My Liberation Notes continues a run of good form here with strong character writing and attention to detail.
This recap of My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 4 contains spoilers.
After yesterday’s episode of My Liberation Notes showcased a much better version of the show than what was suggested by the tepid opening weekend, it’s nice to see the fourth installment make good on that with another solid episode full of nuance, strong character writing, and thematic depth.
My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 4 recap
In particular, what we’re beginning to see is a change in tone; a brighter, more uplifting feeling is creeping into the margins as the idea of living a more fulfilling life free from the constraints of expectation becomes more of a reality than a pipe dream. It mirrors a seasonal shift, or even, on some level, the spread of a contagion, with Mi-jeong’s introspection and desire to live a more meaningful life rubbing off on Mr. Gu. Change begets change.
The idea of personal development and self-improvement being sort of contagious, and the flipside of stifled, small-minded thinking being similarly catching, is an interesting one to me. My Liberation Notes does a good job of depicting this kind of thing in subtle touches, such as Mi-jeong trying to control her temper around Mr. Gu, or Chang-hee’s behavior after a fall-out with his father. This isn’t the kind of show that wants to make a point in big, explicit ways, but rather in its entire vibe and underlying sense of feeling.
And that’s new and interesting enough for My Liberation Notes to remain engaging even when it can still drag its feet a little and draw moments out too long. I’m buying into the characters at this point, but I’m also buying into the fact that the show knows what it’s doing with them; it understands them and the world they inhabit in a way that is being revealed to us gradually, carefully, and purposefully. It taking its time with setting up different storylines and character dynamics isn’t a mark in the negative column, but instead a little guarantee that what we’re seeing has really been thought about and considered.
You’ll notice I’m not recounting much plot here, and that’s intentional. For whatever reason, I’m not inclined to go beat-by-beat, but instead to just indulge in the gradual unfurling of the story, much like how word of the Liberation Club itself begins to proliferate here; like how Gu finds his resolve in the closing scenes, and how simple ideas of living better, bigger, and more freely are beginning to resonate in ways that’ll no doubt have major ramifications for everyone involved. Let’s enjoy the ride.