Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 11 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 12 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 13 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 14 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 15 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 16 – | Review Score – 4/5
If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be? This is a question we’ve all found ourselves asking at one point in our lives. In the case of Korean drama Hello, Me!, that question is given a 16 episode run and a nice backdrop of comedy and drama.
At the centerpiece of this fun romp lies Ha-Ni, who finds herself confronted with her younger self from 20 years back. The set-up is simple and the show absolutely leans into that simplicity, delivering a joyously funny and touching drama about being the best version of yourself.
The changing fortunes for our main character are certainly plain to see. In high school, Ha-Ni is the popular golden child. Adored by her classmates and teachers alike, Ha-Ni has the whole world at her fingertips.
Fast forward 20 years and things are very different. Ha-Ni is a timid, 37 year old single woman. Her temporary position at work is tenuous at best, and she ekes her way through life as a burden to her family.
All of this changes though when a freak accident sends high school Ha-Ni tumbling forwards through time, right into the hospital bed next to 37 year old Ha-Ni. As the two iterations of Ha-Ni begin to interact, they learn and evolve over time, becoming the best versions of themselves.
Adopting the persona of Scarlett and posing as Ha-Ni’s daughter to avoid suspicion, the two set out to ignite Ha-Ni’s career while also working to subconsciously humble Scarlett from the arrogance she begins with.
The journey is one that’s complicated further by the introduced sub-plot involving Joa Confectionary. Fronted by Chairman Han, his clueless son Yu-Hyeon is next in line to take over the company.
However, Han doesn’t think his son is ready and tasks him with repaying a debt he owes. This estranged Father/son then do battle, as Yu-Hyeon does his best to prove his Father wrong. Only, Han holds a secret of his own that threatens to change the family dynamic forever.
These two storylines run parallel for the duration of the season, with the wildcard of the group coming from celebrity Anthony. This is unfortunately the weakest of the sub-plots. However, it does have a good resolution at the end.
The gist of the issue stems from Anthony’s childhood, which saw him as a bully at Ha-Ni’s high-school. It’s something he’s worked hard to hide – and something Ha-Ni is quick to remind him of.
The comedy here mainly falls within the realm of slapstick but there’s a lovely motif around healing and forgiveness that helps to give this a warmer feel. There are some dark moments too – especially late on – but largely this show is pretty light and breezy.
As far as comedies go, Hello, Me! is definitely one of the better ones this year, although it doesn’t quite ascend to the same peaks True Beauty does. Despite that, there’s definitely some good jokes here that help to keep things engaging.
Alongside this are the characters themselves, with an eclectic group of supporting players helping to flesh this one out. Joining those already mentioned in this review are those in Ha-Ni’s family, including grandmother Lee Hong-Nyeon who finds herself grappling with Alzheimer’s.
There’s also Joa Manager Oh Ji-Eun too, who also happens to be Ha-Ni’s best friend in school. The group of characters in this series certainly have ties to the past and it gives Scarlett and Ha-Ni a good chance to fulfill their potential.
We’ve seen this before with something like Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol where a final episode can change everything. Thankfully, Hello, Me! nails its ending with a beautiful montage and a nice resolution for all involved. It’s a small touch but one that puts a suitably shiny cherry atop a lovely cake.
Hello, Me! is a beautifully written comedic drama. It’s a show armed with a nice message, some great healing moments and strong character work. It’s one of those understated dramas that flies under the radar but what it does, it does remarkably well. Sure it may not be a ratings king but it’s still a very strong Korean drama and certainly one of the better offerings in 2021 so far.
Verdict - 8/10