Aired this summer, the K-drama It’s Okay to Not Be Okay has become a hit sensation among bored people during quarantine due to its interesting and unique storyline. The story follows a psychiatric nurse and a children’s book author as they overcome emotional obstacles and navigate their own romantic feelings while also trying to uncover a mystery murder that occurred over twenty years before the plot starts.
While It’s Okay to Not Be Okay may appear to be just another cliche romantic tale, it tackles much more than just the woes of heartbreak. It delves into societal issues regarding patients with mental illnesses. The drama takes place mainly in a psychiatric hospital and it showcases how psychiatric patients are normal people just like anyone else.
The shining star of this series, in my opinion, is Oh Jung-se, who plays Moon Sang-tae, the male protagonist’s older brother. Moon Sang-tae is a character who has autism. Instead of stereotyping his character, the drama portrays him as a lovable character who at the end of the story prevails over social stigmas that plague him and explores his own creativity as an artist.
Another thing I, as well as other viewers, enjoyed about this T.V. series that is unlike any other show is its use of language. Typically, due to conservative and sexist societal expectations, South Korean shows use reserved language and rarely have characters who swear or use other slang words, especially women . However, the female protagonist Ko Mun-young (played by Seo Ye-ji) breaks that standard, freely expressing her opinion in any situation regardless of what judgement might be placed on her. This is very refreshing to see as it claims more female empowerment against the prejudices of conservatism and is really a trailblazer to what’s to come in new representations.
Overall, this is a must watch show and is available to binge all sixteen episodes with subtitles on Netflix.