busy so I didn't have to make small talk with anyone. Are there really companies like that in South Korea, that expect their employees to join clubs? Maybe some single people would like it but what about people with families? I like the other two introverts at her workplace.

I liked Gi-jung even though she does have impossibly high standards and is pretty self-centered. I can relate to her though. It's hard when you are getting older and want a relationship but feel like time is running out

I found Chang-hee super annoying. As of now, he's the one character I don't care about at all.

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SK Drama is so full of them. Only this one is honestly depressing. So many retain that outward appearance of happy but their reality is no less depressing.

On a side note, is it a totally accurate depiction of the family or are we seeing it more through Mi-jung's eyes and the way she reads the world.

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It's so obvious this is from the same writer as My Ahjusshi. Everything about it has that same naturalistic feel. It's absolute breathtaking in writing, acting, directing, cinematography, everything. Just like My Ahjusshi is. I hope the Mr. Gu mystery and storyline have a satisfying pay off because the first two eps set my expectations insanely high. What a piece of Art this is shaping up to be! (On another note, so happy to see LMK back at what he does best after that last terrible outing. Quirky, naturalistic, artsy - that's his bread and butter and he is really in his element here.)

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That is so funny, I didn't know it was the same writer, but it makes sense why I love it so much, and now I see what you mean.

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It's actually a pretty similar setup to My Ahjusshi, and that is not a complaint, but the three depressed and lost siblings (though the brothers were closer than these siblings are) who frequently meet at a bar with their neighborhood friends and talk/complain about life. IU and Son Seuk-gu play the stranger with a mysterious background that will form a bond with one sibling that will change both of their lives. It's a credit to the writer that it feels familiar but new at the same time, with different problems and life lessons.

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This could become my favourite drama of the year! There is a lot of humour hidden in the rants and arguments with older sister. When she complains about her co worker (who dates everybody but her) and her friend says that even though he has never met the guy feels that he knows him by now quite well.
The cast is doing a great job, the 3 social club abstainers, the scary father, the siblings and their friends. I am impressed with Lee Min-ki, I have never seen him so good before. And Sohn Seok-gu has such a strong presence with surely fewer than 50 word in two episodes. The whole 'worship me' scene is wonderful, the way he looks at her trying to work out what she really wants from him, and the icing of the cake - looking up the meaning of the word.

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One of my favorite moments was when the older sister was ranting about the coworker and the others picked up on the fact that the real reason she was so angry was that he had dated everybody but her. I thought it was funny scene but also a very relatable moment because while part of her might think it is gross that this guy is dating everybody in the office, it would be hard not to wonder "Why not me?"

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Yes, it really shows the many layers of the script so well. The writing is marvellous.

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Yes! I found that so relatable. I'd have the same reaction. I don't want to date the slime ball, but it's insulting that he doesn't want to date me!

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Kim Ji Won is such utter perfection in this drama. Everything is written on her face, she doesn't have to say a word. Her sadness, loneliness, stress, and annoyance. I really like this drama, but I love her in this. Lee Min-Ki is so whiny, I don't think I have ever seen him like this, it is hilarious.

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The only thing I've really liked Kim Ji-won in is Fight For My Way, but she really is perfect in this role.

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She is so amazing! You could read her frustration, her pain, her stress... even the little moments of relief (laughing in the cafe with his brother and their friend)...

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I've always liked KJW in her second lead roles but not in the lead ones. She is different here and acting really well.

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Absolutely! Even her smiles look like they take her a lot of effort to muster them, especially in uncomfortable work-socialization settings! I feel her!
As for Lee Min-Ki, it's my first time seeing him so... animated? I've seen him in more robotic, uptight, taciturn roles... so a ranty, whiny LMK without pretty-filters has been refreshing to watch! <3

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My thoughts exactly on Lee Min-Ki. I saw him in "Because This Is My First Life", and also "The Beauty Inside". It was frustrating because I sensed he was a respected actor, but it looked like he was sleepwalking. In this drama he is really going all in--yay!

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Same 2 dramas, same thoughts... I think he's more in his element here, as the other Beanies say. And it's clearly showing! <3

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Watched the first episodes of this show and Our Blues and wondered which drama would capture my imagination. Next day I eagerly hit play on Liberation and had to force myself to watch the other. I hope both shows are ultimately successful.
The first two episodes of Liberation felt like low slow introductory notes to a lovely musical piece.

