It’s Okay to Not be Okay and Its Three Leads Top the Good Data Search Rankings for the 4th Week of July 2020

Grah, freaking July feels like a slog made worse than the usual dog days of summer by COVID-19 ennui and the never ending stay at home as much as you can self-preservation game plan. For the entirety of its 5-week run so far, tvN drama It’s Okay to Not be Okay and male lead Kim Soo Hyun has topped the Good Data internet search rankings in South Korea in the drama and actor/actress categories respectively. This is the 5th week and It’s Okay remains #1 followed by weekend stalwart Once Again and then Backstreet Rookie. It’s nice to see Oh Jung Se join his two It’s Okay costars on the top of the rankings which is Kim Soo Hyun, Seo Ye Ji, and Oh Jung Se in the 1-2-3 spot, followed by BR leads Kim Yoo Jung and Ji Chang Wook rounding out the top 5. Most impressive is seeing upcoming tvN drama Flower of Evil take the 8th spot in the drama rankings, it’s rare for a not yet aired drama to make the top 10 so there is definite interest there.

4th Week of July 2020, Top 10 Drama Searches:

  1. It’s Okay to Not be Okay
  2. Once Again
  3. Backstreet Rookie
  4. My Unfamiliar Family
  5. Was it Love
  6. Chip-In
  7. Graceful Friends
  8. Flower of Evil
  9. To All the Guys Who Loved Me
  10. The Good Detective

4th Week of July 2020 Top 10 Actor/Actress Searches:

  1. Kim Soo Hyun
  2. Seo Ye Ji
  3. Oh Jung Se
  4. Kim Yoo Jung
  5. Ji Chang Wook
  6. Jo Mi Ryung
  7. Lee Min Jung
  8. Lee Sang Yeob
  9. Lee Sang Il
  10. Lee Cho Hee


It’s Okay to Not be Okay and Its Three Leads Top the Good Data Search Rankings for the 4th Week of July 2020 — 64 Comments

  1. I noticed that this drama is getting good reviews, good media hype. Actors get praises. Production, story, and everything else get all positive. How come it fails to deliver at the rating? Is 5% the new norm in kdrama? If drama gets low rating due to bad leads, bad scripts, gets into scandal, i will understand. Don’t blame it on cable tv coz CLOY & TWOM is also on cable. This one… all praises in all aspect, yet fails miserably. The more people praise it, the more it becomes a failure because there is no excuse for not getting low double digit rating at the least. Unless, all these positivity is media hyped to cover a bad drana.

    • People need to let go of the ratings as THE indicator of a show’s success. It is only one measurement. Many ppl in South Korea are not watching this when it airs on TVN but are watching it on other platforms like a Netflix and another streaming site. Low ratings in South Korea doesn’t mean it isn’t a success it can just mean people are watching it when they want to on other platforms.

    • TVN is cable network, so 5% is actually high ratings, while public networks like KBS, SBS, and MBC need 15-20% to be considered high ratings.

    • I don’t think the drama is bad..the acting ,directing, aesthetics is all really good..but yeah writing could have been better. And it baffles me too that how come the hype and praise is not reflecting in terms of ratings..
      I don’t know but suddenly reminded of the drama Extraordinary You which topped the buzzworthy chart every week.. Although EY’s quality detoriated towards the end( I haven’t watched it but read quite some reviews about it), it was still praised a lot.. However the ratings were around 3-4pc that too for a public channel..But it was named as MBC drama of the Year..

      Also I do get that good dramas can get low ratings like Stranger, Melo is my nature, Mother etc..But come on..KSH is a rating magnet and that too he is working on a praiseworthy drama ,so the results are definitely dismal. Infact he himself wished it to be 15 pc.

      Coming Back to Its Okay To Not Be Okay..the reason could be that the theme and moreover the pacing couldn’t resonate well with a section of society..hence average ratings..You just need to take a look at the trend not the overall rating to get an idea because first episode is the one having highest ratings.

      That Netflix, TVing excuse is often put up..but other dramas like CLOY(it was in the same time slot as IOTNBO) and probably IC as well was also aired in TVIng apart from Netflix.. However fans didn’t have to constantly bring up the excuse of them being streamed in other platforms because the ratings were anyway satisfactory..

