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Its Okay To Not Be Okays Perfect Replacement Show Was One Of 2023s Best K-Dramas

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Its Okay To Not Be Okays Perfect Replacement Show Was One Of 2023s Best K-Dramas

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Its Okay To Not Be Okays Perfect Replacement Show Was One Of 2023s Best K-Dramas


Summary

  • It’s Okay to Not Be Okay and Daily Dose of Sunshine use visual storytelling to portray mental health and trauma.
  • Both K-dramas focus on healing and understanding mental health, with different character perspectives.
  • The use of animation and VFX in storytelling enhances the emotional impact and empathy for characters.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay‘s unique approach to storytelling is hard to replicate, but one of 2023’s best K-dramas does just that. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay‘s mix of fantasy, animation, and live-action elements brings together a compelling story about healing from trauma and the effects of mental health. Since its release in 2020, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay‘s honest depiction of psychiatric issues through a fairytale lens has seen it rise to critical acclaim as one of the best K-dramas of all time.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Cast

Character

Kim Soo-hyun

Moon Gang-tae

Seo Yea-ji

Ko Moon-young

Oh Jung-se

Moon Sang-tae

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay follows the story of Moon Gang-tae, who would do anything for his autistic older brother, Sang-tae. However, their lives begin to change after crossing paths with the famed fairytale author Ko Moon-young. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is an exquisitely written K-drama, yet the visual storytelling often speaks louder than the dialogue itself. Few K-dramas have come close to competing with It’s Okay to Not Be Okay on this front, but one of 2023’s most exciting K-dramas uses similar techniques to tell an equally gripping story.

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It’s Okay To Not Be Okay & Daily Dose Of Sunshine Deal With The Effects of Mental Health & Neurodivergence

They Have Both Received Critical Acclaim For Their Approaches To The Subject

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay received a lot of praise for its frank portrayal of mental illness and neurodivergence. Every episode of the Netflix K-drama focuses on a new patient with a different condition and the impact it has on their life. The method broadens the scope of the K-drama alongside its main storylines, which focus on the relationships Gang-tae has with Moon-young and his autistic older brother, Sang-tae. This is similarly echoed in 2023’s Daily Dose of Sunshine, which has also been praised for its empathetic approach to the subject of mental health.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay’s Moon Gang-tae and Daily Dose of Sunshine’s Jung Da-eun (Park Bo-young) are both employees at psychiatric hospitals, but their viewpoints are very different. Gang-tae’s expertise in the field is evident as his entire life has been dedicated to caring for his older brother. However, this means Gang-tae struggles to separate himself from his relationship with his brother. On the other hand, Daily Dose of Sunshine‘s Da-eun is new to the psychiatric ward at Myungshin University Hospital and quickly learns first-hand what the reality of living with mental health issues can look like.

Daily Dose Of Sunshine Flips The Script By Making The Caretaker The Patient

Park Bo-young’s Character Adds A New Level of Empathy To Its Mental Health Portrayal

Daily Dose of Sunshine‘s storyline completely reverses It’s Okay to Not Be Okay’s plot through its main character, Jung Da-eun. Though It’s Okay to Not Be Okay‘s leading characters’ road to healing is anything but linear, every episode sees them begin to form new bonds and learn how to live with their past. This is very different from Da-eun’s storyline as, following the death of one of her former patients, she subsequently becomes extremely depressed and a patient herself.

Though Jung Da-eun’s lowest moments are hard to watch, they provide a much deeper understanding of her previous patients. Da-eun vehemently rejects her diagnosis and hospitalization, stating that because she is a psychiatric nurse, she knows better and should be released. Da-eun even follows the same pattern as her patients, including refusing to take medicine and fighting hospital staff. This parallel makes it much easier to understand how those with mental health can end up at their lowest, and in turn, adds a more empathetic light to Da-eun and the other patients.

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Along with its portrayal of trauma and mental health, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is also well-known for its incredible K-drama romance. Gang-tae and Moon-young’s relationship may be intense, but it’s something they both need in order to heal. However, in Daily Dose of Sunshine, Da-eun’s romantic relationship with Dong Go-yoon (Yeon Woo-jin) is put on hold until Da-eun’s health improves. This makes Da-eun’s storyline feel even more profound as her well-being is given priority and ultimately makes the rekindling of her relationship feel even sweeter, knowing that she has learned to cope with her illness.

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Why It’s Okay To Not Be Okay & A Daily Dose Of Sunshine’s Uses of Visual Storytelling Works So Well

They Both Have Clear Messages They Want To Portray

Both Daily Dose of Sunshine and It’s Okay to Not Be Okay use elements of visual storytelling to make the same points but from different perspectives. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay primarily uses animation to delve into the inner psyche of its characters and show things they cannot say out loud. The best example would be It’s Okay to Not Be Okay‘s opening sequence, which uses Tim Burton-esque animation to provide context for the show’s premise. However, it also shows how Moon-young views herself as a monster who has been told that she is undeserving of love.

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It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
and
Daily Dose of Sunshine
view mental illness, trauma, and neurodivergence from a much more understanding angle.

Alternatively, Daily Dose of Sunshine relies heavily on VFX to emphasize its empathetic stance. In episode 3, Song Yu-chan’s (Jang Dong-yoon) panic disorder is represented through a bathroom filling with water, which makes him feel suffocated. Alternatively, Kim Seo-wan’s (Roh Jae-won) visions of dragons are often brought to life, even though only he can see them. These moments provide much more clarity than dialogue alone could do while also being visually stunning.

By using visual storytelling elements, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay and Daily Dose of Sunshine view mental illness, trauma, and neurodivergence from a much more understanding angle. These elements are never used needlessly but are always used to enhance the story, which both K-dramas do to great effect. As a result, although It’s Okay to Not Be Okay and Daily Dose of Sunshine take entirely different approaches, their ultimate outcomes are the same and make them a perfect match for one another.

images (17)
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
Cast
Kim Soo-hyun , Seo Yea-ji , Oh Jung-se , Park Gyu-young
Release Date
June 20, 2020
Seasons
1
Creator(s)
Park Shin-woo , Jo Yong



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