K-Drama: “Worship Me and Make Me Feel Whole.”

My Liberation Notes | 나의 해방일지 (2022)

Netflix | My Liberation Notes

At San-po, in a very rural countryside city, lives a family of five. The family isn’t the most harmonious or a perfect family, without much conversation shared between them. It takes the three siblings more than an hour train ride just to get to work, which makes a couple of them to feel like they’re living away from the glamour that Seoul holds. Not just these three siblings, but many characters in the K-Drama My Liberation Notes are fighting their own battles, with realistic and relatable personal issues. The series does not take great action or drama to figure out solutions for the characters’ hardships, but rather have us simply observe their slices of life. Whether we’ll find out that everyone will be ‘liberated’ and break free from their frustration and oppressions, we’ll have to be patient with.

JTBC | My Liberation Notes

The first-born of the Yeom family, Ki-jeong (Lee El), has an issue about her love life and the hollowness she feels without it. Everything around her seems useless, boring, and complainable. Nonetheless, in those repetitive complaints and curses that she babbles about everyone, we hear her sad confessions. She’s a person that desires affection and reassurance of how special she is. When she determinedly says that she will “love any person this winter”, we can see how empty she feels without the sense of love. As Ki-jeong can’t help but to compare herself with others, many viewers relate to her but at the same time, feel the urge to tell her that she doesn’t need to do that. That’s she's beautiful and lovable as she is.

JTBC | My Liberation Notes

The second-born, Chang-hee (Lee Min-ki), is also another very complainy person, who seems to hate his position in life and at work. He says that he would be living a “different” life if he was born somewhere else outside of the countryside. That he would have been a better person if he had the better circumstances. He claims that he always sees himself and the people around him objectively, but by doing that, he also continues to talk himself down and unworthy. Regardless of how unhappy he says he is, Chang-hee is a hard-working man that puts his best to become the “better man” he wishes to be. His colleagues and clients make him the salty man he is, but really, he has a kind heart towards everyone which I think is a quality that he should be embracing more.

JTBC | My Liberation Notes

The youngest of the family, Mi-jeong (Kim Ji-won), is who we get to relate to the deepest, and who we get to listen to the most. She works as a contracted employee in a big company, and her manager makes her life difficult by questioning her abilities every single day (when she CLEARLY has a better idea of what she's doing than him). To make her tiring life even harder, her ex-boyfriend ghosts her after borrowing an enormous amount of money. Unmotivated, with nothing to look forward to, Mi-jeong one day finds the need to step out and attempt to make herself “feel whole.” She approaches Mr. Gu (Son Seok-gu), a mysterious nameless man that works for her father who makes custom sinks, and tells him to “worship her.” The true meaning of the word ‘love’ has faded in the modern world as it gets said too much, which makes us often question its genuineness. Hence, when Mi-jeong tells Mr. Gu that she "doesn't need love," and that him worshipping her will fill her up, it made her sound more endearing and earnest, but also desperate at the same time. The precious relationship development of the two and the personal growth we see of Mr. Gu is another factor that made this series rank #1 on Netflix Korea over Stranger Things Season 4!

JTBC | My Liberation Notes

And the most beloved trio of My Liberation Notes, the Liberation Club. One of Mi-jeong’s famous lines is this: "I want to be liberated. I don't know where I'm trapped, but I feel trapped. There's nothing in my life that relaxes me. I feel cramped and stifled. I want to break free." Her company keeps harassing her to join a company club, and as the introvert she is, she finds this very difficult and not worthwhile. There were others who felt the same way, and the three came together to make a new club themselves. Their goal is to liberate themsleves from whatever feeling that they feel trapped and oppressed, by writing down in their diaries, of how they'll do it. The Liberation Club has three rules: to not pretend to be happy, to not pretend to be unhappy, and to be honest. Should we be doing the same as well, in order to find what make us feel wholesome in our lives?

The series felt like a wordless hug or a pat on the back when I was having my personal burdens. Lines of each character got me very absorbed into their feelings and made me sink in many different emotions. If you ever had the feeling of being trapped but you don’t know what from, why don’t you try seeking comfort and liberating yourself by watching My Liberation Notes?

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