KDrama Review : Because This is My First Life –– A Drama Worth Every Single Second
A house-poor man and homeless woman become housemates in a drama that examines the institution of marriage and the problems that young people face today.
Nam Se Hee is a single man in his early 30’s. He has chosen to not marry. He owns his home, but he owes a lot on his mortgage. Meanwhile, Yoon Ji Ho is a single woman in her early 30’s. She does not own a home and envies those that do. She has given up on dating due to her financial struggles. Yoon Ji Ho begins to live at Nam Se Hee’s house. They become housemates.
A Sneak Peek Into “Because This Is My First Life” :
Yoon Ji Ho, came from a patriarchal family. A girl who, in all of her birthdays from when she was little until 19 years of age, had been unable to blow her own birthday candles and sneak in a wish before her birthday candles were blown off by her younger brother. Finally however, when the day of her 20th birthday arrived and she was able to celebrate it with her best friends, Ji Ho made her first wish. Her one and only wish that had stayed the same throughout all the changes in her life.
Ji Ho wanted to be a writer.
And now, 10 years after Ji Ho made her first wish surrounded by her loved ones, her dreams had finally came true. Ji Ho had become a melodrama writer –– wait, actually –– an assistant writer for Korean melodramas.
After months of constant all nighters, caffeine bingeing and stressed script correcting, the drama writing had finally –– slowly but surely –– come to an end. Finally, after months of being waking up early and leaving late at night, Ji Ho will be able to leave her small office and head home.
However, her joyful day only lasted so long. Because as soon as she stepped a foot into her house, she quickly found out that her brother had gotten a woman pregnant and said woman had become his wife.
Ji Ho is about to be an aunt.
Naturally, Ji Ho’s father is happy about the news, being that he wanted to continue on the family legacy and have a big family –– better yet if his grandchildren were sons. Ji Ho however, was less happy about the news. It was well understood that one does not simply live with newlyweds. If not for the fact that their lovey dovey stage could be annoying –– and envying –– to witness, then it would be for the reason that no one wants to hear couples getting it on almost every single night.
With all that said, another thing that she realized on that very long and tiring day was this :
Ji Ho had to move out and find somewhere else to live. Worse, she had no idea how.
At first, Ji Ho was crashing with one of her best friend Woo Su Ji. After a while however, even Ji Ho knows that living with her friend was not sustainable. No matter how much her friend didn’t minded.
Again, Ji Ho found herself at a loss. She was 30, not really getting far in her dream career, didn’t have a place to stay, and not much money to her name either. She looked and searched high and low for affordable apartments, only to come up blank.
Ji Ho was 30 years old, and she still hadn’t have her life together. Ji Ho felt lost.
Until one fateful day, when one of her best friends showed her an apartment ad of a lifetime. The owner of the apartment needed no deposit money, only a rent of $300 a month. In return, Ji Ho would have to take care of recycling and feed the owner’s pretty cat, Kitty.
It’s a steal no matter how Ji Ho looked at it. And thinking that she was desperate for a place to stay at the time, this apartment ad could not have come at a better time. Be it fate or be it luck, Ji Ho was not plannig on missing out on this once in a lifetime offer.
3 Words to Sum Up This Drama :
Poignant, Uncomplicated, Relatable
I’m in love. There is no other way that I can profess just how obsessed I am with this drama. And to think that all of this happened because I decided to give this Korean drama another go after dropping it a few months back. Haven’t we all heard the saying of : don’t judge a book by it’s cover? Apparently, it is something that your girl would have to practice more because, damn.
Can you just imagine what would have happened if I decided to just go with my initially assumption of this drama and miss out on such a gem? I would have be sad for the rest of my life! Okay, that was a little bit exaggerated, but the message stays. I’m so glad I decided to re-pick this drama up, because to be quite honest with you, this might be my favorite drama to date. Yes, this even came before Goblin –– and you know just how head over heels your girl was with that drama.
While there are a lot of remarkable characters that appears in Because This is My First Life, for this review, I will be talking mainly about our main male character Nam See He and our leading female character Yoon Ji Ho.
