Title: Hyde Jekyll, Me (하이드 지킬 or Haideu Jikil, Na) (2015)
Also Known As: Hyde, Jekyll and I
Based On: Dr. Jekyll Is Mr. Hyde by Lee Choong-ho
Written by: Kim Ji-Woon
Starring: Hyun Bin, Han Ji-Min, Sung Joon, Lee Hye-Ri, Lee Seung-Joon, Han Sang-Jin, Shin Eun-Jung, Lee Deok-Hwa, Kim Do-Yeon, Kwak Hee-Sung, Lee Se-Na, Lee Jun-Hyeok, Moon Yeong-Dong, Lee Won-Keun, Oh Na-Ra, Maeng Saeng-Hoon, and Heo Jung-Eun
Country of Origin: South Korea
Original Language(s): Korean
No. of Series: 1
No. of Episodes: 20
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Running Time: 60 minutes
Original Network: Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)
Gu Seo-Jin (Hyun Bin), is a third-generation chaebol who runs the theme park Wonder Land. He seemingly has everything—looks, brains, and fortune. He is also in line to become the next CEO of Wonder Group, the conglomerate his family owns, though his cousin Ryu Seung-Yeon (Han Sang-Jin), who oversees Wonder Hotel is his rival for the position. But Seo-Jin has dissociative identity disorder. Whenever his heart rate exceeds 150, another personality emerges, and unlike Seo-Jin’s usual cold, cynical and ruthless self, Robin is kind, gentle and has a saviour complex. This split personality began 15 years ago, and Seo-Jin’s Doctor Kang Hee-Ae believes that Robin is a manifestation of his guilt regarding a traumatic incident then. Because of this, Seo-Jin avoids anything that might cause him to have a strong physical or emotional reaction which could trigger Robin’s reappearance, even if that means shutting himself away from the world and eschewing any meaningful relationships.
Jang Ha-Na (Han Ji-Min), has just returned to Korea after spending several years in the United States with Cirque du Soleil. Like her grandfather and father before her, she is set to take over as circus master of the circus show at Wonder Land, which had once been the park’s primary attraction. Ha-Na vows to save the failing circus and dreams of revamping it back to its former glory, but she finds herself butting heads with Seo-Jin, who wants to get rid of it due to low ticket sales and high overhead costs. But with every antagonistic encounter with Ha-Na, Seo-Jin notes the alarming spike on his heart monitor, and the two become further embroiled with each other. After Doctor Kang tells Seo-Jin she has found a cure for his condition, she gets kidnapped by a mysterious assailant who almost succeeds in killing Ha-Na, making her the only witness. However, the traumatic experience has caused Ha-Na to block out the man’s face, and she goes to Doctor Kang’s student, hypnotherapist Yoon Tae-Joo (Sung Joon), to help her remember. With Ha-Na’s life in danger, the more Robin appears and the more she falls for him, to Seo-Jin’s dismay.
I watched Hyde Jekyll, Me after my sister mentioned it again a few days before. I intended to watch it before because I like the main actress Han Ji-Min after she played the main lead in a film called The Plan Man (2014) and supporting role in a Korean drama called Dae Jang Geum (2015). However, I was mistakenly informed that the drama is no good, hence I decided not to watch it. Up until a few days ago. My sister mentioned it because after watching Crash Landing on You (2019-2020), she’s curious to watch Hyde Jekyll, Me as well. Therefore, I got curious again and decided to watch.
I must say, I was misinformed and Hyde Jekyll, Me is certainly underrated. I mean, come on, this drama has a very good plot story. The idea is pretty much unusual, although it takes reference from the story of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. However, the writers are able to pack Hyde Jekyll, Me into something unique and complex. I know people tend to like something simple not complex, but I like a story that is out-of-ordinary, rather than just ordinary. They don’t have to be extraordinary as well. The plot story is mainly about psychology studies, about traumatic events that happened in the past that caused the sickness to the characters, from partial amnesia to dissociative identity disorder. It is rather complicated and confusing. At some point also unbelievable. If you never encounter such person, you will feel the situation makes no sense. However, there are people out there that have such sickness, so it is not a complete nonsense. Maybe the writers exaggerate the situation a bit. But, we can’t blame them. After all, Hyde Jekyll, Me is a drama. And audiences always need something dramatic, realise it or not.
