It's Okay, That's Love (2014) poster

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  • Score: 8.8 (scored by 23,519 users)
  • Ranked: #142
  • Popularity: #22
  • Watchers: 40,690

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Completed
Surprise-Lobotomy
340 people found this review helpful
Oct 11, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 23
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.5
I have seen absolute darkness. I know what it's like to lie in bed, unable to leave, trapped under sheets of sweat-drenched anxiety because every single movement feels heavier than you are. I've lived for the moments you reach the surface and gasp for air, only to slip beneath the waves. Most importantly, I know how a single hand can reach into that darkness and pull you to shore.

For sake of argument, I am going to share something very personal. In 2009 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This isn't a condition that you catch like a cold, but rather one that manifests at a certain age and snowballs until it's nearly impossible to function. You can't prevent it through proper care, you can't always predict its onset and you certainly can't run from it. Essentially, bipolar disorder means I suffer from violent mood swings - severe bouts of depression and self-destructive manic states. Most people are familiar with depression on some level, but the idea of a manic state is foreign so I'll take a moment to explain it. If depression is an extreme state of sadness or hopelessness, you can think of mania as an extreme state of happiness. It's generally characterized by impulsive (and often destructive) decisions, lack of sleep and is almost always accompanied by the physical feeling of euphoria (you can think of this as something similar to the effects of several drugs like ecstasy.) This state is the most dangerous and, for me personally, meant that I would blow through money on drugs and alcohol, ostracize my friends and family because of an uncontrollable temper and sail off into the sunset feeling invincible. These impulses left my life in ruins.

I crashed hard during my third semester of college and had to withdraw. At my worst I was suicidal, faced with a crippling loneliness that I had never felt before. You can think of it like standing knee- deep and staring into a dark pool of water. The only light is the reflection of your own eyes and even those seem foreign to you. If you shout you're greeted by a distorted echo that you recognize as your own, but it's masked by an alien quality. In this sense, mental disorders create two yous; the you that you're familiar with and the stranger you can't recognize beyond a silhouette and the stain it leaves behind. You're a prisoner in your own body and every single day you feel yourself inching closer and closer to the water.

If there is a single safe harbor in all of this, it's love. When two souls dredge through the fire and connect, the bond can become unbreakable. Empathy is the great uniter; shared pain is like cement. Love will harden through pain. Two souls become pillars, lifting the other out of the water and into the sky. This is what separates this drama from the rest. This is why It's Okay, That's Love is a masterpiece.

Mental health is not a topic that is addressed very often in Korean dramas, and when it is it often comes across as comical. Mental health balances between something people think of as self-imposed, something you can shrug off if you try hard enough, and something to be afraid of. Because of this, it's usually presented as one of the two extremes: something too light, often existing as comic relief or a silly quirk meant to add flavor without substance, or as something too heavy, existing as some ethereal force that twists the mind into something less than human. It's Okay, That's Love is able to present something serious and keep a lighthearted tone without being insulting.

If you're looking at the melodrama tag and expecting something that borders on makjang, this drama is not that. The feeling of melancholy threads this drama together, but it does not weigh it down. You won't find endless sobbing, misunderstandings or two-dimensional characters. Instead, this drama showcases the marriage of two souls through unconditional love and growth. Love is strongest when flaws can fit together like a jig-saw puzzle, and the characters in this drama compliment each other perfectly. It's important to emphasize that these characters are flawed. Too often dramas shy away from characters with real problems and instead settle on external conflict to move the story in its entirety. The characters in these dramas are perfect outside of the experiences they undergo and the forces that act on them and it makes them two-dimensional. This is not the case in this drama. Most of the conflict is internal, but it's relatable and organic. Every single character is presented in a manner that allows you to love and empathize with them - it's a multi-layered story, the supporting cast is also very well-developed.

In addition to a perfect atmosphere, this drama does something almost unheard of in a Korean drama. It presents a love story that is not about the chase, but rather endurance. Adult topics such as sex, intimacy and trust are at the forefront and allow the drama to paint a picture of actual couplehood instead of traditional guy-chase-girl or girl-chase-guy fare. You'll watch the couple grow not only as individuals, but as loving creatures. It doesn't stop at love, either, the concept of friendship as a refuge is just as strong. The entire cast grows over the course of the show, and if you're anything like me, you will grow along side them.

