Wednesday, February 18, 2015

[K-Drama Review] It’s Okay, It’s Love (2014)

Finally, I’m able to finish watching this drama after postpone it for a while. And I’m glad I finish it rather than drop the drama and never watch it again, because I think It’s Okay, It’s Love is a pretty solid drama. This is the second drama I watched that came from the combination of No Hee Kyung scriptwriter-nim and Kim Kyu Tae director after That Winter, The Wind Blows. And now I realize that this combination often come with a more mature love story rather than typical lovey-dovey young people love story which always portrayed in other popular k-dramas. Anyway, I’m going to further explain about this later in story section. What I want to underline in this introduction paragraph is that It’s Okay, It’s Love is definitely one drama every adult and k-drama lovers must watch if you get bored with the typical k-dramas storyline. 


The drama tells a complicated yet sweet and mature love story of Jang Jae Yeol (Jo In Sung), a well-known novelist and Radio DJ, and Ji Hye Soo (Gong Hyo Jin), a psychiatrist who undergoing her first year fellowship at University Hospital. Both of them met by coincident in a talk show after Hye Soo’s senior asks her to replace him as the talk show’s guests. Jae Yeol, who known for his narcissism, is arguing a lot with Hye Soo, who has firm action, during the show. Not long after that, Jae Yeol met Hye Soo again when he moves in to her house. During that time, the two develops feeling for each other. However, these more perfect creatures have something wrong with their selves. 


It’s Okay, It’s Love complement its story with the almost typical k-drama storyline as its sub plot. Hye Soo and Jae Yeol’s roommate Park Soo Kwang (Lee Kwang Soo) is struggling with his love for high school female student Oh So Nyeo. Soo Kwang has a tourette syndrome and never has a chance to date woman properly because every time he gets physical with a woman, his syndrome will take over his body. Enter So Nyeo. This immature high school student seems to be the cure of Soo Kwang’s syndrome. However, her childish attitude is making Soo Kwang questioned himself, whether he has to go for her or not.


I’ve already feel excited and upbeat about this drama since it hasn’t even aired. The reason is absolutely because of the casts (Jo In Sung, Lee Kwang Soo, and Sung Dong Il).

Who is not falling in love with Jo In Sung? Even Kim Jae Dong and the rest of 1 Night 2 Days member (which are men) are falling in love with him when he was being the guest of the show. After watching his comeback drama, That Winter, The Wind Blows, I’m forever hungry for Jo In Sung’s appearance in dramas. He seems to have magical aura around him that can make every one melt as soon as see him.

The second cast I’m excited about is Lee Kwang Soo. As a hardcore Running Man fans, I feel it’s my obligation to watch every drama from every Running Man members. To show my commitment and my love for Lee Kwang Soo, I’m morally bound to watch this.

Another cast I’m thrilled to see is Sung Dong Il. I’ve been becoming the fan of this charismatic and fund ahjussi after watching him in Reply 1994. I believe Sung Dong Il will always put comedy and genuineness in every role he plays. 

After knowing that these three actors are going to be in the drama, I feel so excited and looking forward to watch it.

The first impression from the first to second episode of this drama is pretty the same with what I expected from the first place. The drama already shows its mature vibe in the first episode when Jae Yeol and his girlfriend were having fun at the pool party and kiss each other before his brother come for a revenge. Another mature vibes were seen when his girlfriend wakes up in Jae Yeol’s apartment after spending night together and questions his love for her.  

What I love from the first episode is the fact that three of the main characters, Ji Hye Soo (Gong Hyo Jin), Jo Dong Min (Sung Dong Il), and Park Soo Kwang (Lee Kwang Soo), were roommates and live in a minimalist and modern Hongdae house. Their relationship seems so mature and fun, especially the moment when three of them were dancing crazily in the living room during their house party. It makes me want to live with them.

Aside from the three roommates, I also love the brotherhood between Dong Min and Soo Kwang. I get the sense that both of them were definitely going to be the vitamin of the dramas. I like the way they act silly, but still maintain to show their grown-up attitude when they have to deal with something serious.

Another reason why I’m starting to like this drama at the first impression is because of the music. I will give two thumbs up for the music director of this drama. Putting a lot of foreign songs – which consists of an upbeat and mid-mellow songs – depicts the tone of the drama perfectly. By listening to the OSTs, I already knew that the drama is not going to be the same like other typical k-dramas. I came to the thought that the director and scriptwriter were mostly inspired by Hollywood series in shaping the drama.

Oh, and one thing I must not forget is that I loveeee the way Hye Soo dress herself. No wonder Gong Hyo Jin earns a fashionista predicate. Her fashion sense is absolutely ah-mazing. It makes me realize that she always give good style in every drama she starred. Even though she played as almost-crazy girl Tae Gong Sil in The Master’s Sun, her fashion is still coming out great. She even becomes a trendsetter with her ring style in that drama. She did the same thing in It’s Okay It’s Love.


