As a K-drama addict, I keep a lookout on all upcoming dramas, and I only need 2 reasons to add them to my PTW; 1- it has my favourite actors/actress, or 2- the plot is interesting, and so it's no surprise I was extremely excited for It's Okay to Not Be Okay, both of mains are my favourites (so double the 1st point) plus the whole cast list is full of familiar professional Support actors, but after watching the drama it changed to both. I've seen ep 1-6, so this article might contain small spoilers.
The synopsis on MDL:
The story of a community health worker at a psychiatric ward who lives on 1.8 million won (approximately $1,520) a month 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, finding their souls and identities in the process. Moon Kang 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, Go Moon Young is a popular writer of children’s literature, but she is extremely selfish, arrogant, and rude.
|Kim Soo Hyun;|
Moon Kang Tae
A caretaker working at a psychiatric ward who was blessed with everything, including a great body, brain, the ability to empathize with others. Yet he does not believe in love.
|Seo Ye Ji;|
Go Moon Young
A popular children's book author who suffers from antisocial personality disorder and knows nothing about love.
Oh Jung Se;
Moon Sang Tae
Kang Tae's autistic older brother. He is a huge fan of Author Ko Moon Young.
To summaries the character relationships, it's basically like this: Go Moon Young, and Moon Kang Tae are childhood friends who lost touch soon after meeting, and he also had a crush on her. Moon Sang Tae is MKT's brother and GMY's #1 fan. Nam Joo Ri has a crush on MKT, and she's GMY's childhood friend/enemy.
Jo Jae Soo is MKT friend, and he has a crush on NJR. MKT, MST and JJS live in NJR's mom's house. Yoo Seung Jae and Lee Sang In are GMY's employees, and LSI also might have a crush on NJR - is this a love demand? xD.
Park Haeng Ja, Seon Byul and Oh Ji Wang work in OK Psychiatric Hospital. Go Dae Hwan is GMY's father, and he's a patient in OK Psychiatric Hospital. And that pretty much sums up the important characters. ;D
Reasons Why You Should Watch This:
The 1st ep started off really well; they introduced the characters and laid out their past trauma without making it too dramatic. It's not a "sad" story to make the characters feel pathetic, but they are added to explain and reinforce the characters as the people they are today.
As the drama progresses, we keep seeing glimpses of their past, and we realize the characters are not as simple as they seem.
Go Moon Young seems strong and uncaring, but the deep scars from her past have a bigger hold on her than she lets out.
Moon Kang Tae seems like the calm, sweet, perfect guy, he looks like someone that has no worries, but it's like when he taught his brother how to "read" emotions, he also learned how to mask his own true feelings. Also, in some ways having a similar name to his brother might be a sweet move, but on the other hand, it kinda makes it seem like his mom only had Moon Sang Tae on her mind.
The 1st scene when the drama started was from one of Go Moon Youn's stories featuring 2 kids, and by the end of that ep they explain that that storybook is based on Go Moon Youn and Moon Kang Tae's childhood connection, and although I dislike that move I feel like since they showed Go Moon Youn admiring/being attracted to Moon Kang Tae as a person before even realizing he's her past "destiny" kinda makes it better. ;D
Besides the fact that they were "childhood friends", they show a glimpse of several murders, and I'm really intrigued about how they all connect. Some of the theories are, either her dad killed her mom and MKT's mom, or her mom is the killer, and MST was there that's why he's scared of butterflies.
I am currently in a crime/mystery genre slump so I do worry this might turn into Veronica Mars S4, but in the first 6 eps, I feel like they put a lot of thought into this, unlike VM.
The man behind the illustrations is named Jamsan, he and It's Okay to Not Be Okay director Park Shin Woo worked together to give life to Go Moon Young's art and stories.
Thanks to @Rjei27 for this image of Go Moon Young's book covers.
The opening story talks about a beautiful girl that was labelled a "monster" because others didn't understand her, and so she ended up pushing people away because of that. At the end of ep 1, we find out that that was based on Go Moon Young and Moon Kang Tae's real encounter.
The boy who fed on nightmares: "hurtful, painful memories. Memories of deep regrets. Memories of hurting others and being hurt. Memories of being abandoned. Only those with such memories buried in their hearts can become stronger, more passionate and emotionally flexible. And only those can attain happiness. So don't forget any of it, remember it and overcome it, if you don't overcome it you'll always be a kid whose soul never grows."
The Zombie kid; In some ways, the story reflects on all 3 mains, Go Moon Young's mom only supplied her with the necessities, but she never gave her a mom's warmth and tenderness. And Moon Kang Tae's mom's time was fully given to Moon Sang Tae, and he rarely got his mom's attention, and so both just started putting up walls to keep others away.
The drama also uses a lot of fairy tale references like:
I might've pushed it a little too far, but if the shoe fits. ;D And personally I find the way they used "fairy tales" as their theme because Go Moon Young is a "fairy tale writer" really clever.
I don't just mean the actors beautiful appearance, though I mean LOOK at them. They win couple of the year by a landslide. ❤ Also, they deserve a few acting awards because their eye/emotional acting is on point!
The directing is really smooth, and the effects are stunning. The director is doing such a fascinating job with the transition between the scenes or delivering the viewpoints of Moon Sang Tae or the hints of trauma mixed with "fantasy".
One would think with the way Korea is a center of fashion, more drama female leads would dress up well, but usually, that's not the case, until now (and a few other dramas as well).
And these are only from the first 4eps. ❤
You can find out more about the outfits from here. (thanks to @cal0ri3)
Besides the main OST, the drama also uses different background music for each character, like a song with fairy tale vibes for Go Moon Young or a rock song for Jo Jae Soo, and they also have a few "comedic sound effects" here and there which enhance the whole experience even more.
You're Cold - Heize
Breath - Sam Kim
My Tale - Park Won
*Wake Up - Elaine
*It will be released July 12th.
For me, I need to watch this as soon as it's out, but then I don't want to watch it when I'm distracted and so when I watch it I'm kinda tired because I usually watch it at the end of the day, but it's also so good that it makes me forget everything and just get immersed into their universe. And I might've rewatched a few scenes to make the gifs for this, and I rarely rewatch dramas/movies.
As for the episode ratings, for TVN and other cable shows a 3+ is considered a good rating and IOTNBO's ratings been steady 5+, and it's no. 1 in its time slot for the ages 20 to 49 among other trends and Netflix rankings.
Also, I don't think I'm overselling this anymore, but this is my favourite 2020 drama, and it has the potential to beat Mr Sunshine and Circle as my ultimate favourite dramas. ;D
*Gif and picture credits to owners, all found around Google, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube or recap pages. Character description is from Wikipedia. And I made 95% of the "fairy tales" and "visuals" gifs, plus the screenshots~
Disclaimer: This LightCoral colour is for links, and this Salmon colour is just for names. ;D
Edited by: Yuanwei (1st editor)