Episode 1 of Hello, Me! begins with Ha-Ni sitting in a coffee shop with a delicious strawberry cake and a coffee. She writes in her notepad, asking if she got back okay… and there it is, the name of the show! “Hello, me!”
We then cut back in time. Rain lashes down to the ground. Ambulance sirens wail in panic as Ha-Ni is rushed into hospital. We hear her innermost thoughts, hoping that she isn’t resuscitated as she goes into cardiac arrest.
Thankfully (or not?) she’s brought back as we jump back even further to catch a glimpse of her life. It turns out Ha-Ni is a mascot for different confectionary and snacks. Only, she looks set to lose her job after one of the children eats some squid snacks…which he’s allergic to. The Mum is adamant about suing the company, as his boss sends squid Ha-Ni to check up on him.
On the way out the door though, she’s stopped by two stern police officers, led by Lee Man-Jin, who decide to arrest her for failing to comply with a summon for slander.
Meanwhile, rich 30 year old playboy Yoo-Hyun arrives on his estate and starts horse riding. Well, he does until his Father summons him anyway. Yoo-Hyun mentions paragliding, as a cheeky reference to Crash Landing comes into play. Ji-Man then looks in disdain at his son talking about his love for horse riding.
In fact, he makes a bet with Do-Hyun over whether Yoo-Hyun can muster up a million won in a week or not. If he does so, then Han Ji-Man will not interfere with his life anymore. If he fails, he’ll be kicked out the house.
Yoo-Hyun does his best to muster up the money, trying to bag a job with a hilariously specific set of tasks he’s really good at. Eventually he settles as a masseur where he proudly musters up… 28,700 won.
His plan backfires, leading to a dislocated shoulder and a swollen pride. Because of this, Yoo-Hyun is booted out the house in his underwear. As he flashes his Father, two police officers notice him and stop the man by the side of the road. Eventually he winds up arrested alongside our squid. Well, Ha-Ni does not trust him and believes the man to be a pervert.
Just then, movie actor Anthony rocks up at the station. It turns out he’s part of this slander case after Ha-Ni been using the ID of “Poopy Anthony.”
During a flashback we see more of Anthony’s past, including how he got this nickname. It turns out he has an intolerance to milk and after being given a latte on-set, he was forced to relieve himself out in the woods. This spot happened to be right where Ha-Ni was taking pictures. Her precious camera is destroyed, thanks to Anthony, who rips up her camera roll and leaves her angry and annoyed at this arrogant actor.
Back in the present, Ha-Ni brings up the photo incident and as she looks set to disclose the truth, Anthony decides to settle. This allows Ha-Ni to go free, as she walks out the police station still wearing her squid outfit. She eats her snacks, reading a fortune on the front of the packet. Within this, it claims she’ll meet someone important that she needs to hold onto. As she leaves the station, Yoo-Hyun is still stuck inside until he’s picked up by Oh Ji-Eun.
Just then, Ha-Ni’s friend Ha-Yeong phones, reminding her of a blind date she’s due to go on. It’s here she remembers the important person prophecy and deliberates over whether this could be that moment. Well, Ha-Ni gets dressed up ready for her date… which happens to be the same place Yoo-Hyun is visiting. What are the odds!
Anyway, Yoo-Hyun is not her date. That luxury falls to Jeong Jun-Su who sits down to eat with her and the two begin talking. It’s already clear that they’re on different wave-lengths as he recites a poem that reminds him of her.
After calling her beautiful, Ha-Ni tries to talk herself up and date him in the future. Only, it turns out she’s been stood up after he leaves midway through, wiring her the money and bolting out the door. To make matters worse, Ha-Ni even spills red wine down herself too.
She’s not the only one running into problems though, as Yoo-Hyun finds his card frozen and struggling to get through to his family to help. Ji-Man warns the others not to give him any money, as Yoo-Hyun instead turns his attention to Ha-Ni, who takes pity on him and helps.
He promises to pay her back though, as she sits and receives a call from the store manager. Unfortunately her arrest and inability to show up at the hospital causes serious problems for her. She rushes out into the road to hail a taxi…until she notices a speeding truck. Instead of moving though, she waits wide-eyed as it starts approaching her.
We then jump back 20 years to see Ha-Ni at school. A young Ha-Ni is adored and loved by everyone. She smiles, telling her friend that a star should make a grand entrance. Interestingly, Anthony (now going by the name Choon-Sik) is also there, trying to make Ha-Ni his girlfriend… only the girl he’s picked up happens to be her friend.
Ha-Ni comes storming in, kicking Choon-Sik right in the mouth and knocking him to the ground. In front of the whole school, Ha-Ni tells them all that she loves herself.
Choon-Sik’s milk allergy continues to haunt him too, while Ha-Ni’s dreams of becoming a dancer come to a crushing end when her parents arrive to pick her up. Only, Ha-Na charges out the car and races up the street through the rain. She dodges and weaves traffic… until finding herself face to face with a truck.
Believing her life to be over, Ha-Ni awakens in hospital…but she’s not alone. The school-aged Ha-Ni happens to be in the bed next to her who recites the same answers she does. As they both stare at one another, older Ha-Ni realizes she’s looking at her younger self!
During the epilogue, we see a young Ha-Ni starting her notebook, also writing “hello, me” in the pages. She promises that in 20 years time she’ll be living happily ever after. As she asks whether her wish has come true…we know it hasn’t!
The Episode Review
Hello, Me! gets off to a lively, vibrant start with lots of comedy and a promising sign of things to come from this Weds/Thurs drama. The introduction to both Ha-Ni and Yoo-Hyun is really well done, with a good chunk of time spent with them both before they rock up in the jail cell together.
Ha-Ni’s fortune about staying close to someone could be referring to her younger self or Yoo-Hyun and it seems like this show is going to keep that a mystery for the time being.
The blend between comedy and drama is good so far, with the show really leaning into its absurdist comedy for maximum laughs. There’s a lot to like with this one, especially given the quirky characters and Ha-Ni is really easy to warm to right from the very start.
I’d imagine we’re gearing up for a healing comedy, with young Ha-Ni learning from her older self and vice versa. Either way, Hello, Me! roars out the gates with a really funny and well written opening episode. Roll on tomorrow for the follow-up!