I really can't gush enough about this drama. It's been a very long time since I watched something that resonated within me with such perfect harmony. The soundtrack captures the moods perfectly, the actors (from main to supporting) have realistic and beautiful chemistry. The melancholy is haunting, but it won't overwhelm you. I cried, I smiled, laughed and lived with this drama. I saw those two souls grow into a love so pristine that you honestly believe they cannot live without each other. The term soulmate can only apply when two people love each other unconditionally, and they both crossed the sea in a rowboat to reach it.

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Completed
sprnaturalcraze
126 people found this review helpful
Jan 9, 2015
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I can't believe how much I love this drama...

The characters feel like real people that actually have impacts on everyone around them. This is awesome because many times writers of dramas tend to forget characters that aren't in the main couple/triangle. I love that this drama shows actions and reactions of so many people, all while being able to keep the viewers absolutely in love with the main characters. No one felt overshadowed or forgotten, and you can feel how everyone involved really cared about telling this story.

The cast is filled with some of my favorite actors of all time, so of course the acting is superb. The mark of a great actor is that you completely forget that they aren't their characters while onscreen, and the entire cast pulls this off perfectly.

As for the OST...probably the best I've ever heard. This is the first time I've purchased music from an OST, and I bought not one, but two songs from this drama. One particular song is used to drive the plot further emotionally, and in the two biggest scenes it's used, it works perfectly to really capture the viewers' entire being into that scene. Those scenes hurt so much, yet I found myself watching them over and over because of how heartbreaking they were and beautifully they were put together.

I already want to watch it again, and I've just finished! This has definitely become one of my favorite shows (not just kdramas!) of all time.

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Completed
Starry Ives
64 people found this review helpful
Nov 24, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.5
OKAY. THIS DRAMA IS CRAZY GOOD.

The characters, the story, and the relationships were all so well thought out! I loved all of the characters, and they all have really wonderful relationships with each other- that are REAL. They fight, bicker, annoy the hell out of each other, get seriously frustrated with each other, and they realize that they all have their own flaws. And the story stays realistic, (funnily enough to say about a drama based on mental disorders) showing the true struggles people in relationships (wife, mother, girlfriend, brother, daughter, etc.) with people with mental disorders have to face. It's really wonderful. The cast acted out everything brilliantly- the emotions were conveyed very well and wow, some of the best acting I've ever seen.

AND THE MUSIC. *BREATHES DEEPLY* I DON'T KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN TO Y'ALL HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS OST. LIKE... THESE SONGS. THEY'RE GREAT. THEY FIT IN SO WELL WITH THE SCENES AND I'VE DOWNLOADED A BUNCH OF THEM AND I NEVER GOT TIRED OF THEM (like I have with very many other songs in other dramas) AND WOW. A++++++++++++++++++ TO WHOEVER PICKED THESE SONGS. A FREAKING PLUS.

Anyways, I totally recommend this drama! It's probably one of my all time favorites now and I loved this drama from start to finish!

For a country still dealing with its own discrimination towards mental disorders, I thought this drama was just plain- WOW. Wonderful. Seriously, good job!!! (I'm in awe)

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Completed
allyson
24 people found this review helpful
Sep 12, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
TL;DR? Bizarre, but in the best way. Without a doubt one of the best dramas of 2014 so far.

This drama is easily, without a doubt, the weirdest drama I have ever watched. From the very beginning and your first introduction to Soo Kwang, I could tell this drama was going to be different. It was amazing and so poignant, and I honestly believe that it might make some strides in reducing the fear and ignorance people have when it comes to mentally ill individuals.

First off, I want to say just how amazingly well suited the cast was to working with each other. Their chemistry was just phenomenal, and there was hardly a moment that went by that you weren't just so happy to see them all together. Soo Kwang and Dong Min's relationship was touching, and how much they fought for each other, and WITH each other, just felt so real and unique. They were a house of people that most other people would scoff at and call them all certifiably insane, but they also all loved each other unconditionally and that is rare.

