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My Liberation Notes: Episodes 3-4

Our siblings are at their wit’s end and the sisters, in particular, realize it’s time for a change. While the eldest takes steps to better understand herself and what she wants, the youngest steps up at work to carve out a space for herself. It’s not easy to enact change, but small steps can sometimes make all the difference.

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

After Mi-jung’s surprising offer, Gu skips out on family meals and seems to try to avoid her. We backtrack and hear his response where he logically pointed out that Mi-jung knows nothing about him or why he’s living namelessly in a remote place. He advises her not to run away from her problems, guessing that she lent money to some jerk. He also brings up a good counterpoint: has she ever made someone else feel whole either?

Mi-jung is angry at first at his rejection, and her mood doesn’t improve when she finally hears back from her sunbae. This dude has the gall to berate her for being petty after he missed just one payment. He even threatens not to pay the money back at all if she asks around anymore for his girlfriend’s number. Wow. Isn’t he a gem?

Mi-jung isn’t the only angry person this week as Chang-hee is still struggling after his breakup, and Ki-jung goes on bad blind dates. Although all the siblings express their anger in different ways, it’s based on the same insecurity of not being good enough.

Chang-hee broke up with his girlfriend preemptively since he “knew” she was looking at him like he’s a loser, but it’s obvious he’s the one who finds himself pathetic. In fact, his ex seems pretty upset about their breakup and even came all the way out to their train stop in tears. The siblings, especially Chang-hee and Ki-jung, seem to self-sabotage due to their own fears. But Mi-jung, at least, starts to make a little headway.

At work, that persistent club lady just won’t stop, so outcasts Mi-jung, Tae-hoon, and Sang-min decide to form their own club: the liberation club. Mi-jung came up with the idea which appealed to all of them since they each feel trapped in their own way.

I love this little club which basically ends up being a support group as they struggle to define liberation for themselves. Their first meeting consists of each of them sitting at a window bar in a café, facing outside so they don’t have to be face-to-face which feels “aggressive.” Mi-jung seems legitimately happy to be a part of something and looks so much lighter after doing something proactive.

Ki-jung also takes action and confronts her boss over feeling left out. He always gives these lottery tickets to employees (and dates lots of the women in the office), but he’s always passed her over. He actually gives her some good advice. Rather than trying to force herself to have a “melo” genre romance, find the genre that fits. He helps her figure out what matters to her and concludes she’s more a slice-of-life woman who wants a steadfast, good man without the drama.

So, of course, she ends up bumping into Tae-hoon again. It turns out, he and his sisters spent their teenage years in Sanpo. His older sister KYUNG-SEON (Jung Soo-young) was even Ki-jung’s classmate in high school. Ki-jung apologizes to Tae-hoon for her insensitive comments that day, and he’s very gracious about it all. And now, Ki-jung is developing a crush. She even gives him one of the lottery tickets her boss finally gifted her.

Meanwhile, Gu continues his almost non-existence, despite Chang-hee’s attempts to get to know him. Chang-hee even goes to his place uninvited to try to drink with Gu, but that doesn’t go well. Gu doesn’t kick him out, but it’s obvious he does not want chatty Chang-hee there.

Chang-hee does apologize later for being invasive, but he’s still determined to make friends with Gu and talks his ear off when he sees him. When Chang-hee asks how Gu ended up in Sanpo, Gu reluctantly says he got off at the wrong stop. We get a brief flashback to a much more kempt Gu rushing off a train as a woman yells, “Get off!” Interesting …

Gu seems markedly less annoyed with Mi-jung’s quiet presence than that of her siblings who are a tad chaotic. There’s this moment where Chang-hee and Ki-jung are loudly fighting per usual, and Ki-jung goes to throw a slipper at his head. Instead, it conks Mi-jung on the head. The siblings go tense, not daring to speak. Mi-jung silently walks over, takes the slipper, and hurls it into the yard. Chang-hee later tells Gu that Mi-jung is the most frightening when she’s angry because she has no limits.

Mi-jung definitely has a dark side which we get a peek into this week. She makes these casual statements about how she likes thunderstorms because it looks like the world could end or how strange it is that people get excited in life when they’re only going to die eventually. Pleasant stuff like that.

The one person who seems to genuinely lift Mi-jung’s spirits is her childhood friend HYUN-AH (Jeon Hye-jin) who’s her opposite – bold and assured. They’re obviously close and complement each other well, both respecting and liking each other for their differences.

I enjoy that Mi-jung frequently takes Gu off guard and gets a rare reaction. Like when she casually tells him to let her know if he’d like to be worshipped too. He seems genuinely curious about her and one day asks why she lets people walk over her. Why is she being “nice” to that guy who owes her money? Mi-jung argues she finds it more difficult to stoop to their level.

One night, Mi-jung sees lightning strike a powerline right in front of where Gu is sitting outside, drinking. She rushes out into the storm and physically ushers him inside his house. Gu has this look, like he’s surprised someone cares that much about his safety.

The next day, he wakes up from another drunken night where he somehow hurt himself. Je-ho takes him to the pharmacy… and then invites him for a beer. (Seriously?! Your first thought is to take an alcoholic out for beer after an alcohol-related injury?)

That weekend, while the family works in the fields, Mi-jung’s hat is caught in the wind and blows across what looks like an irrigation ditch. Gu hops up and says he’s got it, but he walks the opposite direction. He then takes off at an insane run and LEAPS across like a freakin’ professional hurdle jumper to land perfectly on the other side. Then he just casually picks up her hat. WHAT. Who is this dude?!

