Finally, the long wait is over! Here’s to the Kdrama I’ve been waiting for since Kim Soo Hyun was discharged from the military. Normally I would refuse to watch an ongoing drama, and prefer to binge-watch to keep myself from the agonizing week of waiting for the next episode. This time though, the tables are turned. I established my own Monday Nights with Kim Soo Hyun, and endured the agony of waiting because It’s Okay Not To Be Okay is worth all of it.
When I first saw the trailers, it got me curious on how this could pull-off an element of comedy when it appeared to be dealing with the serious issue on mental health. There weren’t any hints of fun and laughter, as the shots looked dark and gloomy. Kim Soo Hyun’s character looked like a tired babysitter and Seo Ye Ji’s character looked like she’s up to no good. I had no doubts though, Kim Soo Hyun has always signed up for excellent dramas and so I knew this would be great. True enough, It’s Okay Not To Be Okay provided me with a story that went beyond the usual Kdrama stories I’ve seen in the past.
The excellent portrayals of the actors
This is the first Seo Ye Ji drama that I’ve finished watching (I struggled to finish Save Me despite Woo Do Hwan and Ok Taecyon because I can’t stand the bullying and I am still halfway through Lawless Lawyer), and I guess we can all agree that she did great in this drama. She successfully pulled off Ko Moon Young’s character – a young anti-social whose marred past has been haunting her for years despite her success as a children’s book author. I should say her excellent acting has got me into watching all her dramas saved in my drive.
Moon Kang Tae, on the other hand, isn’t that different from the other characters Kim Soo Hyun has portrayed in the past – I see Do Min Joon (My Love From The Star) in his tremendous patience and his ability to hide his true feelings to the point of hurting someone he loves just to make her understand that “this isn’t meant to be and we’re not supposed to be this way”. I see Lee Hwon (Moon Embracing The Sun) in his sudden screams of frustrations in the final episodes. I see Baek Sung Chan (The Producers) in the way he cared for his big brother and his patients. Kim Soo Hyun has done dramas and movies that allowed him to work on dynamic characters, from the village idiot (Secretly Greatly) to the mysterious next door neighbor (My Love From The Star) and everything just proves how magnificent he is as an actor. He is the highest paid Korean actor for a reason. In fact, he’s the only Korean actor that I’ve watched all dramas and movies.
Okay, Kim Soo Hyun is my ultimate favorite Kdrama actor. Need I say more? 😀
I can’t find any words for Moon Sang Tae though – he’s basically the catalyst for everything that needs to be revealed in this story. It’s the first time I’ve seen and heard of Oh Jung Se, and man, I’m sold! I loved his character from the beginning, and I loved him more and more as the story and his character progressed.
The past will haunt you unless you choose to move forward
This isn’t the first time we are presented with star-crossed lovers. Crash Landing On You repeatedly broke our hearts over Yoon Se Ri and Ri Jeong Hyuk’s almost impossible love affair. I should say I saw it coming – I knew that somehow, Kang Tae and Moon Young’s dark family history will hover them like a thick air it would be hard for them to breathe. Yet, I stuck to it because I wanted it to unfold in front of me, and oh boy, I am living for all the back stories. Each character has their own story to tell, and they were all complicated yet straightforward, another thing that I’ve learned to expect from Kdramas.
Just like the characters in the drama, there are, maybe, a thing or two from the past that torment me up to this day (not a huge biggie, but still). I guess, all of us have. And the drama tells me that the only way to get over it is to look for the door and get out of it. Just like the mother in the story who blames herself for her daughter’s death that lead to her depression and hallucinations, the son of the public official who only wanted proper attention from his parents, the old man who’s forever damaged from the war – all of them tried to do something remarkable to conquer their fears, get out of the past, and move forward.
Do I even have to mention what The Troublemaker Trio did to get out of their own boxes?
A different take on fairy tales
A fairy tale is a cruel fantasy that illustrates the brutality and violence of this world in a paradoxical manner, says Ko Moon Young in her first live reading session with the patients of It’s Okay Not To Be Okay Hospital. A part of me agrees with this, as I’ve read a handful of articles in the internet about the dark origins of classic fairy tales. Although Moon Young doesn’t really talk about the “unsanitized” versions of the fairy tales, but the harsh reality that each of the story brings. I also appreciated the seemingly grotesque illustrations of Ko Moon Young’s children’s book that I wanted to own one, or maybe all of them. It’s wouldn’t be too bad, I guess. It’ll even help me in my Hangul lessons.
I was hoping for a track sung by Kim Soo Hyun in the official soundtrack album, but this time, I am disappointed. Although, Breath by Sam Kim made it to my playlist, along with My Tale, In Your Time and Little By Little. Actually, I downloaded the entire album on Spotify, and I am thinking if it’s worth buying the CD since this is a Kim Soo Hyun drama we’re talking about.
The title itself reminds me that it’s okay not to be okay – that life won’t always be easy. What’s important is we do not lose ourselves in order survive, and if that happens, we should be able to still find happiness, no matter what.
Stay safe! Keep sane. Watch Kdramas!