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'It’s Okay To Not Be Okay', is a South Korean romantic drama written by Jo Yong and directed by Park Shin Woo. It stars Kim Soo-Hyun, Seo Yea-Ji, Oh Jung-Se, and Park Gyu-Young. The show is a Netflix original with only sixteen episodes. It was broadcasted on both tvN from June 2020 to August 2020 and released on Netflix too. It was the most popular show of 2020 in the romance genre of Netflix in South Korea. It also recorded an average nationwide TV viewership rating of 5.4%.
Kim Soo-Hyun as Moon Gang-Tae
An orphaned caregiver working at OK Psychiatric Hospital. While he was a very empathetic and kind guy to everyone around him, he struggled with self-esteem issues because of his childhood trauma. Gang-Tae had a very difficult childhood, as a result of which he avoided close relationships with anyone except for his brother Sang-Tae who was autistic.
Seo Yea-Ji as Ko Moon-Young
A popular children's books author with ASPD (antisocial personality disorder). Moon Young had a troubled childhood and a strained relationship with her parents, specifically her mother. Her mother was also an author and was very famous for her incomplete series 'The Murder Of The Witch Of The West". The series was not complete as she was murdered by her own husband. Later on, it was revealed that she never died and was working as the head nurse in the same hospital where her husband was a patient and Gang-Tae worked, OK Psychiatric Hospital.
Oh Jung-Se as Moon Sang-Tae
Sang Tae is Moon Gang-Tae’s autistic brother. He was a big fan of Ko Moon-Young. He read every storybook written by her. Even though autistic, he was an aspiring illustrator. He was the sole witness of his mother’s murder, which resulted in his irrational fear of butterflies. Every spring, this fear of his turned into nightmares, forced Gang-Tae to move from town to town in order to save his brother from despair.
What is the k-drama 'It's Okay To Not Be Okay' about? Plot Explained.
Moon Gang-Tae lived with his older brother Moon Sang-Tae, who was suffering from autism. Growing up both of them lived a difficult life. Their father died when both of them were very young and their mother was murdered. Sang-Tae was the sole witness of his mother’s murder from where his fear of butterflies manifested. This fear forced Gang-Tae to move from city to city in order to prevent his brother from experiencing nightmares. Gang-Tae worked as a caregiver in psychiatric hospitals at every place they settled. While working in the hospital, he met Ko Moon-Young, who had ASPD(Antisocial Personality Disorder).
Circumstances led Gang-Tae to return back to Songjin City, the same city where they used to live when they were young. He started working as a caregiver at the OK psychiatric Hospital. Meanwhile, Moon-Young got infatuated with Gang-Tae. After finding out that their past overlapped, she followed him to Songjin city, where she grew up as a kid. Moon-Young’s father was one of the patients in the OK psychiatric hospital. The trio of Gang-Tae, Sang-Tae, and Moon-Young was formed. They started healing each other’s emotional wounds directly and indirectly. As the series moved forward, secrets unraveled making them question their relationships with each other.
Moon-Young's mother had ruthlessly murdered Gang-Tae's mother. After Moon-Young’s mother murdered Gang-Tae’s mother, she was supposedly killed by her own husband in the heat of the moment. Later on, it was revealed that Moon-Young’s mom was alive and was living right beside them after having gone through plastic surgery to hide her real identity. She was the head of the OK psychiatric hospital, the same hospital where Gang-Tae worked as a caregiver and Moon-Young’s father was a patient. Towards the end, Moon Young’s mother took pleasure as her husband took his last breath. She even tried to kill her own daughter along with Gang-Tae and Sang-Tae.
Is 'It’s Okay To Not Be Okay' Worth Watching?
'It’s Okay To Not Be Okay' is a beautiful drama with a great cast and an interesting storyline. From the title to the drama, it talks about how it's okay to not be okay. The drama talks about normalizing being unique in this world. The characters in the show are realistically portrayed.
Comments like 'Ju-Ri is annoying. She is coming between Gang-Tae and Moon-Young', 'Sang-Tae is the reason Gang-Tae is always struggling with his life', did come out. This clearly means the viewers didn’t understand the actual meaning of the drama. Most of the people were only stuck to the romance and chemistry between Moon-Young and Gang-Tae, and hating on the characters who relied on them. Yes, we do get to see amazing chemistry between them but clearly doesn’t give us the right to hate on other characters of the drama.
This drama is definitely not just a rom-com drama and talks about several issues including mental health issues. We get to see many unpredictable moments. This is much more than just a simple romance. It is definitely worth the watch. Along with intense romance and strong relationships, it deals with many other issues like loneliness, mental health issues, and how love doesn't come from just mere blood relations.