The episode ends with a voiceover dialogue between him and Mi-jung where he asks what it means to worship someone. “To cheer them on,” she replies, “to tell them they can do anything.” Then, Gu once again goes hurtling through the air back to the family on the other side. And that’s how we end this week.

I am so curious as to who Gu is now and what happened to him. He looked so different on that train. How did his life fall apart, and how did he end up in Sanpo? It seems he was telling the truth when he said he got off at the wrong stop. I’m looking forward to unfurling his complicated story. And learning why the heck he can leap like a gazelle.

 
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I love this show because the characters all feel like me, feel like people I’ve met. Mi-jeong is introverted and desires to break free (from what? she’s not too sure) while still staying true to herself. I have felt that before.

Chang-hee’s “I see the way they all look at me” outburst was deeply sad, revealing just how insecure he is. Most people are probably not judging him, but it sure feels like they are to him, and it shapes all of his relationships. I feel that all the time.

Ki-jeong’s loneliness, the way she also seems to tie her self-worth to how other people perceive her, is something I think we can all relate to. And, after all, who of is wouldn’t be a “pick-up girl”? That was THE funniest conversation I’ve seen all year and I STILL laugh thinking about it. “I’m laughing so I don’t cry” seems like a great way to describe this show and how it uses humor so well.

I read an article recently about trauma plots in fiction, and how in so much media (especially these days, especially in k-drama) the characters are defined by a specific trauma that happened to them in the past that resulted in their present unhappiness.

I find this sentiment reflected in the currently-airing Tomorrow, where suicidal people are only suicidal because of a specific problem in their life, and once that one problem is resolved then everything is fine!

But you know, for most people, that’s not how it works. And I don’t think the trauma plot is inherently BAD—people do experience trauma and it’s something worth addressing, but I don’t think it’s what shapes most people. Whether it’s depression or a general sense of ennui, not being happy with your life is usually not something that can be traced to a specific point in your life that brought you to where you are today. It’s not a particular problem. It’s a culmination of many, often mundane and ordinary, things.

And I think what makes this show so great is that it shows this. I think this is also why some people don’t really like our siblings. I saw someone on a different website call them ungrateful, because their lives aren’t that bad and they have no right to be sad! It made me laugh, wondering if they had never been dissatisfied with their lives.

We don’t need tragic backstory to “explain” our characters’ personalities—what we see about them in the present, how they interact with the world around them, is enough for us to grow to understand them. It’s enough for us to root for them and want them to find happiness, or at least some sense of satisfaction.

This show doesn’t avoid the trauma plot altogether, of course. I think we’re definitely heading there with Mr. Gu. But the fact that the show dares to paint the mundane lives of our siblings as something they want to escape from really makes it uniquely true to life. It avoids making our characters one dimensional. The siblings all feel like me, feel like people I’ve met before, much more so than 95% of other fiction out...

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The siblings all feel like me, feel like people I’ve met before, much more so than 95% of other fiction out there.

Park Hae-young is a genius. That’s all I really have to say.

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Re: the "Pick-up girl" conversation
I guess the old saying about how men and women have different thinking process is right. I mean, I know it's right from many many past experiences, but that one conversation made that abundantly clear. It's bordering on absurd how the siblings (plus Du-hwan) seemed to talk about the same thing, but it's clear that they have two very different conversations going on. And it's not like Gi-jung isn't explaining things plainly either. Besides, really, when it comes to that, who wouldn't be a pick-up girl?

I saw someone on a different website call them ungrateful, because their lives aren’t that bad and they have no right to be sad! It made me laugh, wondering if they had never been dissatisfied with their lives.

Exactly. I read some similar sentiments in other websites and I can only muse that they must have a pretty smooth and satisfying lives so far to have that kind of reaction.

I agree with your analysis about the trauma plot vs. what this drama tried to portray through the 3 siblings. I've wondered before how it would feel like to watch a drama that depicted the ordinary story of ordinary people, and My Liberation Notes gave me the answer to that old question and more. So much more.

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I agree with your assessment, except your generalization about the different thinking process of men and women.

I can't identify with all the characters in this show. In fact even I, something of a loser, think Chang-hee is obnoxious loser--well portrayed understandable character, sure, but nonetheless no one I would hang around with in real life if I had a choice.

But do I ever identify with Ki-Jung! I always catch myself speaking in somewhat meandering, semi-self-absorbed monologues using metaphors that are unclear beyond my own frame of reference. I went on a couple of blind dates in my twenties and saw that same blank, uncomprehending, slightly tinged with dislike look that she did from the person on the other side of the table. (The actor who played that blind date was great in capturing that look, which is seared in my memory.). I only won my wife because of dog-like loyalty, and although I didn't describe it in picking up her severed head terms, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Weirdly, I just said to that wife several days ago, “if only I could pump some lubricant into all of my joints so that I could move smoothly again.” Of course, I’m sure that’s a thought every aging person has at sometime or another, but it was a little startling to hear it expressed by a t.v. character!
The only part that I can't really identify with is that the actress playing the character, Lee El, is so beautiful that she would never really have trouble attracting dates, and certainly would not be ignored by the opposite sex in the office.

Anyway, the one thing more I have to say about Ki-jung is that if the show does not give her a happy ending, I’m going to swear off rural slice of life kdramas forever!

