It's Okay, That's Love (2014)
Genre: Romance, Drama, Medical
Originally Aired on: SBS (From July 23, 2014 to September 11, 2014)
Number of Episodes: 24
Starring: Jo In Sung & Gong Hyo Jin
Written by: No Hee Kyung
Jang Jae-yeol (Jo In Sung) is a best-selling writer and a popular radio DJ. Like many other Korean drama male character, he is tall, handsome, playful and slightly arrogant at first. He lives in a perfectly color-coordinated room with perfectly lined books, towels and furniture. His space is so perfect that it's odd and sterile. We soon discover that he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and childhood trauma.
Ji Hae-Soo (Gong Hyo Jin) is a psychiatrist on her first year of fellowship. She is a smart and ambitious woman with humble beginnings. Her father suffers from physical and mental handicap, which perhaps ignited her desire to be a psychiatric doctor. She is ambitious in her career and compassionate towards her patients but harbors negative feelings toward love and marriage. We later discover that she was traumatized by witnessing her mother's affair as a young girl and since then, suffers from "skinship" phobia which causes her to display symptoms of anxiety upon physical contact with any man. Her phobia is further exacerbated when her boyfriend breaks her heart by cheating on her.
As Jae-Yeol and Hae-Soo end up living in the same home as "housemates" along with two other men in Hae-Soo's life, they bicker, resent each other and eventually end up falling in love. Their union brings a deeper element for the characters as well as the viewers, as it uncovers their deeply rooted wounds from the past and brings to light the power of love and healing.
Mental Illness & Childhood Trauma
I personally found this drama to be a breath of fresh air in midst of all the romance comedies out there with the same, cutesy plot because it deals with a much silenced but important issues surrounding mental illness and disability. Most Korean dramas deal with the same illnesses (i.e. leukemia, memory loss or some kind of unknown terminal illness) to develop its plot which I find to be frustrating, but the writer did a good job in portraying how mental illness and childhood drama can affect real-life individuals in the real world.
This is not to say of course, that some medical language and symptoms of the illness are fictionalized and dramatized (it is after all, a K-drama) but overall, this drama does a wonderful job in relaying its deeper message to the viewers. It makes viewers more aware of illnesses such as Tourette syndrome, mental handicap, stroke, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and helps us to connect with various characters' real life struggles. I like the fact that they are portrayed as real people with real feelings who desire what we all want: love and happiness.
Power of love & healing
The chemistry between the two actors Jo In-Sung and Gong Hyo-Jin are truly spectacular and realistic. Even as a seasoned K-drama watcher, I found every touch, every kiss and every "love-making" scene to be heart fluttering and memorable. The two characters are both deeply wounded but deeply in love, and the depth of their pain and love for each other is highlighted very well through superb acting and chemistry, almost too well that I was sad to part with this couple after the drama was over.
Jo In-Sung is a marvelous actor who embodies the perfect blend of masculinity and vulnerability. His tall body, handsome face and charismatic yet gentle eyes are enough to make any female viewer's heart go pitter-patter. I was never a huge fan of Jo In-Sung until his previous drama (That Winter, The Wind Blows) where his unique prince-charming look meshed with young boy's vulnerability was made evident. It's hard to describe his unique acting style in words, you must watch it yourself.
And his crying scenes... He is by far, one of the best male criers (yes, there is such a thing in Korean dramas) in the K-drama scene and it's enough to move you to tears and make your heart drop to the stomach in 2 seconds.
Similar to her male counterpart, Gong Hyo-Jin carries a unique style as an actress. She may not be the prettiest but there's something special about her natural features and demeanor that I find charming. She never looks like she is "trying too hard" to appear pretty, cute or with aegyo and exudes womanly confidence and beauty that's hard to come across nowadays.
She is known in South Korea as a leading fashionista and this drama confirms why. She has a way of transforming even a simple oversized print tee and wide leg pants into a timeless look that women would like to imitate.
As I was watching this drama, I found myself wanting to cut my bangs like her (Koreans call it see-through bangs) and wishing my arms and legs were long like hers. She isn't afraid to make the ugly crying face yet can pull off looks like a model out of a fashion magazine. Kudos to Gong Hyo Jin for another fantastic role.
Do Kyung-soo (from an Idol group called D.O.) as Han Kang-Woo
Han Kang-Woo is an aspiring writer and huge fan of Jang Je-Yeol. Jo In-Sung's complex friendship with the young high schooler Han Kang-Woo adds another dimension and depth to this drama that is hard to find elsewhere. You'll have to see it for yourself to find out just happens between these two friends who are ages apart but so alike in pains, dreams and vision.
Yes, like every Korean drama, there are a few hiccups here and there, such as unrealistic medical treatments, his unforgivable older brother (Ugh, how I hated him from beginning to end!) and the unconsummated love between Sung Dong Il (Hae Soo's colleague and good friend) and Young Jin (Hae Soo's other colleague and friend, also Sung Dong Il's ex-wife) but overall, this drama is worth watching if you like romance dramas with a blend of "melo" (from the word melodrama) and feel-good laughter. The two actors' superb chemistry and lovely OST soundtrack are an added bonus to this beautiful and complex love story.
My Rating: 8.5/10
For superb acting, good chemistry, unique storyline and plenty of sweet romance.