It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, the hot K-Drama, which became the talk of the town, is more than just a romantic story between a couple. Dealing with past memories, antisocial personality disorder and family issues, the show follows the journey of a children’s book author, an autistic person and an orphaned caregiver as they learn to accept their own past.

But, did you know that each episode took inspiration from or reflected most of some dark folklore and fairy tales?

Chapter 1: The Boy Who Fed On Nightmares

Gondolier, Boat, Moon, Water, Night, Lake, Mood

Once upon a time, there lived a small boy in a village who loved to dream. Every night, he went to bed happily, thinking about the new adventure awaiting him. However, one night, instead of landing in the world of dreams, he ended up in a dark and horrible place, also called a nightmare. The bad memories from his past that he wanted to obliterate kept replaying and haunting him in his dreams. Terrified of falling asleep and waking up again crying, one day, the boy decided to meet the evil witch of dreams, who lived in a pitch-black place surrounded by weird smoke. 

Trembling with fear, the little boy begged, “Please, please get rid of all my bad memories so that I won’t ever have a nightmare again. Then, I will do everything you ask.”

The witch stared deeply into his eyes before granting his wish by making him drink a purple-colored potion. And, so years went by and the little boy was now an adult. But, not even once did he get all those spine-chilling nightmares. He is supposed to be happy, isn’t it? But, strangely, he was not. 

One night when the blood moon captured the sky, the witch appeared again, this time to take what the boy promised to give in return for granting his wish. Filled with resentment, he asked her how come he was unhappy even though she took away all of his bad memories. 

Before taking his soul and make him her slave for eternity, the witch replied, “Hurtful, painful memories. Memories of deep regrets. Memories of hurting others and being hurt. Memories of being rejected and abandoned. Only those with such memories buried deep in their hearts can become stronger, more passionate, and emotionally flexible. And only those can attain true happiness.”

This story marks the beginning of the series, where the characters are introduced. It also depicts how

suffering and pain form part of our lives and that makes us who we are, humans.

How can you distinguish between sadness and happiness if you can feel only one thing?

Chapter 2: The Lady In Red Shoes

Violence Women Red Shoe Symbol - Free photo on Pixabay

This is the story about a little girl who loved her red shoes so much that she always wore them everywhere she went, even to bed. 

But, what’s more unique, or should I say lethal, about those shoes is that as soon as she wore them, she started dancing and dancing and forget about stopping, she could not even remove them. But, despite this, she never ever gave up on those shoes. 

So, in the end, an executioner had to cut off her feet. Sad? What if I tell you that those two feet still continued dancing in those red shoes?

The Lady In Red Shoes is a reminiscence of the things for which we tend to develop an obsessive attachment and which become hard to let go. And, in the drama, this applies to Ko Moon Young, who is obsessed with sharp objects and, of course, Gang Tae.

Chapter 3: Sleeping Witch

Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, Fairy Tales

A long time ago, there lived a princess in a castle located in the middle of a deep, deep forest. But, despite her delicate and flawless beauty, she was destined to die by a needle on a spinning wheel – that was the curse an evil witch proclaimed on her the day she was born. 

Afraid of his daughter’s life, the king burned all the spinning wheels in the kingdom. But, in the end, the curse won and the princess ended up in eternal sleep. 

This fairytales clearly tells you how you can never escape your destiny. What’s supposed to happen will happen.

The dark and grotesque drawings of Jamsan, a concept artist, combined with the screenwriter Jo Yong’s cruel and vibrant stories, were able to capture the hearts of viewers and made them hold on to the dark characters, the mystical fantasies, the hidden secrets and troubled pasts.