I like romance story, but I don’t like a straight full romance. I prefer romance story with some comedy in it or some action or something that’s thrilling and intriguing. Thus, I will not get bored with the story. Adding the psychological element like what they did with Hyde Jekyll, Me is something that I like. Plus the overall story is really good, unusual, and unique. That is why I don’t understand why the rate is so low. Certainly not because of the actors and actresses because they all have done beautifully well, especially Hyun Bin and Han Ji-Min. So I am guessing it is the plot story. Nevertheless to me, the plot story is great. I do enjoy watching it. I laugh a lot. It’s a good laugh because I really laugh out loud. I too cry, though not a lot, I still cry because Hyun Bin and Han Ji-Min managed to give all of their emotions out and made the audiences feel their emotions too.
To me the most interesting part and the plus point of Hyde Jekyll, Me—besides Hyun Bin, of course—is the fact that this drama’s plot story concentrates on dissociative identity disorder. The love story, the revenge, and the psychological theme are all packed in one beautiful storyline. The romance story is nothing like others. I knew this because I have watched many Korean dramas. I can’t say I watched a lot because many have watched more than I do, but I did watch a lot of Korean dramas to say that I have never seen anything like Hyde Jekyll, Me. For those who crave for a psychological Korean drama or dramas that tell about mental health issues, Hyde Jekyll, Me is highly recommended. Instead of serving us the general psychological drama, Hyde Jekyll, Me presented us more than that. Which is why I kept saying this drama is so underrated. Perhaps because people expect it to be a comedy and romance, but the portion of the comedy is not quite as much as a romantic comedy should like. The comedy part was there indeed. I laugh several times when I watched Hyde Jekyll, Me, but not as much as what a comedy-drama should have done it to the audiences. I laugh more when I watch The Beauty Inside (2018-2019) and that drama was not supposed to be a comedy. I am not trying to compare, of course, because both dramas have their own uniqueness that you cannot quite compare it. I love both dramas for different reasons. It’s Okay, That’s Love (2014) also a psychological drama, but it is different from Hyde Jekyll, Me, because they use a different approach for the plot story and different case of mental health.
What I like about Hyde Jekyll, Me is the finishing plot. When we found out the bad guy, the writers did not try to finish the story quickly. They gave the audiences to digest everything and even gave chances for each character to have their own closure. That is why it took 20 episodes to finish the drama, instead of the usual 16 episodes. Not a single episode after episode 16 that went waste because the writers managed to use every episode usefully. However, the last minutes of the story ending is a bit rush and I hope they add at least one more episode. I want to see the transition the falling in love process more real. Still, overall, Hyde Jekyll, Me has a good plot story.
“If you feel you can’t trust anyone, then try in trusting yourself.” – Jang Ha Na
Korean dramas never disappoint me in terms of setting and fashion style. I don’t think I should comment anything in that department because as always, the production team have done a beautiful job. They really thought of every single detail. Every object that was put in the setting place has been thought thoroughly and has its own purpose, which is to describe the character and made the setting looks real. I just don’t know if all those houses and workplaces are studio made up, or real place took place. I am sure some took place in a real place, but I am sure small rooms like houses, bedrooms, and all are all took place in studios. However, the feeling was real. They don’t look like studios. Everything looks as real as it can be. The unrealistic thing about Korean dramas is the car scenes. I always found it odd, though I kind of understand why they made the scene that way. Like the way they took off the front seat’s headrest so that the audience can see the person sitting in the back, or the way they always turn off the car so that we can hear the people talking inside, or the lamp inside the car is turned on when driving so that the audience can see the people inside. It’s not something major and people might not notice it, but I did because to me it is unnatural. Though I understand why they did it. And still, the production team have done a tremendous job.
I love the soundtrack songs of Hyde Jekyll, Me. Especially the one that called Embrace by Yoon Hyun Sang. Somehow the song touches my heart. Of course, other songs are great as well, but Embrace is my favourite. It is no secret that a good song will make a good film or drama. That’s why the production team have to always choose music wisely. If the music went wrong or wasn’t put at the right moment, the story will not be enhanced. It might become dull and that’s not what we want. Music or songs help to dramatise the story even more.
