It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is a 2020 NETFLIX original production that stars Kim Soo Hyun and Seo Ye Ji as leads. It tells the story of a community health worker at a psychiatric ward who lives on 1.8 million won ($1,520) a month while caring for his autistic brother and a storybook writer suffering from an antisocial personality disorder. A man who denies love and a woman who doesn’t know love defy fate and fall in love while finding their souls and identities in the process (Source – MyDramaList). All episodes of this drama are available on NETFLIX.
Expectations: This is one of the dramas that I had on my list way back from 2019 when the title was still Psycho, But I’m Okay. At that time, only Kim Soo Hyun was the confirmed cast. I wanted to watch it mainly because of him and the storyline. Once Seo Ye Ji came on board, I was even more thrilled because she is such a great actress. Right from the premiere, I dived into the first six episodes before taking a break to let it wrap up.
(warning – spoilers ahead)
The animated intro for episode one gave me spooky, but serene vibes. The animation style is similar to Tim Burton’s animated film – Corpse Bride, and it gave It’s Okay to Not Be Okay a good stand out from other Korean dramas. The second factor that piqued my interest was the intricate filming style. I noticed that they were filming from windows and glass reflections instead of taking direct shots on the actors. I truly fell in love with the editing and visual representations in this drama. Take, for example, in episode one how they showcased Mr. Lee’s string of texts to Gang-Tae in video format. It made the scene way more hilarious to me. I could rave on about the beautiful cinematography of this show because they brought serious A+++++++ game in that department.
Moving on to the plot, I can tell that this is going to be a touching and heartfelt series. I love that within all the intensity, we still get some vibrant comedic scenes. Due to the common mental health theme, I am getting ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ vibes. I hope the writer gives us a befitting happy ending🤞🏼. So far, all the actors are doing a fantastic job, and this includes the young counterparts and cameo actors. Also, our beautiful leads are showcasing great chemistry.
I love how each episode fuses in Ko Mun-Yeong’s storybooks, and the lessons from each chapter are remarkably profound –
- The Boy Who Fed on Nightmares
“So don’t forget any of it, Remember it all and overcome it. If you don’t overcome it, you’ll always be a kid whose soul never grows.” I can attest that some bad encounters have to be faced head-on before the pain can completely go away. After all, if life stays smooth all the time, how can we learn and grow? However, I still advise everyone to choose their battles carefully.
- Zombie Kid Raising a child doesn’t only require providing their basic necessities like food, clothing or shelter. Being emotionally present is equally important. Shower your children with love because, in the end, that’s what stays with them forever. I cried when they read out this storybook. Not because it relates to my own personal experience but out of empathy towards children that don’t have anyone showing them real love.
Now let’s look into a few characters that stood out to me throughout these six episodes.
– Seo Ye Ji as Ko Mun-yeong
Can we just talk about Seo Ye-Ji’s beautiful shallow voice? I love her deep tone. Also, every outfit for Ko Mun-Yeong is a statement. She looks gorgeous in every scene. Mun-Yeong is wild, and she slightly reminds me of Jang Man-wol from Hotel del Luna. I adore her fierce and straightforward personality. Though, I believe she’s unstable and quite manipulative. Mun-Yeong acts all tough, but she is scared. Basically, everyone in this drama has their demons, but Mun-Yeong handles hers well and hardly cares what others have to say. I can’t wait for the show to reveal more about her parents. Her mother was definitely the chief psycho of the family, or why else did she restrict and isolate younger Mun-Yeong that much. At least now that Sang-tae and Gang-tae are living with her, Mun-Yeong will get a better feeling of what family means. Here are some of my favourite moments from this character –
– Kim Soo Hyun as Moon Gang-TaeIt’s sad that Moon Gang-Tae was born as a backup to care for his autistic brother 24/7. He can’t express real emotions because Sang-Tae reads his facial expression. Gang-Tae has to smile and pretend to be happy or satisfied all the time. How could their mom place such responsibility on a little child? At least now, Mun-Yeong is present to question his cowardly and pretentious lifestyle. Usually, I find the childhood connections to be unnecessary, but I like how it’s playing out in this drama. The writer introduced it from the first episode with substantial purpose, and now it doesn’t feel like a cliche used to connect the main leads.
– Oh Jung Se as Moon Sang-TaeHe is a phenomenal actor. Major kudos to him for playing an autistic character flawlessly👏👏👏👏👏👏. Sang-Tae is a very loving and pure person. He stole my heart when he told Gang-Tae about saving money to buy a van. That way, they wouldn’t have to search for a new house all the time. I am intrigued to discover what the butterflies signify for him. I think it has a connection to their mother’s death and might have something to do with Ko Mun-Yeong. I hope the hospital director helps him face his fears.
– Park Kyu Young as Nam Ju ri I still don’t know how to feel about Nam Ju-ri. Aside from the fact that she also likes Gang-Tae, she just seems off and weird to me. Hopefully, as the story progresses, I might come to appreciate her role more. Honestly, I need to see some backstory that explains her personal issues with Mun-Yeong. All the same, her crying scene in episode five was quite cute and funny to me.
Overall, I am enjoying the current pace and story progression. I already know this will be an iconic drama that I can always return to. Plus, the OSTs are beautiful. Luckily for me, I can find the soundtrack album on Spotify since the series has finished airing. My favourites right now are “Hallelujah” by Kim Feel –
“In Your Time” by LEE SUHYUN –
& “In Silence” by Janet Suhh –
If you’ve started or already completed this drama, what are your thoughts on it?