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While comparison is inevitable, it probably is a little unfair to Our Blues, which is set up to be a much more conventional small town story--the diverging fate of those who never left, the failed return of the once high profile success story, interspersed with some high school/community nostalgia for those happy days in the past. That show seems to be more in the "realistic" but sentimental mode of 25-21, although thus far most of the characters are less likeable.
While Liberation's characters are commonplace in shows as well--those living lives of quiet desperation--they are portrayed more subtly. Maybe that makes them easier to relate to, for a certain type of person. I'm not accusing you of being that type of person, but I definitely am.

Man, though, is it setting up to be several depressing weeks of watching with those two shows, plus the gritty and somewhat confusing time-travel fighting corruption drama Again My Life, which my wife got hooked into. Then Netflix U.S. just released "Black Dog: Being a Teacher" which I saw got decent reviews in 2019. Since I consider myself honor-bound to watch t.v./movie depictions of teaching, as a kind of an occupational penance, I'm facing more time reliving the vocational struggles of my 20s.

I have a feeling I'm going to have to spend months watching mindless chinese rom coms involving couples who meet anonymously in video games in order to overcome these dark days of artistic K-drama realism.

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Achieved a nice balance by watching Black Dog in tandem with Abbott Elementary. The former is typically K-angsty; the latter is rapier-wit perfect.

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I'm more scared our enigmatic Mr. Gu is sickening with something fatal

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I think about some end stage liver cancer 😐 or he just went through bad break up/divorce.

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With how much he is drinking, he would have already dropped dead if there was something off about his body.

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Considering how bad that nose bleed was he just might, after she galls in love w/ him🤧

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* falls

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We should take any nose bleed and bloody cough with a pinch of salt in K drama if you know what I mean 😅

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True, true! I hope he is not a fatal case, I adore him already that actor always has my full attention even if he doesn't have much dialog

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But I'm loving this so much. I can't wait to see what comes next

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i'm so glad the new slew of dramas don't have ZOMBIES or supernatural monsters........ give me SLICE-OF-LIFE anyday!!!

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Or serial killers

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Just a stellar opening week. This writer really knows how to get me. I seriously don’t know how she writes her lines the way she does.

I love that it has all the hallmarks of My Ajusshi that made so many people love it without at all seeming like a rehash.

I watched Our Blues before this so I can’t help but make some comparisons. The tones of the shows are somewhat similar, but My Liberation Notes is much more introspective, which is more my style. Our Blues and this both have great casts, but the former kind of just seems like they tried to cram as many A-listers in as they could and I honestly found it distracting. It doesn’t help that the actors in that show, while very famous, are mostly ones I’ve never made an emotional connection to. It felt like I was, well, watching a bunch of A-listers, not ordinary Jeju people.

Here, though, despite being very familiar with the filmographies of all four of our main players, I feel completely immersed in the story and our characters’ lives. What I find most interesting is that the writer managed to do this while still making me feel like I don’t know these characters very well at all yet… which is what really excites me about this show. Even Mi-jeong, who I relate to the most, is still a mystery to me, and I can’t wait to see all of their layers peeled back as the show goes on. I’m also excited to hopefully see them start to bond more as siblings while also figuring out how to live their own lives. There’s so much potential here and I’m so excited to see what’s in store.

Thank you, Park Hae-young!

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Oh yeah, can I get a witness?
Not writing these characters in broad strokes but just dropping clues. Much like what one would do when meeting a new bunch of co-workers or a set of in-laws.
Hmm, I know I will learn so much more about you later but for starters....

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Yes! That’s it exactly!

These characters have all known each other for decades/their whole lives (minus Gu) and we’ve just dropped in to start witnessing it. I’ve seen some people mention that some of the character interactions seem kind of mean on the surface, but it’s in a very good-natured and familiar way. They really talk to each other like people who’ve known each other for so long would. I really like that.

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Yes, I loved the brutal honesty and the obvious affection in the "we wouldn't be friends if we had other options" conversation between the neighborhood friends. It's so true and it's also true that what ever the reason they really are friends.

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"...despite being very familiar with the filmographies of all four of our main players, I feel completely immersed in the story..."
Mi-Jeong is Mi-Jeong (& not Kim Ji-Won), Chang-Hee is himself (& not Lee Min-Ki), and Gi-Jeong is not Lee-El but Gi-Jeong. Augh, such lovely performances really! <3

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I really loved those first 2 episodes.

I get that Ki-jeong is lonely and all but has it gotten to the point where she would prefer to be asked out by a serial office dater? Is this a case of FOMO?

