What Mary Thinks: It’s Okay, That’s Love

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SBS drama ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ recently ended its run on September 11 with sixteen overall episodes. I had the pleasure of watching this intriguing and interesting Korean drama the past three months and I’m quite sad that it has ended. There’s always a bittersweet feeling when you finish watching a drama that you watched and was invested in from the very beginning and with ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’, it was no different.

Just like how many others voiced about this drama, I really appreciated the drama for bringing up and going over the issues about mental health and illnesses, sex, psychiatry, forgiveness, family problems and difficulties, all which can be quite touchy and sensitive subjects to touch upon. You rarely ever see any dramas that cover these subjects so for ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ to do just that and in such a smooth and refreshing way as well, it’s hard to not love or at least enjoy this drama.

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‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ was in a sense a medical drama, but I loved how I was never really reminded that it was a medical drama. It wasn’t your typical medical drama where you had a new case every week and within those two episodes, you were not only introduced to the case but watched it being solved as well. ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ is different in that we do get cases, but instead of it being solved right away, we get to watch the patient’s progress and journey to recovery and that’s what I really liked about this drama. We revisited old cases every few episodes and were updated on how they were dwelling or behaving and granted, the road to recovery is not going to be something that one achieves within a short amount of time, but the way that ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ only had a few cases throughout the drama until it ultimately pulled on us the most significant patient yet which was Jae Yul himself at the very end, was so refreshing because that way we weren’t being thrown at with so many cases that was hard to keep up with and be interested in. I liked how ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ used this method throughout the whole show which made it easier to put up with despite it being a medical drama. If more medical dramas were like this, it’d be much easier to watch.

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The other strength that this show possessed was the ability to balance the work life and the social life (if that makes any sense). You witness the characters working, such as with Hae Soo at the hospital or Jae Yul writing his book, but then at the same time you got plenty of scenes of bonding and relationship building whether that’d be between the house mates or Jae Yul and Hae Soo. I loved how we were able to get a good sense of just how close all the people living under the boarding house was with one another through their constant interactions and arguments and fights. Even though they might have disagreeing opinions and thoughts, at the very end of the day, you know that they are always going to be there for each other. You know that Jo Dong Min is going to be there for Soo Kwang and that they are going to stick together. You know that Young Jin is going to assist Hae Soo and teach her right from wrong. You know that Mom is going to feed and take care of Jae Bum and vice versa despite their terrible past that had the potential to ruin their mother and son relationship. I think a huge part that contributed to this was that we had a small cast so we got plenty of screen time for all the characters and got a good sense of who they were and any troubles or obstacles that they faced. There was plenty of things to work out from since all the characters were all connected to one another in a way and ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ utilized all the characters in all the different ways possible. No character in this drama was completely 1 or 2 dimensional which dramas can do without a lot.

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This drama was great and refreshing because it revolved around the subject of mental health and illnesses and disorders which is quite rare to come across in Kdramaland, but that’s not to say that ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ was perfect because it wasn’t. Just like every other drama it also had its own weaknesses and I think the most noticeable one was Hae Soo’s anxiety disorder, where in the beginning, we learned that she was afraid of skinship and touchy interactions because of incidents she witnessed when she was younger that caused that disorder, but unlike Jae Yul, we never actually got to witness her road to recovery. Instead, we took a short cut and one day saw her overcome her fears. Something I had wished this drama would have done was maybe get rid of a few random cases and instead substitute it with Hae Soo’s so that we could learn more about her and her anxiety problems and watch her overcome that, because it was brought up in the beginning of the show but then as the drama progressed, the drama started to bring less and less attention on that and I’m quite sad that we didn’t get to hear more about Hae Soo’s anxiety disorder. Because we didn’t learn too much about her, I didn’t feel bothered to care for her as much as I did for the other characters. I do like how she was there for Jae Yul when he was admitted into the hospital and how she stayed by his side and supported him, but other than that, I have to say that she doesn’t remain as a memorable heroine for me. I just feel like the drama could have done so much more with Hae Soo than they already did. The drama also fell flat halfway into its run to the point where I had lost so much interest I wanted to quit watching the show because it focused too much of its attention on Jae Yul and Hae Soo’s relationship and I didn’t have a problem with that at first, but it just got kind of tiring to watch after a while because I felt like they were so pushy and pully. Lol. I wanted more coverage on our other characters and their relationships which is why I might have acted and thought the way I did, but thankfully the momentum started to pick up when Tae Yong began investigating on his friend which definitely grabbed my interest and anticipation. Yay for Tae Yong!

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Moving on to the cast, what can I say about them other than that they were all so phenomenal and amazing. They were all truly so so great and refreshing to watch on screen. They also all worked so well with one another too. You could just tell that they enjoyed working with one another. The last few episodes when everyone started to find out about Jae Yul’s mental illness was the point in the drama that really tested the cast’s acting because they were required to do and express a lot more emotions, but they had no trouble in doing so. Jo In Sung proved to us, especially towards the end, that he’s not just a pretty boy with a pretty face, but that he’s a pretty boy with a pretty face with superb acting skills. I mean, when he was in the hospital and begged Hae Soo to let him leave because he wasn’t feeling like himself in the hospital. Ugh. Such a heart-breaker. The same goes for Gong Hyo-jin when she cried after being told by Jae Yul to abide by her mother’s request and travel abroad. The way she was so immersed in her tears and crying was amazing acting.

