It's Okay to Not Be Okay

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It's Okay to Not Be Okay
The poster features two people, one man and one woman, with golden and brown theme colour in the background. Text at the lower left corner of the poster reveals the title of the series. While the text at the bottom of the poster reveals the release date, name of the distributor and the rest of the credits.
Promotional poster
Hangul사이코지만 괜찮아
Revised RomanizationSaikojiman Gwaenchana
McCune–ReischauerSaik'ojiman Kwaench'ana
LiterallyPsycho But It's Okay
Genre
Created byStudio Dragon (tvN)
Written byJo Yong
Directed byPark Shin-woo
Starring
Opening theme"Sketch Book" by Janet Suhh
ComposerNam Hye-seung
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes16
Production
Running time70–85 minutes
Production companies
Distributor
Release
Original networktvN
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original releaseJune 20 (2020-06-20) –
August 9, 2020 (2020-08-09)
External links
Website

It's Okay to Not Be Okay (Korean사이코지만 괜찮아; RRSaikojiman Gwaenchana; lit. Psycho But It's Okay) is a South Korean romance drama television series written by Jo Yong and directed by Park Shin-woo. It stars Kim Soo-hyun, Seo Yea-ji, Oh Jung-se and Park Gyu-young. The series follows a selfless psych ward caretaker and an antisocial children's book writer.

The series was broadcast for 16 episodes on tvN and Netflix from June 20, 2020, to August 9, 2020. According to Nielsen Korea, it recorded an average nationwide TV viewership rating of 5.4%. It was the most popular show of 2020 in the romance genre on Netflix in South Korea.[1]

The New York Times named It's Okay to Not Be Okay one of "The Best International Shows of 2020".[2] Critical response were primarily positive; some commentators criticized the writing in the latter half of the series but praised the acting by the cast. At the 57th Baeksang Arts Awards, it received eight nominations with two wins.

Synopsis[edit]

Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun) lives with his older brother Moon Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se) who has autism. They frequently move from town to town ever since Sang-tae witnessed their mother's murder. Gang-Tae works as a caretaker in a psychiatric ward at every place they settle in. While working in a hospital, he meets a famous children's book writer, Ko Moon-young (Seo Yea-ji), who is rumored to have antisocial personality disorder.

Circumstances lead Gang-tae to work at the OK Psychiatric Hospital in Seongjin City, the same city where they all lived when they were young. Meanwhile, Moon-young forms a romantic obsession for Gang-tae after finding out that their pasts overlap. She follows him to Seongjin, where the trio (including Sang-tae) slowly begins to heal each other's emotional wounds. They unravel many secrets, seek comfort from each other and move forward in their lives.

Cast[edit]

Kim Soo-hyun, Seo Yea-ji and Oh Jung-se at a promotional interview.

Main[edit]

An orphaned caregiver working at OK Psychiatric Hospital. While he is empathetic to everyone around him, he struggles with self-esteem as a result of his past experiences and avoids having close relationships with anyone other than his older brother.
A popular children's book author with antisocial personality disorder. She had a troubled childhood and a turbulent relationship with her parents. She develops a romantic obsession over Gang-tae after a coincidental encounter and often goes to extreme lengths to get his attention.
  • Oh Jung-se as Moon Sang-tae[5]
    • Lee Kyu-sung as young Moon Sang-tae
Moon Gang-tae's older brother, who is autistic. He is a fan of Moon-young, as well as an aspiring illustrator. He was the sole witness of his mother's murder, which resulted in his irrational fear of butterflies. His fear develops into nightmares every spring, and forces Gang-tae to move towns with him in order to "run away from the butterflies".

Supporting[edit]

SangsangESang Publishing Company[edit]

The CEO of SangsangESang Publishing Company, which publishes Moon-young's children's books.
The art director at SangsangESang Publishing Company who assists Sang-in.

OK Psychiatric Hospital Officials[edit]

A nurse and Gang-tae's co-worker at OK Psychiatric Hospital. She has an unrequited crush on Gang-tae, and is shown to be shy and easily jealous of others who are close with her romantic interests. She dislikes Moon-young, with whom she had a brief friendship in elementary school.
The director of OK Psychiatric Hospital. Despite his use of unconventional methods, he genuinely cares about his patients and often succeeds at helping them get better.
A skilled chef at the hospital and Ju-ri's mother.
The head nurse of the hospital.
A nurse with three years of experience who is Ju-ri's friend.
  • Seo Joon as Kwon Min-seok
A psychiatrist at the hospital.
  • Choi Woo-sung as Oh Cha-yong
A young and careless caregiver who often sleeps at work.