Kim Ji-won is doing an amazing job as Mi-jeong and I'm looking forward to the mystery that is Mr Gu.

I literally screamed when Mi-jeong said "Love isn't enough. Worship me"

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Ki-Jeong - I think its her self worth. Even a serial office dater who dates about anyone, did not choose her? It kind of makes her question her life and her single existence and having not found love. It hits her hard. That's how I saw it.

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Oh, yeah I see it now

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It's not FOMO. I agree with Blue, it's not that she'd really go out with him, but it just affects how she sees/values herself i.e. "Am I not good enough even to a guy like him?" That scene had me laughing tbh, in a sad joyless way lol.

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I loved the first 2 episodes. In just 2 episodes, I felt the weariness of the 3 siblings. And I loved how they all conveyed it in different ways.

And that office policy was really upsetting. Can they not leave people alone. sign. But I do hope the 3 misfits will form their own club/group and become friends eventually.

I also enjoyed the little group of friends from the village/suburb.

Sometimes when nothing happens, and you hear the crickets, I felt transported to that scene. You could feel the still night - both beautiful and painful depending on who you are..

And Son Seok Kuo makes me feel things. He said like 4 lines in the entire 2 episodes?

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The office clubs. Ugh. I agree. These 3 co-irkers should make their own club, and then never show up to meetings.

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This is from the writer of My Mister. I get the impression that, like the first two episodes of MM, we don't have a proper handle yet of where the story is going. But it feels like its going somewhere. We just need to be patient and agree to live in the story for awhile. I've appreciated what I've seen so far.

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I agree. I always tell people that the first 2 episodes of My Mister make it feel like it's going to be a "caper" type show with slick spies, etc., but it's anything but.

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the flow is slow but sure, I'm quit refreshing with this series coz it show you the real life goes on, especially the family matter. They like the real family who doesn't speak enough each other but their live in the same place together.

after watching ep 1 and 2, I felt curious what going on in the next ep, which is something good for me.

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This show is going to give me depression because Mi-jung is painfully relatable. "Every moment that I'm awake feels like work." Relatable. "Can't they just leave introverted people alone?" Relatable. Having an imaginary boyfriend to feel happier. Relatable.

My first thought when Chang-hee's girlfriend dumped him was the siblings are geographically undesirable. When he asked their father if he could buy a car, I thought he was going to ask if the three of them could move to Seoul. I find Ki-jung shallow in that her only goal in life is to get a man.

Even with a nine-year age gap, Kim Ji-won and Son Seok-gu have chemistry, but Mi-jung's request for Gu to worship her sounds very dom. They are not close enough for her to ask him that.

Thanks lots for the weecap, @quirkycase!

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I wouldn’t really say I’m in a mood for an introspective show but this writer always has her way of making you feel for each character.

Why is Mi-jeong me? Every word she utters feels like my own. Except for the “worship me”, I wouldn’t have that courage.

Really looking forward to what changes Mr Gu brings to our three siblings or the other way around.

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I once heard someone say, "There's the life you want to live and the life you have to live."

I constantly kept thinking about this as I watched the people here. They'd all change their life situations in an instant. But that's certainly easier said than done.

Looking forward to spending time with these characters and seeing where the story takes us.

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I was surprised by how refreshingly real this drama was and I feel like there has been a movement away from the overly glamourized dramas recently (Or maybe that's my imagination). Not to say I don't love those but they can get a bit repetitive if you know what I mean.

The characters are dressed like ordinary individuals and come across as such. People who we can all relate to on some level. I like how these episodes are set out because you can actually feel each characters struggle.

Throughout these episodes I felt like I was personally suffocating along with them if that makes sense. From Ki-Jung's desperation to find love, Chang-Hee's restlessness and Mi-Jung's longing for something more.

Also can I just say that when Mi-Jung broke down at the end of episode two was so gut wrenching because I'm sure everyone has felt exhausted by life at one point so I thought they portrayed that really well even before she said it. You can clearly see how exhausted she is but when she admitted it out loud it hit hard so well done.

They all are interesting characters and I'm looking forward to seeing what the drama holds.

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"The characters are dressed like ordinary individuals and come across as such.."
Actually, the side characters are the ones who are dressed impeccably (like Mi-Jeong's colleagues). They are legit Main Characters in their own worlds. Whereas, our 3 main-leads actually fit the bill, where THEY would be extras/sides in other
"overly glamourized dramas", like you mentioned earlier.
This was such an ironical trope-subversion, I found myself chuckling darkly.
We are watching a story of side-characters. :')

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I didn't think of it like that but that's so true!!