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Even EXO’s D.O did a solid job as Kang Woo in this drama. It was his first time playing a significant character in a drama, but even then, he did great. I felt like he was a bit awkward in the beginning, but then as the drama progressed, he became more comfortable and acted better. I do think people make him out to be a better actor than he is, but as an idol acting in a drama, he’s good and did fine as Kang Woo. I totally understand where all the rave reviews and compliments on D.O’s acting is coming from so I think he did solid and I look forward to his future movies and dramas to watch his improvement. My favorite scene of his would be in the last episode when Jae Yul was putting on Kang Woo the new shoes that Hae Soo got for him. The raw emotions and look in D.O’s eyes before he shed some tears was just…omg, so so good. I personally think that was the best scene and performance from D.O in all of ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love.’ That part had me moved and shaken.

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(SERIOUSLY! LOOK AT HIM. LOOK AT THOSE EYES. THOSE GLOOMY, WATERY PUPPY EYES. If seeing this doesn’t make you heart-broken, then I don’t know what does).

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As for Lee Kwang Soo, I know that many people obviously remember him as the Giraffe Kwang Soo from Running Man who likes to betray people and make a fool out of himself on that show so to see him acting in a drama where he doesn’t always play a funny character might be strange for some people to see but I’m glad that with ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ he broke that stereotype. There were some scenes where he was required to be serious and when you’re just watching him act with a straight face, it’s so weird because you just remember him as the tall, funny, silly guy from ‘Running Man’ but it was fun watching him in ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love.’ I would love to see more of Lee Kwang Soo acting different roles. Of course I love him best when he’s funny and goofy or on ‘Running Man’, but it’d also be nice to see him play more mature and serious roles. Overall, I gotta say the cast was definitely very very good and talented. So well-rounded and they were the reason as to why ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ was so successful and fun to watch.

We also can’t forget about the OST tracks for this drama. It was my first time ever watching a drama where they constantly utilized English songs throughout and because of that I grew into loving ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ even more. Whenever I watch a Korean drama, the OST tracks play a HUGE part for me because I love love music a lot as well so sometimes OST tracks can be part of a reason as to why I enjoy and love a drama so much (and it’s even better if it’s played at the perfect moment in a scene. Ugh, I get goosebumps when you’re so emotionally invested in a scene and then that perfect OST track starts playing. LIKE OMG. JUST KILL ME ALREADY). There were many times in this drama where the OST tracks really lifted the mood and established the atmosphere and vibe which made the whole episode even more enjoyable. I can’t really pinpoint my favorite OST track from this drama because they were all so so amazing and great to listen to and I’m not just talking about the Korean OST tracks, even the American songs I had a hard time picking a favorite from because they were all so good, although I did find myself listening to ‘Cross My Mind‘ by Twin Forks for quite a long time (it’s so fun and catchy!).  I remember in the scenes where it was more sentimental and emotional, Davichi’s ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love‘ would always play and I would just like break down into pieces and cry because the whole scene was just so perfect with the music and acting and everything. Ugh. The things that ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ does to me!

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I think if there’s anything I’m going to miss the most about this drama, it would be Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin’s chemistry that was sizzling and blazing hot. I still remember the scene in the first episode where they were on the talk show and presented their thoughts and opinions on different subjects. The sparks were just flying everywhere and I was just squealing because they were so adorable and cute together I absolutely could not wait for their future interactions. Later on when they became a couple, I wasn’t even squealing in happiness or joy whenever they would kiss or hug because it was just so natural between them. They were that compatible of a couple that I wasn’t surprised with their kisses or hugs or interactions; They made it seem like they were a real couple in real life (and I know it’s kind of selfish of me to think that I want them to be together in real life but we already know that that cannot happen) which is something very very rare to come across in Kdramaland. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any couple have as much chemistry in any drama like Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin did with each other. I’m definitely going to miss seeing them together.

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It makes me sad when I think and have to accept the fact that this drama has ended and that we have to say goodbye to our multi-dimensional characters and talented cast members. I still want to see Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin together or watch Lee Kwang Soo and Sung Dong Il hang out with each other. It’s been such a great time spending the last 8 weeks with these wonderful people who I came into loving and supporting so much. This drama might not have blown my mind away and might not have made me spazz to the point where I had to write a post about it on this blog until it ended, but it was good, it was refreshing. It was different.

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Thank you ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ for providing me with happiness, laughter, tears, and smiles the past 8 weeks. It was great watching you while you lasted.

I’m definitely going to miss you.

Credits: CJENMMUSIC @ youtube, TheDramaOST17 @ youtube

GIF DOES NOT BELONG TO ME. CREDIT TO RIGHTFUL OWNER.

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2 thoughts on “What Mary Thinks: It’s Okay, That’s Love

  1. YenP September 15, 2014 / 9:35 AM

    Hi there! Came across your blog while suffering from IOTL withdrawal symptoms. It’s interesting to read and find thoughts in common. I love this drama so much and like you, I just wish JIS and GHJ to become a real couple in life thanks to their great chemistry together. Thank you and appreciate your work!

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