Thursday, May 27, 2021

[Not A Drama Review] Hello? Me! ... Oh Damn

This, as the title suggests, will not be a review, but rather some loose ruminations on the drama I thought would be my background for doing things, but it turned out to be a really delightful journey.
It was branded as romantic comedy, but somehow both of those aspects were barely there, especially romance. It was so subtle that it felt like a gossamer floating through air on the backdrop of the azure sky. Only in two last episodes it was more visible, but still not fully blown yet. Rather a budding relationship.

This is a story of a confrontation. One day 17-year old Hani is propelled 20 years into the future - jut before 37-year old Hani. And the former is shocked because this isn't her from her dreams and expectations in the past. We also learn about Hani  in the past and the circle of her friends. In high school, she was THE most popular girl in the school, talented, bright, always smiling, dreaming to make it big and become a star.

37-year old Hani is don on her luck, living from part-time jobs,and living at her sister's apartment in exchange of doing chores and cooking. That's why when young Hani appears, they are kicked out and have to rent some tiny flat, but they manage to make it cosy.

I know lot of people don't like young Hani. She's obnoxious, loud, always a busybody, creating chaos, having complete lack of understanding the rules. But Hani is a concentrated every teen ever. Being center of attention, loud, unpredictable. We don't like her because a part of us IS in her from our teen years and we don't like those parts.
Speaking of obnoxious people - Anthony. He is a movie star currently maybe in the low of his career but a change is on the horizon as he's vying for the role in the drama written by a famous writer. Anthony represents all that we associate with stars - he's rude, has extravagant taste and demands, self-centered and yet very self aware. One reason for such behavior is that he underwent some significant amount of plastic surgery so not to look like his teen self. And he had a very good reason for that.

Apart from those we have two interestingly written male leads - Yuhyeon and Doyun. Yuhyeon is the only son of a Joa Confectionery gigantic company and Doyun is his Aunt's son. While Doyun works at the company diligently, very closely with the CEO, that is Han Jiman, Yuhyeon is a bit of a free bird. At first he seems to be following the trend of every other male lead in the past - rude CEO's son, etc. But writers quickly shatter this notion.

Yuhyeon is demoted to basically the bottom of the food chain. His father is ruthless - he demands Yuhyeon leave the house and can comeback when he makes a million W. So the guy leaves the house in nothing but his underwear and coat because those were the things that weren't bought with his father's money. Mistaken for an exhibitionist he's arrested by our two nice cameo officers and taken to the police station.

At the police station is also Hani, accused of inadvertently causing one's woman's son to collapse from the allergy in the squid-flavored chips. Here I have to add that the squid dance is awesome and the scene where everyone from the cast danced it was so funny, I nearly choked on tea.

Young Hani who appears 20 years later is shocked both by technology and also by her older self. As a 17-year old girl she thought the world is within her reach. I think we all thought so as well. And I think we all have some tiny, minute things we regret. But life is brutal and dreams sometimes have to yield before reality. People who achieved their childhood dream and have found happiness by doing what they loved all their lives are rare. For most of us, it's not the case.

And Hani comes 20 years into the future in a very crucial moment - at the accident when her father tried to save her. She doesn't know he died then. Her appearance in 2020 heals the wounds that festered for 20 years. It brings Hani and her mother finally close, with the mother apologizing for treating Hani as if the accident was her fault.

Young Hani stirs the change. She's like a pebble thrown in the pond that creates the ripples. And those ripples affect everyone. We learns why Anthony is so self aware. When it was confirmed he got the role in the drama he wanted, reporters swarmed and tried to interview when suddenly one person accuses him of being a school bully. This immediately changes everything. It doesn't matter he can be nice now. At the press conference he drops the bomb - he says he is leaving the entertainment. I couldn't help by notice the parallels with Jisoo's case, because it was around the same time. Anthony apologized but admitted apology is not enough, so he left the world he coveted so much. Instead, he started to travel and after that we learn he established a foundation to help bullied kids. I don't think that would be Jisoo's path though.

And then of course we have some evil plot concocted by Han Jisuk, the sister of our CEO and mother to Dohyun. After Hani got hired by Han Jiman, impressed by her talent (of dancing) and ingenuity, she meets Yuhyeon who works at the company's cafeteria as a cooking staff. They form a loose friendship, and when Yuhyeon learns who young Hani really is, he's unfazed and promises to not reveal the secret. In fact, he's very good as the cook because while avoiding the company and its responsibilities he accumulated lots and lots of random certificates, along with the manicure specialist. And their friendship continues, they enter the contest to create a snack, and of course win. In fact, their idea wasn't all that bad - the snack was made without the ingredients that could cause an anaphylactic shock. 
Han Jisuk tried o ruin it accusing both of them of plagiarism and employing to her schemes her son, who promised to do everything in his power to oust the current CEO, because his mother blackmailed him that Oh Ji-eun, his wife, was part of the plan.  But of course, the plan was thwarted and we learn that Doyun only pretended to do so and in fact cooperated with the CEO to stop his mother from going deeper into greed.
What's more - Yuhyeon DID NOT inherit the company but Doyun who was always there for Han Jiman. This news made no impression on Yuhyeon even though he pretended (for like 5 seconds) and moaned about the unfairness of the world, but enthusiastically went back to work at the kitchen. And then his slowly budding relationship with Hani could start.  

One thing left big impression on me. When young Hani was sent back to her times, it was the moment of the accident. And she was warned not to tried to change the past and save her father.  And she actually obeyed. A teen who rebelled against everything and everyone obeyed THE most excruciating warning ever. 
This series was a warm travel through time for me. I also remembered how I was at the age 17, what I dreamed of, whom I wanted to become etc. Would I change things had I been sent in the past and could change things? Probably not, because every little step I took, every mistake I made, led me to where I am. It may not be the place I dreamed of when I was 17, but still, I'm much luckier than others. So for me, it was a very pleasant drama, the characters were cute, there was not even one talk about the age difference between the leads. Maybe because it started as a friendship that naturally evolved into something shyly more. Also, it was about the female friendship that can be ruined by something stupid as a teen but can be mended when we're more mature and can see the whole perspective.

Gratis, small cameo from the episode 1 ^^