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I guess you are right. It's more about the different type of personalities than about gender. While I couldn't see myself telling a stranger I meet for the first time (especially in a blind date setting) something like that, I didn't see anything strange with the sentiment itself. Ki-jung might use a more extreme metaphor to express her idea across (which I actually like to do in the safety of my own head), but basically she is talking about loyalty and her willingness and dedication to stay through the best and worst times together with her significant other. And isn't that what people want from their other half??

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I found Chang hee annoying last week but this week the only annoying thing about him is that he talks a lot. He works well, tries to stay nice with his colleagues and yes he may have no grand plan for his life but alot of that depends on his promotion. So what should he do than just wait for it when he's hopeful it's coming. So for now I don't think he's a loser at all. But when it comes to Ki jung/Lee El, i don't know why the show is trying to insinuate that she isn't as beautiful as she actually is. Do her facial features not align with traditional Korean beauty, i guess?

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The reason I used the term loser is that I was referring to his own self-characterization as a loser, at least in the Netflix translation. Not sure if the Korean translates exactly that way.
I think its very important to stress, however, that I am just describing my hypothetical reaction to encountering a Chang Hee in person. I am not at all referring to the behavior of the character as written. The self-sabotage, the undermining of relationships because of fear is very realistically portrayed. What I find obnoxious, or I think better said, what I would find obnoxious if I encountered him in real life, is his berating his sisters and friends, as partly an expression of self-pity. But again, I have been around people like this, and its well-written and well portrayed so I am not objecting to the character, just saying I wouldn't respond sympathetically to angry self-pity in real life.
But also, as I said I totally agree with you about Ki Jung. There is absolutely no way the office womanizer would have ignored her.

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To answer the question about lee El’s beauty, I think there are plenty of beautiful women (and maybe men) who find it hard to find someone like everyone else. Just because you’re a beauty doesn’t mean you cannot be awkward, and it doesn’t mean you can attract any type of person you might want. Plus the more beautiful a person, the more people assume she’s weird if she’s single. That’s sometimes a vicious cycle.

In the case of Ki-Jeong, she seems to really want to meet « someone » so bad but at the time is she really ready to throw away all of her criterias?

I relate to all the siblings on so many levels and I actually love the Chang-hee, I feel like he’s so frustrated because his father puts an extra expectation on him because he is a man whereas he dots on his maknae daughter and doesn’t really seem to care about what the older one does.

They all seem to have this expectation that he will fail and I think that’s where his self confidence problem come from.

And for Mi-Jeong, I can only say that I smiled the same way too many times in a public setting. When you’re just listening in to people without really be apart of them. Trying to make it seem like you want to fit in but at the same time not knowing how. Trying to save face so that people won’t think you’re on your own when in fact you like being on your own. It’s a paradoxal smile that was so greatly conveyed !

I live this drama

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I agree, I don’t think Chang hee is a loser. Nor are his sisters. As you said, they work hard and try to be polite to others. At least they try! They know there’s got to be something more to life, but they just can’t put their finger on it. Like an itch you can’t scratch! But yes, Chang hee does talk too much. I loved when he was having lunch with his co-worker and complaining about people who talk too much when it finally dawned on him that he does the same! 😂
And for the record, @hacja, you are not even 1% of a loser! But I hear you re aching joints!

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Start this epi I think Chang-hee is one of the bubbly characters who likes to put his foot on the mouth. But how Lee Min-ki portrays the character makes the character kind of endearing and adds some 'weight' into it. If the actor is not him, like Cha Eun-woo or Rowoon probably the charcter just stop at being bubbly.

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@smulawyer thanks for your vote of confidence especially from a DB commentator that I really respect, but there is a reason I know Chang Hee's type well and know I wouldn't like him in real life!

But speaking again about Ki Jung, in reference to Nana Premane's comments, I also know well how being too needy drives reasonable people away--or in my case, annoys people who are generous enough to remain close. The thing about Ki Jung, is, though, she's not just beautiful and needy, she's also quirkily appealing. So there is no reason she'd be overlooked in the office.

In fact, if this were a romance with a happy ending, I'm sure the office womanizer (who seemed like not too bad a guy after all), would fall for her, and they'd end as couple, after the daughter torpedos her relationship with the divorcee.

But, instead, making a prediction based on the first four episodes, I'd say Mi-Jung will have a torrid, but brief affair with Gu, which will "liberate" her; Chang Hee will move to Seoul and have a tentative reconciliation with his old girlfriend, and Ki Jung will realize after a failed relationship that she doesn't need romantic love to be a complete person. A fine lesson for most, but not one I'd emotionally appreciate, and I hope I'm wrong in every prediction.

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Lee Min Ki does neurotic really really well.
i love him!

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@smulawyer I keep coming back to that scene with the co-worker. They did such a great job of letting that scene run on long enough that we the audience got the joke before Chang hee. I related to that SO much! The "oh. I'm just like the person that drives me nuts." revelation is one I've had a time or two. :)

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You write so well mindy.

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"Whether it’s depression or a general sense of ennui, not being happy with your life is usually not something that can be traced to a specific point in your life that brought you to where you are today. It’s not a particular problem. It’s a culmination of many, often mundane and ordinary, things."

You worded my thoughts perfectly and I couldn't agree more

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I saw someone on a different website call them ungrateful, because their lives aren’t that bad and they have no right to be sad! It made me laugh, wondering if they had never been dissatisfied with their lives.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is at play here. At the pyramid's bottom rung, people need to fulfill their immediate needs for physical survival with food, shelter, clothing, but once you have those and move up the pyramid, the next rungs are belongingness, love, esteem, self-actualization.

