Today, I am here to review “Hello, Me!” and talk about the rom-com KBS drama that went mostly unnoticed by audiences domestically and overseas.
KBS “Hello, Me!” does stand out on its own among the sea of psychological thrillers, killer dramas and over-the-top makjangs, and during such times, it might be just what you need to see.
“Hello, Me!” is based on a novel that came out in 2011. It tells the story of a 37 years old woman who stumbles upon her 17 year old self. Its a pretty interesting premise, this adds a bit of flare to the drama and its something that definitely helped keep it interesting.
“Hello, Me!” is a standard rom-com kdrama, its similar to many other kdramas of its genre, this drama deals with heavy topics as well such as death, struggles with past horrible mistakes and more. But they deal with these themes delicately and give every single one of them the coverage they deserve, and it also retains a sense of humor that doesn’t feel odd or misplaced.
The idea of encountering your younger self is a very interesting idea, when we’re young we think we’d grow up to be admirable people who lead a happy fulfilling adult life, but we all know how that ended up for many of us. Some of us go into adulthood still feeling lost or having gone through terrible ordeals that render us a shell of our former selves. “Hello, Me!” deals with that well.
Without that premise in mind, nothing in “Hello, Me!” would’ve set it even remotely apart from all the other romance kdramas. This is the one thing that gives it what you’d call a slight edge.
Currently, most of the kdramas airing are either psychological thrillers, suspense, vigilante action or makjangs. So this drama does stand out among all the other dramas airing at around the same time with its simplicity.
In its own way, “Hello, Me!” is special and sweet. Its something that’s easy to digest. It doesn’t demand a lot of brain power or emotional investment. Its something you could watch that’ll teach you a thing or two and you’ll likely end up having fun.
While I thought the drama was fun, I still don’t think it needed to be 16 episodes long. I find myself often bringing up this point in my reviews. I know its based on a novel, but the same idea could’ve easily been told in 12 compact episodes that would’ve sped things up when needed.
There is that looming mystery around how a 17 year old girl came to the future, they don’t really focus that hard on it and it stays in the background for a good amount of the drama runtime, its there to spice up the story but the focus wasn’t ever meant to be on it but rather on the experience surrounding it.
“Hello, Me!” characters are okay… If I compare these characters to other notable Korean rom-coms, this drama characters are possibly among the tamest and least interesting.
By far, the most interesting character is the 17-year-old version of Bahn Ha Ni which is carried out beautifully by child actress Lee Re. She is the one that keeps things interesting and moves the story forward. The character can be especially annoying at times, but also enduring and hella fun to watch.
The 37-year-old Bahn Ha Ni [Choi Kang Hee] is okay. She is an average character, what does set her apart is how she goes through a makeover throughout the show, seeing her come out of her shell was fun. But as for her characteristics, she’s nothing that special or memorable and this is intentional. She’s easy to like but also lacks that IT factor. In the grand scheme of things, she isn’t memorable.
Han Yu Hyeon [Kim Young Kwang] is possibly one of the nicest and equally least memorable rich-guy characters I have ever seen in a Korean rom-com, and I’ve seen a lot. Its kinda surprising at first but also dull as you go forward. There isn’t really anything that sets him apart from the rest and he isn’t advertised as this mean guy either, which is refreshing because I am sick of rich sons of conglomerates, but at the same time, there is really nothing special about him.
It doesn’t mean that he should’ve been a terrible man but they could’ve at least tried to make his character a bit more interesting. This would’ve definitely helped.
My favorite performance in the drama is by Lee Re. At first, I found her performance to be quite annoying but it was intentional [duh!], in moments when she was required to portray depth and maturity, she more than stood up for the challenge. She doesn’t lag behind her older co-stars and shines in most of her scenes. The contrast between how silly she can be and how serious she becomes when needed was so nice to see. I know the young actress and have seen her in countless projects, this does give her good exposure and shows her range well.
Choi Kang Hee does well as she always does. While she focuses on bad-ass characters in crime-related kdramas, this time, she took on a different role and its the first time in many many years. I can understand why she chose this project, it was nice seeing her pick something unlike what she’s been working with lately.
Kim Young Kwang was okay in this role. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a good actor but for a good portion of the drama runtime, he made a weird facial expression that I couldn’t understand. It looked like he’s about to sneeze all the time but didn’t. I know its a weird issue to have, but its something that distracted me because its so odd.
I’ve watched at least 4 of his kdramas, and I think he shines better in more serious roles. The blame isn’t solely on his performance but also the fact that he plays a very childish character but he’s so tall and looks so manly that it ends up coming out comical and hard to believe.
I wonder why he chose this drama, this role particularly doesn’t really add to his resume nor is his character interesting enough to generate reactions. I understand Choi Kang Hee’s choice but I just couldn’t wrap my head around why he chose this project. This is one of his least memorable performances in recent memory.
The rest of the cast do great jobs as usual.
Should I watch this drama?
If you’re looking for something light, meaningful and fun, “Hello, Me!” is for you. Its a cute rom-com, if you like such type of kdramas you’ll probably enjoy this one too. If you’re tuning in expecting something out of the ordinary or something shocking, then you’ll probably be disappointed. If you’re looking for more action even from this rom-com, don’t expect to get it easily.
“Hello, Me!” is a good drama to relax to. Its a special drama in it’s own way. There will be many people who appreciate this drama.