      It is frustrating if the drama you love is not getting the due reception but still what one can do..the verdict remains in the hands of SKoreans.

      • Ummm, WHUT?!

        It’s a very long comment and some fangirls have found a way to be passive aggressive when saying shit about this drama – again. Meh. Nothing new.

        But just hold up a moment. Extraordinary You did NOT – I repeat, did NOT top search engines and good data every week. In fact, it didn’t top it even once from the day it started till it ended, before it and after it. The reason I know is because it aired during the time Vagabond and When the Camelia Blooms aired and those two dramas were always on top. Extraordinary You didn’t even reach top 5 most buzz worthy dramas most of the time. So lol, great try and all, but that was a fail. Better luck next time.

      • @Ridic
        Extraordinary You didn’t top Gooddata even once, hmm, shall we fact check?
        According to google search it spent not one but two weeks straight at top in Gooddata report in the week marked by Date October 29th, 2019…and I know it spent rest of its run in top 2 or 3. It was massively buzzed show. Why do you guys try to lie about things when its all their in the web? Its embarassing.

      • @ Gem ..good point ..they need to do some research first.. EY was indeed buzzworthy despite having rookie actors..How can EY sustain against dramas with big names like VB and Camellia and that’s why it slipped to 2nd , 3 rd places later on.

        First of all I m not a fangirl of any oppa..And I didn’t even watch Extraordinary You..I wrote about it cause this is what I could gather reading online stuffs and reviews..
        I m watching Its Okay Not to be Okay and I like it..But I don’t love it to the extent of other fans . There are few issues with the story that doesn’t fit well with me..We all have different perceptions and interpretations after all..
        My reply was to the OP who couldn’t understand the abysmal ratings..And I m someone who believes it is not due to other Ott platforms but solely due to the dark theme of the drama that don’t appeal to everyone..
        I m a neutral viewer and seems like some people don’t even flinch while tagging someone as a hater just because their opinions may differ.

      • hhhhh Exactly. It’s a great drama with critical acclaim, and I think it will have a lot of nominations at Baeksang next year. But I don’t know why fans are so defensive and trying too hard to justify the under-performing domestic ratings. It’s average, not a flop, but not a hit either. Nothing wrong with that.

    • The more people praise it, the more it becomes a failure. How exactly? Because it’s not double digits? If your definition stands, then Hotel Del Luna, Encounter, Stranger, My Mister, etc etc etc would ALL be “failures”. Except two of these dramas got the best drama award at the Baeksangs and is universally loved by most people. What exactly is the definition of a “successful” drama anyway? Television ratings? Definitely. If these dramas got 1%, yup sure. Could be a failure. But getting decent numbers, critical acclaim, huge hype, positive reviews and likely many award nominations is what I would consider a successful drama.

      Getting double digits occasionally but getting shitted on, performances being questioned, drama being made fun on a general level (fangirls excluded) is on the other hand, what I’d call a drama that “failed miserably”. All the more if it has a big budget because that’s a huge loss on investors. CLOY is definitely successful. That’s the biggest drama of the year. It’s Okay is not as big and that’s okay lol. Its getting such rave reviews and critical acclaim along with tons of hype online. It’s already in the top30 most watched drama in Netflix across the world. That’s good to me. That’s successful. Big time.

      • Blueberrryyy Encounter and HDL both reached double digits though and never went below 7-8% after premiere week. IOTNBO’s peak remains 6.1% for its premiere episode and is now either in the 4% or 5% range per episode. Encounter and HDL are also both in the Top 17 highest rated cable dramas of all time whereas this will likely not even make the Top 50 list.
        I like IOTNBO and find it a praiseworthy drama all around, but let’s not be delusional in thinking it can be compared to those two which moderate hits. IOTNBO is just average in ratings.

      • @goddessSHK – Maybe you should re-read either the OG comment or mine. Clearly you didn’t comprehend it, so let me break it down to you slowly:

        The OG comment said “d-o-u-b-l-e d-i-g-i-t”. Did Encounter or Hotel Del Luna achieve that? Nope. On the other hand, My Mister’s average was 5.6% and Stranger’s average was also 5.6% but got critical acclaim, a Baeksang Daesang and best drama awards.