The siblings have cleared the bottom rung and they're at the higher rungs. However, people who are still at the bottom rung will have trouble understanding why those at higher rungs than them are still unhappy with life, since their basic needs are met.

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Didn't Lee Min Ki's character in "Because This Is My First Life" quote Maslow's hierarchy of needs to the female lead (what was her name)? He was emotionally clueless in that one.

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Well said. I was once told to justify why a character I wrote had depression. Though honestly I feel there's not always a grand reason or trauma behind it. The grand reason behind it in shows is usually for the sake of dramatics so that the audience can sympathize and they can also resolve it by showing achievable growth. Though the opposite is the beauty of this show. Their mundane lives and Mi jung's loneliness need not have a trauma attached that can be healed over time but a stronger untold reason that comes in waves but never leaves. Park Hae Young did not disappoint. So glad to see a show about the grounded realities of life and characters all of whom I can relate to at one point of my life or another, or always.

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I am going to sarcastically laugh when some people ask the resin behind a person's sadness and depression. Why? Is her/his sadness or depression a Phd thesis that needs a scientific validation? If there's no reason behind it, so it isn't sadness? They are not allowed to feel it? That it needs some of grand trauma to make them have the right to feel it?

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Who of us wouldn't be a pick up girl? Me. I would never. What in the world would I do with the SEVERED HEAD of a person I love? That's nightmare material. They're DEAD unless this is a fantasy story and I can make some sort of potion with that head to restore their life to me, why on earth would I risk my life for it?

I prefer my loved ones whole.

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Chang-hee would consider you and him the only sane ones

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I don’t understand “pick up girl” so I am bit lost during this scene and the comments relating to this. Can someone explain?

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It was during the blind date. Ki-jung said if her husband was killed by beheading (in Joseon era), she would pick up his head. It was her way to show what kind of lover she is.

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Thanks for explaining. I didn’t quite understand that sense and why her blind date was disinterested her after her respond. Your simple explanation makes sense now.

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Ah, love, so ordinary yet so complicated. At a glance, this seems like a story about trying to find love. Yet the more revelation we got from our characters, the clearer it was that this is actually a journey to love yourself. Which, in retrospect, could be much more difficult to do.

Mi-jung continued to be a very fascinating but also relatable character. Maybe it's because of how quiet and introspective she was, but she has a way of talking where she seemed to use the most unusual concept to capture something that probably a lot of people felt but never really articulated before. She used such abstract and high concept, and yet she has a way of making it sounds grounded in reality? Just like the way she asked to be "worshipped". Or when she proposed to make a "liberation" club. She sure has her own interpretation of it, but even before her explanation, her unexpected word did strike a chord with people around her. (I'm tickled that the liberation club turned out to be some sort of voluntary group therapy, which was probably one of the best decision these 3 people have made recently.)

I like the way Mi-jung's proposal evolving through the time as she find new "excitement" in life. From her desperately asking others to put meaning into her life and made her feel worthy, to her trying to make others feel whole (even if it's only subconsciously at this point). It might not be the recommended action for someone in desperate need of help to help others first, but it seems to be working for her. The more she helps Gu and people in her club find meaning and happiness in their lives, the more she find new meaning and glimpses of genuine happiness in her life in return.

This weeks eps also made me realize how Mi-jung seemed to be transforming into so many versions of herself in different companies. She stays quiet and helpful and unobtrusive around her family (though her siblings find her potential explosion very scary). She is charmingly quirky and quiet in an amiable way with her work colleagues, but completely open and chatty with Hyuna (which shocked me because that's the first time Mi-jung looks so un-self-conscious and relaxed). She is raw and honest in an almost uncharacteristically aggressive way with Gu, while being mostly introspective and calmlu self-aware around her club members who used to be total stranger for her. I know people have different facets they show to the world depending on what "role" they are fulfilling at the moment, but the different aspects of Mi-jung seemed almost extreme in comparison, and fascinatingly so. I can't fathom those who said she was plain and bland, because watching this, she is anything but.

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Well put. I find her fascinating

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"The more she helps Gu and people in her club find meaning and happiness in their lives, the more she find new meaning ... in her life in return." Bingo. I have felt frustrated every time she said to Gu "I've never felt whole--make me whole." Because making you feel whole is not someone else's job--it's yours. So your comment, above, is a hint that she is beginning to realize this.

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Why do they feel like people I know? Instead of just characters? The somber, contemplative vibes of this story has me by the chokehold, and in a very quietly, different way, than say... 25-21 did. Kudos to the actors & the director for directing them the way he is.... I can rarely ever see traces of the actors beneath each of their perfectly acted roles.
I never thought I'd find a script full of dialogues, that was so relatable, on so many levels. Strangely, I find myself chuckling silently & nodding my head ever so frequently. It's a drama-experience first! :') I can see why such stories are incredibly rare; they do not fit into the Hallyu frame of model, where every nook of South Korea is romanticized to the n-th degree. In fact, I think stories like these are grounding enough to make you realize that people are pretty much the same everywhere, once you peel away the outer, superficial layers of skin color & culture.

Ps. The little nugget of info this week was quite interesting- It seems parents want their kids to move out & experience city-life. However, the trio of siblings cannot, for whatever reason. I think I have a good feeling what each of their reasons may be! :'D
P. Ps. OST 3 is on a repeat-loop!

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What an outstanding show. It delivers the deep feelings sprinkled with just the right amount of humor along the way.

And Mr. Gu. Credit to actor Sohn Seok-gu. I can't recall of a time where an actor made just staring out into space look so compelling. I can't wait to find out his full story.