As a Running Man fan, I was so excited to watch this for Lee Kwang Soo. I was a little worried when I heard his character, Soo Kwang, was going to have Tourette's, but Kwang Soo played it off absolutely brilliantly. This was my first Jo In Sung drama, but it will certainly not be my last. He was able to put on so many hats in this drama, from the romantic leading man, to the hurt little boy who has to face his childhood demons. I was seriously impressed with his range.

Story line wise, this drama always felt fresh and was almost never boring. There were a few times when I was irritated a little bit by how much the two main leads fought towards the middle of the drama, but it was definitely barely enough to knock it down half a point.

I really loved how this drama dealt with mentally ill individuals. It never made you feel like they were ridiculing them, and it really did its best to try and foster understanding that just because a person is sick, it doesn't make them any less deserving of love and happiness. I also loved how this drama really made you question who the bad guys were, and if sometimes you weren't your own biggest enemy.

The music in this drama was just phenomenal, as well. Almost all of it was English, but it was all so upbeat and perfect, it just completely enhanced every episode in every way.

So far, if I had to pick top 5 dramas of the year, this one would definitely win a spot!

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Completed
LittleWarrior
16 people found this review helpful
Oct 14, 2015
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This is one of those stories that changes you. While watching it, you'll laugh, cry and come to understand the character's traumas and happiness.

It's not just about love, this drama is about overcoming your own fears and problems with the help of people who understand you and are having their own personal problems, too.

The way they treat mental illnesses is great. They all have their own and the writers where really respectful during the whole storyline. Maybe you'll find some of the character's actions shocking, but then the backstory explains everything and you find yourself loving them.

The soundtrack is also amazing - i'm sure you'll download the songs to your phone the moment you finish watching it! they're perfect for every scene!

The acting is AMAZING. The way they potray the character's so real, you'll find it strange to watch them in other dramas!!

So... what are you doing if you haven't watched it yet??

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Completed
girl_on_fire
22 people found this review helpful
Sep 13, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 8
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.5
~LONG REVIEW AHEAD~WARNING~
There are two different responses which came about after this drama aired and that is this (1) It's terrible. Way too melodramatic and the directing and writing was a mess and (2) It's unique, crazy, and fun. It doesn't follow the guidelines of your typical Romance drama.

Because of this, I feel it is very hard to review this drama. but I thought I would give it a try anyway.

So here I go....
As I said above, most people who have seen this drama either LOVE it or HATE it. It's one of the things which comes with the territory of completing a very unusual drama. You're either going to think "What is this?!" or "Wow, interesting!"

So I decided for this review I would give two different standpoints. (1) The negative aspects and (2) The positive aspects. Both will contradict each other at points siince it depends on the person themselves viewing the show. Some people may see a scene from this drama as not being well put together, while others might applaud how it fit well with the crazy story itself.

Story-
(1) (Negatives)
-The main couple is stressful to watch a times. You could even call them a "Bi-polar" type of couple.
-The stories pacing is always up in the air. At times everything is going really fast and at other times everything is going very slooooow.
-Some scenes don't always work well together. The directing isn't always there.
-At times you could consider the story melodramatic when it doesn't need to be.

(2) (Positives)
-The main couple doesn't live by your usual Korean drama couple. They shout at each other, and they fight each other You can always see them as real.
-The pacing is all over the place because the people themselves in this drama are all over the place.
-You won't expect what will happen next in a scene because you can't always expect how someone with "mental issues" will react.
-The story can be sad at times because we are following the daily lives of people with "mental issues"and life isn't always happy when you don't fit societies "normal person".

Acting/Cast-
This may be my own biased view on things, but I don't see any reason to dislike the cast. All of them played each role to the best of their ability.
The only reason why you may not like an actor or actress in this drama is if you went in not being a big fan of them already.

Music-
I didn't hear or feel any complaints about the OST. Personally, I loved it! One thing they definitely did well was the music.

Overall-
This drama is really all about your perception on thing and how you see things in your life. It can either be relatable or out of this world crazy!
It's not your usual Korean drama. So I suggest giving it a try. If you aren't really enjoying the drama midway then you probably won't enjoy the rest of drama.

