Moon Gang Tae is a community health worker at a psychiatric ward who was blessed with everything including a great body, smarts, ability to sympathize with others, patience, ability to react quickly, stamina, and more. Meanwhile, Ko Moon Young is a popular writer of children’s literature who, due to suffering from an antisocial personality disorder, seems extremely selfish, arrogant, and rude. Moon Gang Tae denies love and Ko Moon Young doesn’t know it. The two defy fate and fall in love, finding their souls and identities in the process. (Source: Soompi & Koreandrama.org) Edit Translation
Where to Watch It's Okay to Not Be Okay
Cast & Credits
Healing, beauty and acceptance wrapped in spooky fairytalesGosh, I spent 70% of this show with a lump in my throat, 10% with happy warmth in my chest and 20% bawling my eyes out.
It's a fast, intense, twisty emotional roller coaster that keeps you engaged throughout.
The best thing about this drama is the smart and impactful portrayal of mental illness. It's not preachy, it's not overly idealistic, it doesn't try to pretend to be extra woke, it's not trying to pass itself as an educational program- it's really just a touching story about three damaged, emotionally stunted people who are trying to get by.
I am not a medical professional and I am not gonna waste time trying to analyze all the symptoms and guess the disorders and argue about that because that's grossly missing the point.
The main focus of this drama was showing the pain, frustration and sorrow that comes with suffering from trauma, dealing with conditions out of your hands and the hurt that comes with mental illness for both who have it and their family members.
But most of all it highlights the strength of these people, about how they help each other and get help from each other to make things a bit better.
It beautifully expresses themes of understanding, resilience, love and friendship between people who've had a very tough life.
Ofcourse, in typical K drama fashion, it's not without its cheesy tropes, cliches and some flair for dramatics but despite all of that it gets the message across in a powerful manner.
The beauty of it is that despite being filled with heartbreaking and emotional moments that make you shed tears and snot, it never lets the dark side become overpowering by adding much needed comic relief and heart warming moments that make you giggle and feel good inside.
There is extra charm in people who are beautiful AND excellent actors. All the cast delivers phenomenally with the two main leads having electric chemistry with each other and sharing glorious, steamy kisses that will go down in k drama history. ;)
The show is easy to watch with a bit of suspense, thrill, murder mystery, psychotic parents and drama mixed with emotion, heart and healing. It's fast paced peppered with wholesome slow moments and amazing character growth.
Seo Ye Ji's impulsive, passionate, gorgeously dressed, blunt, morally questionable female lead with childlike tendencies is undoubtedly a crowd favorite.
On the other hand, Kim Soo Hyun's handsome, selfless, persevering male lead with bambi eyes and a mutinous heart brings his own to the table.
Finally, bringing them both together, the veteren Oh Jung Sae brought forth an endearing character suffering from autism who is extremely pure hearted and just trying his best.
The moments between these three are powerful and literally make you pray for these people and their happiness. The side characters are all relevant and enhance the flavor of the show
The OST is stunning, the direction is beautiful and the pretty story telling incorporating scary fairytales and creepy animations brings everything full circle.
It's definitely binge worthy and a full of feeling ride that you don't want to miss.
WHAT A JOURNEY IT HAS BEENFirst of all, i just like to say that this Series is not for everyone. I know everyone has different tastes especially in dramas. Aside from being a HUMAN HEALING DRAMA, this show is a character driven kind of drama. You have to immerse yourself in the drama to fully understand and go through the process of healing while watching the show.
STORY - I really love the story. It's unique and refreshing how the writer used many fairy tale and folk tales references and combined all those stories into one. It's so brilliant.
ACTING - Now let's talk about the performances for the Actors.
Immediately after watching episode 1, you will be amazed already of Oh Jung Seng's performance. It really is a role of a lifetime. He is so effective as Moon Sang Tae. I cry on most of his scenes with Gang Tae. He exceeded everyone's expectations and he will definitely get many awards from this show.
Seo Ye Ji's role is also very challenging. She is phenomenal as Moon Young. I cannot think of anyone who can do this role as perfect as her.
