Netflix’s newest revenge show: My Name


Photo courtesy of The Korea Times

Netflix’s newest k-drama series, My Name, becomes popular after Squid Game.

Revenge. Gore. Betrayal: this new Netflix Series has it all. Directed by Kim Jin-min and written by Kim Ba-da, My Name, quickly rose in popularity in many countries including France and Germany. 

Released on October 15 of this year,  My Name was produced by the company Studio Santa Claus Entertainment and follows a woman bent on revenge after her father was murdered in front of her.

Lead Yoon Ji-woo (Han So-Hee) witnesses her gangster father’s murder on her 17th birthday and devotes her life to seeking revenge. After pressing the police with no leads, Yoon Ji-woo decides to hunt down her father’s killer herself, resulting in her kidnapping. Saved by her father’s best friend, a notorious crime boss Choi Mu-jin (Park Hee-soon), She then decides to join Dongcheon, Korea’s largest drug ring. Though reluctant at first, he accepts her, allows her to join his gym, and personally trains her to rise through the ranks. After five years of training, Choi Mu-jin instructs her to join the police to help him from the inside, but once on the force, she begins to learn more about the twisted truth behind her father’s murder. 

A very prominent theme throughout the series is revenge. It brings up the question of ‘is revenge suffocating or liberating?’ We are often led to believe that getting revenge is liberating, but in many cases, this is not true.   

In many forms of entertainment, the notion of revenge is seen as self-destructive.  For example, the film The Prestige, follows two rival magicians, Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, bent on outdoing the other while Angier is driven on revenge for killing his wife in an unfortunate accident. Similar to My Name, the main characters become bitter and desperate, causing them to believe it is their sole mission in life. This is seen at the beginning of The Prestige when Angier sabotages Borden’s performances and causes him to lose two fingers. In My Name, Yoon goes out of her way to ensure that Choi doesn’t get caught by the police and then later attempts to kill the head of the unit. 

In contrast to these films, society portrays revenge as a liberating outlet. An example of this would be the justice system. Through the justice system, wrongdoers are punished and if the victims are satisfied with the outcome, we could consider it as revenge. 

Aside from the revenge-filled plot, My Name sets high expectations for a suspenseful and exciting show in only eight episodes. The actress Han So-Hee is incredible. From performing her own stunts to displaying the raw emotion she experiences throughout the series, she shocks the audience with her array of skills. 

My Name is so carefully written and the build-up of emotions is so cleverly implemented into the show. Desperate to find the truth, she turns into a monster, believing her only purpose in life is to avenge her father. Her mental health deteriorates, and she starts to make reckless decisions resulting in her getting injured multiple times. The build-up of emotions creates a suspenseful atmosphere and leaves the audience questioning their every move. 

Aside from the plot, what I love most about the show are the fight scenes and the strong female lead. Throughout the series, the vast array of combat skills that Yoon Ji-woo possesses is shown with hand-to-hand combat and weaponry. The scenes also display her character development. At the beginning of the series, she is shown hesitant to kill, but in the last episode, she is a cold-hearted killer. 

In contrast with stereotypical films where the women are often side characters and portrayed as weak, here, she is very driven in achieving her goal and independent. Her character is not shaped by her love interests, like other dramas. Instead, the director focuses on her drive and capabilities.   

Though its fight scenes are indeed impressive, a small detail that I am particularly annoyed with is the lack of realism. In the final fight scene, Yoon Ji-woo is stabbed and cut multiple times, but she is still able to walk and escape headquarters.   

Overall, the show is amazing in its plot and execution. From its carefully planned out fight scenes to its emotional element, I would rate this show a 9/10.