by Anushka, March 18, 2021

(Note: Mild spoilers ahead, visible in both light and dark mode.)

Dear MDL'ers 

"It's Okay to Not be Okay" was one of the best dramas of the year 2020 and one of my favorites too. It was unique, different, and made a special place in everyone's hearts. So it has a well-executed storyline, great cast, beautiful cinematography, amazing OST but are these only the best things? or were there any other reasons that made it more special and unique? For me, the answer is yes...It was the  Fairytales that made the drama different, it is something that we haven't seen in any other drama yet. The fact that every episode was connected with a fairytale was amazing. I think that these fairytales had a great contribution in making this drama more wonderful. So in this article, I'm going to explore those fairytales which made the drama peculiar in a very good way.

Well, not only the episodes but even each story had its own meaning and moral. Let's explore It's Okay to Not be Okay through amazing Fairytales in it...

  • The boy who fed on nightmares. 

The boy woke up from another nightmare, Bad memories from the past that he wanted to erase from his head were replayed in his dreams every night and haunted him nonstop.  He was terrified of falling asleep, so one day, he went to the witch and begged. “Please get rid of all my bad memories, so that I won’t ever have a nightmare again. Then, I will do everything you ask.

Years went by and the boy becomes an adult. He no longer had nightmares. But for some strange reason, he wasn't happy at all. One night, a blood moon filled the night sky and the witch finally showed up again to take what he had promised in return for granting his wish. And he shouted at her with so much resentment. 'All my memories are gone. But why... Why can't I be happy?

 Then the witch took his soul as they had promised and told him that, 'Hurtful, painful memories. Memories of deep regrets. Memories of hurting and being hurt. Memories of being abandoned. Only those with such memories buried in their hearts can become stronger and emotionally flexible. And only those who can attain happiness' "So don't forget any of them. Remember them all and overcome them. If you don't overcome them, you'll always be a kid whose soul never grows"

 Memories are very important for us because they can be identity for us to be us, even if they are painful or hurting but they have important existence because bad memories make us strong, capable of doing anything, fight against anything. So erasing it's like questioning our own existence. "Memories make us take responsibility, and memories serve justice. Even if it's sad, we must remember them. That's the only way we can get angry and take responsibility for our actions and do what's right"

It was the beginning of the journey but that doesn't mean forgetting the past is the best. This story was indicating towards the past of Gang Tae and Sang Tae the hardships they faced and even were facing. Their suffering carrying from the past. It might be also indicating toward the Moon Young but we were unaware of her past at that time...

  • The Lady in Red Shoes.
The little girl wore her red shoes everywhere she went, even to a God-fearing church. Once you wear those shoes, your feet start dancing on their own and you can never stop dancing or take off those shoes. But even so, the little girl never gave up on those red shoes. In the end, the executioner had to cut off her feet. But the two feet that got cut off continued to dance in those red shoes. 

What lady in the red shoes teaches us is about our obsession. Things we never let go even if it's the right thing to do. But holding onto it till the end won't give us anything other than disappointment. So the right thing to do is to let go of our obsession before they take over us.

This story is definitely representing Moon Young, her obsession with sharp objects, and also the start of her obsession with Gang Tae. We can surely assume that if she's obsessed with anything she won't let it go no matter what happens. So this story is telling us a trait of Moon Young's character... it's made to introduce her.

  • Sleeping Witch
Once upon a time, in a castle in the middle of a deep forest lives a princess who had been asleep for many years. A needle on a spinning wheel will kill her — that was the curse the evil witch put on the princess the day she was born. Frightened, the king burned every spinning wheel in his kingdom to avoid the curse, but the princess ended up getting prick by a thorn on the rose given to her by the witch in disguise and fell asleep into an eternal slumber
"Right the prince's kiss. I suppose he could break the curse. But don't get your hopes too up high. Because I will kill that prince."

The fairy tale tells you that you can never escape your destiny. What's bound to happen is gonna happen even if we took lots of efforts to stop it, it's your fate. 

Could this story represents the meeting of our leads, returning to the place which had the worst memories from the past was bound to happen to Moon Young reason can be anything but was it her fate? That brought them together again. 

  • Zombie Kid  

A baby boy was born in a small village. He had pale skin and large eyes. While raising the boy, his mother naturally came to the realization that he had no feelings at all. All he had was the desire to eat like a zombie. So, his mother locked him up in the basement so that the villagers wouldn’t see him. And every night she stole livestock from her neighbors to feed him. That’s how she raised him in secret. One night she’d steal a chicken. The next day, she’d steal a pig. Several years passed like that, then one day, an epidemic broke out. It left the remaining animals dead, and it also killed many people.

