Kdrama Related News, Kdrama Reviews

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay EP 1-2 Review – Tim Burton Meets Kdrama World

MY GOODNESS!

Two incredibly strong first episodes! I don’t think I’ve watched a drama like this one in a long time.

Long hours were definitely put into creating this drama. The music, the way the storyline was introduced to us, the haunting Tim Burton-like animation, and visuals, it felt like I was watching a film!

Photo Source: https://ahgasewatchtv.com/2020/06/06/tvn-released-poster-of-upcoming-drama-with-kim-soo-hyun-and-seo-ye-ji/

The drama began telling us in animation form the story of a girl who lived in a castle, she was lonely and tried to make friends, but they were afraid of her and called her a “monster who brings along the shadow of death”. She ends up saving a boy from drowning, and he ends up following her around wherever she goes, for whatever reason, the shadow of death that followed her disappears after this. As if to test the boy and see if he will remain by her side, she ends up showing him her dark side: she rips the wings off of the butterflies. At seeing this, the boy becomes scared and leaves running. The girl is left alone again and the shadow of death returns telling her: “No one can ever stay by your side, because you’re a monster”. We are then shown the main character Ko Moon Young as the grown up version of the girl in this story and it is revealed to us that the shadow of death might be referring to her mother, since she replies “Yes, mother” to the words said to her by this shadow.

It’s a very interesting way of introducing us to the main character, she is a children’s book fairytale author, so it makes sense for her to tell us her story through a story. There’s still a lot of we don’t know about her, but one thing is for sure: She’s had a very rough and dark upbringing.

We are then introduced to our male lead, Moon Kang Tae and his older brother Sang Tae who has autism. Life hasn’t been easy for those two, it appears that Sang Tae can’t keep a job since “he’s too much to handle”. Sang Tae worries that Kang Tae might get upset at him for causing a scene and losing the job but we are quickly shown how much Kang Tae loves his brother, how forgiving and understanding he is too. He makes a living as a caregiver at a psychiatric hospital, he has many scars on his body from his long history of working with patients with psychiatric problems, but he seems to find his job fulfilling in some way, since he is good at it.

What brings these two characters together is one interesting encounter at Kang Tae’s workplace. Moon Young is sitting there in a clearly marked NO SMOKING area, smoking a very fancy cigar, waiting to read her book to the children at the psychiatric hospital. You can tell she’s not one to easily care about rules, and lacks consideration for others. She also has the habit of destroying beautiful things, as she plucks off the petals from a nearby flower shrub. I wondered if this reminded Kang Tae of the girl he once knew, or if he simply was very bothered by her smoking, but regardless of the reason, he approaches her and asks her to please stop smoking. They lock eyes, and for a moment they stare at each other as if they recognize one another. She then asks him if he believes in destiny and explains to him that “If someone shows up when you need them, you call that destiny”. The way these two look at each other is perfect, I feel the chemistry, the sadness and intrigue in their eyes.

I don’t know about you guys, but I am kind of in love with her character, she comes off at first as someone evil, mean, rude, and scary. Even her book at first, sounds like a book that isn’t meant for children since its so dark in nature, but by the time you reach the ending of the book, you come to realize, she’s not a bad person, children love her books because she encourages them, to face their fears, and grow from their trauma and past.

A scene I found interesting, was when the Nurse Nam Joo Ri shows up at her hotel asking for a signature to allow Moon Young’s father to receive a surgery he needs in order to live. The two seem to know each other from childhood, but seemed surprised to see each other (I wonder if Moon Young went by a different name before…) they talk about how they hadn’t seen each other in 20 years since she transferred schools. Moon Young says her father is dead, and then Nam Joo Ri begins to say “But your mother is alive…” and Moon Young interjects saying she registered her death a long time ago and claims to be an orphan. This leaves me wondering about what exactly happened to her family. Is her mother alive, or is she really dead? Did she have a bad relationship with both her parents? In the second episode, we find out that her mother was a writer herself, and is in fact dead and died suddenly…but then why did Joo Ri say she was alive? We also find out her father was a successful architect who went crazy. They keep blaming all the bad things that happened in her life on her.

