I am not going to lie. When I read up about Hello, me! // Annyeong, naya! , I did not think I would like it. While the concept sounded intriguing, it had been done before in different ways like in 17 Again or 13 Going On 30. But I gave this kdrama a try anyway and I am glad I did!
Ban Ha-Ni is a 37 year old woman who can be considered a “loser”. She is working a part time job at a convenience store selling snacks for a company called Joa Confectionery. She seems miserable and worn out.
But she wasn’t always like this. In high school Ban Ha-Ni was miss popular. She was brilliant and beaming and beautiful – everyone loved her. She was going to become an idol and everyone knew she’d make it. So, then, what happened to her?
Somehow, the 17 year old Ban Ha-Ni comes to the 37 year old Ban Ha-Ni’s timeline. They both start living together while trying to figure out why this happened and how to send her back to the past.
The 17 year old is shocked to see how the adult version of her turned out. Apologetic, low on self confidence and not even living in her own house – but her sister’s! At first, she is enraged! But eventually she ends up helping the adult her shine as bright as she did. They both help each other to see things in new light and become the best versions of themselves.
The male lead, Han Yoo-Hyun, is the son of the chairman of a big-shot snacks company. Yes, you guessed it right – Joa Confectionery. However, he has never bene involved in the company and doesn’t quite care.
Instead he has spent his time gaining all sorts of skills and certifications – from baking to nail art. His father and he share a sort of playful relationship even though it may seem that they fight a lot; it’s just harmless bickering.
The typical chaebol drama finds a place here too. A family member trying to backstab and sabotage to gain control of the company. You know how that goes.
The second male lead, Anthony, is a superstar who is obnoxious. I loved his character development through out the show. By the end of it he grows up, owns up to his mistakes and lets go of his vanity. It’s beautiful. I also really enjoyed the scenes between him and the 17 year old Ban Ha-Ni.
What I loved
Hello, me! could have taken a silly and more comic path but it didn’t. I love how they managed to capture the essence of growing up.
No matter how brilliant or promising one is in their school years, life can bog them down. It can drain all your confidence and dreams out of you. It can dull your shine and entirely change your personality and disposition. Things happen and sometimes just surviving becomes a struggle, let alone living the life that you envisioned when you were younger.
I also like how they were able to show that things that happened years ago can still impact you. Maybe not in a very day-to-day explicit basis, but they definitely have the ability to change or shift something within you. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed by. Letting go and healing is a confusing and frustrating process.
Hello, Me! had a hopeful tone and I found it very encouraging. It’s easy to forget that you’re valued and worthy as you grow up if you don’t hit all the markers of conventional success. The 17 year old ha-Ni helped the 37 year old one remember that she is awesome.
Also the romance between the leads. I’d say it we got to see more of the friendship part of it. And I loved it anyway! The way they always comforted each other and cared about each other even if they didn’t know the whole story was heartwarming.
What could have been better
I found the last 4 episodes lacking. The writing was not tight-knit and I think they focused a little too much on the subplot. We could have done without the chaebol drama. Also, the feels that I got in the first few episodes of the kdrama kind of died down by the end. The feels of growing up and figuring out your life.
Would I recommend Hello, Me!?
For those who like being retrospective and introspective, you’ll enjoy this kdrama. It’s not very high on these themes but the basis of this kdrama is made of it. There is also a sort of mystery/thriller element of why the 17 year old Ban Ha-Ni came to the present timeline and how to send her back. So you may also enjoy that.
Lately, I’ve come to enjoy the scenes that make me laugh or are heartwarming! And I guess the ones that will stay in my mind will be:
- The Joa Confectionery office workout song/dance.
2. The way Ban Ha-Ni and Oh Ji-Eun repaired their friendship.
3. Every time Yoo-Hyun got his wallet out and showed people his list of licenses/certifications.
4. All those scenes where 17 and 37 year old Ha-ni ate snacks or food and lost themselves in its taste. And when they danced/performed together.