Those who survived the epidemic left the village. But the mother couldn’t leave her son all alone. And to appease her son crying of hunger, she cut off one leg of hers and give it to him. After that, it was her arm. She gave him all her limbs when she was left with nothing but her torso, she embraced her son for the last time to let him devour what was left of her. With his both arms, the boy tightly held his mother’s torso and spoke for the first time in his life, “Mom, you’re so warm.”

When parents are ready to do anything for their children to make them happy, satisfied is it the right thing to do? Doing spoon feeding brings nothing more than big disappointment. If parent want their children to be independent and successful the best thing is to give them chance to struggle and do all the things on their own that's when they would know value of everything.

  • Rapunzel and the Cursed Castle

A long time ago,

Deep inside the forest, there lived a little girl in a cursed castle. The little girl’s mother always told her daughter that she’s too special to live among everyone else outside the castle.

 The mother told her that she must only live inside the castle. However, the little girl felt like she was imprisoned. So she prayed to the moon every day, “Please send me a handsome prince who can save me from here. Will he come today? Will he come tomorrow?” The little girl waited every day for her prince to show up.

'Patience is Virtue.' The right thing will definitely happen at the right time but we just need some patience to wait for it.

The Rapunzel in the story is Moon Young waiting for someone to save her, to free her.

  • Bluebeard’s Secret 
Once upon a time, a count with a blue beard lived alone in a huge castle. He was very wealthy but everyone avoided him out of fear because of his blue beard. But one day, a poor woman came to the castle and said that she wanted to be his bride. Brimming with joy, Bluebeard brought out all the jewels and treasures from each room and gave them to his wife as a gift. However, there was an exception, the room in the basement. He warned her to never go into that room but his curious wife eventually opened the secret door without telling her husband. Do you know what was in that room? Corpses of women were displayed on the walls. They were the wives of Bluebeard who had ignored his warning and opened that door. That’s how they all ended up.

Though Blue beard was wrong any reason doesn't justifies his actions but in his crime there was share of those villagers who avoided him for a stupid reason and that encouraged him to do such thing. If the villagers accepted him as he was, could story be different from this? Acceptance is the lesson we get from this. We should accept everyone as they are with free mind, that don't give only satisfaction to us but happiness to that person also. Society recognizes and favors those who pass their standards but neglects those people who seem different in their eyes. 

It reflects the story of Moon Young's parents and also gives clues of their past. 

  • The Cheerful Dog

Once upon a time, there lived a dog that was very good at hiding his emotions. 

The dog was tied beneath a shade tree. He always wagged his tail and acted cutely. So he got the name, 'The Cheerful Dog' because he is as cheerful as springtime. 

The dog always had lots of fun with the village kids during the day. But every night, he’d moan and whine when no one was around. That’s because he wanted to cut off the leash and freely run around out in the spring field. However, he couldn’t. And that’s why he cried every night. Every single night. One day, the voice inside him asked the Cheerful Dog, “Hey, why don’t you just cut off the leash and run away?” And this was the cheerful dog said, “I’ve been tied up for way too long so I forgot how to cut myself free.” 

This shows human nature. We human's are good at hiding our emotions under the mask of smile. Though we never admit. But we all have regrets in our mind that makes us sad. It's hard to move on. There is another fact told by this story once we are used to something it becomes part of life and even we are getting hurt by it it's hard to cut of and we chose we live that life.

Is this story of Gang Tae? He lived hard life from childhood, having many responsibilities on his shoulder putting a smile on his face even if he was hurting. He never let out his true feelings, though he was angry, frustrated, or sad but he never thought of himself. Always putting Sang Tae ahead... he lived for his brother as much as that he forgot to how to 'Love' himself and that's why I think this story portrays the journey of Moon Gang Tae.

  • Beauty and the Beast 
Beauty and the Beast is a story about Stockholm syndrome.

The beast lives alone in the castle because of a curse. He holds a lady named Belle hostage in the castle and grooms this victim of his. That’s what the story is about. The Beast is usually selfish and harsh on Belle. So doing something nice once in a blue moon and gazing at her with a faint smile on his face was enough to move the naive lady, Belle. “The Beast is lonely. I should embrace him with my love. Only I can change him.” The Beast turns into a prince because of the power of Belle’s true love. Belle’s love calmed the Beast’s violent nature. That love embraced his wounded soul.

"Loving anyone is the greatest thing that can anyone do as a human being."

No one represents beast or Belle here, yes Moon Young can be that version of the beast that tried to trap Gang Tae in her castle but Gang Tae also had his own flaws. They both changed because of love, the thing lacking for both of them was pure love, and loving each other brought their best version of themselves and that was the power of pure Love' that changed them forever in a better way.

These are all stories are from the first 8 episodes. We are halfway through this beautiful journey still have a long ride to go.... but I'll stop here we'll meet in the second part of this article with the remaining amazing stories.

Editors: BrightestStar (1st editor)