Netflix K-Drama Series ‘It’s Okay to Not Be Okay’ is a Difficult but Rewarding Dive into Mental Illness

Plot: Moon Gang-tae (Kin Soo-hyun) takes care of his older brother Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se) who has Autism but is a gifted artist. They have been frequently moving from town to town ever since their mother was brutally murdered when they were still young and Sang-tae was the only witness. The trauma causes him to have an unusual aversion of butterflies.

Gang-tae always works as a caretaker in a psychiatric ward wherever they go and whilst working in one of the hospitals he meets a famous author of children’s books Ko Mun-yeong (Seo Yea-ji). Mun-yeong is rumored to be suffering from antisocial personality disorder and after a fateful encounter with Gang-tae she sets her sights on him and will stop at nothing to get him.

Review: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay — truer words were never spoken with the title of this K-Drama Netflix web series. This 16-episode series finds three damaged people trying to put their pasts behind them and find love despite their personal traumas in this fairy tale inspired romance.

I’m getting cold feet. Literally. This water is freezing!

It is a dark, meaty, whimsical drama that examines the difficulties faced by people suffering from trauma and mental illness. It’s Okay is not an easy watch at all. There is lots to unpack, difficult feelings to feel, and even prompts you to self-examination. It plays out almost like a dark fairytale, revealing deeper layers for every character with each episode. The greatest mystery is what caused Mun-yeong to become the person she is today.

However, it is deeply satisfying to witness each character’s journey along with their growth and progress on the road to mental health recovery. I enjoyed the charming duo of Kin Soo-hyun (My Love from the Star) and Seo Yea-ji (Lawless Lawyer) as a pair of star-crossed lovers who seemed at first to be dangerously intertwined with a cruel twist of fate. The impressive acting of actor Oh Jung-se as the autistic brother Sang-tae is simply amazing.

But a particularly special mention should be made of actress Kim Mi-kyung who acts as one of the main character’s mother, Kang Soon-Deok. She is no stranger to the K-drama circuit and she absolutely stole every scene that she was in. Her character was the mother figure to all, a naturally selfless middle-aged woman who took care of everyone with all of her heart and soul. Loved this character the most!

When you’re trying to take your father’s car keys without waking him up

Another aspect of the series was Ko Mun yeong’s spectacular outfits. Most of the times she was superbly overdressed for the occasion but she was still looking fierce and not a hair out of place!

This thought-provoking series can test your patience sometimes especially when certain characters act out in a particular way, but if you are willing to keep an open mind and stick with it to enjoy the epically dark moments as well as the fun, lighthearted ones. You will definitely be in for a special treat with this one.

On a personal level I think that the way It’s Okay to Not Be Okay captures the interpretation of different mental illnesses and the traumas that occur to trigger the illness was not only handled with the utmost respect, but with that much needed human touch to transmit an important message to the audience — healing, peace and recovery.

Alice’s Score: 9 out of 10

For my review of Netflix horror film The Call you can click here

39AFB96D-4DEF-4DED-8DFE-3400E758CE9B Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump.

I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.