Views on this drama definitely vary and I would say your view will vary too if you complete it. My rating mainly is how I felt about the drama.

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Completed
YesunimSarang
22 people found this review helpful
Sep 18, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
I have never felt so confident in a K-Drama's perfection as I have with It's Okay It's Love. From the very first episode to the very last, I watched with anticipation and angst to reach the end and see how everything unravels.

First off, the story progression was absolutely great. It was nicely paced without giving everything away too quickly. A lot of things could have gone wrong with its progression but the writers avoided all my concernsl. If they changed the focus of the plot to tackle some of the slightest story lines that they left untouched, it would have hurt the overall plot progression, but whomever wrote the script is a genius.

Secondly, the cast was great. With each drama I watch, I keep saying "oh God this cast is great," but end up somewhat feeling like I forced myself to say that. However, with this cast, I instantly saw the chemistry and knew that they were having fun with it. They weren't forcing themselves to play the role. Instead, it came naturally and that's the beauty of this cast. Also, the love between all the couples was refreshing. As a dude, I would normally cringe at this stuff, but the more K-Dramas I watch, the more I become inclined to smile at a good K-Drama couple when I see one and this drama was no exception. Love was all throughout the air, and I need to kindly ask to borrow some of it (and So Nyeo if that's alright).

Music wise, K-Dramas never tend to fully grip me with their soundtrack choices, but damn, this one made all the right choices. For the first ten episodes, the dramas usage of music was flawless. The songs put at each scene were cleverly chosen, and I applaud the PDs for that because some dramas choose pretty good songs, but either use them at the weirdest spots or over use them. As the show progressed, especially in the last four episodes, certain songs were being over used, but they were still being utilized well. The OST was ridiculously good and that goes for the BGM all throughout the show, too.

Lastly, for re-watch value, I give this one a 9, but honestly I never re-watch a drama, but this one is probably going to change that. I might re-watch this bad boy during Christmas time or something, but I never thought I would ever find myself saying "oh I'm going to re-watch this drama."

Overall, ridiculously good drama. Execution, writing, camaraderie, this show has it all. If you ever are contemplating whether to watch this, stop because It's Okay, That's Love is a worthy sixteen-hour long ride,

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Completed
Mary28
19 people found this review helpful
Sep 25, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This drama was definitely different from the common plots k-drama usually depicts in their shows. In the beginning I loved how the show was going at such a such a slow and comfortable pace, even though others had made up their mind that the show was going to be boring. Boy, they were wrong!

This show made me laugh so much that my stomach hurt. As much as it made me laugh, I also cried my eyes out. I didn't cry my eyes out for petty reasons, like boy hurts girl and girl leaves boy, but because the psychological genre was properly executed in this drama. Also the actors had played their role so well that there was never a dull moment. Also the soundtrack was one of the best I have heard that I can't wait to download it all. Just because it has melodrama incorporated don't expect a tragedy, it had a beautiful ending. I truly recommend this drama for all to watch because it is a incredibly meaningful and beautiful drama to watch.

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Completed
KhadijaNiklaus
16 people found this review helpful
Nov 6, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
One of the BEST dramas so far!
If you love watching emotional Heart touching dramas then you'll love this.
A medical drama with a strong female character and a cool i-know-im-hot iwantyouyouwantmetoo male character who has this emotional side to him that will make you cry.
One of the reasons why this couple fit. Other than these two.The drama itself has adorable, funny and sad moments. It has EVERYTHING. Great music. Romance. Cute korean moments XD Hilarious parts and Sad moments. Its so good to see a drama with everything. The story line is great. Keeps you entertained and im not a rewatcher kinda person but ill definitely watch this one again.
And its def worth it...Jo in sung <3

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Completed
ManaSura
11 people found this review helpful
Sep 14, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 10
Now this is a drama that deserves to be listed on people's favorites.
Before I go with my review, I'd like to point out a fact that I agree with the point which many other reviewers both here on MDL and other sites pointed out, this drama dealt with new unexplored lands, and was unique in choosing it's characters (and their interactions), the plot. And for this exact reason, and different from what would be expected, it was not everyone's cup of tea, not implying that people who didn't enjoy it are old fashioned and don't prefer introducing new tools to the drama making, rather I have to admit that like any drama that introduced a new genre or plot, it comes with its flaws, which comes from the fact that it's a land not trod before so most screenwriters however veteran they may be, are mostly not be experienced in. But to me, I loved this show's new-ness above anything, and appreciated how realistic and believable all it's characters felt like while at the same time fresh.