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Idk about yall but I want their to be romance with SSK and KJW characters, I'm loving the angst so far, plus the Netflix still with the two in similar outfits is not helping, such a tease. Some people are comparing their arc to IU and LSK's but those two looked straight up like father and daughter.

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This drama is a breather. Some seek comfort in loudness, others may seek glaring silence. Not all family are perky warm, some just live. Hope the director will pace the drama well till the end, hopefully there no last minute story change to suit the public.

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There are so many reasons this show is resonating with me, not the least of which was Lee El’s foot-in-mouth scene with her date and child at the next table while she insulted the both of them. Yep, I’ve done that with a former date and his child within ear shot of my own diatribe to my best friend. I was so triggered I had to stop the show after that scene and take a day to reflect and recover. But the writing is soooo good. So many great one liners. Lee El is my delight. But LMK is great here too. They embody their characters to a T. I love it.

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Before I died, I fell for Kim ji-won. In my new ghostly form, I find myself falling for her even harder.

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Thank you @quirkycase for the handsome recap! This drama so far feels like a dreamy "art film", directing our attention to life's ordinary moments and turning each one into a tiny gem. I loved "My Ahjussi" so have high hopes for this. Meanwhile, I'm working up a serious thing for Gu :)

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Mi Jeong's introversive nature and being exhausted in life combined with Ki Jeong's loneliness in being too single echoes so well with my personality. These two resonates with me so much and it did hit home while watching the episodes.
The ending part of ep 2 where Mi Jeong saying to Mr.Gu to worship her, gave me chills and it made me so excited. It would have taken her so much to even utter those words. I am rooting for her to win at the end of the drama. Wish to see her smile more.

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I love the dialogue, especially the lines about the whites of the egg and then how it waa carried through to, "you can eat Seoul", and also the abandoned dog line. Smart writing, recounted second hand, with all the associated pain. It's inspiring and "liberating" to see the writer's freedom in delivering strong smart metaphoric dialogue, but at the same time giving the lines to the victims.

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As expected of Park Hae-young to deliver an ordinary story of ordinary people in a way that was painfully relatable in its mundanity. It's so easy to identify myself with a number of characters here at one point of their stories or another. But I'm especially invested in Mi-jung's journey.

Probably because I feel Mi-jung so much in this premiere eps. The way she tend to bottle up every emotion she felt and appeared amiable. The somewhat naive hope that being genuine is maybe enough, even in this era. The way she seemed prickling with almost physical awareness of the heightened or shifting atmosphere around her as she stayed very very still. The fervent need to be seen and loved the way she is. Not 45 minutes in yet, and I already cried at her quiet narration. I can't wait to see where her journey will bring her in the future, especially with the way eps 2 ended.

Speaking of that unexpected scene, wowza!!! I didn't see it coming, but it's such a perfect culmination of Mi-jung's realization of how exhausted she was with the effort to feel good about herself. I have to say that I have high expectation for unexpected development given what I've seen in Oh Hae-young Again and My Ajusshi, but this one exceeded even my wildest hope. It was a desperate call of help if I've ever heard one and it was impactful exactly because she expressed it towards someone who is just in as much need of help as her (or probably even more so, given Gu's constant drunken state). But then again, maybe that was the exact reason that will push Mi-jung on her journey towards self-love. Meanwhile, I'm just thrilled that the writer has boldly use such an unusual word and concept and inject her own interpretation of it. I'm pretty sure I'll remember the word "worship" differently because of this drama.

Last but not least, it fascinated me how the writer told a story of rural life, but removes all the romanticism or the heavy "backward society" atmosphere that dramas and movies usually saddled that kind of story with. Instead, here, it's just one of the reality of living in South Korea when you didn't reside in the metropolitan area. It felt familiar, but more grounded somehow, and it was very much appreciated.

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When I first tried to watch it, gonna be honest, I fell asleep. Gave a go and took my time watching it. Yes, it's slow, but that's the whole point. When you are seeping into a depressive and melancholic lifestyle, life just seems like endless minutes until the next day happens. As I completed each of the episodes, I saw myself in each person. I saw the urgency from the mom to complete tasks. I saw the desperation from the older sister. I saw the frustration from the brother. Lastly the defeat from Kim Jiwon's character. Why, because it's how I feel now. It's almost painful to see it play out in front of you. You complete all that you are supposed to do, only feel stuck and on an endless cycle.

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However, it's an interesting story. I have faced similar situations in my life, so I was wondering

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