Supporting Roles from the younger casts, CEO, Juri, SEung Jae, Jaesu, Director, the OK staff and patients. Everyone had amazing perfomances.
Now for my bias, Kim Soo Hyun.... I have to be honest, as a fan of KSH, i really did not understand at first why he chose this project. Maybe i was used to A list actors to work with more known and award winning directors and writers. After his last drama The Producers in 2015 and military enlistment in 2017, i was really waiting for his comeback and has high expectations on the first project he'll work on. THANK GOD, he chose It's Okay to Not Be Okay. He really took time in reading many scripts and he really wants to challenge himself. His role is not as flashy or flamboyant as Moon Young and Sang Tae.... What makes his performance a stand out was the fact that his character wasn't a stand out. SYJ and OJS, being such amazing actors themselves could have easily stole the limelight from KSH. Moon Gang Tae's character was less explosive and more contemplative. His role is very deep and requires consistency. Many of his emotions must be conveyed using his eyes alone. and he did it perfectly. His crying scenes have different emotions and meanings especially his breakdown scene on episode 9. It felt like he poured his heart and soul on that scene and the audience felt it. The fact that KSH was able to get rave reviews for his performance both internationally and locally, and many people became a huge fan of Moon Gang Tae's character.... and lastly, that KSH was able to showcase such amazing and brilliant acting range for a role that's quite a challenge... that's really IMPRESSIVE and not all actors would be able to accomplish that.. I'm just happy that KSH is a risk taker and took this risk and not doing the usual OPPA dramas.
CINEMATOGRAPHY/MUSICAL SCORING/EDITING -
We have to commend the cinematographer of this show. WOW. just WOW! the camera shots are so perfect. i love how the cinematographer used different techniques. It was so effective. Same as the editing. I love the transitions from one scene to another. Not just the cool transitions but just the regular transitions where musical scoring is used to properly connect one scene from another.
OVERALL - this show will be one of my all time favorites. I have to admit that i expected more from the mother's plot. maybe because i watch too many crime dramas and i wanted more explanation how the mother survived or what really happened. I guess i overthought and had watched too many theory videos that i forgot what the show was all about. Thank you to the Finale episode"FINDING THE REAL FACE". My take on the mother's plot is very simple. The mother survived and whatever stories we saw from the father's POV and MY's are not really accurate since the father had brain injury and even had major surgery for that, and MY was too young and grew with too much trauma to remember everything and just remembered the trauma she experienced during her childhood. Once the "Finding the Real Face" story was told, everything made sense to me that this drama is not about MY's mother. It's about the journey of Moon Young, Sang Tae and Gang Tae. From episode 1 to 16 we saw their character developments and how they were healed in the process of knowing each other. There might be an evil witch who took their real faces, but like in any fairy tale, there will always be a happy ending.
Reading this definitely gave me some closure on the mother mystery :
I have to say that this drama has one of the best finales and most satisfying endings I've ever watched. I don't know how many times i cried watching all episodes but one thing is for sure , i learned so much from this drama. I immersed myself in the show and this show really healed me to overcome some of the trauma and regrets i have in my life. The title itself is such a meaningful and powerful phrase that "It's Okay to Not Be Okay". Here are some of the lessons i learned from this drama.
- Family is Beyond Blood Relations
- Fight for your Happiness
- Don't Make Rash Decisions
- Don't Judge a book by its cover
- Confront your Trauma
- Remember Good Memories
- Speak Up for Yourself
- Reach Out for Help
- It's Better to Kiss than Fight
"When you're tired get some rest. When your sad, go ahead and cry. It's okay to do that."
Damn, there so many life learning quotes in this show. Watching this while on air is the best decision i made this year. Usually i will wait for a show to be completed before i binge watch but i made an exception for IOTNBO. I really invested too much in this drama. I'm happy to be one of the active posters in IOTNBO page and one of the users who broke records of having 16k+++ comments on the 16th episode. Most of all, i'm very grateful for this show because i met many friends who will be my forever MDL friends!
I felt like i was also riding in the camping van when the show ended. It really is a great and amazing journey. Thank you OKAY Family! Thank you IT'S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY.