It's Okay to Not be Okay - A Must-See Drama

August 10, 2020


"What the Shadow Witch has stolen from them was not their true faces but their courage to find happiness."

사이코지만 괜찮아, or better known with its English title, It's Okay to Not be Okay, is one of the dramas that I have been waiting to air because it is the small screen comeback of Kim Soo Hyun after serving in the military. That's why this is a very special one. Just in case you didn't know, I have been a fan of Kim Soo Hyun since Dream High era.

Anyway, in this blog post, I'll be sharing to you the things I like, hate (if there's some) and lessons I learned in this drama. I may have some spoilers here so read at your own discretion.

About It's Okay to Not be Okay

Title: It's Okay to Not be Okay (사이코지만 괜찮아)
Episodes: 16 episodes (around 1 and 1/2 hour each)
Characters:

Kim Soo Hyun as Moon Gang Tae
Seo Yeji as Ko Munyeong
Oh Jung Se as Moon Sang Tae
Park Gyu Young as Nam Juri
Kim Joo Hun as Lee Sang In
Park Jin Joo as Yoo Seung Jae
Kim Mi Kyung as Kang Soon Duk
Kim Chang Wan as Oh Ji Wang
Kang Ki Doong as Jo Jaesu
Jang Young Nam as Park Haeng Ja

Plot: It is about Moon Gang Tae, a caregiver who works at a psychiatric ward, who takes care of his older brother who is suffering from autism spectrum disorder. He met a famous children books writer, Ko Munyeong who has an antisocial personality disorder. The story will revolve around how love can heal their traumas from the past and how their characters develop.

Things I liked about this drama

The animation and VFX

As a multimedia artist, I am definitely impressed with the animation and the vfx of this series. I like how they used stop-motion animation to give this creepy vibe. Stop-motion animation is a meticulous type of animation. It requires a lot of patience that's why I really appreciate it. Also, I also like how they presented the main characters. They give me some kind of Addams Family vibe.
Regarding the vfx, since they showed us at the end that they are using the blue screen for the scenes in the balcony of the castle, I must say that I am truly impressed on how they made those effects. Hands up to the vfx team.

The cast line-up

This drama has a solid line-up. The actors and actresses in this drama are so amazing. Well, amazing can be an understatement. Every actors and actresses fit with their roles and well, they also fit well for each other. I mean, I can't imagine other actors playing those roles. I also like how the main characters' past selves really look like their younger version. The casting team did well.
And speaking of casts, Oh Jung Se is really a versatile actor! I first watched him in When the Camellia Blooms. His character here is really different from that character and he pulled it off very well. I hope he wins an award for his role here.

It tackles about Mental Health

Mental health is something a lot of people are afraid to talk about. Maybe because they are not that informed about it or they just don't want people think that they're crazy. Admit it or not, a lot of people will label us crazy when we tell them that we visited a psychiatrist or psychologist.

As a person who is suffering from depression and anxiety, this drama gave me hope that those people who are not that aware with mental health and mental illnesses will have an idea about it and how they can deal with it. And also they gave me an assurance that I can recover from my mental illness.

The stories within the story

The fairy tale story books that Ko Munyeong wrote were really an eye-opener. My personal favorites are The Boy who Fed on Nightmares, The Cheerful Dog, and the Finding the Real Faces. The main reason why I loved this is because I can relate to the stories. I keep on thinking, is it really made for kids or is it made for adults? I love how adults can relate in these children books.
Collage photo from @4i7i3i on Twitter
Aside from that, it gave me another perspective on how to look at the fairy tales. We always think that this is the moral lesson of the story because our parents or teachers told us so, but in fact, there are more lessons that can be found there. And I love how Ko Munyeong pointed it out.

The emotions it gives me

This drama will give you a roller coaster kind of emotions. One minute you'll see yourself crying and suddenly you will burst out laughing. A single episode can make you experience a lot of emotions. I think that this drama wants us to release those emotions because there are times that we also try to hide these.

The story twists

There are a lot of twists in this drama and that is what makes me want more of it. There were just so many mind-blowing happenings. Spoiler alert, yes it's a happy ending. I actually expected it already but I never thought that this happy ending can affect me equally with a sad ending. Maybe because I saw the development of the characters.
It's probably one of the most satisfying ending. I personally love it. It was not the ending I was expecting but it was the ending the drama deserves, a happy one for each one of them.

Things I somehow hate in this drama

Questions that were not answered

SPOILER ALERT. The main question is how did Ko Munyeong's mom suddenly live again? Was she resurrected or something? I don't remember watching a scene telling how she survived from falling from the stairs knowing that a lot of blood spilled that time. Because somehow, it doesn't make any sense to me. I just need this question to be answered and we're all good.

Lessons I learned from this drama

I'll be writing a separate blog for the lessons I learned from each character because I think this review will be long once I added those. Anyway, these are the general lessons that I got while watching this drama.

Taking care of our mental health is as important as taking care of our physical health

Most of the time we tend to neglect our mental health because we consider it as a "not important" part in our lives. But in this drama, it shows us that mental illness is an illness. It is not something to be pushed away. It needs to be treated so that we can fully live our lives.

Blood-related or not, it is the bond and love that matters

We can see how the friendship of everyone grew. They may not be blood-related but you can feel the love that they have for each other. One example is Jaesu. He is definitely the best example of a best friend. He is just there for Gang Tae every time he needs him. And he is just so happy that at the end, Gang Tae called him "Hyung (older brother)".
You can also see Nam Juri's mom. Look at how she takes care of everyone! She was just a landlady but she ended up being everyone's mom. The way she takes care of everyone is really heart-warming.

For parents, your children are not your artworks

Yes, you brought them to this world but that doesn't mean you can control everything in their lives. They are a separate human being. They belong to themselves. The thing you can only do for your children is to give them support and love they need and guide them while walking on their paths. Note, guiding is different from dictating what to do.

For children, your parents can make mistakes but that doesn't mean they don't love you

Like in Gang Tae's part, he grew up thinking that he was never loved by his mom, that he was born just to take care of his brother. But when he is sleeping, we can see how his mother loves him. It's just that his brother needed more attention.
Our nation's eomma once said, cut your mom some slack.

And of course, it's okay to not be okay

Just like what the title says, it's okay to not be okay. It's okay to feel sad, angry, or just feel nothing. It's okay to show the world what our real emotion is. Because we're human beings. We're not robots who don't feel any emotion.
Release your emotions instead of bottling it all up. Cry if you must. But after all these heartbreaks, let's all stand up together and move forward.

Conclusion

It's Okay to Not be Okay is a drama that I will cherish forever. It's now listed as one of my favorite dramas along with W Two Worlds, Angel's Last Mission: Love, and Scarlet Heart Ryeo. This drama will give you a roller coaster emotion. It will make you cry, laugh, angry, kilig, and everything you can think of while giving you a lot of life lessons.

Each episode may be longer than the usual, but you won't feel like you're watching a long one because everything is well-packed. I'm very thankful for those people who created this drama. It was worth it. Watch out for my blog about the lessons I learned from each character of this drama.

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