It’s Okay to Not be Okay 사이코지만 괜찮아

Title: It’s Okay to Not be Okay 사이코지만 괜찮아

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date: June 20 – Aug 9 2020 (Netflix Canada)

Starring: Seo Ye Ji, Kim Soo Hyun, Oh Jung Se

Here’s the trailer

Plot

This Kdrama follows the lives of a children’s author and a community health worker- two people who appear to be complete opposites. While this leads to many clashes and differences in opinion at first, the two discover that by finding a middle ground, they can help balance each other out, helping one another to heal their psychological wounds.

This is in many ways the classic Kdrama- as we watch an unlikely pair fall in love. It is soon revealed that they are deeply connected through their childhood – something that both brings them together and threatens to tear them apart.

The Lead: A Familiar Villain with a Twist

You know that evil girl in every K drama ever? The rich, self important girl, who is often the daughter of the CEO and has a claim to the main lead before our leading lady comes into the picture? This character will often be the lead’s fiance (or trying to be) and is constantly fighting the leading female character to win his attention.

This character acts as the leading lady’s rival and is at some point defeated much to the viewer’s satisfaction. But what if the roles were reversed?

In It’s okay not to be okay the mean b**** plays the lead while the nice girl who has a hopeless crush on the lead male is swept to the sidelines.

While this is unusual, one might still expect that the mean girl will become nicer as the show goes on- that being around the main lead will make her the the sweet leading lady we are used to- but that is not the case.

It is refreshing to see that while her relationship does help her to grow, she does not feel the need to change who she is to please others. Instead as an audience we learn to accept her for who she is recognizing that it is okay not to be okay sometimes and that people need to be accepted for who they are. This is truly something special and we’ve got to give this drama a round of applause for it!

Mental Health

The majority of the drama takes place in and around the OK Psychiatric Hospital where Moon Gang Tae works as a caregiver. This setting gives us the opportunity to get to know many residents at the hospital and the various challenges they face.

The leads are challenged by trauma and antisocial personality disorders that become difficult to navigate as they intertwine with one another.

Ultimately the characters discover that it is by loving and supporting each other – by working together that they can become stronger people.

Butterflies 나비

Butterflies play a key role in the story as they come to represent the trauma Moon Sang Tae experiences as a child.

We learn early on that Gang Tae and Sang Tae must move every few months because of Sang Tae’s fear that ‘the butterfly’ will find them and kill him.

While this does become a tangible symbol by the end of the film- there is still a lot more to it than that.

Greek Symbolism

In the drama, the butterfly is periodically referred to in its Greek form- that it represents “psyche”.

In this sense the butterfly represents a deeper understanding of a person- getting at ideas of psychology, philosophy and the soul.

Psyche from mythology was a mortal woman who Zeus took pity on and released from death by transforming her into a butterfly – granting her immortality and the ability to fly freely. In this way the butterfly symbolizes the soul of the dead who must endure trials and tribulations before achieving immortality.

Taking this interpretation into consideration, it is easy to make the connections between who the butterfly is, why they identify as a butterfly as well as Sang Tae’s uncertainty and fear.

(https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0004-282X2017000300176&lng=en&tlng=en)

Korean Symbolism

As a western viewer, I was missing out on what the butterfly could represent culturally in Korea – here’s what I learned:

Butterflies appear frequently in traditional Korean art and are often paired with flowers (this explains Lee Sang In’s insistence that the flowers in Sang Tae’s mural must be paired with a butterfly).

While butterflies depicted on their own represent joy and pleasure, butterflies paired with flowers symbolize prosperity, contentment and harmony within a family or between a couple.

This symbolism knits together the drama’s key thee of finding love, contentment and balance within a family.

(https://snackfever.com/blogs/magazine/animal-symbolism-in-south-korea)

The Butterfly Effect

With the butterfly as such an important symbol, we can’t help but think of the Butterfly Effect. This concept was formulated by Edward Lorenz who asked the question “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?”.

The idea that one small event can hugely affect the outcome of the future has been widely adopted and has since been coined “the butterfly effect”.

Without giving away too many spoilers- it is clear that Moon Gang Tae and Sang Tae’s mother’s small misstep set off a series of events that would deeply affect the future.

(https://www.americanscientist.org/article/understanding-the-butterfly-effect)

The Fairy Tale

Fairy tales are an important element in this drama. Sure- Ko Moon Young is a children’s author, but WHY the fairy tale genre?

What is a Fairy Tale?

