Available on Netflix, It's Okay to Not Be Okay is a review on a Korean Drama Released this year in the beginning of 2020. The overall synopsis follows 3 unlikely characters in a story tell like adventure as they deal with the ups and downs of life. The story is 1 season long with each episode ranging near an hour and thirty minutes.
The story focuses on two brothers, Moon Gang-tae and his older brother Sang-tae who is Autistic and their unlikely run in with Sang-tae's favorite book author, Ko Mun-yeong. The unlikely meeting between the brothers and Ms. Mun-yeong leads the three on an emotional whirlwind of emotional healing that is sure to make any viewer cry, and ugly cry at that. Gang-tae, the younger brother, has devoted his life to being by the side of Sang-tae and protecting him at all costs even if that means running away and moving every couple months to escape the "butterflies." While Mun-yeong is a well established, anti-social, thoughtless children's book author who's only care in the world was her own desires. Of course like all K-dramas we can already see that Mun-yeong and Gang-tae are the fated couple to fall in love at the end, but the difference in their attitudes and their compatibility makes that hard to imagine. The story focuses on Sang-tae's journey to becoming an older brother and accepting the "butterflies" which gives this story the unique twist that I have yet to see in other dramas. It attempts to explain and understand mental illness in all forms and help connect in order to explain what we don't understand. A great way the story helps bridge the gap between mental illnesses and our own struggles is through Ko Mun-yeong's children books.
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I think a big topic on the mind for those working in education is how to teach awareness about mental illness. In that I would suggest watching this show because it is truly amazing and helps you understand that mental illness can appear in a variety of ways. Beside just watching this show, I think a more useful takeaway from this show is Ko Mun-yeong's children books which I believe are actually available for purchase. (Unfortunately their are no English translations yet.) Due to their being no English translation students could watch clips of the show with subtitles where the story is told. It may be more useful for grades 6-12 but I am planning to use it with grades 3-5 as I am an Itinerant Visual Art Teacher. I think having students develop a zine/comic strip that represent mental illness or moments when students may not feel 100% ok. It's a great way to develop a students own understanadings of their mental state as well as explain that these moments are ok. I would love to use two books, "The Boy Who Fed on Nightmares" and "Finding the Real Face." I would like to use the first book to help students understand the importance of bad days and how they affect our good days and I would like to use the 2nd book I mentioned to explain finding yourself. Overall the way this drama handles the uniqueness of the characters is a good example that many should use to help their own understanding of our friends, family, and strangers.