OK Psychiatric Hospital Patients[edit]

Moon-young's father who is a patient at the hospital. He suffers from dementia and is bedbound. He was an architect who designed the Ko's family house, which is nicknamed the "Cursed Castle" after Do Hui-jae's disappearance.
A kind-hearted yet troubled Vietnam War veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
A patient content with life who was originally admitted to the hospital for alcoholism.
A shy patient who was admitted for anxiety after escaping from her abusive ex-husband.
  • Kang Ji-eun as Park Ok-ran
A mysterious fan of Hui-jae who torments Dae-hwan.
  • Joo In-young as Yoo Sun-hae
    • Ko Do-yeon as young Sun-hae (Ep. 13)
A patient with dissociative identity disorder that she developed as a coping mechanism because of the troubled relationship with her father.

Others[edit]

Moon Gang-tae's best friend, who follows him and Sang-tae whenever they move.
  • Choi Hee-jin as Moon Sang-tae and Moon Gang-tae's mother
A single parent murdered over a decade ago under mysterious circumstances.
A best-selling novelist and Moon-young's mother. She was emotionally abusive to Moon-young and is a big part of the reason why she is the way she is. She disappeared under mysterious circumstances over a decade before Moon-young meets Gang-tae again.

Special appearances[edit]

A patient at the hospital diagnosed with mania, who is the son of an assemblyman.
A patient at the hospital diagnosed with psychotic depression, which she developed after losing her daughter to a car accident.

Production[edit]

It's Okay to Not Be Okay was created by Studio Dragon, written by Jo Yong, directed by Park Shin-woo, and produced by Story TV and Gold Medalist.[9] Jo Yong based the drama on her relationship with a man who had a personality disorder.[10][11] She developed Moon Sang-tae's character by listening to the stories of people with autistic brothers and referred to the books recommended by the CEO of Bear Better, a social enterprise where people with developmental disabilities work.[12] Fashion director Cho Sang-kyung managed costumes, while fashion designer Minju Kim designed some of Ko Moon-young's dresses.[13]

In the second half of 2019, Kim Soo-hyun considered It's Okay to Not Be Okay to be his comeback drama following his obligatory military enlistment,[14] and his casting was confirmed by his agency in February 2020.[3] At the press conference for the drama he said that he joined the project after being drawn to its title and Moon Gang-tae's character.[15] In the same month, Seo Yea-ji was confirmed to be cast as Ko Moon-young.[4] In March 2020, veteran actor Oh Jung-se accepted the role of Moon Sang-tae;[5] when asked about his character at the press conference, he commented that "autism isn't an illness, but something you're born with".[16]

The first script reading photos were released on May 8, 2020,[17] and filming was completed on July 31, 2020, without a wrap party out of concerns for the COVID-19 pandemic.[18] Filming locations for the drama included Cafe Sanida in Wonju, Gangwon, which provided the background for the "cursed castle", completed with CGI effects,[19] and Secret Blue Cafe in Goseong County, Gangwon, which was transformed into OK Psychiatric Hospital for the shooting using props. Outside locations included streets and beaches in Goseong, as well as locations in Yangju (Gyeonggi) and Incheon.[20] Some of the furniture used in the drama were antiques and 100 to 200 years old.[21]

It's Okay to Not Be Okay was broadcast on tvN on Saturdays and Sundays at 9:00 pm Korea Standard Time (KST) from June 20, 2020, to August 9, 2020; episodes were released on Netflix in South Korea and internationally after their television broadcast.[22]

Media[edit]

Tie-in literature[edit]

The five children's storybooks that appeared in the drama were written by Jo Yong and illustrated by concept artist Jamsan.[23] They were published in Korean by Wisdom House in July and August 2020.[24] According to the Kyobo Book Centre and YES 24, all five books were listed in the top 20 bestselling books of the month.[23] Due to its popularity Kyobo Book Centre recorded a ninefold increase in the number of drama- and film-related books.[25] In 2021, all five books were translated by Woo Jae-Hyung into Brazilian Portuguese and published by Intrínseca in March and May.[26]