Fairy tales are short stories that stem from myth and folk stories which typically involve creatures such as dwarfs, fairies, goblins and other mythical entities. While the details of the stories often seem surreal and unlikely, fairy tales at their heart reveal truths about human experience and nature which is often universal.

Ko Moon Young uses the grotesque to express herself for at the heart of her violent stories she reveals her own struggles through harsh lessons she learned as a child.

The Grotesque

You may have been confused realizing that Moon Young stories do not at all resemble our familiar understanding of the fairy tale in stories such as Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. But Disney has made a lot of changes to how we understand these classic stories.

Fairy tales are originally much darker than you might think!

For example- did you know that in the story of Cinderella the step mother cuts off the evil sisters toes and heels in order to squeeze their foot into the glass slipper?

Did you know that in Sleeping Beauty, princes and knights who tried to rescue the princess before the allotted 100 years were caught up in the rose thorns and strangled?

Disney has completely redefined how many of us understand fairy tales- romanticizing the genre. In this way, Moon Young’s children books thought it may at first seem strange to you, are actually much more accurately depicting the genre.

The Ending

It wouldn’t be a good Kdrama without a twist at the end! And while you should have seen it coming- we’d be surprised if you figured this one out before it is revealed.

I was surprised and that I really should have caught it- but this twist was right under my nose!

Overall, this was a relatively unique drama in which I learned something about myself and something about others.

While it isn’t an all time favorite, I defiantly enjoyed the drama and would recommend it!

Crush 크러쉬 and Coronavirus

Feeling the pandemic blues?

While we find ourselves stuck inside, confined to our apartments- there’s never been a better time to crank up the kpop and binge a kdrama!

While the kpop industry continues to release new albums and singles during this trying time, there is one artist who has really stood out: Crush (크러쉬)

While other artists seem to be moving on with a business as usual attitude, Crush has chosen to confront pandemic blues directly and has offered us some lyrics that we can’t help but identify with.

Take a listen to some of this artist’s recent work Mayday and Ohio

  • “Awake or asleep| drowning in my own thoughts”
  • “bored like a pebble stuck in a crack, yeah | I wanna enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass”
  • “eat sleep repeat, not much is going on| sitting still on the sofa, you know the stress”
  • “I did nothing today but I’m exhausted”
  • “How can it be so hard to relax”

  • “still nothing has changed”
  • “Frankly I’m not feeling much”
  • “Tired of how slowly time passes| Just wanna run like crazy| Hate myself for being anxious”
  • “I’m not fine, I’m not alright oh girl I know”
  • “Can’t remember the last time I was out”

All I can say is that Crush has pinpointed pandemic vibes and I can’t help but listen to these songs on repeat. He understands our pain.

Whoever is out there reading this- wishing you guys all the best as you tackle this difficult time.

Stay safe!

 

 

We are celebrating our First Anniversary!

cropped-ipiccy-design-1.jpg

As we ring in the new year, we are celebrating our first anniversary!

Our fist post the accident described how we accidentally fell in love with Korean Dramas in the most unlikely way!

After recognizing the fun ways that Korean culture began to sneak into our everyday lives, we decided to make a social media account to share our experience in hopes of building a space for a community of Canadian Korean Drama lovers.

We would like to thank you for all of your support!

We really enjoy reading your comments and hearing your suggestions, so keep them coming!

If there is something you think we could be doing better, please let us know!

We are excited to see what the next year will bring and look forward to sharing our favourite dramas with you so stay tuned!

 

MONSTAX: A New Sound

SO those of you who are MONSTAX fans may have noticed that they have recently been producing a new sound.

Whats going on?

who do u love

This isn’t the band we are used to- but we still love it!

As it turns out- MONSTAX has signed a contract with an american company and as such, have been producing some all English songs!

Its pretty cool to have a band that can perform in so many languages. MONSTAX- a korean band has been known to sing in Japanese, and now they are building an English collection.

monsta k love u

Check them out and share them with your friends!

they are becoming more versatile, international and trying to get into the global music scene.

English

Spanish

 

We can’t wait to see more collaborations and more multi-lingual music from this group!

Drama Drop: Vagabond 배가본드

f58d768b23e143409e35a7e8fdad2542

Title: Vagabond 배가본드

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date: September 20 – November 23 2019

Starring:Lee Seung Gi and Bae Suzy

Find it on Netflix Canda!

Vagabond06-00577

Plot

Cha Dal Geon is a young stuntman struggling to provide for his orphaned nephew. When Hoon, his nephew is killed in a plane crash, Cha Dal Geon becomes determined to prove that the disaster was the result of a terrorist attack. Enter Go Hae Ri, a secret agent for the NIS who is more of a rookie than she would like to admit. Eager to prove her worth, she is convinced to help Cha Dal Geon investigate the crash and the two begin to uncover corruption wherever they turn.

