Might contain spoilers!
It’s almost a week since Hi Bye, Mama! ended but I can still feel the story of the drama. I’m quite scared to write this review because I might not give justice to such a beautiful drama. One thing’s for sure: I can write this review if I put my whole heart to it. Just like all the characters in this drama.
Hi Bye, Mama! is a story about Cha Yu Ri (Kim Tae Hee) who suddenly died in a tragic accident while pregnant with her daughter, Cho Seo Woo (Seo Woo Jin). Their daughter was left to her husband, Cho Gang Hwa (Lee Kyu Hyung), and raised her alone. After dying, Yu Ri didn’t leave Earth and choose to stay until her husband remarries, thus, she’s around her family as a ghost.
Through a reincarnation project, Yu Ri was brought back to dead and was given 49 days as a human. She was also given a chance to be alive again if she succeeds in going back to her rightful place: her husband’s wife and her daughter’s mother.
Now, this is a dilemma to Yu Ri: her husband is now married to a woman named Oh Min Jeong (Go Byo Gyeol).
My rating: 10/10
Hi Bye, Mama! is the perfect slice-of-life drama. From the first episode until the last episode, there’s just so much story.
My rating is 10 out of 10 because this story does not evolve in just one character. You will definitely love every character in this drama. Even the ghost friends of Yu Ri have their own stories that you will also love!
While watching this drama, you will surely laugh, cry, and feel for the characters. This drama has everything you are looking for a story!
If you watch K-dramas on a regular basis and is a fan of tvN, you’re familiar with their themes about ghosts.
In the past, tvN produced dramas like Goblin, Hotel del Luna, Hey Ghost, Let’s Fight!
This has been tvN’s trademark theme and they make such great dramas with this theme. I’m not that fond of this theme since I’m a scaredy-cat, but a ghost theme with a slight happy twist is something I want. And Hi Bye, Mama! is all about that!
More about the story
With this kind of family drama, I’m sure it will tug your heartstrings.
If you’re looking for a feel-good drama, this drama is not it. But if you’re looking for a drama with a good cry, you will definitely cry in each episode! *ubos na tissue ko, bes!* Although each episode will leave you with a heavy heart, it’s still something you need to watch.
Even from the beginning of the story, it was clear as day that Yu Ri had to leave, again. Does it make sense that a person who has been dead for 5 years will go back to life just like that? No! But of course, I can’t stop rooting for Yu Ri and wish for her to claim her place as a wife and a mother.
Yu Ri was given only 49 days and she was firm to say that she won’t want to claim her place, so she decided to hide from her family and friends. But then, she got caught by Gang Hwa and have no choice but to face him without telling him that she only has 49 days and what she must do.
Then, Yu Ri goes on with her new claimed life and decided to apply at Seo Woo’s kindergarten to see and protect her. Why? Because Seo Woo can see ghosts. Since Yu Ri has been around her all her life, Seo Woo started to attract ghosts and this might put her life in danger. Thus, that became Yu Ri’s new goal in the 49 days she was given.
Also, Yu Ri has to hide from her ghost friends because they might ask to be alive again or even worse, ask Yu Ri to make such things for them. But eventually, she got caught, too.
As time goes by, Yu Ri eventually got caught by other people including her family and she decided to just live her 49 days happily and then, leave afterward.
Another thing I love about this drama is that in-between scenes, we also get to see Yu Ri’s life before she died. It just proved how beautiful life can be even though it will end at some point.
After experiencing life once again, will Yu Ri change her mind and claim her place?
Like what I said, every single characters in this drama will have a special place in your heart. It’s hard to hate anyone because they are all relatable in some point.
Obviously, there are a lot of characters in this drama but I’d like to talk about the main characters.
Cha Yu Ri played by Kim Tae Hee
Hi Bye, Mama! is Kim Tae Hee’s comeback drama after 5 years of being hiatus on showbiz. Now, married and a mom of two kids, Kim Tae Hee portrayed her very first role as a mom.
Kim Tae Hee proved to us that she’s indeed one of the great actresses of her generation. She’s good at what she does and when she cries, we cry; when she laughs, we surely laugh with her.
And of course, Kim Tae Hee’s beauty never fades away! She’s truly one of South Korea’s most beautiful women!
Kim Tae Hee plays Cha Yu Ri and I couldn’t help but feel bad for her character. A mom who died even before she gave birth and get to hold her daughter in her arms. It must have been hard for her all these years but she stayed strong for her daughter.