No. Title (English translation) Pages Publication date ISBN
1 The Boy Who Fed on Nightmares (악몽을 먹고 자란 소년)[a] 16 July 18, 2020 979-1-1909-0815-3
2 Zombie Kid (좀비아이) 24 July 13, 2020 979-1-1909-0816-0
3 The Cheerful Dog (봄날의 개) 16 July 30, 2020 979-1-1909-0817-7
4 The Hand, the Monkfish (손, 아귀) 20 August 15, 2020 979-1-1909-0868-9
5 Finding the Real Face (진짜 진짜 얼굴을 찾아서) 24 August 31, 2020 979-1-1909-0874-0

The series' script, also illustrated by Jamsan, was published in two books; each covers eight episodes.[27]

No. Title (English translation) Pages Publication date ISBN
1 It's Okay to Not Be Okay 1 (사이코지만 괜찮아) 504 July 30, 2020 978-8-9315-8984-9
2 It's Okay to Not Be Okay 2 (사이코지만 괜찮아) 520 August 27, 2020 978-8-9315-8985-6

Original soundtrack[edit]

It's Okay to Not Be Okay (Original Television Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedAugust 9, 2020
Genre
Length102:09
Language
Label
  • NHN Bugs
  • Most Content

The album It's Okay to Not Be Okay (Original Television Soundtrack) was executively composed by music director Nam Hye-seung.[28] The vocals were performed by Janet Suhh, Heize, Sam Kim, Park Won, Lee Su-hyun, Kim Feel, Cheeze, Yongzoo and Elaine.[28] It was released on August 9, 2020, and contains all of the singles, special tracks and background tracks from the series.[29] The album debuted on the weekly Gaon Album Chart at number fourteen[30] and subsequently ranking tenth in the following week.[31] It also recorded the highest ranking in the sales rankings of various music malls and the initial production quantity was sold out within a week after pre-sales started.[32]

Tracklist
Disc 1:
No.TitleArtistLength
1."Sketch Book" (It's Okay to Not Be Okay Opening Title)Janet Suhh0:45
2."You're Cold" (더 많이 사랑한 쪽이 아프대; The One Who Loved You More Hurts)Heize3:54
3."Breath" (숨)Sam Kim4:13
4."My Tale"Park Won3:46
5."In Your Time" (아직 너의 시간에 살아; I'm Still Living in Your Time)Lee Su-hyun (AKMU)4:28
6."Hallelujah" (나도 모르는 노래; A Song I Don't Know)Kim Feel4:27
7."Little by Little" (너라서 고마워; Thank You For Being You)Cheeze4:26
8."Puzzle" (퍼즐)Yongzoo3:55
9."Wake Up"Elaine4:14
10."Got You"GA EUN3:13
11."Your Day" (feat. Kim Bom)Kim Ki-won1:51
12."In Silence"Janet Suhh3:29
13."I'm Your Psycho"Janet Suhh3:09
14."Lighting Up Your World"Janet Suhh3:38
15."Quelemente" (괜찮은 병원 체조송; OK Hospital Gymnastics Song)Lee Jong-soo, Na Byung-soo1:57
16."Song for Election" (선거송 [기호1번 권만수]; Election [Symbol No. 1 Kwon Man-soo])Funny J2:50
Total length:54:02
Disc 2:
No.TitleArtistLength
1."Sew Your Heart"Kim Kyung-hee3:24
2."Brother (Gang-tae, Sang-tae's Theme)"
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
3:35
3."Her World (Moon-young's Theme)" (그녀의 세계)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
3:23
4."Destiny is Nothing" (운명이 별거)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
1:32
5."Gang-tae & Jae-soo's Speed Instinct" (강태와 재수의 질주본능)Kim Kyung-hee1:19
6."Facing the Fate" (운명을 맞잡고)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
1:46
7."River of Loneliness (Gang-tae's Theme)" (외로움의 강)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
3:08
8."On The Road, Left Alone" (혼자 남겨진 그 길 위에서)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
4:22
9."Through The Dark Tunnel of Time" (어두운 시간의 터널을 지나다)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
3:16
10."Their Own World" (그들만의 세계)Lee So-young2:12
11."It's Okay" (괜찮아)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Go Eun-jung
1:18
12."Woorunggakshi" (우렁각시)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Go Eun-jung
1:15
13."Rooftop March" (옥탑방 행진곡)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
0:53
14."Butterfly (Do Hui-jae's Theme)" (나비)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
2:34
15."Jae-soo and Alberto" (재수와 알베르토)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Jeon Jung-hoon
0:48
16."A Hidden Heart" (감춰진 마음)Lee So-young3:03
17."Bluebeard" (푸른수염)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Jeon Jung-hoon
2:17
18."The Dusk of The City" (도시의 해질녘)Lee So-young3:52
19."For Ju-ri (For Elise Variation)" (주리를 위하여)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
1:26
20."Publishing Company SangsangESang" (상상이상 출판사)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
2:44
Total length:48:07
Singles and special tracks from It's Okay to Not Be Okay