Vagabond-MAINIMAGE-03

Action

The main hero Cha Dal Geon is a stuntman who never imagined he’d be putting his kills to use in ‘real life’. As such you can imagine that this series is full of neat tricks both believable- and unbelievable. Nevertheless, you will definitely enjoy this action-based drama that follows a network of secret agents attempting to overthrow government corruption.

Suspense

If you are looking for a drama full of mystery and unexpected plot twists, LOOK NO FURTHER! I was incredibly impressed as this drama continues to throw unexpected wrenches into the plot.

If you enjoyed The K2 then you will definitely like this drama (I would go so far as to say that it is better than The K2).

 

EElohg5UcAIaz7A

Romance

If you are in it for the romance- this is not the drama for you. While Cha Dal Geon and Go Hae Ri share some tender moments, these two have yet to confide their feelings to one another… a whole 16 episodes later!

While we have high hopes for the couple in the upcoming (hopefully) next season, romance just isn’t a priority in this show. If you watch with romantic expectations, you will most likely be disjointed and unrewarded.

Thinking Deeper

This drama will cause you to question what you think know versus what you really know. While things may seem clear, sometimes what the characters know as truth and the snippets of conversations that the audience is able to witness align differently from what is really going on. Is the perspective the show gives you truly unbiased?

Overall

Overall, This drama has made it to my list of top 5 favorites! I’m absolutely in love with the action, mystery and excitement the show brings.

I highly recommend this drama and am looking forward to a second season.

GO WATCH IT

Drama Drop: Her Private Life 그녀의 사생활

Her-Private-Life4

Title: Her Private Life 그녀의 사생활

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date: April 10 – May 30, 2019

Starring: Park Min Young, Kim Jae Wook

Plot

Sung Deok Mi, a gallery curator by day and a hard core fan girl by night. As she runs between her work and ‘hobby’, she takes precautions to ensure that her private life remains separate from her professional one. When her boss Ryan Gold accidentally runs into her while she’s taking shots of her bias’s arrival at the airport, Deok Mi is afraid that he may recognize and expose her as an obsessive fan girl.

Can Deok Mi keep up the dance between these two separate realities?

 

56205170_430599620844902_639998746133790720_n

It’s Relatable

If you are a k-pop fan, then you will be able to relate to Young’s character Deok Mi, even if you are not quite such a hard core fan as she is.

Deok Mi’s room is plastered with pictures and posters of her bias. You will smile as you see her singing along to her favourite pop songs with the music blasting in the car. What would it be like if you saw, or met your bias? Deok Mi will take you on that journey. You will smile and laugh at how she defines what it means to be a fan girl and see yourself in her.

There is a moment in the first episode where Deok Mi catches a glimpse of her idol ahead of the crowd- I couldn’t help but feel a surge of excitement as I recalled my own similar experience at the Pentagon Prism Concert earlier this year when I caught a glimpse of Hui a few hour before the concert.

Take my word for it- if you’re a kpop fan, you won’t be able to keep yourself from smiling and laughing- I highly recommend this drama to you!

Kim-Jae-Wook-1

Can I Have a Bias AND a Boyfriend?

While Ryan is a little jealous of Deok Mi’s Obsessive love for Cha Shi An, he accepts her and supports her interests. Rather than becoming angry or trying to force her to choose between her bias and himself, he does research and tries to understand her better.

Ryan continues to support and encourage Deok Mi. He learns to understand the different love Deok Mi has for each of them and goes to great lengths to make her dreams come true.

While you may suspect that Deok Mi chooses one over the other herself, she never really makes this decision and remains a fan girl until the end of the drama.

Jung_Jae_Won

The Star in the Show: Jung Je Won

Jung Je Won plays the kpop star and Sung Doek Mi’s ultimate bias Cha Shi An.

For those of you who are fans of Arthdal Chronicles, you will recognize Jung Je Won as the young Ta Gon. He has also appeared in Show Me the Money, A Korean Odyssey and Room No.9

One_(Jung_Je-Won)-P1

Jung Je Won known as One, is a rapper, singer and songwriter. He debuted in 1Punch in 2015 but has since worked as a solo artist.

Check out his work!

We’re ready to be his fan now too!

 

d23214ae6fc84ee290835f47b684d675.jpeg

Overall

If you are a fan of Park Min Young, or enjoyed Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim, then you will not be disappointed.