These phrases about Moon Young were also mentioned throughout the first and second episode: “She was just born like that” and “That’s just how she was born”. I don’t think that’s the case though, if her father tried to murder her as a child, and if her mother died suddenly, and she had no friends growing up, I can understand why she is the way she is. People have shoved in her head that she isn’t worthy of good things in her life and happiness, that bad news follows her and they should stay away unless they want bad things to happen to them too. Makes me feel really sad for Moon Young, her children’s books help us understand that there is much more to her personality than just a mean, anti social, egotistic person. I cannot wait to see her transformation. It seems that Kang Tae really is someone good for her, I think they both can help each other heal from their past wounds.

One last thing to note from these two episodes: Butterflies (나비)

I still don’t know what that’s about, but if you guys have any theories, I am happy to hear them! All we know is that she used to rip the wings off of the butterflies, Kang Tae was horrified to see her do this when they were children, and Sang Tae has bad dreams about them because he claims a mysterious butterfly killed Sang Tae and Kang Tae’s mother. This honestly made me very sad since I love butterflies and we have been seeing a lot of monarch’s around SoCal this past month. I had a classmate who used to rip their wings too, back in the 1st grade. So this honestly brought back to mind some childhood trauma. I wonder what more significance these butterflies will have in the plot. I cannot wait for the next episodes, I really hope they are as detailed and wonderfully edited as these first two were. What are your thoughts? Did you enjoy the first two episodes as much as I did, or did you find the drama to be slow? Let me know, I would love to hear what you guys thought about the premiere of: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay!

Where To Watch: Netflix

Top Kdrama Lists

Top 5 Korean Dramas To Watch This Summer 2020

I want to start of by saying: I know it’s not summer everywhere. However, here in Southern California, we are finally entering summer time. Usually our summers here on the coast in SoCal consist of spending time at the beach, working on our tans (or avoiding them in my case), drinking plenty of iced coffees and iced teas, going out to eat with friends and exploring LA for fun. COVID-19 has changed all our plans for this year though. How will I be spending my summer? Probably going to the beach but avoiding being near others, wearing my mask every time I go out and making my iced drinks at home and of course, watching a BRAND NEW KDRAMA, because sadly the one I was watching right now has come to an end (The King: Eternal Monarch Review right here).

Here’s a list of a couple of Kdramas that are airing this summer! (or Winter ha!).

  1. Backstreet Rookie
Photo Source: OhKDramas.com

Release Date: June 19th
Where You Can Watch: DramaCool

So this drama is based off of a webtoon, which means it will either be great, or lack in some aspects. It’s starring the oh so popular Ji Chang Wook, who will be playing a 29 year old man named Dae Hyun who was a public relations director who leaves his job and somehow ends up managing a convenience store (I wonder why the downgrade). Young actress Kim Yoo Jung also stars in this drama as a 22 year old named Saet Byul, who ends up working part time for Dae Hyun.

Going to be real honest with all of you readers, this drama doesn’t seem my style, and I may be skipping it. However, for those who love a little comedy, silliness, and lightheartedness this might be the perfect Kdrama for you to watch this summer. Also, side note, but apparently the television channel (based here in the US) Lifetime invested money on this drama! Strange right? Perhaps I will give it a chance just to see if it was worth their investment into the Kdrama world.

2. It’s Okay, Not To Be Okay/ Psycho But It’s Okay

Photo Source: AsianWiki

Release Date: June 20th
Where You Can Watch: Netflix

This drama has been on my look out for list for awhile because it’s Kim Soo Hyun’s first Kdrama in 5 long years. This drama is about a man who works as a caretaker at a psychiatric ward, and a woman who suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder, who also happens to be a popular children’s book author (I wonder if her creativity comes from her disorder). Will these two opposites fall in love? Could it be the lead actress isn’t crazy at all? Or will it be a drama about coping with your mental illness to teach us a lesson that “It’s Okay, Not To Be Okay?” We will have to wait and find out. As for me, I will definitely be replacing The King: Eternal Monarch with this one.

3. Was It Love/ We Were In Love

Photo Source: AsianWiki

Release Date: July 8th
Where You Can Watch: TBA

There’s still a lot of details left to revealed about this drama and the other last two since they won’t be released until July.