I would like to first go with the pros of the show and what I most liked about.

First, The Story:
As I stated above, the story in this show, introduced some fairly new types, in that it deals with mental illnesses and psychological patients on a high level (to the extent that you get the feeling there's no character in the show free of one), but it doesn't deal with it in the normal way where the character suffering from the ailment fights to come over it and ultimately succeeds, it rather sheds light on the true meaning of a psychosis, not just what a patient feels like and behaves like,but also deals with the taboo-ish heart of the problem ie. the stigma toward such illnesses in most societies. The biased viewing of mental ailments doesn't need to be pointed out, and can be easily proved in that people nowadays find it easier to open up about suffering from cancer or high blood-pressure than it is to admit that they're suffering from schizophrenia or some type of phobia. The show tries to emphasize the idea that psychological diseases should not be treated differently from physical ones.
The show goes the extra mile, and discusses the issue through different human relationships, like parent - son, friend - friend, doctor - patient, boyfriend - girlfriend, girl's parent - boyfriend. Above all, it concentrated on the true commitment and resolution that dating a psychotic patient requires.

Second, the script:
At the start of the show especially the first episode, I couldn't warm up to the script and felt the scenario was either too complicated or fast-paced, and sometimes felt they were trying hard to sound cool and smart with some lines. Later on, when I started to get in the vibe of the show, I on the contrary started appreciating the script a lot, each and every sentence counted well, highly witted and fairly realistic compared to other Korean dramas.

Third, the acting.
TOP NOTCH from the WHOLE cast, especially the two leads Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin. I'm a fan of Gong Hyo Jin and already think highly of her acting skills and her charisma and ability to produce a strong sense of chemistry with any actor she acts with, but this was my first drama for Jo In Sung and I'm positive it won't be the last. The Guy is simply a genius! His acting left me breathless at many times, made me rewind some scenes just to appreciate his expression in certain moments. He played a fairly difficult role in a very believable way. Above all you could sense how he is a professional actor who could analyze the character he's playing thoroughly and bring out all it's sides and dimensions however seemingly contradicting they may be, the character he plays would seem like a conceited, arrogant and materialistic playboy at the beginning who acts like a know-it-all, but bit by bit he starts to reveal that there's more to him than meets the eye, and how that character he assumes is rather his defense mechanism.

Fourth The direction:
It's my first drama for this PD, who's most famous for This Winter. Although at first I was a bit distracted and sometimes even frustrated at how CLOSE his face closeups were, like you could count the skin pores on their faces! But putting this point aside which you gradually get used to, the direction and camerawork and also the shooting sites choice was excellent. I loved how they paid attention to the tiniest details in every room to fit the character.

The Music:
I loved the OST in this drama, both the Korean and foreign tracks. I liked how all the vocal songs had lyrics that fitted so much the context. Though I have to admit that there were certain scenes though few they were, in which the BGM didn't quite fit and felt a bit distracting especially at the beginning of the show . But all in all, the music was one of the positive points to the show for me.

Now I move to the few gripes I had towards the show, but I would first like to point out that such gripes never posed as such a problem that would prevent me from enjoying the show.
First, the pace in certain parts of the show was off, meaning that they took their time to show some developments or to cover a certain side story, but when it came for the crucial development it sometimes felt kind of rushed. I won't be explaining in details less I spoil anything, but for instance there were whole scenes wasted for certain characters that later (before even the first half of the show was over) simply disappeared, but compared to that certain developments took time so that when we could finally deal with it was a bit later in show that I personally felt I would have preferred the show was longer just so we could savor them properly.
As for the technical parts, I guess many people who watched this show had their objections regarding some of the technicalities either in the legal or psychological fields, but since I'm neither knowledgeable in this nor that, and also don't really believe one should seek accurate information from dramas, but I still felt like some psychological cases where cured so easily they felt like they've been making it up or exaggerating. I won't go further than that.
There's one character whom I couldn't fathom or understand the idea behind, it's Oh So Nyeo. She was a big question mark for me! I couldn't understand right till the end the necessity of making her a high-schooler, it rather made me a bit wary from Soo Kwang for loving her,....despite how I mostly enjoyed his character other than that point. If someone understands this girl please enlighten me :D

