by Tine, July 5, 2021

Hi, fellow drama watchers! :)

Today, I want to recap/review the drama Mad for Each Other. I completed it and wanted to share my opinion about it. I won‘t mention any major spoilers in case you haven't seen it yet. But be aware, there might be minor ones. You can also treat this article as a recommendation!

Episodes: 13   |    Duration: 30 min   |   Country: South Korea
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama   
|   Tags: Healing, Mental Disorder, Hate to Love


The drama is about two "imperfect" people who meet through similar contact points in their life due to some misunderstandings. No Hwi Oh is a detective in the violent crimes division. Because of an incident that happened during an investigation, he needs to get therapy for his problems with anger management. Lee Min Kyung also led a „normal“ life until a horrific incident happens, which causes her to suffer from trust issues, paranoia, and more, which creates funny encounters with the people around her. Both characters trigger each other. 


The main genre is definitely comedy, but there are also other feelings you‘ll get. Like the painful past of the main characters. The heartwarming feeling of healing each other and the wonderful romance that blossoms. There is also crime involved, turning the story a little suspenseful as the shadows of their pasts pay a visit. And there are also very emotional scenes! It's a funny story with touching elements people can relate to. :) Of course, everyone has a different taste, so the humor might not be for everyone.


The nice thing is that you‘ll get to meet lots of people you can see anywhere around you in real life, too:

Because of an unfortunate incident, Min Kyung (Oh Yeon Seo) started to develop mental problems. And this can happen to anyone. Everyone gets scared, everyone gets hurt, and everyone tries to avoid things that might trigger them or make them feel insecure. Min Kyung was deeply hurt and stopped trusting people. The incident left a big impact on her, resulting in panic attacks when triggered. Thus, she sought help and now goes to therapy.
No Hwi Oh (Jung Woo) is known as a crazy detective. During one investigation, he went overboard due to the circumstances of the case, causing him to be on a break from his job and getting treatment for his anger management problems. He is actually a very kind and protective person who has a slightly aggressive way of showing it. He needs to learn to control his emotions and be less impulsive.
Sang Yeop (Ahn Woo Yeon) likes wearing "female clothes" without giving himself a label! There are many different genders and characters in this world whom people shouldn't judge because of their outer appearances. The thing that really touched my heart is that everyone around him in this apartment complex easily accepts him for who he is. <3
Su Hyun (Lee Soo Hyun), who has thousands of side jobs, wants to be a singer. Taking little steps to reach a bigger dream. She knows almost everyone around her and observes. ;) Through her dozens of jobs, she got to meet lots of different people and gained the ability not to care about other people's business and to tolerate differences.
Then there are the three apartment ladies, who are basically the annoying neighbors. They bother the other tenants from time to time, but if necessary, they fight for you. Of course, every single one also has their own problems and struggles in their private lives.
Howi was a stray dog and adopted by Min Kyung. He is good at being adorable and fluffy. He also gives her some comfort and a little feeling of safety.

All characters are exaggerated for a bigger effect and a fun watching experience! Everyone has their own problems, just like in real life. Everyone has their own issues and difficulties. Everyone gets scared at times or feels angry. That‘s what makes us human. So being different is the most normal thing ever. The drama makes you feel comfortable and that you‘re not alone. Having mental or other kinds of problems is nothing to feel ashamed about.


"Happy Anding"
by Martin Smith
"The Moment I Met You" by HYUNKI
"This Comfort"
by Solji
"My Heart Is All a Flutter" by D1CE

From the melody and vocals, I really like all songs, but from the lyrics, I prefer "Happy Anding" and "This Comfort". While "The Moment I Met You" and "My Heart Is All a Flutter" are more about the feeling of falling in love, the other two are about the impact of the Main Leads on each other and the healing part of the drama. 

I especially like the line "Be with my beginning and end/Your joy and your sadness, all of those moments" (Happy Anding) as it shows the acceptance of each other's flaws, being together in happy and sad times. The melody and whistling sounds are pretty cool and catchy, too. And the lines "Your bruised heart was aching/Trapped in the memories that used up all the light" & "I’ll take all the times that were hard/And give you, who is listening to this song/This kind of comfort(This Comfortbecause it talks about their painful past and how they want to make each other happy again. :)

Critical Questions

While watching, some questions were arising inside me, and I want to give my personal answer to them:

Is it ok to use mental health as a comedy element? The drama is entertaining to watch. But actually, suffering from those or other mental issues is not funny. I think that it‘s better to make it funny than to portray it like it‘s something to be pitied about, though. It‘s healthy to be able to laugh about yourself to a certain degree. Some countries are very open about mental illnesses, and others don't recognize those as such. So I really like the way they portrayed it in this drama. The comedic elements kind of normalize those issues and maybe make others open up about their own struggles. But I think it‘s important to have awareness and not to let the comedy in this drama downplay the impact of real mental struggles. :)

Is the portrayal realistic? I can‘t really tell. I think some things are exaggerated, some downplayed. It‘s a stylistic device to reach the viewers. But I personally think it‘s not that important whether it‘s realistic or not. It‘s more about what message they want to deliver. If you're curious about mental issues and their treatment, then you're better off watching a documentary or something.

Is this drama another case of „love cures all“? Partly. ^^ Although it‘s quite reasonable here. The FL has trust issues, and as she grows closer to ML, she feels safe around him, which for sure can make her feel better in a way. As a result, she can slowly learn to trust again. In contrast, the ML will be directly confronted with the consequences of his lack of control over his emotions.


My Opinion

The drama is hilarious! I laughed a lot! But it‘s also heartwarming since the main leads become very caring and supportive with each other. I felt in many scenes that the drama is not about the actual healing but more about acceptance and tolerance. :) The romance is very sweet. Even though the drama seems lighthearted and fun, there are lots of things you can think about. It is deeper than it might seem. And showing certain issues openly and in a funny and normal way makes people feel like they are not alone. It's comfortable! I also really like the mixture of healing and comedy. It makes the drama less depressing than other dramas of this genre. And I also want to mention that I like the native title "이 구역의 미친X  (Crazy X in this area)" better than the English one. ^^ 

The acting and character portrayal were very well done, too! I liked how there was a clear line in acting: the funny scenes were funny, and the emotional scenes were painfully emotional. Since it's a drama, of course, it also had dramatic scenes, especially in the second half. The actors/actresses gave it their all. For me, the cast is perfect. They totally got to me and broke my heart. Again, the scenes were very well done! I liked the main leads very much, as well as their whole journey. They became each other's strength.

The message the drama gives us is to be confident and not let yourself be restricted by fear, shame, or insecurity. Do what is right for you. Seek help and share your troubles. I enjoyed the drama a lot! The „flaws“ of the characters made the drama especially interesting but also relatable. In one scene, the FL said to the ML that actually everyone else is crazy except them both. And it might be true. After all... aren't we all a little crazy? ;)

Thanks for reading!

This was my personal opinion about the drama. Feel free to share your thoughts, too. ;)

Credits: I don't own the pictures. They are screenshots from the actual drama (Kakao TV, Netflix) edited for a better fit. The lyrics translations are taken from Popgasa.
Edited by: devitto (1st editor), YW (2nd editor)

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