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[HanCinema's News] "It's Okay to Not Be Okay" Attracts a Sizable International Fanbase


While domestic South Korean have lamented the apparent drop in drama popularity since the conclusion of "The World of the Married" internationally South Korean dramas are still maintaining a high profile. Much of this is thanks to the success of "It's Okay to Not Be Okay". The return project of Kim Soo-hyun has underwhelmed in domestic terrestrial ratings but has struck a major chord on Netflix, where it has charted in quite a few far flung countries.

In Asia "It's Okay to Not Be Okay" has done well in the usual markets of Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. It also has a strong following in South America, with Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru all demonstrating interest in the drama. Even Nigeria and Australia have proved demonstrations of the drama's worldwide popularity. "It's Okay to Not Be Okay" also enjoys high ratings on viewer aggregate ranking sites, beating out "The King: Eternal Monarch" and even "Crash Landing on You".

Some of the stated reasons for this popularity include the drama's deliberate emphasis on mental health issues. The titular psychopath played by Seo Ye-ji is a psychopath in the medical sense rather than the pejorative sense. The older brother of Kim Soo-hyun's character, played by Oh Jung-se, has autism. And the mental health facility where Kim Soo-hyun's character works is filled with various mental patients with relatively realistically drawn disabilities.

Such a deliberate focus narrows the drama's appeal somewhat, as many viewers have found the characters to be offputting. But "It's Okay to Not Be Okay" has offset the limits of this appeal in the domestic market by broadcasting the fairly unique concept worldwide, allowing the drama to find fans in many unusual places. This has made the drama a noteworthy success of Studio Dragon's current internationally focused strategy in spite of the drama's weak showing in traditional metrics.

Written by William Schwartz


"It's Okay to Not Be Okay" is directed by Park Shin-woo, written by Jo Yong, and features Kim Soo-hyun, Seo Ye-ji, Oh Jung-se, Kang Ki-doong, Park Gyu-young, Kim Chang-wan. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2020/06/20~Now airing, Sat, Sun 21:10 on tvN.

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Creative Commons License"[HanCinema's News] "It's Okay to Not Be Okay" Attracts a Sizable International Fanbase"
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