I have mentioned in my previous review on Crash Landing on You that I am quite surprised to see Hyun Bin can look and act so cute. Since I have watched Crash Landing on You, I no longer feel surprised that Hyun Bin did it in Hyde Jekyll, Me. However, I still find it adorable to see him acting cute. This is my third time seeing Hyun Bin’s drama. The first time being Memories of Alhambra (2019). I know right. What am I doing all this time when he’s been acting like years ago. In Hyde Jekyll, Me, Hyun Bin played the role of Goo Seo-Jin who suffers dissociative identity disorder, which basically he has many personalities. Just like its title, his personality is like Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyll from the story of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Unlike the story, Goo Seo-Jin is Mr Hyde, whereas Robin—Goo Seo-Jin’s alter ego—is Dr Jekyll based on their personality-wise. Goo Seo-Jin is not a monster, but he is mean in some sort of way and selfish, whereas Robin is kind and gentle and like to help. Both characters are very different, the exact opposite of each other, thus playing the character alternately was not an easy job for Hyun Bin. But, he managed to do it flawlessly. You can really feel a different vibe between Goo Seo-Jin and Robin even though they were played by one person, which is Hyun Bin.
“When a person goes through a sudden change, no matter how good that change ay be, happiness can easily turn into worry, and worry can easily turn into happiness. And one can just start to feel depressed for no reason either.” – Goo Seo-Jin
Hyun Bin managed to change the tone of his voice when he spoke as Goo Seo-Jin and Robin, thus making the difference between the two characters as well. Of course, their hairstyle and fashion style are also different—or apparently his driving skill too—but if you heard it thoroughly, you can hear Goo Seo-Jin and Robin tone of voice and the way they speak are different. Their facial expression is also very different. If they said Hyun Bin has a twin brother, I would believe them. I mean, Goo Seo-Jin and Robin certainly looked and felt different as if they were played by two different people. Playing two characters at one time is never easy. I have never experienced it myself, but I am guessing it’s not easy to change your personality as fast as the snap of your finger. Therefore, Hyun Bin is so great to be able to play two different characters. Of course, you can say that many before him or after him have played many different characters in one film or drama, but still, it’s never an easy job. Who have done it better or not, this is not something you can compare. At any rate, it’s not an easy job and whoever has done it and done it flawlessly, is a great actor. I give them applause. I don’t which one I like more. Goo Seo-Jin or Robin. Because both have their own plus point. In the end, it’s the development of their characters that matter. How they grew up throughout the story. Not just Goo Seo-Jin’s or Robin’s character, but all the other characters in Hyde Jekyll, Me. I certainly like the character development story written in this drama.
It’s amazing when Hyun Bin is able to play two different characters that gave a different vibe. When Goo Seo-Jin has to act as Robin or when Robin has to act as Goo Seo-Jin, it’s mesmerising how Hyun Bin was able to show the audience that both characters are different and even they act out as the other characters, they still gave different vibes. I don’t see it as Hyun Bin playing Robin with a little bit of Goo Seo-Jin’s vibe or vice versa. I do see it as Robin who tried his best to be Goo Seo-Jin, or Goo Seo-Jin who tried his best to be Robin. It’s fascinating how Hyun Bin is able to give such vibrant.
Although Hyun Bin looks very cool in Crash Landing on You and I certainly adore him there, but I like him a lot in Hyde Jekyll, Me because I got the chance to see him smile more. No wonder people love Hyun Bin’s smile because he has indeed a very sweet smile, especially with his dimples. I guess I don’t have to talk about Hyun Bin any longer because he has done really well in this drama. Everything that he did is on point and perfectly executed. His acting skill is just superb.
As I have mentioned it before, I am interested in watching Hyde Jekyll, Me because I am also very interested with Han Ji-Min. I have only watched her twice thus I want to watch more of her and Hyde Jekyll, Me got me interested in the first place because of its title and its plot story. I can’t say her acting skill is great but I can say she has done a very good job in portraying Jang Ha-Na. Jang Ha-Na Is a circus leader so I did expect her to perform some circus performances. However, it seems that the focus is not on the circus, thus such hope is pointless. Still, Han Ji-Min has shown a good performance, though her character doesn’t show a lot of emotions as Goo Seo-Jin and Robin, I love how Han Ji-Min showed her emotions towards the ending. It certainly broke my heart to see her cry.