Coming from a typical kdramas lover’s mind, I’m not totally hooked by the story in the first place. However, the brilliantness of how the scriptwriter put each character’s relationship is succeed in making me want to know more about this drama. How she manages to put a bright tone into the drama which actually having a dark side also reduces a burden from viewer’s viewpoint.

Love how the scriptwriter set the phase of the drama. It’s fast and not having unimportant scene which has not relation at all to the main story. For example is the relationship between our two leads. Usually, the viewers finally find and see the blooming love of the two leads near the ending of a drama, however in It’s Okay It’s Love we will find it in the mid-part of the drama. I think the scriptwriter want to emphasize the fact that the two leads are already adult and will deal with their love life as an adult, which don’t need a lot of lovey-dovey thing to finally realize their feeling for each other.

The fact that Ji Hye Soo grows to develop her feeling for Jang Jae Yeol only after she became his girlfriend is also becoming an interesting part from this drama. I love how both of them manage their relationship. How they argue and then make up, and argue again and make up again. How Hye Soo not always agrees with what Jae Yeol say or ask, and same thing goes for Jae Yeol. How both of them let each other get busy in their work and not interferes their ‘me time’. It seems so real and valid. Sure it doesn’t have many sugary-love-stuff that I love when I watch one or many k-dramas, but still this mature relationship of Jae Yeol and Hye Soo are still appealing for me.

Talking about the side story of where Jae Yeol gets his mental illness from and his dreadful relationship with his brother are not attention-grabbing for me in the first place. However, moving on to further episodes, I got carried away by this story. Once again, I have to salute the scriptwriter for bringing the alternate happy version of the dark and depressing side of this story. I don’t know who I would become if I’m in Jae Yeol position and have to experience those horrible events when I was a little kid. His experience is so sad and sorrowful. Thanks to the mind-blowing wits of the scriptwriter, viewers can examine Jae Yeol’s family’s story in not-so-depressing way.

For the sub-plot, which is the story of our beloved Lee Kwang Soo a.k.a Park Soo Kwang and the pretty pretty Oh So Nyeo, I think their story come as a refreshment for viewers who seem to get bored with the story of the leads. I’m one of the viewers who always checking out my social media account on my smart phone every time I get bored and not too excited about some scenes in a drama. The story of Soo Kwang and So Nyeo comes as a rescue for people like me. Like other sub-plot, it’s sweet, light, and cute. What interesting is that the scriptwriter not forgets to put psychological thing (which is the main theme in the drama) into this story. 

As much as I love the fact that the scriptwriter is willing to get out of classic k-dramas storyline, it seems that she can’t entirely escape from the common plot. I’m a bit disappointed with the ending, where Ji Hye Soo’s mother forced her to discontinue her relationship with the mentally-ill Jang Jae Yeol and tell her to go overseas to finish her study instead. This is too classic. I’ve seen a lot of this please-bring-to-an-end-your-relationship-with-your-loved-one-by-going-overseas’ wish from the parents of one of the lead characters. I thought the ending will be as distinct as the story goes from the beginning to near the end, However, it looks like the scriptwriter still has to include a hint of classic k-dramas plot.


All of the casts were succeed in portraying their role in this drama. I’m beginning to wonder if the character they play in this is really their real character because the way they act is so nonchalant as well as the originality vibe of their relationship. 

Jo In Sung as Jang Jae Yeol

We’re all already knew that Jo In Sung is a good actor and he will definitely repeat his success in portraying a role in this drama. The scriptwriter is giving him a challenging character this time, which is a schizophrenia patient. Even though he succeed in playing the role of fabulous yet fragile man at the same time, I still think that this role is too easy for him and his acting is still the same like the way he did in his previous role.
There are few of my favorite acts from Jo In Sung in this series. Most of them (the scenes I love) are dealing with his mental illness rather than his love for Ji Hye Soo.

Among them are when he tells his brother to stay quiet and asks the store owner to not call the police and say he will take care of the damage his brother made. The other is when he cries seeing his brother happily eat bread in a café. This scene is so heartbreaking. Indeed, blood is thicker than water. You will always forgive your brother/sister’s mistake, no matter how bad it is.

Another one I like is when he realizes that Kang Woo does never exist and when he parted with his “Kang Woo”.

