It's Okay to Not Be Okay: It's Okay to Not Be Okay (Saikojiman Gwaenchanha, Psycho But It's Ok)
August 13, 2020 2:06 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

While I don't think this was a perfect show, I was overall happy with the season.

The Good:
*I loved Seo Ye Ji as heroine Ko Moon Young. Visually, she was stunning. (I mean, I know it's not as if kdramas are in the habit of casting fugly/plain women as leads, it's kind of a given that any female lead is going to be beautiful and skinny, but, she had such fabulous costumes, and such perfect hair & makeup, so fitting the fairy tale aspect of her character.) And the character was unique. Like, I've seen enough of kdrama to recognize that there's a trope of the female lead being a total brat to her love interest, but here the character's actions made sense once the full backstory was revealed.

*Oh Jung Se as Moon Sang Tae - having only seen him before as the endearing buffoon in "When the Camelia Blooms", wow does he have range. I thought he did a terrific job at making the character a real person and not just a caricature of autism. (Obviously it's great when an autistic character is played by an autistic performer, like Kayla Cromer on Everything's Gonna Be Okay but I don't get the sense that Korean tv is at that point yet.)

*Kim Soo Hyun as Moon Gang Tae. Beautiful man, great chemistry in the romance, but also such good brotherly chemistry. Such a nice arc, to see him open up to life over the course of the season.

*The animation sequences - both the stop-motion animation sequences and the hand-drawn illustrations/animations from the fairy tale stories inside the story were so good. Creepy and/or beautiful.

*The use of child-versions of the characters - I loved whenever they inserted the various characters' younger selves into a present-day scene. Maybe it's schmaltzy, butI'm a sucker for anytime someone's inner child gets a hug.

The Bad:
*Definitely a lot of hand-wavey plot holes when it comes to Ko Moon Young's mother. I agree with the reviews/recaps that found her most effective when she seemed to be a malevolent ghost.

*Probably pretty hand-wavey when it comes to mental health too. I did worry when I started the show that they were going to have love curing mental illness. While I don't think they took it that far with the lead couple, since Moon Young didn't turn out to be innately sociopathic but rather someone whose empathy/maturity was stunted due to her upbringing by a sociopathic mother, the various patients got well awfully simply. And Gang Tae's autism seemed to be only as debilitating as the episode required, though I think the show meant to show that he was capable of more than his brother gave him credit for, that they were both trapped in a cycle of guilt and codependence that was holding them back from living life fully.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:25 PM on August 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

I really loved this show. The design aspects are fantastic-not just the costuming, but also the set design (particularly the "haunted castle") and the animated sequences.

The acting I thought was great.

Yeah I think the sociopathic mother plot was weak unfortunately. She was definitely better as a ghostly presence than an actual person.

I did love when Sang Tae helped the patient with PTSD by soothing him in a similar way to how Gang Tae soothed him. That seemed to me a believable response. I agree with you oh yeah! that the show was trying to demonstrate that Gang Tae was using his brother's disability to "hide" from forming connections and having his own life.

I felt really sad for Dr O. He seemed like an awesome psychiatrist.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:27 PM on August 16, 2020

Oh I forgot. The scene where Sang Tae feeds Ko Moon Young porridge is so sweet. To me that was yet another example of the beautiful writing that made this show work so well.

Also I want to take Ko Moon Young's fairy tale class.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:30 PM on August 16, 2020

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