The chemistry between Hyun Bin and Han Ji-Min is good. I love seeing the relationship between Goo Seo-Jin, Jang Ha-Na, and Robin. Their love story is like none other. Many praises to Hyun Bin because he is able to show different types of love towards Jang Ha-Na. He looks so in love with Jang Ha-Na as Robin, yet only so so when he is acting as Goo Seo-Jin. Even when Goo Seo-Jin finally fell in love with Jang Ha-Na, Hyun Bin managed to show a different affection, thus the audience believed that two different people love the same girl. Hyun Bin can definitely show us how much he loves the girl by the stare of his eyes. I think it is more difficult for Hyun Bin because he needed to show the audiences that both Goo Seo-Jin and Robin fell in love with Jang Ha-Na in different ways. He has to act differently towards one girl. If he is not focused enough, he might slip one character to others. This may sound harsh, but even though Han Ji-Min is great in showing her sad expression, I cannot feel the love that she has towards Robin or Goo Seo-Jin. I even confused when she started to love either of him. Her smile looks sincere, her cry also looks painful and heartbreaking. Unlike Hyun Bin, I cannot see the love from Han Ji-Min’s eyes, thus I don’t believe she is actually in love. I know when Goo Seo-Jin and Robin start loving Jang Ha-Na, but I don’t know about vice versa. Still, Han Ji-Min is able to show a pretty much good emotion of others.
This is the second time I see Lee Seung-Joon working with Hyun Bin. I saw him in Memories of Alhambra as well, though Hyde Jekyll, Me is actually released first. So this is the first time Lee Seung-Joon working with Hyun Bin and later on in Memories of Alhambra. I must say, Lee Seung-Joon is one of those supporting actors that I like. In Hyde Jekyll, Me, Lee Seung-Joon played the role of Secretary Kwon Young-Chan, who is Goo Seo-Jin’s secretary. He is very suitable in portraying Secretary Kwon. Lee Seung-Joon was able to show a very good funny expression and his chemistry with either Goo Seo-Jin and Robin is great.
And then there is Sung Joon, who played Dr Yoon Tae-Joo. At first, I was confused why he is one of the secondary lead characters, but as episodes went by, he did play an important role. I have seen him before in Madame Antoine: The Love Therapist (2016) and I think the character is a bit similar. Both characters that he played are psychotherapists and they used not so different facial expression either. I thought Dr Yoon Tae-Joo character will be somewhat a love rival of Goo Seo-Jin, but apparently, that’s not the case. However, Dr Yoon Tae-Joo did play a very important role as well.
“It is human nature to remember only what you want to remember and forget what you want to forget, or transform it into a different story.” – Yoon Tae Joo
This is the third time I watched Lee Hye-Ri. The first time being Reply 1988 (2015-2016) and the second time is Two Cops (2017-2018). She is basically a singer first then an actress. I think her acting is moderate. Not bad, but not great either, at least in Hyde Jekyll, Me. I do like her better in Reply 1988 and Two Cops because I feel that her acting skill is getting better. It’s true what they said. Practice makes perfect and Hye-Ri surely did it. She is supposed to be the love rival of Jang Ha-Na, but then again I don’t quite feel her love towards Robin. A fan, maybe, but a girl that is in love? Not so much. It is the same case that I felt about Han Ji-Min. I can’t quite find the love in Hye-Ri’s eyes when I watched her character with Robin. Same like Han Ji-Min. I cannot see the love in Han Ji-Min’s eyes when she looked at Robin. Their eyes don’t speak love. It’s kind of unfortunate because Hyde Jekyll, Me is also a love story and when you cannot feel the love, the drama is kind of lacking. Han Ji-Min did show great emotion in other aspects, just not the in love aspect. I can’t say that I am disappointed with the fact, but I also can’t say that I am not disappointed.
All in all, Hyde Jekyll, Me is a very good drama and a bit underrated. The plot story is actually very good and very unique. If you love psychological drama, then Hyde Jekyll, Me is certainly the drama for you, especially if you enjoy it with a little bit of romance as well. Surely this is a romantic-comedy drama, but the comedy part is actually not so much. But I do get to laugh a good laugh quite a few times when I watched this drama. And then there’s also the thrilling part. Hyde Jekyll, Me has actually given the audience many range of genres and everything was put in a good portion. That is why I said the drama is actually underrated. The overall story is pretty much unique and very good to enjoy. Hyun Bin really succeeded in portraying two characters. He looked different, sound different, and gave a different vibe. I just love him so much. I am a fan!
I give Hyde Jekyll, Me 9.5 out of 10 stars.