Nam See Hee (Lee Min Ki) was a quiet and reserved man. The only thing he cared for was his house –– which was still on loan that he would not have paid off for another 38 years) –– and his pretty, and young cat. He didn’t seem to care for, or even need much other than that. When it comes to emotions, he was quite gentle. However, it didn’t come off as the kind of gentle many people would feel comfortable with. There is just something about Nam See He’s character that, despite him being kind to other and always ready to help, his whole character came off as cold and uncaring. If I was asked to describe my first impression of See He, I would say : weird and eccentric.
That was also one of the reasons why I dropped this drama after 2 episodes at first, before eventually deciding to re-pick it up again. The thought that I would have to watch this man for 16 episodes straight just bothered me so much at first that I just dropped it without giving it the benefit of the doubt. But alas, I stood corrected because this drama ended up being on of my favorites of all time.
As for Yoon Ji Ho (Jung So Min), she is just one of those easily relatable characters that you just fall in love at first sight. Ji Ho wasn’t one of those highly successful women who seem to have their life figured out, nor was she the overly weak and meek character who just goes where the wind takes her. She was soft most of the time, but had a backbone when she needed to.
What I really like most about her, was the fact that she would always fight for what she believed in. I really appreciate that the writers of this drama made her stubborn and tenacious at times, when she was generally a very kind and likable person. I suppose at the end of the day, despite all that I’ve said about Ji Ho’s character, it boils down to the fact that she was relatable.
Relatable in a sense that she was just like us. Normal people who struggle through life having no idea what and where we’re going next. Normal people who would break down and cry when life is too much, but would always have a few friends to eat chicken and drink beers when times get hard. It’s just very refreshing to see such a character that was so real to life when you’re watching something fictional, you know what I mean?
If I were to tell you that all there is to the plot was that : a man and a woman signed a mutually beneficial contract, and got married only to eventually fall in love, I’d bet my peachy bum that a lot of you would have never given this drama a chance to begin with.
But truly, there is all there is to this Korean drama.
There is no such thing as who cheats on who, or fighting for family fortune, or the cliche bad-guy-turned-good trope. To be quite honest with you, there is no climax at all. And I love this show all the more because of that.
Throughout this drama, we get to see how Nam See He’s attitude slowly changes towards Ji Ho, and vice versa. The slow and gradual change of two people, who at first only agreed to the contract for their own benefit slowly comes together as a team without them even realizing it. And eventually started to –– slowly but surely –– develop feelings towards each other was a really heartwarming thing to watch and experience. Call me easy, but that alone –– when done right –– is more than enough to make a good drama.
Now your girl isn’t going to get all down and dirty here because there’s honestly just way too many incredible supporting characters to mention. Which if I do, there will be no end to this post. So I’ll save you from that misery and quickly summarize it with a pretty bow on top. *wink*
Simply put, all the supporting characters ranging from Ji Ho’s best friends to See He’s boss and co-workers all play their part in this show. You really can’t do without any of them because each and every single one of them just adds so much to the story and brought something different to the table that made this drama as amazing as it is.
I truly believe that no matter how amazing this drama was, had it not have been for all the amazing supporting characters and their incredible acting skills, it would not have given the warm and familial feeling that one feels whenever they watch this drama.
WISE WORDS AND EDITING
Before going into this drama, I had no expectations whatsoever. So imagine my surprise when I was continuously blown away episode after episode. Not only because of the amazing story line and acting, but also because of the voice overs and the messages it brings with it.
Because This is My First Life taught me quite a lot about life in general and how different individuals view life differently. I came into this drama with little to no expectations and leave feeling satisfied and changed. No matter how little, I truly think that this show changed something within me. There were just so many words that hit so close to home that at times, I’d have to replay the last few seconds of the show as I started evaluating my life and choices.
The Verdict :
Would I recommend this drama?
Yes, a hundred thousand times yes.
Because This is My First Life is one of those slice of life dramas that seems to impeach knowledge and wisdom without even meaning to. From the poetic way the story was told, to the editing and how the song plays just at the right moment to heighten your emotions were all done perfectly. This drama also ended at the right moment, with nothing feel rushed nor did it feel too dragged out, which is astounding when it comes to Korean dramas, no offense.
Truly, I could not praise this show enough because it really was that good. If you’re looking for a good drama to watch and relax with, give this one a try. And hopefully, just like it did me and many others out there, this show could find a way to quietly and slowly sneak into your heart and stay there forever.
Rating : 10/10