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It's Okay To Not Be Okay features Joaquin Phoenix's Joker dance; Kim Soo Hyun starrer refers to COVID 19

It's Okay To Not Be Okay premiered its first and second episodes over the weekend. The Kim Soo Hyun starrer made references to Joaquin Phoenix's Joker, featured NCT's Jaehyun and a witty warning against the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19.
It's Okay To Not Be Okay features Joaquin Phoenix's Joker dance; Kim Soo Hyun starrer refers to COVID 19It's Okay To Not Be Okay features Joaquin Phoenix's Joker dance; Kim Soo Hyun starrer refers to COVID 19
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Parasite might have won the Oscars for Best Picture this year but South Koreans have clearly not turned a blind eye towards Joaquin Phoenix's Joker. This weekend, Korean drama lovers were presented with a new show called It's Okay To Not Be Okay. The tvN drama stars Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji in the lead with Oh Jung-se and Park Kyu-young. Soo-hyun plays a medical caregiver(Moon Kang-tae), working in psychiatric hospitals while Ye-ji plays a children's book author (Go Moon-young). Jung-se plays Soo-hyun's brother battling autism spectrum disorder. 

While the chemistry is evident from the moment the two stars cross paths, one must applaud the witty elements intertwined into the storytelling of the series. Before we proceed: WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD: 

For example, the first episode saw the makers plug in their own series promotion during a scene wherein Kang-tae was pushing his friend's brokedown bike through the highway. In another instance, the editor strategically placed various animations to ignite laughs as a patient threw up on Kang-tae. However, we must give it to the writers and the director for hilariously weaving in pop and current event references into the dialogues with such ease. 

Two of the biggest pop reference were spotted in the first episode. The first was a bow to Oscar-nominated movie Joker. As Moon Kang-tae and his friend Jo Jae-soo discussed Kang-tae's smile, Jae-soo informs Kang-tae that his smile reminds him of Joker before the former breaks into the iconic dance. The shoutout was amplified for the duo was seated on a flight of stairs and Jae-soo danced his way down a few steps to recreate the dance. 

In the second half of the same episode, fans spotted NCT singer Jaehyun make an appearance. Well, not in person but during a scene when Moon-young makes her way to the publishing office, the staff is seen clearing the desk of all sharp objects. At the time, one of the staff members' monitor featured the singer's photo. 

While the two pop references were made in the first episode, the makers referred to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak in the second episode. While the makers do not mention COVID-19, they do give fans a subtle precautionary reminder. It plays out when Jae-soo and Kang-tae's brother Moon Sang-tae are enjoying a meal at a restaurant. The former reaches out to the latter's bowl, hoping to scoop out a bite. However, Sang-tae stops him from dipping his spoon in the bowl and warns him that he doesn't want to contract a virus. He adds that one should cough into their elbow to prevent any sort of virus from spreading.

This, our lovely readers, is the perfect example of intelligent writing. 

Meanwhile, It's Okay To Not Be Okay has been welcomed with open arms by viewers. The K-drama marks the return of Soo-hyun to the small screen following the completion of his military training. According to Nielsen Korea, the first and second episode of It's Okay To Not Be Okay took the first spot nationwide and in the metropolitan area.

The report revealed that the premiere episode, on June 20, witnessed a rating of 6.09 percent nationwide and 7.03 percent rating in the metropolitan area. For the unversed, the metropolitan area covers Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi province. The second episode, which aired on June 21, witnessed a rating of 4.72 percent nationwide and 5.47 percent in the metropolitan area.

Speaking about his character, Soo-hyun recently said, "The character Moon Kang Tae has been hurt a lot, and I wanted to resonate with people by conveying his pain. I’m going to do a good job of explaining his healing process." As reported by Soompi, Soo-hyun added, "My chemistry with Oh Jung Se is definitely a ten out of ten. He’s totally focusing on his character even when cameras aren’t rolling, and I find myself automatically calling him my older brother. I really like that." 

Fans are not only happy with Soo-hyun's return but they are also blown away by Ye-ji's performance in the first two episodes. The actress's varied shades were seen in the episode and it soon became the talking point on Twitter. Check out a few reactions here: It's Okay to Not Be Okay Ep 1: Shirtless Kim Soo Hyun leaves Twitter thirsty, Seo Ye Ji impresses with her act

Stay tuned to Pinkvilla for more updates. 

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