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He can stare into space for the rest of the drama and I would watch him. 😍

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I was thinking a word to describe this show….and this comes across my mind surprisingly - addictive!!!

I never thought I’d be that addictive to a drama of this nature but I can’t put it to the back of my mind until next week. I keep thinking about these characters, I want to know what happened to Mr Gu, I want to know if the three siblings will find their happiness, I want to hear dad saying something, I want to see mum smiling brightly, I want to see the other two Liberation Club members laughing hard even just once…

This is the spell that My Liberation Notes cast on me after just 4 episodes.

If anything, the three siblings share one thing in common - the superlative ability to self-reflect and see through who they are. Those around them are not in the same class.

To the Korean-speaking Beanies, is ‘worship me’ the right translation here?

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It is so addictive. I wish I had waited for all episodes to release and binge it but now it's too late because I'll be waiting for every next episode. I feel if only people knew that it has a good level of addictiveness, it will fare better in local ratings. But I guess the subject matter(technically existentionalism) and the timings (too late for such drama) are keeping people away. Or I'm hoping all are watching it on Netflix.

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Thank you for the weecap!
I wish this was one of those series that's released all at once. I'm in the middle of a kdrama drought atm which makes waiting for the weekends even more painful. I'm super curious about Mr Gu's story. Who/what is he running away from? Even though Mr Gu doesn't say much he's observant, especially when it comes to MJ. He hit the nail on the head when he said Dad and MJ act like they've done something wrong when they're asking for what's rightfully theirs. I think a big part of MJ's problem is her passiveness but this week we see her start to take some actions, starting with the liberation club. The chemistry between MJ and Mr Gu is so intense that I often find myself watching with bated breath. Even when no words are spoken you can feel the tension, particularly in the scene where MJ ushered him inside from the storm.

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One of the impressive things of this drama is the family eating scenes. You can feel the earnestness and satisfaction of each around the dining table or eating in the field. It’s an important daily rituals of farming families, I guess. And I can’t stop imagining how wholesome those home cooked meals are - and they always do a close up of their making the cold drinks before working in the fields. And MJ certainly enjoys the home meals much better than those she has with her work colleagues.

Clearly, one of the reasons why the siblings never quit home.

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Gu, Gu. What did you do?

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One thing Gu must have done was long jumping. That leap must have been about 8 meters, which would have made him competitive at the national level. Of course, he was coming down the hill going there. What aroused my skepticism (I'm joking, of course, since I know the leap was a metaphor) was the jump back across--there he didn't have a full runup and was leaping to a point slightly above his departure.

Since I know this is a fascinating topic to everyone here, I'll go on to say that if that was actually Son Seouk-koo shown in the air, he deserves major kudos for his form. I am willing to award him this spring's "best athletic performance in a kdrama that didn't feature martial arts."

The one place where he, and all actors who don't have a background in track totally fail is in the hand position in his sprint to the jump. NO sprinter or long jumper holds their hands rigidly flat like Son was doing (or, more outrageously since he was supposed to be a national track star, like Siwon in Run-On did). Relaxation in the hands and arms is the key-coaches always use the famous "think about holding a potato chip between the thumb and forefinger without crushing it" analogy, which come to think of it, might have been a phrase that would have worked in the shows dialogue.

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fascinating, thanks!

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Oh wow. That's so interesting. It was an impressive leap. And I don't think anyone saw it coming, too.

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That's a keeper category for the end of the year, "best athletic performance...." Don't forget it. 😃 😀 😄

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Wait until the new badminton romance comes out--then the competition will really heat up!

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this reminds me of Lee Min Ki doing a B-twist over that harley-davidson in BTLIMF...
: D

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That scene had me wheezing. You've just reminded me about it, and now I've got to go watch it again, because it was just too good 😂

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Muttering no, no don't do it; then all I could see were wires. Thanks for the track & field analysis.

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Interesting addition!
Personally, that sort of jump, not in how he jumped, but the actual physical type of jump itself (id est, jumping over the railway tracks), reminded me most of the kind of jumps in parkour and freerunning, and my main thought on it therefore was "he should've rolled at the end" haha

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Thanks for the weecap, @quirkycase

I was expecting Ki-jung's boss to be a lecherous b*****d, but no, he's actually a pretty decent person, and looks like he could become a good companion/confidante to her. Which is nice.

Chang-hee self-sabotaging his relationship... *sigh*. I wish I could yell at him through the screen that he's good enough, that he's worth something, which is hypocritical because I'm sort of the same way. I know what it's like to battle with low self-worth, so when he gave that speech, it broke my heart.

I like Gu's response to Mi-jung after she asked him to worship her. She doesn't know him. He could be a terrible person. I wasn't sure how it would play out last week, but after seeing it, it seemed like the sort of thing he would say.

I like Gu the more I see of him, which is in part because it's freakin' Son Seok-gu, and also because he's such a mystery and I want to know more. Plus, alcoholism aside, there's something about his quietness and his determination to mind his own business that I find Very Attractive.