        I get that SHK is in Encounter and it’s probably a good drama all round but let’s not be delusional and think that it’s better than Stranger or My Mister just because it never went below 7-8 range. The two dramas weren’t even nominated in for anything, let alone win best drama. Ratings isn’t the be all end all. Stranger/My Mister vs Hotel Del Luna/Encounter is a proof of that. As for It’s Okay, we can’t say now can we? The drama has literally not ended so we can’t know the average and the awards season hasn’t started so we can’t tell if it will win.

        The point is, I’d take average ratings with critical acclaim over occasional double digits or “7-8” range any day of the week.

        K, I’m out.

    • @cottoncandy. it’s trending no 1 in my country Malaysia on top 10 NETFLIX lists says a lot about this drama popularity. I think u can ignore the rating already 😀

    • To be fair, this drama has a lot of cliche and how the leads can suddenly be better at EP 12 because they let their heart out is more fantasy than reality, the general viewer now prefer realistic drama like camellia, world of Married, once again, Itaewon class or just shoot through the unexplained premise like crash landing.

      It’s okay story wise is fantasy like but market themselves as realistic. The writing is lacking, it just the actors did wonder to make people believe the emotion.

      Also people who watch it love it’s that’s can count on something.

    • 5% at TVN as a cable channel is pretty decent figure as opposed to free-to-air MBC, KBS or SBS. Just a few years ago any dramas at cable above 3 or 4 % is regarded as good rating but a few record breakers have stretched the bar much higher.

  2. The topic just doesn’t connect with the crowed that is watching TV and I read that the female lead’s forwardness does not sit well with the older audience in SK. I mean she’s been trying to bed the male lead since the beginning of the drama and that makes it uncomfortable for families to watch on TV. I wouldn’t call the show a fail though since it consistently ranks No.1 on Netflix Korea and even charting in countries like Australia and Canada. As mentioned in this article, it’s been the most buzz worthy drama since it started airing and been getting rave reviews so I don’t think the production would be disappointed.

  3. The subject matter may also not be everyone’s cup of tea. My husband, who is a case manager and works with his patients who are bipolar, schizophrenic, etc saw the first episode and went, “Woah, these are heavy topics they are addressing!” But he loved the show as it has great acting, beautiful cinematography, and creativity that he has not seen yet in many other dramas. He does not watch too many but did catch scenes of dramas that I watched, and most are usually light-hearted fare or heavy on the romance. This drama, though, is on another level. My husband actually stayed awake watching this and the other Korean drama he loved was Kingdom (1 and 2).

    For me, I do not go by ratings either although I do feel bad for the crew involved if the drama does not get as high of a rating as it should.
    I have watched Korean Dramas since the times of Boys over Flowers, and I will say, this one may be, in my opinion, the best of them all. This drama really shows, and highlights, how far Korean film-making has come and to be able to weave an impactful story about mental illness (and addressing it in ways that were never, or hardly, done before) into a Korean drama, and flesh out each character, is an amazing breakthrough. And hopefully, many more dramas will follow suit to help reduce the stigma around mental illness/health. And to have people understand and embrace the fact that “It’s okay to Not be Okay” (pun intended).

    Anyways, please excuse the length. This is actually my first time posting anywhere about a Korean drama as I usually just lurk and read. Wishing everyone a great week! Thank you for reading.

    • Thanks for sharing your meaningful comment. It’s nice to read that your husband is enjoying this drama. I have a younger sister who doesn’t watch that many K drama and this one also bought her back. I have been watching K drama since Jewel in the Palace 2003 and I think this show is innovative with its writing, production and brilliant acting. There hasn’t been a Kdrama like this one before and def now in my top 3 Kdrama.

  4. Based upon what I read here and there, the curses and the bold female lead don’t sit well with older generation. So this is not a drama that a youngster going to watch in the living room with Mom, Dad, Nan and Grandad during weekend. That’s why majority of youngsters watching in their own room online.

    Beside average 5% is considered really good for cable though.

    • 5% rating was considered “really good” 5 years ago. Now, cable channels are at par with public channel. So, the goal now is to hit 8 and above percent to be considered a mid hit.

      • Not only that ..a 5% for KSH is not equal to a 5% for a rookie actor. Is all about expectations.