Cho Gang Hwa played by Lee Kyu Hyung
In the past, Lee Kyu Hyung portrayed a remarkable character at the drama Prison Playbook. He played a character named “Looney” and he did a great job portraying the character. While in Hi Bye, Mama!, he still left a mark to the viewers.
I must say he gives a good cry. In episode 2 of the drama wherein he was asking the help of Yu Ri’s parents on taking care of Seo Woo, he cried so hard! I couldn’t help but cry with him because I can truly feel him hurting.
Also, he raises his daughter alone and that made me look up more to all the single parents out there. Even though this is fictional, I know single parents in real life had it the hard way to raise their kids.
Oh Min Jeong played by Go Bo Gyeol
I’ve seen her act in some dramas and she’s a great actress. As for Hi Bye, Mama!, she did a great job as well. A great job in making the viewers cry!
Like what I’ve said, you will love each character in this drama. And for me, Oh Min Jeong is one of those.
Oh Min Jeong is Gang Hwa’s second wife and Seo Woo’s stepmother. Unlike in fairy tales wherein stepmothers are wicked and evil, Oh Min Jeong is nothing like that. Ever since Yu Ri died, the only mother Seo Woo knows is Min Jeong. Min Jeong took care of Seo Woo and even decided to be a stay-at-home mom, leaving her nursing career behind.
Min Jeong treat Seo Woo as her own and made me realize that a mother is a mother even though they are not related.
Cho Seo Woo played by Seo Woo Jin
Now, who doesn’t love this cute baby? Seo Woo Jin gives such expressive emotions in the drama! What surprised us the most is that Cho Seo Woo is actually played by a child actor! That alone explains how versatile this kid is!
As for his role, Seo Woo became a loving and friendly kid and that shows that her parents raised her well. I can see why Yu Ri was so thankful for Min Jeong’s help.
Also, Seo Woo has one of the best conclusions in the drama!
Jeon Eun Suk played by Kim Mi Kyung
Among Yu Ri’s family, I’d like to talk about Yu Ri’s mother. I can never forget what she said in the drama:
A man who lost his wife is called a widower. And a kid who lost his parents is called an orphan. But there’s no word for a parent who lost their kid. Do you know why? It’s because no word can describe it. There’s no word in this world that can describe the excruciating pain.
In the drama, it was seen how she tried to hide her pain. And the veteran actress Kim Mi Kyung did a great job of portraying her character! In the past, she also starred in dramas such as The Heirs, It’s Okay, That’s Love, and Go Back Couple, which is all tearjerkers.
At the end of the drama, it showed how great the love of a mother is and that the title of the drama is also a nod to her character.
I don’t even know how to explain how I felt after watching this drama. But one thing’s for sure: I realized a lot.
Since this drama is about death, I can’t help but imagine myself in Yu Ri’s place. Yu Ri died and wandered as a ghost around her family, which means she saw everything. Painful, right? But Yu Ri has no choice but to watch all of it: her family and friends being in pain after she died, her husband marrying again, her daughter is a daughter of another woman. This is why I said Yu Ri is such a strong character. She endured all of that.
Overall, I learned to value my life. Life is precious and in just one single moment, everything could be taken away from us. We are alive right now but who knows what will tomorrow bring? After watching this drama, I realized that the saying “Live your life to the fullest” is something we should live by. We should not waste every second of our lives. Another is that, we should not regret anything that we did. Next, we should learn how to value even the smallest thing in our lives. We should always be thankful of the life given to us and also the people in our lives. We must always be thankful of everything that we have and never take anything for granted.
Yu Ri was only given 49 days of her renewed life and she gets to do everything. What more to this life that we have right now?
During the last days of her life, Yu Ri accepted that she must leave again. In the end, she sees her renewed life as a way to do things she didn’t get to do before she died. She had a proper goodbye with her family and friends and had fun with her loved ones. For me, that 49 days isn’t all about claiming her place but it is for her to have closure. So she can leave again without regrets.
This drama showed how beautiful life can be and how to value it. Remember to always be thankful for anything that we have. Love what you love so you will live with no regrets. At all.
Is this drama worth it?
If you’re looking for a good slice-of-life story, this drama is it. A story that portrays life before and after death. A great story about being a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and even a stranger.
Before I end this review, I would like to close this with what Yu Ri said at the end of the drama:
When you go to Heaven, God will ask you two questions. If you answer yes to both questions, you can be reborn as a human in your next life.
One question is, “Were you happy with your life?”
The other question is, “Were other people happy because of me?”
Let’s be reborn as humans and meet again in the next life.
Hi Bye, Mama! will always have a special place in my heart and I will never forget it!