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I agree about Son Seok-Gu, whom I've never seen before. There is a whole drama going on behind those shuttered eyes of his. And the lightning hitting that power pole--wow! What a metaphor :)

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This kind of drama needs excellent actors to portray the characters. Lee Minki and Lee El the loud ones, they have superior brains that can memorize long dialogues or monologues or everything in between.
Kim Jiwon, Sohn Seokgu, Chun Hojin, the quiet ones have amazing talents that even a flicker of their eyes can convey their emotions.
I love the Liberation Club. For introverts, even saying a simple hi can be a tremendous task and being a part of a big crowd can be very exhausting. At the same time, we want to be easy going guys. Feel jealous of people that can strike a conversation at the snap of the fingers. We want to be liberated from our tight-lipped and seemingly stiff emotions.
If I really have to complain about the drama, it’s the OST. Where are they, writernim?
I need more than sound of crickets to play as a bgm.
I have my own playlist folder of MA and AOH OSTs.
Dear Moon of MA remains my all time favorite.
Maybe I of AOH from Roy Kim plays almost everyday.
Other than that, it’s a healing drama for me.

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This drama is so good!

I was surprised by Ki-Jung's boss. He's cleary a seducer but it seems that he really likes women and it's not a game for him. I'm pretty sure a lot of men would have ran away from Ki-Jung with a bad excuse to not answer to her. But he didn't, he listened to her and apologized.

Ki-Jung saying how the 3 siblings are better than Tae-hoon for a marriage, but already completely under his charm. :p She will have to coax the teenager girl!

Chang-Hee is struggling after his break-up but in his job. It's so frustrating when you are professional, but people around you are not. He's trying his best, but just one snake can make doubt everybody with one remark. The fratry loves to complain to their friends. It was funny when he asked his friend if he was talking too much.

Mi-Jung and Mr Gu... One step forward for three steps back. I love how she always made him so shocked with her offer/demand. But when I thought they agreed to greet each other... he never did 😥 But I have hopes, what a jump!

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I share your thoughts on Ki-jung's boss. He's a womanizer, yes, but he isn't sleazy or bad, the way these characters are often portrayed.

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Liberation club is my absolute favorite thing. The fact that none of her co-workers understood what she meant made it even better. I was saying the words right along with her, freeing yourself, even the journey to freeing yourself is incredibly meaningful. I love how Mi Jeong is her father's child whole Ki Jeong and Chang Hee are their mother's children. I am a super fan of quiet acting because conveying emotions by simple facial expressions is so heartfelt when done well and it is done well here. I love love this drama. Also as soon as Gu said he would get it, I knew he was going to jump, lol, I didn't think he would make it though. That was a fun scene.

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Right now all I can remember is what our ahjussi from the Liberation club said: "There will be people who frustrate you anywhere you go, and those people will never change. Then that means it's me who has to change, but I don't want to let go of this anger I feel. My anger is perfectly reasonable." I also want to be liberated from my job.

I'm Mi Jeong most of the time, but Chang Hee and Liberation ahjussi felt more relatable this week. Like some of the other comments said, I guess I'm all of them. We all are.

My favorite character is still Ki Jeong. Everything she says is so interesting, I want to be her friend and listen to her all day. I would like to see the world through her eyes just once.

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Started this show over the weekend and I'm greatly enjoying it. It's the first kdrama (I can think of) that tackles existentialism. Each of the siblings are dealing with an existential crisis to varying degrees of severity, with Mi-jeong is having the worst of it.

I find the show relatable and funny. When Ki-jung was talking about the severed head? I totally got what she was saying. When Chang-hee and his dad were fighting about his direction in life during dinner? I felt that.

***
Ki-jung: She is (desperately) looking for a husband and people are giving her bad advice on how she should go about it. Dating is extremely personal, and "general" advice don't hold up at an individual level. People were telling her the "severed head" story was an inappropriate date story, but I actually think it's a brilliant tale. I totally got the story and think it is indeed, the emblem of a grand romance, and Ki-jung needs to find someone who appreciates that story because that person will appreciate her kookiness.

Chang-hee: I'm getting signals that he's spoiled by his mother. Despite his frequent ranting and complaining (which I enjoy), Chang-hee is pretty self-aware. In ep4, he acknowledged that he must also be a "loser" if he's working with "losers", and asked his friend if he was talking too much at the end of his rant.

Mi-jeong: She's an introvert and sensitive soul who is struggling with a full-blown existential crisis. It is so bad that she's reached a point where she is passively suicidal - like she said - if she lived in a high-rise building she might just step off the balcony. She lacks meaning and human connection in her life, her misery and loneliness are eating her up alive inside-out. There's a storm brewing in her that's about to break.

Mi-jeong is an introvert, but her introversion isn't the crux of her problems - there are plenty of well-adjusted introverts who aren't so depressed. For Mi-jeong, she's socially awkward, and maybe even socially anxious. She is someone who hasn't figured out the mechanics of how social interactions work to "fake it", which is why she's a total fish out of water at work. Her co-workers aren't necessarily bad or superficial people - they've just learned (subconsciously or consciously) how to fake it. I wonder about Mi-jeong childhood social development because her siblings turned out okay, socially.

Mi-jeong is a passive agent in her own life and the whole "get liberated" movement is the journey of her becoming more active and seizing the reins on her life.

***
MLB is shaping up to be a gem promises a lot of intriguing character studies.

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I too thought the severed head story was a grand romance. I would pick up his head too.

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I can't remember the name, but I saw a French film set in the time of Henry IV of Navarre and that's exactly how it ended, the FL left in her carriage cradling the severed head of her lover.

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I'm not even watching this drama, but saw your comment on the recent comments section and immediately remembered that watched that one too! It's Reine Margot 😄

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You should watch!!!!!!!!

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Yes, yes, that's it. I knew someone would know. Thank you.

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I remember that scene from Queen Margot.