Singles and special tracks (songs) included on the album were released from June 21 to August 2, 2020.

Part 1
Released on June 21, 2020 (2020-06-21)
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."You're Cold" (더 많이 사랑한 쪽이 아프대; The One Who Loved You More Hurts)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
Heize3:54
2."You're Cold" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
 3:54
Total length:7:48
Part 2
Released on June 28, 2020 (2020-06-28)
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."Breath" (숨)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
Sam Kim4:13
2."Breath" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
 4:13
Total length:8:26
Part 3
Released on July 5, 2020 (2020-07-05)
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."My Tale"
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
Park Won3:46
2."My Tale" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
 3:46
Total length:7:32
Special Track Vol.1
Released on July 11, 2020 (2020-07-11)
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."Wake Up"
  • Nam Hye-Seung
  • Jello Ann
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
Elaine4:14
2."Got You"
  • Kim Kyung-hee
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
GA EUN3:13
3."Your Day" (feat. Kim Bom)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Jello Ann
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Jeon Jung-hoon
  • Kim Ki-won
Kim Ki-won1:51
4."Wake Up" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
 4:14
5."Got You" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
 3:13
6."Your Day" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Jeon Jung-hoon
  • Kim Ki-won
 1:51
Total length:18:36
Part 4
Released on July 12, 2020 (2020-07-12)
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."In Your Time" (아직 너의 시간에 살아; I'm Still Living in Your Time)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Jin-ho
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
Lee Su-hyun (AKMU)4:28
2."In Your Time" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
 4:28
Total length:8:56
Special Track Vol.2
Released on July 18, 2020 (2020-07-18)
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."In Silence"
  • Kim Kyung-hee
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
Janet Suhh3:29
2."I'm Your Psycho"
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Jello Ann
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
Janet Suhh3:09
3."Lighting Up Your World"
  • Kim Kyung-hee
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Kim Kyung-hee
Janet Suhh3:38
4."In Silence" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
 3:29
5."I'm Your Psycho" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Park Sang-hee
 3:09
6."Lighting Up Your World" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Kim Kyung-hee
 3:38
Total length:20:32
Part 5
Released on July 19, 2020 (2020-07-19)
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."Hallelujah" (나도 모르는 노래; A Song I Don't Know)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
Kim Feel4:27
2."Hallelujah" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
 4:27
Total length:8:54
Part 6
Released on July 26, 2020 (2020-07-26)
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."Little By Little" (너라서 고마워; Thank You For Being You)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Kim Ki-won
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • B.a.B
Cheeze4:26
2."Little By Little" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • B.a.B
 4:26
Total length:8:52
Part 7
Released on August 2, 2020 (2020-08-02)
No.TitleLyricsMusicArtistLength
1."Puzzle" (퍼즐)
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
Yongzoo3:55
2."Puzzle" (Inst.) 
  • Nam Hye-seung
  • Surf Green
 3:55
Total length:7:50

Chart performance[edit]

Title Year Peak
positions
Remarks Ref.
KOR
Gaon
KOR
Hot
"You're Cold" (Heize) 2020 62 57 Part 1 [33][34]
"Breath" (Sam Kim) 59 61 Part 2 [35][36]
"My Tale" (Park Won) 92 62 Part 3 [37][36]
"In Your Time" (Lee Su-hyun) 31 32 Part 4 [38][39]
"Hallelujah" (Kim Feel) 80 67 Part 5 [40][41]
"Little By Little" (Cheeze) 107 86 Part 6 [42][43]