To sum up my super-long review, this show is unique, fun, cool, heart-warming, full of hope and messages....but for me rather than all of these nice aspects, the PERFECT acting delivered here was more than enough for me to fall in love and add it as an all time favorite. I would like to point that especially the few final episodes had the most epic performances I had seen in a long while, maybe even in any other Kdrama I had seen before, I was bewildered and awed at everyone's acting I was soooo glad I had watched the show till the end, those last few episodes starting episodes 12~13 is just too awesome it will definitely redeem for any flaw the show might have exhibited. The final few episodes were so well done I personally felt the story was worthy of being turned into a cinematic movie. All thanks to the actors performance and the well-written story by veteran screenwriter Noh Hee Kyung *hats off*

I really enjoyed watching It's Okay, It's Love, not saying that there were no times when I was frustrated with either a part of the plot or a certain character, but overall this drama was a very fun ride that I would definitely recommend to any Korean drama fan, whether ones who prefer feel-good-dramas or light romcoms or heavy melodramas, who concentrate on the reality factor and originality.

ENJOY!

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Completed
purplenette
18 people found this review helpful
Sep 16, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Honestly, I watched this for my love of Jo In Sung. I was pleasently surprised by a refreshingly different drama. The story is easy to follow while the characters are complex and quirky. The underlying story of domestic abuse and over all violene is very sad. The mental anguish that the characters go through is palpable. I like that the love story lines are unconventional and mature. The story also attemts to lessen the general publics ignorance and fear of the mentally ill. Over all it made me think about all aspects of life. I enjoy dramas like that.

Jo In Sung can play any part he is given as proof through his enactment of Jang Jae Yeol. His character was cool, confident, and romantic on one hand, then hurt, scared, and child-like on the other. It is so great when a good looking actor is actually good at acting. Gong Hyo Job was also wonderful as Ji Had Soo. She is strong yet vulnerable. Side note: she has some long legs. I never realized that before, but seeing her standing next to In Sung made it prominent. There is also great chemistry between them...really between all of the actors. I love me some Lee Kwang Soo. He is a good actor. I some times forget that from watching him act silly on Running Man. For those of you who like EXO, D.O. does a good job as Han Kang Woo.

The music is good.

I will rewatch this...tempted to do it now.

If you like the strange and unusual, then this is the drarma for you.

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Completed
scarleT
19 people found this review helpful
Sep 18, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
I have existed in a whirlwind for the past few months while watching this series, and I’ve just landed on solid ground. So to speak, I’ve been on a journey with this series, and needless to say, It’s Okay, That’s Love (IOTL) deserves nothing but the highest recognition and commendation as possible. I hope this show is commemorated for not just being popular or well liked, but also because it is a meaningful piece of work, and I haven’t fallen in love this hard with a drama’s premise and writing since Secret Garden. This will be a long review, so just a heads up!

I was glued to this series immediately. This one was just too fantastical; lots of motion and commotion right from the beginning of the series to the end. I liked the flow of events, and it didn’t feel like anything in particular was dragging on. I can imagine people thinking differently, and you’re entitled to your opinion, but this series to me is just like winning the lottery in drama heaven (and I will detail why). At the risk of gushing about this romcom, I will attempt to keep a review compact. From my point of view, IOTL is a brilliant piece of work, from script writing to directing, acting and music; I just loved it, and I will attempt to convince anyone to give this drama a try because it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

STORY:
Tragic. Hilarious. Endearing. One of a kind. Honestly, I cannot begin to put into words how versatile this story is. What I can say is that is it multifaceted. In those moments, the story becomes an enriching journey for the audience into the lives of those living their day to day life with an impact from mental illness or working within the field of mental health. What I enjoyed the most about this story is that it wasn’t a solely medical drama that pathologized its patients. This series exposed, explored, and discussed the often stigmatization of patients with mental illness. There were lived experiences and individuality in this story, and it made the series wholesome, often challenging social norms. I found myself more connected to it within the “meat” of the story because the characters are involved in the main premise, which is dealing with/coping with/understanding/healing from emotional/psychological pains. Within this drama, the romance and comedy are embedded in ways that the story manages to progress between leads by conveying serious social issues with a serene and genuine feel for caring about those in your life.