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Totally agree about your assessment on all characters especially Mi Jung. She isn't only an introvert but one also with social anxiety and awkwardness. Introverts may not prefer to be socially active but it's not that they can't be. Whereas people who are socially anxious struggle a lot being in the presence of people, especially work environments can become condescending. I think the show has told that Mi Jung is first, a lot like her father plus she barely had any friends growing up. Childhood friends help to shape how comfortable or awkward you'll be in the social world. A lack of it does lead to anxiety too.
Regarding Chang Hee i don't exactly think he's a loser but yeah working under people who may not help you to progress positively will only make you like them over time. You hardly know any other way to do things or behave professionally other than what you see and learn.

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I just really love this show. The characters feel so relatable.

I would love to be a part of this liberation club tbh and I am really cheering for them to succeed in breaking free.

Tae-hoon's daughter is obviously going to be against what every is budding between him and Ki-jeong and I honestly can't blame her.

Chang-hee revealing how insecure he feels was painful

Ps: Tae-hoon is winning the lottery right? 😅

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Last week I kept yelling at the 3 co-irkers to start their own club and then don't show up to meetings. I literally yelled at the screen in joy when they decided to start the Liberation club.

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I've long thought that Lee El was a good actor burdened for half her career with thankless girlfriend/mistress roles. Her segue into character roles is welcome and each role is more interesting than the last.

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In rethinking Mr Gu's jump at the end of episode 4, I remembered the the fantastic/magical jump Park HaeYoung wrote into one of her earlier dramas. That drama is Another Miss Oh and there Oh Hae Young leaps and soars through the air into the arms of Park Do Kyung, also at the end of episode 4.
Coincidence?

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Ah, yes! Good catch. Same author too. The metaphorical leap made manifest. Except Mr Gu didn't loose an undergarment item in the process. ;-)

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I am such a fan of this show. Someone said all the main characters would be secondary characters in any other drama. We are pulled in by their mundane lives because they are like us. The mom is so good-hearted; the dad seems to be struggling with some secret of his own. The writers seem to be reminding us there is no such thing as an "ordinary person".

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Not even half-way through all the comments but I must share a book:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
Our son brought it along on a meet-up vacation as he was entering the work world after college. We all read it and had so many wonderful discussions. I believe it helped him understand how to value his contributions, and understand the yacky folks.
By the way extroverts never try to understand those who need to recharge with quiet.
I found a book aimed at the YA market and gave it to several of my middle-school students. If it did for them what that one long weekend did for our son (and us) I will think I've made a contribution.
Perhaps Quiet has been translated into as many languages as we need.
All we quiet people.

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Absolutely love this drama so far. On the contrary I don’t find it slow or boring. Can’t help comparing it to Our Blues which I somewhat couldn’t connect with the characters and got bored.

Back to this, I’ve never seen LMK, LE & KJW in this type of role before and I think they are killing it! The depth of emotion without saying anything is so clear on their faces. And the other actors are doing an excellent job as well.

Also, love the humour in the show. Don’t think it can be classified as black humour?? But along that line….grey humour perhaps 😄

And of course I must gush that SSK is smouldering hot!!!

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I don't find it slow or boring either. It has the steady and contemplative pacing of a Kazuo Ishiguro novel. The writer is taking the time to set up all the characters like pieces on a chessboard.

I'm having trouble classifying the humor too. Deadpan? Satirical?

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I felt secondhand annoyance for Mr. Gu during these episodes. First Mi-Jung appears with her demands to be worshipped, and then chatty Chang-hee barges in with a million questions. Can't a guy drink in peace?

But seriously, I love the interiority of these characters. Their actions and comments are so intriguingly unpredictable - there's clearly so much more going on under the surface (even beyond Mi-Jung's narration). I am enjoying how the show is teasing out these moments, showing us the continuation of conversations that at first appear complete but which are actually for more complex than they initially appear. I'm looking forward to hearing more about Mr. Gu's backstory, and also seeing how the siblings get over themselves and start moving forward in their lives.

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This drama goes from relatable to too-relatable-it-hurts for me. I watched the first two episodes and I was curious. They didn't bore me, yet I felt like I had to like this show because of the hype/writer. (I haven't watched My Ajusshi yet.) I liked this week's episodes though. There were great moments. Humorous and poignant ones.

It's ironic that Mi Jung's workplace is called Joy when she doesn't get that. There or anywhere. For most of the characters, really. Can't wait to see more of her. Her character is still mysterious and unpredictable.

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It is too relatable for me, it makes me laugh. This is how the world throws jokes on us, nasty ones, that force us to laugh even if we don't want to

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My Ajusshi hurts too, especially the early episodes.

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I cheered when Gu told Mi-jung off for her selfish request. It was all about making her feel whole, yet never considering how he would feel having to worship someone. "Have you ever made anyone feel whole?" was the perfect response. She needs to work on herself before expecting wholeness from another person. Fortunately, Mi-jung reflected and offered to worship Gu back.

Unlike Mi-jung, Chang-hee asked Gu's name, then settled for calling him "hyung" after he didn't give it. Chang-hee's apology was sweet when he told Gu they should drink together sometime and get to know each other.

I am Sang-min down to wanting to cancel their first meeting due to the rain. The answer to liberation is always to quit your job. Tae-hoon was smart in suggesting they form their own club and just not do it.

Wow, Ki-jung's director's dating advice was on point. I admire her honesty about her love life with her boss who seems very easygoing.

Thanks for the weecap, @quirkycase!