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

According to the big data analytics firm Good Data Corporation,[b] It's Okay to Not Be Okay was the most talked about drama online in South Korea for eight consecutive weeks.[44][45] It became a hot topic on social media when Oh spent a day with an autistic fan.[46] It also topped CJ E&M and AGB Nielsen Media Research's Content Power Index (CPI)[c] report during its eight-week run[48] with its highest CPI of 373.2 in the first week of August;[49] it was the highest rated tvN drama of 2020 in CPI.[50] Smart Media Rep (SMR), which distributes VoD (video on demand) clips of major broadcasters to online platforms like Naver and YouTube, reported the drama had over 110 million cumulative views as of December 10, 2020.[51] An analysis performed by SMR found that the majority of viewers were in their 20s.[52]

Studio Dragon recorded its highest quarterly performance in the second quarter of 2020 with sales of ₩141.4 billion, which was attributed to the growth of overseas sales of major dramas including It's Okay to Not Be Okay.[53] CJ ENM, parent company of tvN, found that operating profits for the third quarter of 2020 increased by 17.9% when compared to the same period of 2019, due to an increase in digital-related sales as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[54] Following the popularity of the drama, the outfits worn by Seo Yea-ji garnered attention[55] and raised the profile of Korean fashion designers and brands of earrings, handbag and nightwear.[56][57] When the soft toys, nightmare doll (Mang-tae) and dinosaur doll that were used in the drama were put on sale, the site quickly sold out.[58]

Critical response[edit]

It's Okay to Not Be Okay largely received positive critical feedback, primarily for its unique premise, visual storytelling telling, acting by the cast and importance given to mental health.[59] Joan MacDonald of Forbes called it "the most visually appealing drama of 2020" and said, "Not only are the actors beautiful, but the drama’s graphics, cinematography and costumes are also gorgeous."[60] Contributors to Manila Bulletin considered it "unafraid to introduce fresh elements" with necessary clichés in a romantic K-drama, and praised Moon-young as a "headstrong" and "independent woman".[61] However, when the series debuted, culture critic Chung Deok-hyun was concerned that Moon-young's "exaggerated words and actions" could decrease viewers' immersion in the drama.[62] In the Filipino version of Cosmopolitan, Jacinda A. Lopez found that the "messages the drama was relaying are where the beauty truly lies".[63] Rumaiysa M Rahman of Prothom Alo praised writing that "[t]his drama makes people realise, societies should stop looking at those who seem different."[64]

John Lui and Jan Lee of The Straits Times gave the drama a rating of 3.5/5 stars and said that Kim "pull[ed] off a sensitive portrayal of a young man whose life has been derailed by tragedy".[65] The New York Times' Mike Hale called Seo's performance "mesmerizing" and made the drama work.[2] S. Poorvaja of The Hindu, praised Moon-Young as a character "excellently played by Seo Yea-ji", but criticized the writing, saying that "the show could have gone into more nuance – especially after the character was marketed as someone having Anti-Social Personality disorder". Poorvaja also said that the show's portrayal of a person with autism spectrum disorder was good, commenting that "Oh Jung-se's Moon Sang-tae is perhaps the show's biggest victory."[66][6] Edmund Lee from South China Morning Post gave a rating of 3/5 stars, pointing out that the series would disappoint "detective fiction fans" because of the limited explanation of mystery surrounding the murder.[67] Kim Jae-Ha of Teen Vogue described the storyline as "vigorous" and said, "The series finale offers hope and a sense of peace. But it will also make even the most stoic viewers tear up."[68]

Sexually inappropriate scenes[edit]

The series was criticized on social media and the Korea Communications Standards Commission received over 50 formal complaints, largely for a scene in which Moon-young overtly stares and touches Gang-tae's body as he gets dressed.[69] In another scene a male character, who suffers from manic depression and exhibitionism, reveals parts of his body, with his genitals being covered by a drawing of an elephant. Some viewers defended these scenes as ways of expressing the characters' personalities.[70]

