Monday, August 4, 2014

First Take: It's Okay, That's Love

Following up the endless string of love stories featured in this blog, I'm coming back with yet another in the form of It's Okay, That's Love. While not as bubbly as the previous dramas I've talked about, I think this series can go off as one of the best yet. Hopefully that didn't jinx anything.


Jang Jae-yul (Jo In-sung) is a mystery book writer and DJ who meets psychiatrist Ji Hae-soo (Gong Hyo-jin) during a talk show where they discussed psychopathology of the characters in his book. The debate sure gave a strong impression to each other, with Jae-yul thinking she's an interesting lady and Hae-soo thinking he's a narcissist of a guy. After dealing with a plagiarism issue, Jae-yul is now living in a shared living space who of course houses Hae-soo and also her psychiatry senior Jo Dong-min (Sung Dong-il) and his patient Park Soo-kwang (Lee Kwang-soo) who has Tourette syndrome.

What a great first two episodes. Smart, real, surely nothing I've really seen in a Korean drama before, let alone a drama that's airing in one of the major channels, in this case SBS. To be fair, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. I thought the drama would be a melo, but then this happened. Does that look like the faces of people in a melodrama? I guess it could. But that's beside the point.

Confusing marketing aside, this drama delivers. The first two episodes flew by, setting us up to what will be a possibly great story of love and life in all it's shining glory. So far it has yet to dumb the audience down. The characters openly talk about taboo subjects like sex and genitalia and the ins and outs of grown up relationships. No dilly dallying here. I mean seriously, Soo-kwang even pointed out the love connections all under 30 seconds. How great is that? Everything is all out on the table, even if that means a heartache or two.

With that said, I love the editing. The songs gives it a cheery vibe and the soft colors eases the mind when the doctors have to deal with difficult patients and inappropriate illustrations of aforementioned genitalia. Plus the documentary/fly-on-the-wall style of filming makes it feel like we're not really watching a drama, rather just a group of really interesting individuals going by their equally interesting lives.

On top of that, the always great Gong Hyo-jin gives yet another one of her charming and natural acting performance. Whenever I watch her, I always forget she's acting. She's that good. Jo In-sung, who I haven't really seen aside from the ero movie Frozen Flower, is doing a nice job himself. Sung Dong-il plays a believable, and sometimes hilarious, portrayal of a psychiatrist (that part when he helped a patient make sense of his feelings gave me a chuckle). And Lee Kwang-soo is believable and great as a young man with Tourette syndrome.

If I may be completely honest, probably the biggest reason why I'm so drawn to this drama is because it deals with mental health and the psychiatric profession in a humane and unpatronizing fashion. It makes me want to study adult clinical psychology, once again reminded just how interesting the field is. Alas I'm a wuss and probably won't take it, but clinical psychology is, if anything, a big love in my life. I'll probably be disappointed knowing that the bulk of the drama won't deal with cases in the psychiatric ward, but I'll savor it when it's on and dream of the day I'll be able to see a patient of my own.

I'm really looking forward as to what this drama will bring in the upcoming weeks. I'm just really interested as to what they're going to deal with in the drama because I have no idea whatsoever. I don't think it's going to be a chase, and they're not long-lost anything. Perhaps it's a journey of soul healing? Who knows. I'm excited. I hope you are too.

1 comment:

  1. great drama, thanks for the recommandation!!!