Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
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 – 3.5/5
Episode 13 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 14 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 15 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 16 – | Review Score – 4/5
After the success of Crash Landing On You, it was always going to be tough for any drama to follow in those footsteps. Hi Bye, Mama may have not reached the same heights set by TVN’s previous drama in this time-slot but it is still an enjoyable one nonetheless thanks to its storyline, touching on some very important and emotional themes. However, it does feel like the show added too many characters and failed to develop their narratives fully with a lacklustre conclusion to their tales.
The story here revolves around Cha Yu-Ri who died unexpectedly 5 years ago and left behind a loving husband and newborn daughter. We see that she has been lingering for all those years around her family, watching them grieve as well as witnessing her daughter Seo-Woo grow up and her husband marry Min-Jeong. Surprisingly, she gets given another chance and comes back to life for 49 days. The show then follows her return and how her loved ones deal with it while she tries finding her place in the world again.
What Hi Bye Mama manages to achieve really well is tackling important life lessons with skill and poignant humanity. It shows us how different people deal with grief and also sends some powerful messages to the audience, in particular how short life is and to make the most of the time we are given on Earth. The series has multiple emotional scenes too, which are pulled off beautifully by the talented cast. In particular, the harrowing scenes between Yu-Ri and Gang-Hwi offer some goosebump-inducing segments.
The characters are ultimately what make this show so enjoyable though and they’re consistent throughout, with the whole cast doing an excellent job with their performances. It’s Kim Tae-Hee who really stands out as Cha Yu-Ri and alongside the adorable Jo Seo-Woo who plays Seo-Woo, these two really help elevate this drama.
It’s just a shame that some of the ghost stories were so rushed. They were all great additions to the narrative and helped with the world building too as we learn in the story just what happened to each person after they died. Unfortunately, these conclusions for some of the main ghosts felt a little contrived after being built up for most of the season and they could have been given a more fleshed-out ending.
Overall though, Hi Bye, Mama was quite the emotional and sad series. One of the main themes here is grief, which is quite a difficult one to tackle but the show does a very good job showing how different people cope with the sudden loss of a loved one. The story is easy to watch and the actors made their performances shine during the whole runtime. It may not be the strongest K-Drama out there, and some of its sub plots could have done with more development, but it’s a series worth checking out nonetheless.
Verdict - 7.5/10