On August 26, 2020, the broadcast censorship body issued a legal sanction to the television series for sexually inappropriate scenes in episode three, judging it to be against the broadcast deliberation regulations. It cited Article 27, on duties of integrity, and Article 30, on gender equality. The subcommission gave the reasoning: "Even considering the fact that they were meant to exaggeratedly express a character's personality, (the scenes in question) show how insensitive the drama's producers are to gender equality in broadcasting content that may belittle a certain gender and hold the possibility to justify sexual harassment and molestation."[71]

Viewership[edit]

It's Okay to Not Be Okay was the most popular show of 2020 on Netflix in South Korea in its romance genre.[1] It was the most popular Korean drama series on Netflix in Taiwan,[72] and the "most enduring Korean drama" in Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, being in Netflix’s top 10 list for more than 100 days.[73] The series was also one of the most popular Korean drama of 2020 on Netflix in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan and South Africa.[74]

It's Okay to Not Be Okay aired on tvN, which normally has a relatively smaller audience compared to free-to-air TV/public broadcasters (KBS, SBS, MBC and EBS). The series logged 6.1% in viewership for its first episode Saturday but dropped to 4.7% for the next one.[75] The series maintained its ratings in 4-6% range throughout its run, peaking at 7.4% for the last episode, entering the list of highest-rated Korean dramas in cable television.[76]

It's Okay to Not Be Okay : South Korea viewers per episode (millions)
SeasonEpisode numberAverage
12345678910111213141516
11.6801.2471.4281.4001.4071.7011.5721.5841.5651.6331.7581.6941.7041.6831.7592.0651.618
Source: Audience measurement performed nationwide by Nielsen Media Research.[77]
Average TV viewership ratings
Ep. Part Original broadcast date Title[nb 1][78] Average audience share
(AGB Nielsen)
Ref.
Nationwide Seoul
1 June 20, 2020 The Boy Who Fed On Nightmares[nb 2] 6.093% (1st) 7.036% (1st) [79]
2 June 21, 2020 The Lady In Red Shoes[nb 3] 4.722% (1st) 5.474% (1st) [80]
3 June 27, 2020 Sleeping Witch[nb 4] 5.940% (1st) 6.529% (1st) [81]
4 June 28, 2020 Zombie Kid[nb 5] 4.942% (1st) 6.000% (1st) [82]
5 1 July 4, 2020 Rapunzel and the Cursed Castle[nb 6] 4.661% (2nd) 5.285% (2nd) [83]
2 5.248% (1st) 5.782% (1st)
6 1 July 5, 2020 Bluebeard's Secret[nb 7] 5.056% (2nd) 5.114% (2nd) [84]
2 5.647% (1st) 5.748% (1st)
7 1 July 11, 2020 The Cheerful Dog[nb 8] 5.054% (2nd) 5.434% (2nd) [85]
2 5.555% (1st) 5.753% (1st)
8 1 July 12, 2020 Beauty and the Beast[nb 9] 4.744% (2nd) 5.160% (2nd) [86]
2 5.634% (1st) 6.407% (1st)
9 1 July 18, 2020 The King Has Donkey Ears [nb 10] 4.995% (2nd) 5.416% (2nd) [87]
2 5.814% (1st) 6.501% (1st)
10 1 July 19, 2020 The Girl Who Cried Wolf[nb 11] 4.212% (2nd) 4.669% (2nd) [88]
2 5.481% (1st) 5.995% (1st)
11 1 July 25, 2020 The Ugly Duckling[nb 12] 4.552% (2nd) 4.681% (2nd) [89]
2 5.681% (1st) 5.661% (1st)
12 1 July 26, 2020 Romeo and Juliet[nb 13] 5.145% (2nd) 5.597% (2nd) [90]
2 5.264% (1st) 6.108% (1st)
13 1 August 1, 2020 The Father of the Two Sisters[nb 14] 4.794% (2nd) 5.155% (2nd) [91]
2 5.696% (1st) 6.151% (1st)
14 1 August 2, 2020 The Hand, The Monkfish[nb 15] 5.403% (2nd) 6.042% (2nd) [92]
2 5.947% (1st) 6.654% (1st)
15 1 August 8, 2020 The Tale of Two Brothers[nb 16] 5.567% (2nd) 6.198% (2nd) [93]
2 6.492% (1st) 7.365% (1st)
16 1 August 9, 2020 Finding The Real Face[nb 17] 6.224% (2nd) 7.296% (2nd) [94]
2 7.348% (1st) 8.535% (1st)
Average 5.425% 6.025%
  • The blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
  • Starting from July 4, 2020, each episode was aired in two parts.