CHARACTERS:
Jang Jae Yeol: What a charismatic, multidimensional one. It does help that Jo In Sung gave an award winning performance consistently. But Jae Yeol, as a character, is complex: you love him some moments; question him in others, worry about him, and viscerally his own conflicting emotions with the relationship to his family, in particular, the complicated relationship he has with his brother. The hostility, and painfully evident wounds of his past of violence is something that makes Jae Yeol a person that evokes major ethos on the audience’s minds. I do think Jae Yeol’s unraveling and mysterious past (as it unveils) makes one feel, as Hae Soo would, a part of his world. Sharing a piece of his identity, and understanding how mental health and violence have impacted him; and how the two are linked and unfortunate.

Ji Hae Soo: IOTL had me at Gong Hyo Jin. I am her bias, and the reason why I watched IOTL was because 1) it was her first drama after the Master’s Sun; one of my favourite drama’s, and 2) because GHJ is arguably one of the most talented actresses in South Korea (and I would personally argue from my perspective, much deserving of global recognition). That being said, if you seen her in other drama’s, regardless of your feelings towards her, one of the reasons that drew me to the story line was because her work involves picking series that matter, that have meaning and controversy, or at least from what I know about GHJ is the ingenuity of the role. She, as far as I’m concerned, I knew this was going to be amazing before it started because she only involves herself in projects that are insightful, eye opening, and unique. Hae Soo was such a delight on screen, and GHJ was cast perfectly for this role. She was bright, independent, and not easily swayed by stereotypical male lead romancing. She has a good head on her shoulders, and given the fact that she’s flawed in this series, just like everyone else, I felt like she was quite a humane person.

The secondary characters were in no way “secondary” to this series because they were wonderfully emotionally and psychological a part of this series, and contained a lot of depth. Ohh the feels for these characters, overall just… amazing. A memorable, unforgettable cast. I can’t deny this the reason what makes this series so special, and it’s because everyone has their own story to tell. Each and every actor playing their role fit it perfectly.

SOUND/OST: It had a charming flare to it; the opening jazzy but fun opening; it made the series feel fun and intuitive. The music in the series, especially the “I don’t wanna be a hero” themed song really tied into the metaphoric element into the series. Overall, the music was conveyed well by the ocean of emotions in this series. Indefinitely, it’s heart wrenching. I do think the OST reflects the overall feel and mood of the characters, and I respect the fact that the series wasn’t overwhelmed by music; it was a nice addition to it.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: It’s just such a story that is so open minded to the point where you feel welcomed into the story. You’re invited into these people’s lives which are far from being perfect, but that’s what makes it worthwhile. This drama offers such a refreshing feel to it in the sense that the plot development is often quirky and fun, yet it can be serious and heart breaking. All the same, I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys great script writing. Because what you get in IOTL is the whole package. Well articulated thoughts and ideas, and the strong sentimentality behind the screen of what we view socially and culturally as mental health, which I think is truly important. Aside from the gorgeous camera work; the skinship in this series and romance just oozed appeal. Fireworks and screen chemistry galore between the two main leads; it was, dare I say, sometimes just too sexy (if that’s even possible), yet also very beautiful in others. Needless to say, the leads connection was not only convincing but it was definitely heated. I loved that this series has characters close and engaged with one another; there were many life lessons to learn and understand from the simplistic ways in which the world spins. In particular, how easy it is to judge as much as it is easy to accept, how much courage it takes to love or try to love, and how much will one forgive a person or the world for such pains they/it cause you. Therein lies the ability and question of forgiveness, and forgiving yourself and others. Yes, you don't want to miss this one folks!

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