        Just like I won’t say AC and VB are real flop but due to budget and leads, they are called flop.

        So the same number can be read differently.

  5. Oh my god…6-10 are all Once Again actors..???..This drama is epic…A family weekender and this much popular amongst the younger!!
    Especially no. 6 Jo Mi Ryung..god..her arc as the fake sister is so annoying and this list proves that everyone is hating on her..Writer plzz let her exit from the show as quick as possible..

  6. I love this drama but I’m not going to pretend that its ratings is close to good. Not with the budget and hype it has. Let’s be honest. Netflix and other steaming platforms aren’t as important, domestic ratings is more important. They don’t make more money based on how much it’s watched on Netflix. Too bad people are sleeping on an amazing drama. That’s why we don’t get nice things.

  7. I am currently watching My Golden Life, somehow I am seeing Seo Ye Ji in Shin Hye Sun. I remembered watching Lawless Lawyer and was seeing Shin Hye Sun in Seo Ye Ji.

  8. For those who watch it, they may like it a lot. But many won’t even be interested in this subject matter. I guess that explain why it has excellent review but it is not up to expectation rating wise.

    For me, acting and directing is great but story/pacing is not. At times I find it a little too slow. Overall it is a good drama.

  9. Oh Jung Se is in two dramas that are in the 10 being the villain in The Good Detective. So I’m not surprised to see him in the classment.

    I’m happy for IOTNBO, Backstreet Rookie and overall for My Unfamilar Family. This drama was a gem between the story and the actors. It was a family weekender drama but without all the fillers and more focused on the main characters.

  10. Netflix Top 10 in little ole New Zealand I’m in shock! Seriously, a Korean drama being ranked in the top 10 is unbelievable in my neck of the woods. I guess me spamming my family, friends, workmates ti watch IOTBNO worked lol. Glorious achievement for everyone involved in bringing this masterpiece to the screen so sorry if it’s lagging in Korea at 5% the rest of the world isn’t sleeping on this. It’s definitely made an impression and stamped it’s mark. ??

    • I was pretty surprised when it ranked 8 and 9 on Netflix Canada when new episodes dropped over the weekend. Didn’t know Canadians are into kdramas too.

      • In Australia too; top 10 Netflix placing. Just feeling really honoured that IOTBNO features in the top 10 of an English speaking country. I think some K pop idols who have dropped the fact they’re watching the drama had some influence. No other K drama has done this so it’s quite surreal that it’s actually happening.

        PBIO nation/Okay family are the Best, most fun loving fandom EVER. Just check out MDL, DB, Soopmi forum to see. ?

      • I just checked it’s history ranking and see it actually placed 5 and 6 in Australia last week. Wow, that’s quite a feat. I think good word of mouth is what selling the drama.

      • Was surprised too that it always on top10 here in Australia but am not surprise why its top1 in many asian countries and reached Top8 Netflix worldwide.

        This article talked about how dramas are aiming for overseas market since netflix willing to pay big. Also talked about Netflix paying 60% of IOTNBO production cost (20B production cost- Netflix pays 12B).

        Drama also airing on tving getting 76% or more viewership. Think this drama is very successful.

      • Top Ten in Australia? Not really.

        How come SYJ is called an ajumma? KSH is older than her.

    • @Misty Eyes – Yes surprisingly enough Australia registered IOTBNO top 10 Netflix early days and it continued to stay there. Netflix EU will drop all 16 eps mid August so that will be another region that will feature in ratings.

    • hahaha… Look at your waistline first, I don’t think an ahjumma can have such a slim waist like SYJ. Eye smile is very popular in Asia. You must be jealous.

  11. This drama is receiving as much hate as it is receiving love…jeez, people chill. Just don’t watch if you have to judge. there are plenty of shows out there.

    • Actually, nah. Not at all. This drama is hardly getting any hate at all other than here, where all the crazy jealous fangirls gather. Most of the people here don’t even watch the drama which is why it’s rare to see a comment explaining why the drama itself isn’t good. It’s always fangirls and their wars. So tiring.

      In reality, it’s been a while since a drama from an A-lister in the 85-89 age group got such rave reviews. It’s not just the acting which is top notch, but the writing and directing has gotten praises and accolades across all channels.

