It’s Okay, That’s Love
Jang Jae Yeol is a famous mystery novelist and popular radio DJ with a prickly personality. After meeting psychiatrist Ji Hae Soo when they both serve on a talk show panel delving into the criminal mind, they instantly rub each other the wrong way. But when Jae Yeol’s girlfriend plagiarizes his work, forcing him to lie low until the media storm blows over and he can prove his innocence, he unexpectedly becomes Hae Soo’s roommate. Jae Yeol moves into a home that he owns that is being rented by Hae Soo, Jo Dong Min; another psychiatrist and Hae Soo’s senior colleague, and Park Soo Kwang, a young man with Tourette syndrome. As Jae Yeol and Hae Soo’s personalities clash, they help each other heal from their own deep-rooted emotional scars.
This has been one of the shows that people have always said I should watch since I started watching dramas. For some reason, it always moved further down on my list but that was until I finished The Master’s Sun and I was in a Gong Hyo Jin mood, I decided to give it a chance. This is probably the hardest review I’m going to write because I can’t even tell if I liked this or not.
I knew that from the beginning that this would be not the typical romantic comedy that I love so much. But I wasn’t ready for how polarizing this one left me. On one hand, I’m proud that there was a drama that dealt with mental health issues head on and didn’t shy away from the stigmas that are associated with them. When you have characters who are in the psychiatric field and dealing with their own mental disorders at the same time, seemed brave to me. Hae Soo, our brazen female lead, is a psychiatrist who suffers from an anxiety disorder which affects her intimacy levels with her romantic partners. Personally I thought this was a unique spin on the typical female lead who is shy and coquettish. Instead of just being hot and cold for the sake of it, she had a legit medical reason. But this is where my like for Hae Soo ends. As the show progressed and her relationship with Jae Yeol, I found myself being annoyed with how childish should could be and wanting to smack some sense into her.
Speaking of smacking sense into someone, Jae Yeol wasn’t a saint either. An author with a troubled past and family, dashed with a case of PTSD and OCD, Jae Yeol came off at first as an arrogant playboy. But in true Korean Drama fashion, the moment he met Hae Soo, he wanted to settle down. That wasn’t even the annoying part of it all. Maybe I dozed off at one point in the middle, but the progression of their relationship felt inconsistent. One moment I think they are doing this cat and mouse kind of game and then the next, together, in love, wanting to get married. I was like “what the hell just happened?!”
The most interesting and investing part Jae Yeol was his relationships with the other characters and his abused past. The fact that his brother was in jail for “killing” their abusive step-father and stabbing him when he came out on parole was super interesting. Also interesting was his weird mentor/big brother relationship with Kang Woo, a student and inspiring author. I won’t spoil the twists that come with his story lines with these two but I will say, once I figured it out the twists, it was all I cared about and everything else seemed lacking in comparison.
Another highlight of the show was the secondary characters. Dong Min, Hae Soo’s mentor and Park Soo Kwang, a man with tourettes, were Hae Soo’s roommates and basically the moral compasses of the show. They kept the comic relief alive to keep the show from going too dark, which at times it threatened to. I also LOVED Park Soo Kwang’s loveline Oh So Nyeo, a neighborhood girl with behavioral issues. I’m a huge fan of Running Man and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, so seeing Lee Kwang Soo and Lee Sung Kyung together was a treat.
There was a point in my watch that I had to take a break because I just became disinterested in the characters. I think it was due to the pacing of the show. It didn’t feel consistent and the chemistry wasn’t as strong as I would have liked it to be. But at the same time, I loved the fact that this show took the risk to address issues that honestly, aren’t really dealt with.
With the actors really being of high caliber that they were, I think they did the best they could do with the sloppy storytelling. So, I think when it boils down to it, I can give this show an A- for effort.
Recommend? Probably Not
Fave Song: ‘Best of Luck’ – Chen of EXO