This drama is not about action, mystery or tension – rather you will be able to watch one episode at a time. This does not mean that you won’t want to keep watching though! Rather you can watch it as a healthy pace.

This drama was really refreshing as a fun, sweet drama.

I have never felt so connected to a drama. This drama is cute, relatable, romantic and satisfying. I was laughing so hard the whole time- and THOROUGHLY enjoyed it.

Personally I liked it better than Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim and would HIGHLY recommend it, particularly to those who are also fans of kpop.

 

 

What did you think of Her Private Life?

Are you a fan of Jung Je Won?

We want to hear from you!

 

 

Looking For a New Drama?

when-someone-asks-kdrama-memes

Are you looking to start a new drama? Here’s a running list of some of the drama’s we’ve watched!

382611d47e4c8c5f1c6306b9843dc1b7

We’ve highlighted some of our favourites in blue

Action/Crime

  • Abyss
  • Decedents of the Sun
  • Healer
  • Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
  • Suspicious Partner
  • The K2
  • Vagabond
  • Live
  • Private Lives

Romance

School Romance

  • Accidentally In Love
  • A Love So Beautiful
  • Hello My Twenties (Age of Youth)
  • Love 020
  • My First, First Love
  • Weight lifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Historical/Fantasy

Sci Fi

  • About Time
  • Are You Human Too?
  • While You Were sleeping
  • My Holo Love

Film

  • Fabricated City (Ji Chang Wook)
  • I Belonged to You (Yang Yang)
  • Jurors (Park Hyung Sik)
  • Once Upon a Time (Yang Yang)
  • Parasite

talks-about-kdrama-memes

Got any Recommendations for us?

What are some classic must watch dramas?

What is your favourite drama?

Let us know in the comments below!

PENTAGON PRISM CONCERT 2019

emb2vrVF-EmE3vS5

Pentagon kicked off the North American portion of their 2019 World Tour in Toronto Canada!

Pre-Show

As huge fans of “Shine” and “Naughty Boy” we quickly snatched up tickets when we heard that Pentagon was coming to Canada.

We spent weeks listening to all of Pentagon’s recordings and studying the members faces to prepare for the event.

When the day finally came, we headed out.

The theatre was unexpectedly TINY!

2

SPOTTED!!!! BEHIND THE SCENES!!!!

While this truly isn’t a great shot- we truly DID see Hui a few hours before the concert started! We were so surprised that by the time we pulled out our phones, we were unable to catch a good shot.

We noticed some large unmarked vans coming in, and a conspicuous looking police officer who kept eyeing us sternly. So we watched…. and were rewarded!

As it turned out, a big van pulled up and people started taking out suitcases and looking through them. They looked confused and shortly Hui himself came out and started rummaging through them. He was crouched close to the ground and surrounded by production people which made it hard to capture in a photograph.

Just the same- we were ecstatic to have seen him!!!

20190903_191041

The Venue

The theater was a mere 33ft X 45ft with a stage only 25ft long. We have NEVER BEEN SO CLOSE before! It was absolutely surreal!

There weren’t any screens- and honestly- we didn’t really need them! While it was difficult to see over waving light sticks and cell phones, we were able to see ok.

OMG

I can’t emphasize how close we were!

Pentagon Names

WHAT TO EXPECT: The Line Up

1. Sha La La
2. Gorilla
3. Like This
4. Runaway
5. Just Do it Yo!
6. Humph!
7. {Cover} Havana
8. {Cover} Uptown Funk
9. Critical Beauty
10. Skateboard
11. Can You Feel It
12. When It Rains In Night
13. Beautiful
14. Lost Paradise
15. Till
16. Fantasystic
17. Pretty Pretty
18. Spring Snow
19. Naughty Boy
20. Shine

then, much shouting, screaming and chanting brought on an encore:

21. Thumbs Up!
22. Spectacular

The Concert

We were absolutely blown away. The venue was small- so we were able to see the dancing and facial expressions close up! It was PHENOMENAL

You’ll find our recording of their performance of Havana below:

We were blown away by the high energy the guys had on stage- they sang and danced their hearts out for us- one song after another with very minimal breaks.

Despite being short a member, the show went on without a hitch.

We loved how cute they were as they struggled to communicate in English and were proud of their efforts. Kino did much of the translating.

The energy and intimacy this concert offered, truly made it one of the best I’ve attended.

Are you going to see PRISM? I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did!

Did they switch up their line up? Which was your favourite song?

We’d love to hear from other Canadian and American Kpop fans!

Please let us know in the comments below!

