It’s Okay, That’s Love flew all the way up to my “top five favorite Kdramas” list. I thought it would be a lighthearted comedy romance story but I was pleasantly surprised to find it quite a bit deeper than that. The plot is compelling, the writing is top notch, and the acting is phenomenal. Whoever you are, no matter what genre you enjoy there is no way you won’t love this show!
The story is about two very likable people; Jang Jae-Yeol, a bestselling author who is a DJ of a radio show at night and deals with having obsessive compulsive disorder (a specific kind of mental illness), and Ji Hae-Soo, an intelligent woman in her first year of fellowship in the psychiatric ward of a hospital. They meet as guests on a TV talk show and instantly start sparring, which eventually leads to some fun sexual tension between the two. Jae-Yeol becomes interested in Hae-Soo right away and after a little time she falls for him, as well. Both characters have their own issues to work through, though. Hae-Soo has a phobia about sex and Jae-Yeol has a traumatic childhood history. Luckily, they have each other to help them gain the strength needed to deal with their trials. We also get to meet Jae-Yeol’s older brother, Jang Jae-Beom, who has spent many years in prison for the murder of their abusive step-father. Jae-Beom is an angry man, who also abused Jae-Yeol when they were young, and seeks to blame Jae-Yeol for their step-father’s murder. There is also a sweet character named Han Kang-Woo, a high school boy who shares the same abusive history as Jae-Yeol and wants to be a writer, himself, someday. Jae-Yeol feels sympathy for Kang-Woo and takes him under his wing. The plot may not sound all that exciting but by the end of the fourth episode you are completely hooked, mesmerized, emotionally involved, and are in love with all the characters. It’s a fantastic drama from the compelling beginning to the satisfying ending.
Jo In-Sung, who plays Jae-Yeol, brought in an astonishing performance. When it was over I thought, “This guy deserves an Oscar, or Korea’s equivalent of an Oscar.” I later found out he did, in fact, win the Grand Prize which is given to the best actor/actress of the year! You just can’t miss his award winning performance in this. Playing a person with a mental illness can’t be easy but Jo In-Sung does it seemingly effortlessly. I had seen him in That Winter, the Wind Blows (that title drives me nuts because it’s not proper grammar) and thought he was pretty good but his acting abilities have either skyrocketed or the character Jang Jae-Yeol was something he was really able to sink his teeth into. At first, Jae-Yeol comes across as an arrogant jerk but then you come to find out he’s just blatantly honest. His ideas on life and love are amazing and I found myself wanting to write down all the profound things he was saying. I just may watch it again and do that someday. Jo In-Sung played his character flawlessly. I would love a boyfriend exactly like him and the fact that he can make extremely seductive expressions is definitely a plus in my book. It’s a wonder those eyes didn’t melt the camera.
Gong Hyo-Jin is a very talented actress who brings to life the character of Ji Hae-Soo, who is a strange combination of a strong, intelligent psychiatrist and a sensitive, childlike woman. I saw her in Pasta, The Greatest Love, and Master’s Sun and loved her but, in my opinion, this is her best performance. I think she’s actually one of the most talented actresses in Kdrama. As a polished actress already in her young life, she seems to leave behind the real Hyo-Gin and become the characters she plays. She’s absolutely wonderful. I’m not always fond of Korean actresses dying their hair red or blonde but the red really works on Hyo-Gin. In this Kdrama she has a down-to-earth look that is quite pretty.
The supporting characters are all personable and are each played well by their respective actors. Jo Dong-Min, played by Sung Dong-Il, is one of Hea-Soo’s roommates and a veteran physiatrist with his own practice. He’s the father figure of the bunch. Lee Kwang-Soo plays Park Soo-Kwang, another roommate who was once in love with Hae-Soo. He battles Tourette syndrome. And Han Kang-Woo, played by Do Kyung-Soo (a singer in the popular boy group EXO), is the darling high school student that shares the same kind of abusive childhood as Jae-Yeol. As a fan, he leans on Jae-Yeol as he aspires to also become a writer. Jae-Yeol attempts to empower him to break the cycle of abuse inflicted on him and his mother by his stepfather.
The drama’s music is quite unique in that several songs played are sung in English. One of them is You’re My Best Friend. I really liked their version of it. There’s also a song called Crush that is quite pretty. You ought to check out the soundtrack. I think it’s worth buying.
The drama was shot in both Korea and Japan. The scenery in Okinawa is breathtaking with lots of blue sea and green foliage everywhere. Everything from the hotel, to the cliff overlooking the ocean, to the beach, to the roads they drive on… all simply beautiful. I know it makes filming much more expensive when a drama is filmed on location somewhere other than Korea but, as a viewer, I really appreciate the change of scenery.
During the filming of It’s Okay, That’s Love Gong Hyo-Jin was in a car accident involving two trucks. Unfortunately, she suffered a fractured arm, an injured knee, and scratches on her face. Having to incorporate those injuries into the show, the writer cleverly added a scene where Hae-Soo falls while on her way to a romantic getaway with Jae-Yeol. Those bumps and bruises are real, folks.
It’s Okay, That’s Love is defiantly one of the best Kdramas available. You’ll love every second you’re able to spend observing as these characters’ lives unfold. This isn’t just something you sit back and watch. With this show, you invest your emotions as well as your time. Give it a try, at least through episode four. You’ll be hooked. This is one Kdrama worthy of repeat viewing!
Award winning acting
Perfect timing of events
Very satisfying ending
There isn’t anything