      • @Lines


        I scour a lot of major drama blogs and sites but this is the only place where I see HATE, actual HATE against the drama.

        I’m not talking about criticisms from those who are just not feeling the drama or have issues with aspects of it.

        I’m talking about those who’ve clearly never watched the drama and those who claim to have dropped it yet feel the need to comment in EVERY IOTNBO article here about what a ratings flop it is and how is so much better. The worst go so far as to insult the female lead’s looks.

        Wow. Just, wow.

      • @Aurora yea it’s obviously just jealousy at this point and it’s from a specific group of fans too.

        The only thing anyone can attack this drama on is the ratings at the end of the day. It’s not as high as one would expect of a KSH drama. He’s set himself some exponentially high expectations. Fair enough. But the “hate” on this drama doesn’t exist. It’s only rabid fangirls feeling threatened again that their oppa or unnie’s drama didnt get the numbers or the accolades PBIO is getting.

        Truth is that it’s ludicrous to criticize the acting of anyone in the drama and they know this after seeing ALL the love it gets from literally every single website, social media platform etc. So they resort to looks. Since KSH was a child actor, plastic can’t be a retort. They tried “he doesn’t look like a man” except that also didn’t work. So they’ve moved on to SYJ who is not only stunning but can also act AND have chemistry with her costars. These kids have been making a fool of themselves since the start of this drama. It’s embarrassing.

  12. This drama airs on Netflix one hour after airing on TVN. It’s been the number one Netflix drama program in South Korea almost every day since it began airing (less than 5 days it was the number two or three) program. The Netflix rankings are here:

    It’s TVing numbers are in the high seventies. A lot of people are watching it but not on cable. It is what it is.

    • Top1 on Netflix Korea and other SE Asian countries and on Top10 in a lot of countries and gets around 76% viewership on tving, Great reviews and trending on twitter worldwide.
      It this is not called success then i don’t know what success is…

  13. SYJ has been called plastic, a giraffe, ahjumma on this blog alone but one things for sure no one has criticised her acting. So…

    Everybody happy, happy happy.

    PS: SYJ First time nominee then candidate for The most 100 beautiful women/faces in the world so I guess her plastic/giraffe/ahjumma looking face must resonate with T C Chandler and the judges. ?

    • Right? And then they pass their “hate” as “constructive criticism”. But they cannot criticise the one thing that is important for an actor/actress: his/her acting. Because they know she can act and they cannot refute it. Hilarious really.

      • @Rei- The ‘plastic’ comments get me the most. Korean ps surgeons on you tube have commented on a photo floating around of SYJ when she was in high school and one of them said it’s definitely not her but the muppets stay convinced it is. Anyone with sight can tell the difference. Thank goodness SYJ was chosen as MY because any other actress could have really wrecked her characterisation and SYJ could channel previous characters namely comedic Soo Young from potato star; cold and calculating Princess Sook Myung from Hwarang and Defiant, determined Sang Mi from Save Me to realise Mun Yeong.

  14. I think the biggest factor that affects the rating is the season. Spring to Summer that runs from April to September are seasons that tough to achieve high rating because people are out during these period. Unlike winter, people are mostly indoors and have better opportunities to watch the tv.

    I think that’s the reason why Stranger(Secret Forest) was still nominated and won many major awards. And despite that fact that the drama averaged rating was only 4.5% and yet achieved many accolades, because on top of being aired on Summer season, it was aired on Weekdays. Considering the genre, 4.5% average is quite high.

    So if IONTBO rating would slightly increase and maintains 6-7% in the second half and peaks to at least high 8%, I guess there’s still a chance to be nominated on awards. Though it would be competing with Secret Forest that is premiering in August on the Sat-Sun timeslot.

    • Huh? That really doesn’t matter tho. Like, doesn’t matter at all. Baeksangs is about quality, not ratings which is literally what makes them such a reliable award function.

      This year Hyena lots of nominations when it was mediocre rated vs Romantic Teacher 2 peaked at 27% and had Han Suk Kyu yet didn’t get nominations at all in any significant categories. Same with Hospital Playlist – also very few nominations for it despite stellar ratings. Last year, Children of Nobody (despite the absolutely dismal – read, 3-4% ratings in a public channel) got nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Drama. So many other examples – just at the top of my head, there’s Mother, Fight My Way and even Stranger (peaked at 6.5). Baeksangs doesn’t care for ratings. They look at quality. Whether IOTNBO can be nominated is something to see for later. But what I’m getting at, is even if they remain in the 5% range, it doesn’t increase/decrease their chance to be acknowledged. What would affect it is the drama itself. The acting itself. The direction itself.