Accolades[edit]

The magazine Elle ranked it #2 on its list of "The 10 Best K-Dramas To Binge-Watch On Netflix".[95]

It's Okay to Not Be Okay on year-end lists
Critic/Publication List Ref.
Forbes The 13 Best Korean Dramas Of 2020 [60]
La Tercera The most applauded Netflix series of the past 2020 [96]
NME Korean dramas of 2020: the good [97]
Teen Vogue 11 Best K-Dramas of 2020 [68]
The New York Times The Best International Shows of 2020 [2]
Awards for It's Okay to Not Be Okay
Year Organization Award Recipient Result Ref.
2020 Daejeon Visual Art Tech Awards Visual of the Year Award (Special Video) It's Okay to Not Be Okay Won [98]
Asia Artist Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Kim Soo-hyun Won [99]
Best Artist Award Seo Yea-ji Won [100]
AAA Hot Issue Award Kim Soo-hyun Won
Seo Yea-ji Won
Korean Academy of Theater Arts Art of the Year Award It's Okay to Not Be Okay Won [101]
2021 APAN Star Awards Best Drama It's Okay to Not Be Okay Nominated [102]
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Kim Soo-hyun Nominated [103]
Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Seo Yea-ji Won [104]
Best Supporting Actor Oh Jung-se Won
Popular Star Award, Actor Kim Soo-hyun Won
Popular Star Award, Actress Seo Yea-ji Won
KT Seezn Star Award Kim Soo-hyun Nominated [105]
Seo Yea-ji Nominated
Best OST Lee Su-hyun – "In Your Time" Nominated [citation needed]
Seoul Music Awards OST Award Lee Su-hyun – "In Your Time" Nominated [106]
Baeksang Arts Awards Best Drama It's Okay to Not Be Okay Nominated [107]
Best Director – Television Park Shin-woo Nominated
Best Screenplay – Television Jo Yong Nominated
Best Actor – Television Kim Soo-hyun Nominated
Best Actress – Television Seo Yea-ji Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Television Oh Jung-se Won [108]
Best Supporting Actress – Television Jang Young-nam Nominated [107]
Technical Award (Costume design) Cho Sang-kyung Won [108]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Though The Boy Who Fed on Nightmares was published after Zombie Kid, it is listed by the publisher as the first book of the series.
  2. ^ A TV analysis agency, analyzing netizens' reactions from news articles, blogs/communities, videos and SNS.[44]
  3. ^ The CPI is a weekly-based measurement of every television program in South Korea developed by CJ E&M and research firm AGB Nielsen Media Research. Unlike existing viewers' ratings indexes that measure the number of television viewers using their home TV sets, the CPI monitors more detailed variables, including numbers of mobile and Internet streaming viewers and online "buzz" in social media.[47]

References[edit]

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  1. ^ Each of the episode titles is excerpted from well-known works of fiction, such as fairy tales, fables, novels and plays, both real and fictitious (from the series).
  2. ^ Excerpted from the fairy tale of the same title written by Ko Moon-young in the drama.
  3. ^ Excerpted from The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen.
  4. ^ Excerpted from Sleeping Beauty.
  5. ^ Excerpted from the fairy tale of the same title written by Ko Moon-young in the drama.
  6. ^ Excerpted from Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm.
  7. ^ Excerpted from Bluebeard by Charles Perrault.
  8. ^ Excerpted from the fairy tale of the same title written by Ko Moon-young in the drama.
  9. ^ Excerpted from Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve.
  10. ^ Excerpted from The King with Donkey Ears.
  11. ^ Excerpted from The Boy Who Cried Wolf in Aesop's Fables.
  12. ^ Excerpted from The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen.
  13. ^ Excerpted from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
  14. ^ Excerpted from The Story of Janghwa and Hongryeon, a Joseon-era Korean folktale.
  15. ^ Excerpted from the fairy tale of the same title written by Ko Moon-young in the drama.
  16. ^ Excerpted from Heungbu and Nolbu, a Joseon-era Korean story.
  17. ^ Excerpted from the fairy tale of the same title written by Ko Moon-young in the drama.

External links[edit]