 

Drama Drop: That Winter, the Wind Blows 그 겨울, 바람이 분다

thewinter_thewindblows

Title: That Winter, the Wind Blows 그 겨울, 바람이 분다

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date: February 13 – April 3, 2013 Netflix

Starring: Zo In Sung, Song Hye Kyo

Plot

Oh Soo never thought much about his best friend’s claims to fortune, until he is suddenly killed. Oh Soo gets into hot water and has 100 days to come up with $7 million. Driven to desperation, Soo, a con man by trade, plans to win his deceased friend’s fortune by fooling his blind sister into giving him the money.
Complications arise when Soo grows a conscience and begins to fall in love with the blind heiress Oh Young.

Thinking Deeper

This drama asks ‘whats the point of living?’. Soo examines his empty life and cannot explain his intense struggle to live when it would be so much easier to give up and accept death. While Soo will do despicable things just to keep living, Young on the other hand, continually plans her own death. In the midst of this contrast, both characters learn to understand and appreciate the brevity of life.

 

vlcsnap-2015-10-17-23h20m52s37x1.png

Overall

To be brutally honest, this drama just doesn’t hit the mark.

Zo In Sung doesn’t act, cry, kiss or withstand injury well.
While I was interested in the plot, and the suspense as Soo’s character slowly earns Young’s confidence is good, this does not make up for the bad filming and acting.

 

Drama Drop: Abyss 어비스

re.png

Title: Abyss 어비스

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date:  May 7 – June 25, 2019 Netflix

Starring: Park Bo-Young, Ahn Hyo-Seop

We were really excited when we first saw the trailer for Abyss-and the show did not disappoint.

Plot

When Cha Min is accidentally killed, he is suddenly transformed into a handsome young man, yet when Ko Se-Yeon is murdered, she comes back to life without her stunning beauty.

The two life-long best friends work together to live anonymously in their new bodies as their ID cards, friends and families can no longer help them.

The two are determined to hunt down Ko Se-Yeon’s murderer in order to reveal their true identities and get their life back on track.

Suspense

I personally prefer Kdramas that are full of mystery and suspense- dramas such as The K2 , Healer and Suspicious Partner.

If you are a fan of any of those dramas, then ‘Abyss will not disappoint.

The suspense and mystery is excellent and you will be on the edge of your seat!

250px-Abyss_TV_series

Romance

If you’re looking for romance- that is not the central focus of this drama. HOWEVER it is quirky and cute and there are plenty of ADORABLE scenes as the couple grow closer together.

If you enjoyed ‘Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’ you’ll enjoy this drama.

Provocative Questions

************SPOILERS************

When Cha Min is pushed off a roof by a supernatural being, he is given Abyss, a magical marble that brings back the dead. But there’s a catch- individuals are revived in the form of their soul.

Cha Min has always had a kind heart and as a result, he is reborn as a gorgeous man while his best friend Ko Se-Yeon, a self centered girl, is revived with “plain” features when Cha Min uses Abyss to bring her back to life.

This is a really interesting thought: what if our bodies were a reflection of our personalities?

How would you make a living if you were not recognized or registered in the world? After Min and Yeon are killed, they cannot return to work, visit their families, use their ID or even withdraw money since their bodies no longer recognizable.

What would it be like to attend your own funeral?

How do you choose who to bring back to life and who to leave deceased?

2017_02_28_22461_1488271266._large.jpg

Park Bo Young

Recognize the name? The face?

Its our favourite Park Bo-Young of ‘Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’ and ‘Oh My Ghost’!

While I didn’t love her character at first, you will definitely warm up to this spunky, sassy character.

Ahn_Hyo-Seop-P2.jpg

Ahn Hyo Seop

WHAT A HEART THROB

This has been my first introduction to Ahn Hyo Seop- and he’s my new favourite guy ❤

Born April 17, 1995 in South Korea, Seop is a rising talent.

Its no spoiler that Park Bo Young’s character quickly falls in love with Seop’s kind heart and good looks.

While watching the drama- we suddenly realized that Seop had begun speaking in (nearly perfect) ENGLISH! He sounded so natural that we had to go back and re-watch the scene.

As it turns out, Ahn Hyo Seop spent a few years living in TORONTO, CANADA we were exctatic to discover he had visited Canada- might he possibly return? How many future stars might we have in our very own midst HERE IN CANADA?

You’ll fall for him just like Ko Se-Yeon after watching this clip

Overall

If you are looking for a Kdrama that will give you something to think about, a drama full of action and suspense- then this one is PERFECT FOR YOU. Give it a try!

Do you agree with our review?

What did you think of ‘Abyss’?

Have you heard of Ahn Hyo Seop before?

Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!