This drama’s lead character will be played by the wonderful Song Ji Hyo who is still looking flawless at age 39. She will be playing the character of a single mom, who hasn’t been in the dating scene for a good 14 years but happens to end up with 4 very different men trying to win her heart, will she give love another chance? Which man, out of the 4, will be the winner of her heart?

This drama is also not exactly my style, but I know this is definitely a drama for an older audience. Song Ji Hyo is a great actress, so this drama could potentially be a good one, I think I will wait on more teasers to see if this is a drama I want to invest my time on.

4. Graceful Friends

Photo Source: AsianWik

Release Date: July 10th
Where You Can Watch: TBA

This drama’s teaser and promotional poster gives me shivers. Looks like it will be a very mysterious thriller drama.

This drama is following a popular trend going on in the Kdrama world, where the cast of many recent popular dramas are all mature adults, and well-seasoned actors, and the plots are more on the darker side.

Centered around a group of friends, several couples in their 40’s who are living a peaceful life until they all become somehow involved in a murder case, and nothing is ever the same for them again.

As for me, I most likely will not be watching this drama, I need a drama to take my life’s stress away not add more! However for those who love dramas that keep you on the edge of your seat and love the thrill, this might just be your drama for summer/winter of 2020!

5. Men are Men

Photo Source: Kdrama Pal

Release Date: July 6th
Where You Can Watch: TBA

I watched the teaser for this drama, and I was dying from laughter at the relatability.

“Those who are determined NOT to marry, actually get married first”

This drama is about a woman who believes men are all the same, so she declares that she wants to be happily single forever, and the moment she does she ends up receiving two love confessions!

You have to watch the first teaser of this drama for yourself, it is hilarious! I will definitely be on the look out for more teasers for this drama. If you can relate to this whole single for life situation, perhaps this will be a drama you will enjoy as well!

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About Me!

Hello my name is Carolina! I am so excited to be writing this very first blog and introducing myself to *hopefully* people who also have a love for all things Korean dramas!

At a restaurant at the Namsan tower in Seoul!
October of 2019

My kdrama journey began back in January of 2012, when my cousin Gaby told me to check out an amazing show on this website (RIP) called DramaFever! I was a tad skeptical at first, the website looked sketchy and the show she wanted me to watch was in Korean! I knew absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing about Koreans. When I jumped into the kdrama world, it was life changing! I learned about a completely different culture to mine (I’m Mexican) and learned little by little about their customs, food, language and about the beautiful country that is Korea. I became OBSESSED. I quickly jumped into Kpop too, for I think that is a little bit inevitable when you watch Korean dramas since the OST’s usually feature some amazing songs, and some singers from kpop groups sometimes get casted in these dramas too. Soon enough I found myself with all the other Kdrama and kpop lovers in my school meeting up for “Kpop club” during lunch! What did we do in this “club”?  All we did was watch music videos on the big screens we had at the time in the classroom they let us use. Ah! Such great memories! If I could go back! 🥺

My kdrama obsession continued into college where I made a friend who was also watching the same drama as me, his name was Marco, we talked about the 2013 drama that was airing at the time called The Heirs at almost any possible moment we could during our Communications class. I realized even guys were into kdramas too! 

There did come a moment though, a moment we probably have all gone through where we tried to quit kdramas. I tried to, I really did but no matter what, I kept coming back. Dramas are just these wonderful escapes from the real world, I had to learn to watch dramas in moderation, that is the key to success. If you watch them in moderation you can still enjoy a good drama and head to drama world, but still enjoy your real life too and make the most of your time! 

In October of 2019, I finally took a trip to The Land of Kdramas, South Korea, and let me tell you, it looks just like the kdramas, so dreamy, picturesque and beautiful, the only thing missing was my leading man! 

After coming back from South Korea, I have come to love dramas even more, because even if I am miles away in Southern California, I can escape for 2 hours to the place I wish I could call home! 

So if you love Korean dramas as much as I do, please follow me along on this journey to spread that very love to everyone else who may still be missing out

LoveAsAlways – Me