In the Mood for Outstanding KDramas with Different Personalities
Korean dramas have been taking a lot of risks lately, and by risks, I mean good risks. They’re doing a good job portraying the lives of people diagnosed with personality disorders and disabilities. These dramas show that they could be as ordinary as other people, but outstanding in their unique abilities. Their unique traits and preferences make for funny antiques, which are delightful to watch.
Have you watched Extraordinary Attorney Woo, whose main character, Woo Young-woo, is a female attorney diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Young-woo is brilliant and lovable, and her knack of finding difficult legal case solutions with out-of-the-box thinking wins her boss’ praises. She can be intense in her conversational style, especially how she questions a witness in court. However, her love of whales, which is evident in how much she’s always able to connect any situation to whale facts, is so endearing to watch.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo — watch for the whale fins and tail above
Before Extraordinary Attorney Woo, I watched a Hallyu star-studded drama, Our Blues. This drama, starring Lee Byung-hun, Shin Min-ah, Kim Won-bin, Han Ji-min and Cha Seung-won, among many great others, portrays Young-ok’s (played by Han Ji-min) sister Young-hee, who has Down Syndrome. Young-hee started to draw to fill her free time while waiting for her sister’s visits and after a while, she becomes really good at it. Jung Eun-Hye, the actress who portrayed Young-hee, actually never took acting lessons before her role. Like her character in the drama, she’s also an accomplished artist in real life, whose work is captured in the documentary film Please Make Me Look Pretty.
Self-portrait of Jung Eun-hye featured in“Please Make Me Look Pretty” directed by Seo Dong-il (Jinjin Pictures)
Our Blues promotional poster
Another spectacularly good drama, Move to Heaven, tells the story of Geu-ru (Tang Jun-sang) a young man with Asperger syndrome, who works as a trauma cleaner with his ex-convict uncle, Cho Sang-gu (Lee Je-hoon) under the death of Geu-ru’s father (played by my favorite ahjussi actor, Ji Jin-hee). I actually watched this drama because of Ji Jin-hee, but fell in love with all the actors in the drama. My favorite part of this must-watch Kdrama is how evidently his father loved Geu-ru. As an audience, you’d feel this love long after his father departed the earth.
Move to Heaven promotional poster
The drama It’s Okay to Not be Okay tells not only one but two people who are different from the others. Moon Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se) is an autistic person with exceptional artistic ability who lives with his younger brother Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun). The latter then falls in love with Ko Moon-young (played by Seo Yea-ji), a successful children’s book author with an antisocial personality disorder. Moon Sang-tae must balance the demands stemming from his brother’s condition and his romantic relationship with Ko Moon-young. Her condition might have been caused by her unhappy childhood and a troubled, turbulent relationship with her parents. Her mother has a condition on her own, that is evident in the last few episodes of the drama.
It’s Okay to Not be Okay promotional poster
An older drama that also depicts people with personality disorders is It’s Okay, That’s Love. Jae-yeol (played by Jo In-sung) is a successful novelist and radio DJ who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, which most likely stems from his troubled past. Jae-yeol meets psychiatrist Ji Hae-soo (Gong Hyo-jin) and started a turbulent relationship when they finally discover Jae-yeol’s undiagnosed schizophrenia condition.
It’s Okay, That’s Love
All these Korean dramas are great in delving into different personality disorders. Our Blues is great in portraying human relationships (and it has many of them in different forms), Move to Heaven focuses on a father’s love for his son, Extraordinary Attorney Woo shows that no matter what hurdles you face in your life, you can reach greatness. It’s Okay to Not be Okay tells us that your past should not dictate your future and It’s Okay, That’s Love shows that you can rely on other people whose love and support will help you overcome difficulties.