K-Drama Review: ‘It’s Okay Not to Be Okay,’ a Healing Drama about Childhood Trauma

its okay not to be okay cover review
instagram.com

A Healing Drama about Childhood Trauma

If you’re a fan of Korean drama, you might be familiar with SBS’ 2020 drama It’s Okay to Not Be Okay that took the world by storm. The drama is a duet between the top actor Kim Soo-hyun and the beautiful actress Seo Ye-ji.

Long story short, the drama tells the story of Ko Moon-young (Seo Ye-ji) and Moon Sang-tae’s inner struggles while recovering from their past traumas. The story of this drama centers on Sang-tae’s life as a nurse in a mental hospital with a patient suffering from various mental disorders.

This is a healing drama that talks about various mental disorders and traumas. Do you want to know more about this drama? Scroll down this article to find out all about it!

 

The Plot

kim soo hyun seo ye ji its okay not to be okay
instagram.com

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay tells the story between a psychiatric male nurse and an anti-social woman who writes children’s books.

Psychiatric male nurse Moon Kang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun) records patient conditions on a daily basis and is prepared to deal with unexpected situations, such as a patient who quarrels or runs away. Moon Kang-tae also takes care of his older brother Moon Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se) who has autism. Busy with his life, Moon Kang-tae doesn’t have time to think about love.

One day, Ko Moon-young (Seo Ye-ji), a popular but selfish and arrogant children’s writer, meets Moon Kang-tae and begins to develop an interest in him. She then pursues his interest by following him to his workplace, OK Psychiatric Hospital, while also dealing with her own trauma. Together, they begin to heal each other, unaware of their past histories.

 

The Cast and Characters

its okay not to be okay cast and characters
tribunwiki.com

Korean top actor Kim Soo-hyun and actress Seo Ye-ji play the main characters and love interests in this drama.

This drama is Kim Soo-hyun’s first drama after 5 years since he starred in KBS’ 2015 drama The Producers. This drama is also his first project since he completed his military service on July 1, 2019.

However, in 2019, Kim Soo-hyun appeared as a cameo in tvN’s drama Hotel Del Luna and also Crash Landing on You. Here, he plays the role of Moon Kang-tae, a nurse in a psychiatric hospital and the sole caregiver of his autistic older brother. He struggles with self-esteem and abandonment issues due to his childhood trauma. He also has a past history with Ko Moon-young.

kim soo hyun seo ye ji its okay not to be okay
otakuart.com

Meanwhile, Seo Ye-ji, the actress who made her debut through the film The Throne (2015), plays Ko Moon-young, a popular but selfish and arrogant children’s writer. Beneath her coldness, Moon-young also holds a deep childhood trauma that makes her anti-social. But, bit by bit, she begins to develop warmth after meeting Moon Kang-tae.

its okay to not be okay kim soohyun park gyuyoung
kdramapal.com

Besides the main characters, there are some other interesting characters in this drama such as:

  • Oh Jung-se as Moon Sang-tae, Moon Kang-tae’s autistic older brother
  • Park Gyu-young as Nam Joo-ri, Ko Moon-young’s childhood friend that has an unrequited crush on Moon Kang-tae
  • Jang Young-nam as Park Haeng-ja, the head nurse of OK Psychiatric Hospital
  • Lee Eol as Ko Dae-hwan, Moon-young’s father and a dementia patient
  • Kim Ki-cheon as Kan Pil-wong, a war veteran and PTSD patient in the hospital
  • Kim Joo-hun as Lee Sang-in, the CEO of SangsangESang Publishing Company and Moon-young’s publisher
  • Park Jin-joo as Yoo Seung-jae, the art director at SangsangESang Publishing Company and the assistant of Sang-in
  • Kang Ki-doong as Jo Jae-soo, Moon Kang-tae’s best friend

The Romantic Chemistry

kim soo hyun seo ye ji its okay not to be okay
laperonline.com

One of the reasons why this drama is booming is because of the intense chemistry between Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji. Since the announcement of Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji as co-stars in this drama was out, many fans voiced their excitement. And, true to their expectation, Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji’s chemistry did not disappoint!

Already in the first scene, we are greeted by the intense chemistry of the two that just met in an event. During the event, there was a problematic incident that caused Ko Moon-young’s rage. Due to her anti-social tendency, she accidentally hurt Moon Gang-tae with a knife.

This later continued to Moon-young relentlessly pursuing her interest in Kang-tae.

And, don’t forget the iconic butterfly hug scene!

butterfly hug kangtae moonyoung kim soohyun seo yeji

Or, remember when Moon-young confesses to Kang-tae.

And finally, their kissing scene made the viewers go crazy.

According to Nielsen Korea, the kiss in episode 11 successfully increased the drama’s rating. The episode got ratings of 5.7% and 6.4%, while previously, it was only 4.2% and 4.5%.

There are still many romantic scenes and swoon-worthy moments that you can explore in the video below!

And, while their on-screen chemistry is top-notch intense, their off-screen chemistry is actually pretty comfortable!

Being in the same agency, Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji might have known each other previously to develop a bond and a ground for their on-screen moments.

Hmm, what do you think? Do you think there is something more than friendship between them?

 

The Top Quotes

seo ye ji kim soo hyun its okay not to be okay
instagram.com

Outside of their top-notch romantic chemistry and mental health portrayals, this drama also has many Instagrammable quotes!

There are many top quotes from this drama, but here are our 10 favorites:

seo ye ji its okay not to be okay
instagram.com

Hurtful, painful memories. Only those with such memories buried in their hearts can become stronger, more passionate, and emotionally flexible. And only those can attain happiness.”

” Some things can’t be torn apart no matter how hard you try to do so.”

” You shouldn’t be embarrassed about being sad.”

kim soo hyun its okay not to be okay
instagram.com

” Do children have to be useful to their parents?”

People are all hypocrites. We all live with a lot of hatred, but we act like that’s not the case.”

” Your body is honest. When you’re in physical pain, you cry. But the heart is a liar. It stays quiet even when it’s hurting. Then, when you’re asleep, you finally weep and whimper like a dog.”

its okay not to be okay
instagram.com

” Only those who have suffered truly understand suffering.”

” I am done with being someone who is needed by others.”

” If you want to make people around you happy, you have to find your own happiness first. Being selfish isn’t always a bad thing. Try to only think about your happiness when things are too stressful. It’s okay to do that.”

kim soo hyun seo ye ji its okay not to be okay
gamesguides.com

” Love is all about patience.”

 

 Controversial Scenes

kim soo hyun seo ye ji its okay not to be okay
whats-on-netflix.com

Aside from many positive reviews about this drama, it turns out that this drama also has some controversies regarding its scenes. Some of its scenes are perceived to display sexual harassment.

Check out a few of the controversial scenes on the next page!