  15. For those who can read Hangul, I suggest having a look at this article from Naver. It will explain where the industry is currently at and what ratings really mean (or not mean). It also talks about how well received Psycho, but it’s okay vs King specially domestically. It’s not about the comparison however. It’s discussing the change in the industry. So many here are stuck with ratings-ratings-ratings and as a Korean living overseas, I find it somewhat weird that non Korean fans are so obsessed with it. Anyway, if you can, have a read. Might do a lot of people some good here.

      • Thank you for this. I think I will go for the researchers’ findings and analysis. After all, that is their line of expertise. I can not read Hangul but I read an English translation of it somewhere. The researchers are calling it the third wave? First poster was winter Sonata paving SK’s First wave in Japan, the second poster is My Love From Another Star paving the second wave in China and the third poster redefining the wave of SK as we know it and paving the third wave via OTT (streaming like Netflix) is the poster of Its Okay To Not Be Okay. One point of discussion is how even if it is still currently ongoing (if my memory serves me right, the research findings came out when the drama is just going to its second half) managed to bring in what can redefine SK’s wave which goes beyond cultural but now more than ever into economic contribution. This can be good for SK. Sometimes I am even thinking that the way they release the shows of their Halyu stars is by design. The way they seem to intentionally schedule when to release the drama of their Halyu stars which doesn’t clash (thus, example CLOY was released first then TKEM then IOTNBO). What is ironic though, and most probably not anticipated by SK is that kdrama fans are no longer just fans of kdrama in general, they became fans of a specific Halyu star. Unfortunately, badmouthing one over another and coming up with an excuse to undermine one content against another. Nonetheless, I am hopefull, our country could learn from SK findings and at the same time be able to anticipate fanwars thus manage it further. With hollywood and other country’s film industry slumping due to the pandemic, SK based ent. company like studio dragon and Gold Medalist, forging partnership with US based streaming sites like Netflix is most probably the next big thing and a very good business model to follow.

    • @PinkSeals

      It is indeed very weird that the people here who mock the drama’s cable ratings and insist on declaring it a flop (which it isn’t) are not even Koreans, in the first place.

      I read a similar sentiment on the changing industry here:

      Thanks for sharing the links. I’ll read them. (The hatefuls won’t bother, even if they could read 한글).

    • Interesting article. What they discuss in the article can be applied to the rest of the world…advertisers need to adjust to the way people watch dramas these days. In the US, this year’s Emmy television award nominations were dominated by streaming sites (Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV) and cable (HBO). As for changing the minds of some rabid fans on this site, the article probably won’t change their thinking. They’re rabid for a reason and probably need therapy.

      • Good point.

        I love this drama. It’s beautifully written and you can’t help but care about the characters.
        I really liked CLOY too earlier this year but there were bits I found boring but nothing like that here.
        This show is just really special, the entire narrative is so engaging. And I loved the way they have treated the Moon brothers’ stories here. It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

        I just wish it did better ratings-wise because I am sure it does bothers the people who have worked so hard on this. Not to say that people in other dramas do not work hard but this one is so special and such stories need to be told more often and not leave the writers and crew disheartened. But I am just speculating here, maybe they are fine with it and happy that its being received so well everywhere else.

      • I think the ratings affect the airing station the most so it really comes down to the ad revenue for them and how much they paid to the production company. That is info that we are not privy to though the people in the drama said they hoped for 15%. In this new streaming world, the drama could work great for Netflix and even get critical acclaim and still not make much profit for the tv station which is unfortunate.

      • @Kat the conglomerate CJE&M owns the production company, Studio Dragon, who produced IONTBO and the cable television network, tvN, that broadcasts IONTBO. Netflix bough 4.99% shares of Studio Dragon. I don’t think CJE&M is hurting with regards to profits. They’re double dipping…domestic money from broadcasting on tvN and international money with their business deal with Netflix.

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