May I Help You: Episodes 1-2
An errand girl for the dead teaming up with an errand boy for the living equals a wild ride. And if you’ve ever wondered what a drama such as Hotel Del Luna would be like if it was set in a funeral home with non-scary ghosts, then May I Help You can satisfy your morbid curiosity.
EPISODES 1-2 WEECAP
If I ever come across a ghost, my first instinct will be to run and never look back! But that’s why I’m not our heroine BAEK DONG-JOO (Hyeri) who is in the business of doing one last favor for the recently deceased so they can rest in peace. From exposing their cheating husbands to slapping the best friends who betrayed them, Dong-joo faithfully does everything for her ghost clients.
You’d expect that she became a funeral director because that’s the natural career path for someone who can see ghosts. But after an ankle injury, the former athlete decided that being a funeral director was the next best job and her ability to see ghosts came afterwards. Dong-joo is not exactly a fan of this ability, and even fled the job at the sight of her first ghost. But on advice from a priest, FATHER MICHAEL (Oh Dae-hwan), she returned to find out why the ability was given to her.
Now Dong-joo has a deal (with God? Or whoever gave her the ability) to fulfill exactly 21 ghost requests before she leaves to pursue her dream job as a civil servant — which is what her dad BAEK DAL-SIK (Park Soo-young) thinks she’s studying for. Only her best friends YOON SO-RA (the ever delightful Seo Hye-won) and HYUN JUNG-HWA (Ahn Hyun-ho) know that she’s working at the funeral home. Currently, Dong-joo has 15 ghost requests to go.
Being a funeral director is not a glamorous job especially in a superstitious society. And while her boss IM IL-SEOB (Tae In-ho) is already used to it, Dong-joo’s boyfriend breaks up with her. It’s one thing to be a jerk to someone who’s making an honest living, but the boyfriend is also a coward. I thought breaking up over text was bad, but this guy actually got an errand boy to do the breaking up on his behalf!
The errand boy in question is our male lead BUTLER KIM (Jun) and just like Dong-joo, he’s also in the business of helping (living) people. He runs a Dime a Job service with his uncle and business partner VINCENT (Lee Kyu-han), and they had the coolest entrance scene which I re-watched multiple times! From recycling the trash to walking dogs and swapping out water dispensing bottles, Butler Kim is a total eye candy doing his work, and I’ll gladly pay him to do odd jobs for me too.
By the way, catching cheating partners is one of their specialties, and it’s funny how both the living and the dead require this particular service. Lol. Basically, the Dime a Job guys will do anything as long as it’s not illegal. But it’s not like the country bumpkin of a police officer SUNG DEOK-HO (Seo Hae-ahn) – who lives in their building — will catch them if they do anyway.
After their disaster of a first meeting, Butler Kim meets Dong-joo again in her search for the son of a cab driver ghost (cameo by Ahn Nae-sang, who should really stop dying in first episodes). Kim shows up at the funeral after being hired as a chief mourner, and he’s very committed to the role. He even has a similar scar on his arm just like ghost dad said about his son, and Dong-joo takes him to be the missing boy.
Butler Kim denies any relation to the cab driver, but Dong-joo doesn’t believe him. Not even after he finds the real son — who, unfortunately, was the last passenger the cab driver dropped off before being killed in an off-screen accident (cameo by the Truck of Doom). Since father and son actually saw each other before he died, and with the son finally paying his last respects to the dad, Dong-joo’s ghost requests are now down to 14.
Butler Kim and Dong-joo’s third encounter is equally a disaster when they meet at the zebra crossing where he’s on a usual errand to cross the elementary school kids. He gets distracted over another round of Denial of the Dad and accidentally collides into Dong-joo’s lunch bag, sending the rice and seaweed soup flying out on the road. The seaweed is for her birthday which she never celebrates because it’s also her mum’s death anniversary.
Kim offers to compensate for the food, and Dong-joo is upset that he thinks money can solve everything. Then again, didn’t he accept money to attend his own father’s funeral? He fires back that she’s the one who kicked him in the shin and then paid him to deliver that to her ex-boyfriend! The bickering duo get into a loud back and forth right in the middle of the road, and I wonder if they realize that a man just died at the hands of a Truck of Doom! Sigh.
Anyway, that’s the least of Butler Kim’s problems because the road argument goes viral and their errand service is faced with a lot of cancellations. How can he obstruct traffic? What if a kid had slipped on the seaweed? It’s a work crisis, and Vincent says Butler Kim is in the wrong. Kim is then tasked with apologizing to Dong-joo as well as refunding the money she paid him to kick her ex. So Kim is just going to get kicked for free? Occupational hazards everywhere.
Kim runs into Dong-joo’s dad while on an errand at a building where Dad moonlights as a security guard. He recognizes Dong-joo’s picture on Dad’s phone, and he’s left to wonder if they have a lying gene in their family because Dad tells Dong-joo over the phone that he’s working in his store. And he previously told Kim that his daughter is currently studying for her civil servant exam but Kim knows she’s a funeral director. Lol.
Butler Kim also overhears that it’s Dong-joo’s birthday, and while he’s out sharing fliers in a bear costume, he sees her sitting alone in a restaurant. Dong-joo is surprised to see a dancing bear cheering her up outside, and when she sees the scar on his arm she realizes it’s Butler Kim. This puts her in a good enough mood to celebrate her birthday with Dad, and they have cake — which, as we come to learn, was actually given to Dad by Kim. So sweet!
Dong-joo later sends a message to Butler Kim that she has forgiven him, and she doesn’t need a refund. All is partially right with the world again, until he’s hired to clean out a dead man’s belongings. And on opening the man’s closet, he goes into shock when he sees Dong-joo crouched inside on an errand of her own for the man’s ghost. Lol!
This was such a fun opening week and I really enjoyed both episodes, clichés and all. All the characters are endearing, and they seem like such a riot even if we don’t know much about them yet. I love how Butler Kim and Dong-joo are always meeting in the most hijinks-y of situations, and I can’t wait for them to team up and share trade secrets on how best to help the clients in their respective realms.
But I’m more interested in the people of Dong-joo’s realm, and why the ghost-seeing ability was given to her — also, Butler Kim seems to know Dong-joo’s first ghost and I wonder what their connection is. Thankfully, none of the ghosts have been scary so far. I hope the drama keeps up with its current lighthearted pace, and we get more fun ghost stories, rather than tearjerker ones, as we count down to Dong-joo’s final ghost request.