Gong Hyo Jin as Ji Hye Soo

All hail Gong Hyo Jin! I questioned Running Man team’s decision in calling her the romantic comedy queen when she came as the guest star for that show few years ago. Gong Hyo Jin never listed in my topnotch k-drama actress list before. But after seeing this drama, I realize that she’s not earning her popularity in k-drama land for nothing. Although she’s not having that Greek Goddess face like Song Hye Gyo and Shin Min Ah, Gong Hyo Jin still has that thing that will make guy fall for her. Her striking fashion sense, for example. Or her easy-going attitude.
I really love her character as Ji Hye Soo. It seems like Hye Soo resembles her actual character in the real life. Regardless of the similarity between her character in real life and Ji Hye Soo’s character, I think she (again) nailed her character. She plays the role of Ji Hye Soo perfectly.
Honestly, I’m a bit worry when knowing that Jo In Sung will be paired with her. But my worries instantly change into obsession after seeing this couple. Gong Hyo Jin is absolutely one of the best pairs for Jo In Sung in a drama. She seems to really connect with him in every aspect.   

My favorite act from Gong Hyo Jin in this series is definitely when Jo Dong Min tells her that Jang Jae Yeol is mentally ill and need immediate treatment.

Another one is when she calls Youngjin sunbae and tells her to send the ambulance to Jae Yeol’s apartment. Again, this scene is heartbreaking. Letting go of your loved one to mental hospital is totally one of the most tragic things in life. I have to be honest that my eyes was teary when she said, “He’s sleeping peacefully in the bed for the first time.” UBER SAD.

Lee Kwang Soo as Park Soo Kwang

Good job Lee Kwang Soo! GOOD JOB! At the beginning of the drama I find no difference between Park Soo Kwang and Lee Kwang Soo, I thought “There he goes again, playing the role of Lee Kwang Soo with the name of Park Soo Kwang.” Yes, I think Park Soo Kwang is Lee Kwang Soo and he doesn’t have to put too much effort because basically he’s the role he plays. But after seeing his tourette syndrome and his argumentation with his father, I thought “Where’s Kwang Soo? Who is this guy?”. So, well done Lee Kwang Soo. I think he deserve calling himself an actor now. 


Is it just me or the casts of this drama are really doing a good job in portraying the role they plays. Maybe this is the first time I watch a drama and think that the casts are not acting and that was their real behavior. Their relationship seems so genuine. It is as if they knew each other for a long time.

The relationship between our two leads also seems so genuine. I finally knew why rumors about Jo In Sung & Ji Hye Soo’s off-screen relationship is spreading after this drama. I mean, come on, look at these two people. Their connection and chemistry is one of the best in k-drama land. They seem so casual and sweet at the same time.
Two thumbs up for all of the casts and hats off to the director who did an excellent job in directing the casts.   


Kim Kyu Tae director is undoubtedly has a good taste in cinematography. After pampering viewers’ eyes with a captivating sets and views in That Winter The Wind Blows, the director again treat his viewers nicely by giving an enchanting camera work and place in It’s Okay It’s Love. Even though it’s not as amazing as TWTWB, It’s Okay It’s Love still manage to  make my eyes wonder and my mouth open when seeing several beautiful places and colors.

For example is when the lovebirds (Jae Yeol and Hye Soo) spend their spontaneous vacation in Okinawa. I know the place is already amazing as hell, but the camera work makes it even more impressive. My favorite is definitely when both of them were standing lovingly at the cliff. With Jo In Sung’s ridiculously good looking face and Gong Hyo Jin’s stupendous fashion, the scene is a perfection.

The editing also something this drama can brag about.

The editing thing I love from this series is when Jo Dong Min visit Jae Yeol’s old house and “witnessing” his family tragedy. The scene where everything goes black and white except for Dong Min’s body and the green field is (once again) perfection. Adding a super heartbreaking song and Jo Dong Min’s right-on expression into the scene are making this scene even more tear-jerking and touching.

Another editing I adore is when Jang Jae Yeol realizes that Kang Woo is him. The color is the same as when Dong Min “witnessing” his family tragedy, yet what’s different and I love from this scene is when the young Jae Yeol and Kang Woo are running toward the same director and collide, which is really really really meaningful and makes Jae Yeol realize that he’s been dealing with no one but himself the whole time. This scene is making me in awe and literally holds my breath.


The OSTs are probably the one that make me thing that the drama will have a distinction from typical k-dramas storyline. From the first episode, viewers already showered with a number of foreign songs. Takes Little Sun – Sunboat for example, which become the theme song of the drama. My favorite OST is Cross My Mind from Twin Forks. Fall in love with this song from the first time I heard it. It has that happy-free-confuse-depress-feeling of the drama. Other OSTs I love are Hero by Family of the Year and You’re My Best Friend by The Once. Love the placing of both songs and the lyrics meaning which fit rightly with the plot.


Finally, I will put 9 out of 10 for this one

“Tonight, I also suggest you to (instead of others) ask yourself, ‘Are you really okay?’ Check on yourself like this and do a warm ‘good night’ to yourself.” -Jang Jae Yeol (It’s Okay, It’s Love)

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