“My Name” starring Han So Hee (from “Nevertheless”), Ahn Bo Hyun (from “Yumi’s Cells”), and veteran actor Park Hee Soo premiered on Netflix yesterday, October 15. From a badass female lead and a promising revenge story, here’s a review with a list of reasons to start watching the series.
1.) The Female Lead Can Handle Her Own Fights
“My Name” centers around Yoon Ji Woo (portrayed by Han So Hee), who changes her name to Oh Hye Jin and eventually joins the police’s narcotics team to find her father’s killer. Korean dramas have long showcased damsels in distress or women who had to go through a certain phase before learning how stand up for themselves. But Yoon Ji Woo’s different. She knows how to fight back from the get-go, and her physical strength—from taking down one strong opponent to dozens of minions—is commendable.
2.) The Well-Coordinated Action Scenes
The fight scenes in the series look finely-tuned. Their moves might not be a “Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee” type of martial arts or even death-defying, but the stunts all look natural. The moves are easy to follow with one’s eyes, and has a hint of creativity from time-to-time. The fight scenes are also mostly realistic and even manages expectations early on—Ji Woo lacks strength but is naturally talented and learned how to hit vital points to take her enemies down, hence, there’s logic and reasoning behind her strength. Additionally, the series also doesn’t hold back when it comes to gory scenes, unlike most Korean dramas.
3.) Han So Hee As An Action Star
The characters she portrayed in Korean dramas were mostly the third party or the mistress during her early career. She, however, gained recognition for her portrayal in “The Word Of The Married”, and eventually got offered lead roles since then. Still, her first action series—after her first lead role in “Nevertheless”—is in Netflix’s “My Name.” However, despite this being her action heroine debut, Han So Hee showed that she can carry her self well in various fight scenes and somewhat difficult stunts. Also, despite being a member of a gang and the police force in the series, her moves are a mixture of rough and graceful—a nod to her character’s duality.
4.) Korean Drama Villains Reunion
The series has some of the Korean drama villains whose popularity rose due to their previous series, namely: Han So Hee and Lee Hak Joo from “The World Of The Married” and Ahn Bo Hyun from “Itaewon Class.” Their experiences in portraying the good, the neutral, and the evil also give the complexity their characters require. Plus, “My Name” also boasts of veteran actors like Park Hee Soo, Kim Sang Ho, and Yoon Kyung Ho—who all portrayed characters of different backgrounds since the beginning of their respective careers.
5.) The Complex Characters
Written by Kim Bada, the writer was able to showcase depth by unveiling different layers of the lead characters in just 8 episodes. It gives the viewers a chance to think—who’s right and who’s wrong, or is the answer never really black and white? “My Name” aims to make the viewers understand the characters’ thought process to better judge the situation as a whole at the own terms.
6.) In Every Story, There Are Two Sides (Or Even More)
In “My Name,” the term “zoom out” may be applicable in trying to understand the characters and their motives. As they say, there’s good in evil and evil in good, and what you see may not the be the full story. This keeps the drama’s plot interesting, and also gives a lesson that what we see might not be the whole picture.
7.) A Focused Plot With Lots Of Twists
“My Name” is like a straight highway, focusing on a single plot: Ji Woo finding her dad’s killer. But the scenes and reveals are never dull nor boring. Like driving on just one road, the series just shows you different sights by occasionally veering your perspective with every fact revealed, but never created messy sub-plots. Instead, it slowly untangles the tangled up strings to get the viewers closer to their destination—the truth.
8.) Revenge And Betrayal (And Why Revenge Is Not The Answer)
The series spotlights hatred that led to revenge and deception as its main theme, but does not encourage it. Directed by Kim Jin Min, the director of another Netflix Original series “Extracurricular”, “My Name” also showcases what happens when you let hate consume you.
9.) The Subtle Romance
Although not highlighted, Han So Hee and Ahn Bo Hyun (as Jeon Pil Do) does have a bit of romantic interaction and a *spoiler warning* steamy scene towards the end. It’s a plus if you’re into romance, but is also not a total distraction if you’re not.
10.) The Netflix Genre
If you love Korean Netflix Original shows in general, you’re also going to love “My Name.” Just like other Netflix dramas, the series showcases realistic scenes while touching on emotional points— including the feeling of pain, loss, and betrayal. It also touches on real-life issues, such as drugs and gangs. “My Name” has the signature Netflix mix with the story’s flow and structure, but still has unique aspects that will leave you at the edge of your seat while questioning what will happen next.
All in all, if you’ve loved the dark yet realistic themes in series like “Extracurricular” and “Squid Game,” or action series like “Negotiation” and “The Thieves,” you’ll also most likely enjoy “My Name.”