Contrary psychiatrist, Ji Hae Soo (Gong Hyo Jin) meets troubled novelist, Jang Jae Yeol (Jo In Sung), leading to a sexy romance between two great, complex characters. Things take a turn for the dramatic as Jae Yeol’s troubled past catches up to him in the form of mental illness, and a brother who wants him dead.
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: ★★★★
Only 만: ★★★★
Only 만: I don’t know about you, but I found “It’s Okay, It’s Love” a refreshing change of pace.
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: I started watching on your recommendation, but it didn’t take long for me to get hooked, because it was so different from the average Kdrama.
Only: For one thing, it features two adults, who do adult things. And, it features a female lead who is more complex than nice.
But, let’s be methodical. What did you like about “It’s Okay, It’s Love”?
Junggugeo Kaenada: As you say, it is a story about adults facing adult problems. Both Jae Yeol and Hae Soo have obvious flaws, but their appeal is evident, too; they are so confident and sure of themselves, as successful professionals in their 30s would be.
Only: Agreed. That they came across as layered human beings, with flaws was a big part of the appeal, as was the fact that they both had lives outside of the story.
It didn’t hurt that everyone looked really good, too.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I liked that Hae Soo was allowed to be sexy. In the first scene, she appears in tiny jeans shorts. But, on the job, she is chic and fashion forward. She did not need Jae Yeol to give her a wardrobe makeover.
Only: Not that I would have trusted Jae Yeol’s taste. You said it best when you said he dressed like Ross from “Friends”. Jo In Sung is probably the only person on the planet who could pull that look off so well.
Junggugeo Kaenada: The show starts out easy-going and sexy. When it does take a turn for the dramatic, it is not forced using miscommunication or noble idiocy. The hurdles that the lead couple face are credible.
Only: They laid the groundwork for the story pretty well, so it wasn’t a series of random issues cropping up later to extend the drama. Regardless, the show kept its breezy charm throughout. Even when it took an inevitable dramatic turn, it was still eminently watchable.
Junggugeo Kaenada: It is at this point that I express some misgiving about “It’s Okay, It’s Love”. I wish they did not leave the light tone of the earlier part of the series so completely. I suppose this descent into a serious storyline is inevitable, because it is, after all, a Kdrama. Though I never found the drama boring, it played out longer than I would have liked.
Only: It did go on, but it wasn’t the length that bothered me so much as the patently unrealistic doctoring. I did like that it didn’t try to push the idea that her love would save him, but was, in fact, damaging on some level. But, as a representation of mental illness or the field of psychiatry as practiced in Korea, I don’t think this was even vaguely a realistic portrayal. Or, at least, I hope not.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Along the lines of your complaint, their resolution of Jae Yeol’s mental illness was rather tidy. In fact, the push towards a happy ending was manic.
Only: They tied up the reasons for his illness a little too neatly, and in the end, it was resolved with an emotional climax, then a time skip. And then, we quickly went back to breezy charm, and cute bickering, which I didn’t entirely object to.
Since it had nothing to do with the rest of the series, I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that I found the last scene more annoying than amusing.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Spoiler alert: There were two time skips in the final episode! Two! And, when Hae Soo becomes pregnant, no one even pauses to consider the chances that their baby might have inherited Hae Soo’s father’s illness, or Jae Yeol’s schizophrenia, both of which I presume are genetic.
Only: I think the pregnancy was part of the manic drive to keep an upbeat mood after the huge downer of Jae Yeol’s illness, and it seemed tacked on. “See? They’re happy! They’re so happy they’re even having babies!” It was a little too much.
Junggugeo Kaenada: In the end, while I can appreciate “It’s Okay, It’s Love”, it failed to capture me emotionally. I can only speculate that it is because the show abandoned the flirtatious aspect of the couple’s interactions too early.
Only: I probably connected with it emotionally more than you, though as mentioned earlier, I was jarred out of the story a few times by the take on mental illness. That said, there’s a lot to appreciate here, including the fact that they didn’t treat mental illness in a sensational manner, or just tack it on as convenient to the story. Also, two complex, sexy people with great chemistry getting together is always fun to watch, and maybe a little too rare in K-dramas.