No. Actually I find it weird that they translated the title of this show to ‘In A Good Way‘. It doesn’t really capture the essence of the show like the actual title- 我的自由年代- does. My Era of Freedom. Sounds more like a college drama to me! But those things are pretty trivial considering how high this show is rating in its native Taiwan. And I completely understand why!
I chanced upon 我的自由年代 when I saw a Facebook conversation between two of my college friends (oh the irony!) wherein they were virtually gushing about this show. When I went home that night I started watching this and found myself inevitably gushing along with them. I’m trying to recall a time when I’ve ever watched a show like this in the world of Asian drama (Korean, Japanese, AND Chinese/Taiwanese dramas in general) and I can say that I have never watched such an honest and insightful college drama series EVER.
Most of the things going on here are actually relatable, and for the first time in… forever for me, a show targeting my age group actually throws out the typical cutesy/angsty drama stereotypes out the window. There aren’t any of those klutzy unbelievably-dense and all-around imbalanced leads, nor have I encountered any cheap shots to increase the show’s shock value so far. There is a sincerity in which the story here is written and told; unwound alongside characters with distinct personalities that we see change and blossom with time.
I love how consistent the actors have been portraying their characters all throughout, and though we see some of them mature and inevitably change the way they perceive their surroundings and the people around them, the very core of their characters remain intact. I guess I’ll have to credit the cast for pulling in some extra effort to study their characters well! SETTV hit the casting jackpot when they put Lego Lee (new discovery of mine!) and Kirsten Ren (adorbs younger sister of Selina Ren from S.H.E. fame) together, because their chemistry has been undeniable since episode 1. I’ve never seen either of these two act before and I must say I’m pretty impressed by how they carried the show’s romantic aspect together. Even the secondary leads are pretty great and I love them both as well!
Thankfully this show isn’t just heavily centered on the romance. Individually, these characters also face their own shares of insecurities and doubts about the future, as I’m sure every person at college age has encountered– myself included. Mirrored in this show are my own fears about my own future, whether it be relating to work or love or anything really, and I realize how tragically hilarious it is that the world seems to expect us to figure things out in our 20’s when it’s damn near impossible!