It’s okay to binge on Kim Soo-hyun’s latest comeback. Here’s why

This year has been quite the one for K-Drama fans, with both hits and misses along the way. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay was yet another title fans had high hoped for.

This whimsical, romantic series tells the unusual love story between Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun), a caregiver at a psychiatric hospital and Ko Moon-young (Son Ye-ji), a popular children’s book author.

The breakout star

What kept me hooked to the drama wasn’t just the sheer star power of Kim Soo-hyun. Instead, it was his on-screen partner — Seo Ye-ji. The 30 year-old actress stood out and stole the show within the opening few scenes.

Ko Moon-young is immediately portrayed as a dominating, head strong character who is unapologetically rude. An antisocial personality disorder and a troubled past with her parents gave the character more depth and complexity.

Unrivalled chemistry

The eccentric relationship between the two main leads makes this pair one of our favourite on-screen couples this year. And it’s not just the main protagonists which we are talking about.

Fresh from bagging the Baeksang’s Best Supporting Actor award for his role in When The Camellia Blooms (2019), Oh Jung-se plays Moon Sang-tae, who’s born with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

As the older brother to Gang-tae, the dialogues between the two siblings are often the most heartfelt and interesting ones in the drama, shedding light on the different perspectives of living with autism.

In the later half, the relationship further develops between the brothers and Ko Moon-young.

Message on mental health

Oh Jung-se’s touching and realistic portrayal as an autistic adult in the show has definitely impressed both critics and viewers alike.

A fan who was diagnosed with intellectual disability, wanted to protect and help Sang-tae feel better after witnessing his encounters in the opening episodes!

The actor responded to the request and even spent a day out at Lottle World together. He even took the extra effort of dressing up and staying in character as Sang-tae. Who’s crying now?

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오정세님 감사합니다 드라마를 즐겨보지 않는 나는 상태에 폭 빠져버려 5년만에 먼지싸인 TV를 꺼내 드라마를 챙겨보게 되었다. 그러다 드라마 장면 중 상태가 고문영 작가의 팬싸인회에 갔다가 소리지르며 울부짖는 모습이 나왔을때 오빠는 상태와 함께 슬퍼하며 내가 달래주고 지켜줘야한다고 했다. 그 장면 이후로 오빠는 상태형을 만나고 싶다고 계속해서 말했다. 상태형이랑 롯데월드, 대우버스캠핑카, 등등 하고 싶은것을 내앞에서 항상 노래하듯이 줄줄 말했다. 오빠의 엄청난 재촉에 이런이야기를 전달하게 되었고 상태형(배우 오정세님)이 오빠를 만나주겠다고 하셨다!! 오정세님과 오빠가 함께 있을때 나는 순간순간마다 계속해서 감동받았고 놀랬다. 문상태의 모습으로 온전히 오빠에 집중을 해주시는 오정세님의 섬세함, 옷도 말투도 걸음걸이도 행동도 오빠를 위해 상태 그대로의 모습으로 대해주신것에 감동받았다. 그리고 바쁜 스케줄 속에서 오빠를 만나기 전 얼마나 많은 연구와 고민을 하시며 노력하셨는지 느껴졌다. 롯데월드에서 오빠는 상태형을 만나자마자 열기구, 모노레일, 환타지 드림기차, 정글보트, 범버카를 탔다. 순간순간마다 오빠의 눈높이에 맞춰 친구가 되어주시고 계속해서 오빠와 함께 이야기하며 온전히 집중해주셨다. 배우 오정세님께 너무도 감사했다. 그 감사함의 의미는 물론 장애인에 대한 이해와 연구의 노력 그리고 오빠를 위해 많이 노력해주신것도 있지만 세상에 이런사람이 존재한다는 것에 감사했다. 상태 팬이였던 나는 이제 상태가 아닌 오정세 배우님의 팬이 되버렸다. #오정세님 정말 감사합니다 마지막 공룡은 상태형이 오빠에게 주는 선물💚 오빠가 공룡이름이 굿다이노 라고한다 #사이코지만괜찮아 #문상태 #문상태공룡인형 #오정세 #오정세배우님 #배범준 @boumjun_bae

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With Gang-tae’s day job working in OK psychiatric hospital, viewers got to learn about the various mental health issues from the various patients. In a conservative society like South Korea, it is definitely encouraging to see what is perceived to be taboo to be raised and addressed in mainstream media.

A dark fantasy

With the Tim Burton inspired cartoon animations, match-cuts and transitions cleverly paired with the eerily curated soundtracks right from the get-go, we see why many viewers have referenced this series to a modern day fairytale.

But at the end of it, we realise that none of these characters in the show actually possess any super-powers. As brave or flawless one might look, as portrayed by the main leads, there may be so much more that’s happening which people around might be oblivious of.

Especially so in unprecedented times like this, the title of the drama convey an important message that It’s Okay To Not Be Okay.

Will it be a happily ever after or a bittersweet ending? Though the drama has been relatively well-paced thus far, it is uncertain where the story is headed to in the final few episodes.

But with the stellar acting chops and chemistry between the casts thus far, we are definitely hoping it won’t fall short of our expectations.

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