K-Drama Review: Because This Is My First Life Pitches The Choices And Bargains We Make For Love
Because This Is My First Life proves how predictable drama plots can be reinvented to create an endearing love story of minimalist approach, yet filled with love retrospection.
TITLE: Because This Is My First Life
THEME: Drama, Romance, Comedy
LENGTH: 16 Episodes
BROADCAST PERIOD: 9 Sept 2017 – 28 Nov 2017
MAIN LEADS: Jung So Min, Lee Min Ki
Plus Factors: Vibrant Cast, Heartwarming Screenplay, Retrospective Love and Life Lessons
Related Dramas: Discovery of Love, Another Oh Hae Young, Oh My Ghost, I Need Romance, It’s Okay That’s Love
Armed with equally captivating side romance stories, the heart-fluttering affair of two people who found love through a marriage contract is my highly-recommended rom-com drama for 2017.
Who would have thought that Because This Is My First Life would pull off a unique attraction based on its familiar tune? Surprisingly it did, and I think followers of Lee Min Ki and Jung So Min’s adorable love story agree on the sweet highs the story brings each week.
No self-help books can teach how life can be lived perfectly the first time. In this emotionally perceptive drama, we are given pep talks on how to burst happiness on our faces by living and loving to the fullest.
Charmingly Reinvented Plot Cliches
Because This Is My First Life runs a contemplative storytelling about two people who agreed to share a house as a tenant and landlord to satisfy their current needs. Yoon Ji Ho, an assistant drama writer who graduated at a top university works hard on her scenarios in the hopes of a possible breakthrough that would land her first TV drama project.
Nam Se Hee on the other hand, has a decent regular job but the upkeep of the house he got is causing a rhythm disruption to his preferred routine-led life. His solution of getting a housemate to pay the difference of the money he needs for his monthly budget is giving him stress as his house rules and eccentric character do not match with prospective roommates. Then Ji Ho came and according to the math he calculated, she is the first person who passed the possibility of living with him harmoniously.
Those little moments on how subconsciously the main leads are showing up at each other’s worst times are bringing the still faint love attachment that eventually build up in the future chapters. The story charms through the engrossing cast while smartly laying a heartfelt narrative to make the viewers feel invested on where the story is heading. It maneuvers to a winning direction of the love realization between two people who initially disregarded romance as the driving point of a marriage possibility.
Ji Ho finally gets a writing break. But as everything seems not easy for her, she gives it up to settle for what would work best for her while staying firm with her personal convictions. She agrees to marry Se Hee who is pressured by her mother’s woe of his father’s divorce threat should he not tie the knot with someone.
The marriage they settle conveniently solves their problems with personal freedom stipulation on the side. The contract marriage plot inevitably takes the path of the eventual romance for the featured couple who slowly grow fond of each other.
The oddity and circumstances of how the lead couple decide to marry each other because one needs a house to keep, and the other needs a house to live are proving to be the intangible magic that make the viewers root for how the two of them will find love when they do not treat it as a necessity in their lives.
Memorable Love Pairings
Because This Is My First Life displays amusingly drawn characters which involves three love pairings with varying love issues. The advantage of a drama with a small cast is how you can easily keep track of the base plot along with distributing properly the sub stories to prevent over saturation of the primary plot.
tvN’s year end rom-com hits an appealing showcase which salvages the “almost there but not quite” accomplishments of the drama line up they set for 2017. If truth be told, the secondary cast’s love stories can propel a decent spin off.
Ji Ho and Se Hee
I have not expected anything from this drama to be honest. I was just looking forward to Lee Min Ki’s small screen comeback. I think that is the reason why I got pulled in to the beautiful narrative deeply. Because it gave me so much more, when I did not even ask for anything. It is also one of those rare occasions that I sympathized more with the hero more than the heroine of the story.