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I am in love with this show, so captivating that I can't wait for the next episode to start. Seriously the siblings are cold also their father but they are all playing their roles well 👏 I'm enjoying it

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I am completely engrossed in the quiet contemplative vibes of this drama. I don't find it depressing or boring and it seems like a lot of the other beanies are enjoying it too, I wish the ratings would also go up because this drama deserves it.

While in the first two episodes I connected with Mi Jung the most. This week's episodes made made me connect with Chang Hee and Ki Jung. I would totally be a pick-up-the-severed-head type of girl and therefore do not understand why that topic would be weird or boring lol. As for Chang Hee he's loud and abrasive but also surprisingly sweet(?). Like when he's talking to that lady who always calls him I think it's not just because he considers it part of his job, he is just also decent person (that being said, the lady needs to understand boundaries and Chang Hee needs to not pick up everytime). Another scene was when he changed the tv channel for his dad after they fought. That was so sweet. His dad true to character is rigid to a fault and just would not ask someone to help while Changhee is his mother's son and can't not help. Anddd speaking of the dad, isn't it funny how the man is soon much more accommodating with Mr. Gu, a stranger, while being much more harsh (?) With his son and even his wife. People I tell you, you can never quite understand them.

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Thanks @quirkycase for the recap.
I laughed at the gazelle comment. Gazelle is very elegant :) just saying!

I am not sure what to make of that ending. It also went from slice of life to action there. I hope there is some solid explanation for that scene.

I like how I feel like I am watching the siblings life up close and personal. It sometimes feels too close. I like all the siblings. They have their quirks (for lack of a better word) but are real and are self aware. They are all struggling to find the grove, their life’s meaning/purpose or what makes them go on living, their Ikigai.
It is all painfully relatable.

I am loving how the actors are bringing the characters to life.

Gu - two of the siblings have made an attempt to interact with him. I wonder if there will be more interactions with him and the siblings. I didnt want this to be just him and Mi Jeong. So I was thrilled when Chang-Hee broke the ice. Lol, the mosquitoes and wallpaper joke.

Always been a fan of Seok-Gu. It’s a joy to watch him here. I would love to sit and have soju with him without a word being spoken. He sounds like perfect company. 🥰

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One thing I particularly liked was Mi-jung's explanation of 추앙 at the end of ep 4 - about what it means to "worship" someone. It seems that to her, it's not about seeing the other person as perfect; it's not about mindlessly idolising them and worshipping even the ground they walk on, which is what the English word implies to me. It's actually about sincerely believing in the person - believing that they can do better and be better - and telling them so.

That ties in nicely with Mi-jung's newfound determination to break free of the confines of her current life - something that's very hard to do without someone by your side to support you. It reminds me of how she imagines someone like that, someone she has never met but will one day (and perhaps already has!), to get her through the tedium of daily life.

There's something beautiful and tender about this interpretation of worship, and we already see it reflected in Mi-jung and Gu's interactions.

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I love this show and its characters a lot a lot a lot.

But... WHY is everyone so obsessed with severed heads? I understand that it's a metaphor for devotion but really? To love someone so much you'd CATCH HIS SEVERED HEAD?? Why is he gettint beheaded? Wouldn't you have to get REAL CLOSE to the killer to pick up that head?

WHAT WOULD YOU EVEN DO WITH THAT HEAD? My loved one is GONE their head isn't going to change that?

I'd rather grief without it, there's better mementos than BODY PARTS.

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*grieve

i will never write a flawless post

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Honestly, I don't know if I could watch my true love to be beaheaded without passing out or vomiting... I mean it was pretty bloody and there were some misfires too.

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Yeah I don't think I could stomach any of it either, let alone have the reflexes to catch their head.

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If we combine the siblings into 1 person... they would be me. I'm a mix of all of them! I'm not as dark as MJ, but I do feel like I'm trapped & idk what makes me feel like that (though maybe Sangmin answered it for me: to quit my job). I'm happy but unhappy, and I don't know why I'm unhappy bc technically there's nothing wrong with me or my life

When it comes to relationships though, I relate to KJ. I think I also feel like I'm often being "skipped over" / not seen as a woman/potential lover. And when she thinks it's because she's not pretty enough, I just want to hug her because on my lowest points, that's how I feel too. What she said abt her hair never complimenting her overall looks... I ALSO FELT THAT!

Changhee and his tendency to self-pity... I'm not proud of it but I do tend to be like this too sometimes. I know I shouldn't, and if I continue doing it I'll end up like him (sabotaging his own rs and all that jazz) but there are times when I can't help it.

I relate to all of them and while it's their "misfortunes" that I relate to, I also know that life isn't all that bad for me. Hopefully we'll get to see them grow and I'll grow with them too 🤍

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This drama is amazing! II just want to give a chance to drama and i ended up being fan and writing review on my blog!

I really like how each character has its own personality and how each one represent someone from real life. İt almost feel like i see the people i know, the thing that i feel in each one. The script writer made amazing job. Its one of the most successful drama which has realistic story.
Even if it has slow progress, i never feel bored. And ı am so curious and excited about what will happen to them, especially Mijung and Gu!

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Despite the reflective and almost sad and depressing tone of this drama (in a very good way), I appreciate that the funny moments are truly funny, like the scene with the three work outcasts and the club lady, when Mi- Jeong said Liberation club and the club lady was like " I am sorry what?" 😂😂😂 her face expression, and the other guy to add that Korea was liberated when she prompted to explain what the liberation club was about 😂😂😂😅. I mean I was laughing out loud and still laughing as I think abt that scene. This is true creative genius right there from the writer. I mean kuddos to her!

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