Lee Min Ki and Jung So Min pulled off a relatable couple who have gone through the pain and apprehensions of taking a chance on love. Theirs is a romantic landscape that stirs your heart and bothers your thoughts owing to how the characters gravitate you into their world, that seems familiar because you might have been at that point some time in your life.
I love that the story chose to give the emotional limelight to the lead man instead of the usual crying moments expected of the lead girl. I love how they wove a realistic ending by making the lead girl as the stronger person in the love frame. That way we get a taste of a fictional hero who genuinely grew up from being a stoic nerd to a brave man who comes to terms with his agonizing family issues when he gets to taste how losing your one great love is more painful.
Ho Rang and Won Seok
For the long-time couple who goes on and off about what they really want to do with each other, we got a love lesson on how you can’t get everything to work as you please when it comes to marriage. Their roller-coaster relationship is crazy most of the time, but the amount of memories they shared through the years has sealed a binding connection that haunts and challenge them on their half-hearted letting go.
Soo Ji and Sang Goo
Ambition driven Soo Ji has never included having a serious relationship on her bucket list. But the persevering love struck CEO Ma Sang Goo melts her heart to accept the love she deserves. Loving entails acceptance of the good and the bad of the person. That is what the drama’s perky couple accomplished.
Love and Life Lessons
Room 19 is featured in Episode 13 of the drama. Ji Ho shares her favorite novel with Se Hee about a woman in a loveless but functioning marriage who has rented a room for herself away from her family in moments when she wants to be alone. In the finale episode when the couple reunites to make their relationship right and based on love, Ji Ho thanks Se Hee for finally opening his Room 19 and showing the emotional side of him that he has not shown before.
Engaging in a relationship entails doing things together and taking in consideration your partner’s idea before making any decision. That causes either one of you a craving to be emancipated in a world that you can be alone. When that happens you make the other person overthink about why you are opting to keep everything by yourself. Make sure that when you go to your Room 19, your lover stays at Room 18.
Love Requires Adjustment
Letting someone come in your life means you are allowing them to see you warts and all. If you are not willing to compromise and communicate, the romance would not grow. Because This Is My First Life earnestly worked on its pragmatic setting. It clearly delineates what goes on each character’s mind hence you get to know their motivations very well.
In the concluding episodes, the love driven conflicts are resolved by letting the three couples listen and accept their indifference. They talk, they never jump into conclusions because the characters are quick to notice the disconnecting part.
While the story building makes use of lengthy conversations and circling situations, the meaningful and direct reality bites nudges are what compel the viewers to appreciate the story’s sincere setting.
Love Second Chance
In the event that love fails, it does not mean that it can’t start again. There is always a reason why you have held on to a love affair. The three love stories show failures and weepfest scenes before they all reconcile on how each relationship will work.
Ji Ho and Se Hee nullify their initial marriage contract to create a marriage powered by love. They overcome inhibitions by succumbing to that one reason why they want to be with each other. They let go of rationalizing why it might not work out.
Sailing on a serene pace, Because This Is My First Life is that one drama I would not mind watching all year since there are a lot of bends and back stories that the simple plot can still explore. I think most fans would want the narrative to prolong for fan service, but then it has always been the lessons from their romantic discoveries that made us root for this drama unconditionally.
Powered by a vibrant cast, the heartfelt writing reinvented the trite rom-com cohabitation premise to a whole new level, leaving traces of feel-good love affirming moments that would make you smile after each chapter.
Because This Is My First Life is a tale that would easily grow fond in your heart. If you want to deviate from the standard romance stories, with a relaxing drama that is intuitively penned, an overnight marathon of Se Hee and the gangs’ love journey will make you sigh and ponder about the sweet little moments of being in love.
If truth be told, if you have been hesitating on your marriage plans, this yolo drama prods you to disregard commitment anxieties. Se Hee and Ji Ho’s heartfelt affair is a must-watch spectacle I gladly recommend for everyone to watch. It is a sweet Kdrama gift for us this 2017.