Because This is My First Life Korean Drama Review

Because This is My First Life (also known as Because This Life is Our First) is about a man (Lee Min Ki) who is house poor and a woman (Jung So Min) struggling financially that has no where to go who decide to live together and begin a contract relationship

Because This is My First Life is a nice romantic comedy that is both fun and sweet. It explores a lot of relationship issues in modern society concerning dating and marriage. It also tackles subjects such as the treatment of women in the workplace as well as what society expects of men and women in a marriage relationship. These issues not only effect their jobs but also their love lives. The drama really excels at bringing these subjects to light and conveying them in a sincere and relatable way.

Now I do have a bit of an unpopular opinion concerning our lead male character. Lee Min Ki plays Se Hee. And he’s a robot. Well, okay, he’s not really a robot, but he was about as close as it gets. He’s extremely logical and expresses almost no emotion. He’s even very robotic in his mannerisms and the way he moves.

Because of this, I had an extremely difficult time warming up to him. He was just so wooden and uninteresting. I found myself just waiting and waiting for even the tiniest moments for him to loosen up and experience emotion. But they just weren’t coming.

I also felt like Lee Min Ki was terribly underutilized. I’ll admit that I’m used to seeing him in more vibrant roles where he gets to be very expressive and lively. He’s just so good at that. I felt like you could have thrown anybody into this role, and they would have been just fine.

I understand that I differ from most people on this who thought he gave a very subtly nuanced performance and that Lee Min Ki was perfect for the role. I just didn’t have that experience. Now I don’t think it was Lee Min Ki’s problem though. He’s an outstanding actor, and I think he completely followed the script and director’s instructions concerning the character.

Now it may sound like I disliked his character, but I actually didn’t. Underneath that cardboard shell, I knew he was experiencing emotions. He was just terrible at expressing them and mostly did so in his own small way. It made him seem like quite a pitiful character, and I genuinely felt bad for him. But I mostly credit the absolutely outstanding soundtrack for this drama for helping me experience what he was going through. The music completely sets the mood and draws you into the situations. It made me feel for him and the other characters, and I’m truly glad about that.

I will also mention that Se Hee does eventually loosen just a tiny bit. It’s just not until closer to the end of the drama. I was super happy to see him crack a smile a little more often. It still  wasn’t anything that got me too excited, but it was a definite improvement for me. We also finally touch on some of his issues, although not quite to the extent that I would have liked.

Jung So Min plays Ji Ho. She’s a very sweet woman who finds herself homeless through a series of circumstances. And that leads her to Se Hee as they begin their contract relationship. Jung So Min was very perfect for this character, and she brought many smiles to my face.

Se Hee and Ji Ho were a cute couple. They are quite unique because of their opposite personalities as well as their contract relationship. But despite their differences, they just fit really well together and developed an understanding between them. Now of course, since I did find Se Hee to be a bland character, I didn’t experience a lot of warm fuzzies for a long while concerning their relationship.

Although they technically fall for each other pretty early on, it just took way to long to see the fruits of that. They are very logical and straight forward in their communications with each other which felt very ho hum to me. It was just lacking warmth.

They also hide their feelings constantly, and their communication skills were definitely lacking. Overall, it’s just a slow cooker of a relationship. Thankfully, there are some very nice moments later in the drama between the pair.

 

Won Seuk (Kim Min Suk) and Ho Rang (Kim Ga Eun) are a long time dating couple who live together. She is more than ready to get married, but he doesn’t feel prepared to take on all of the responsibility. This is a very cute couple who love each other very much but find themselves struggling with wanting different things in life.

 

Sang Goo (Park Byung Eun) is a CEO and close friend of Se Hee’s. I didn’t really like him at first, but he ended up being a surprisingly sweet character who truly wants to love someone. Soo Ji (Lee Som) is friends with Ji Ho. She’s a strong and independent woman who deals with a lot of harassment at her job. This effects her relationships and work life. This was another sort of opposites pair that just seemed to work.

There’s also a wonderful friendship between the women that makes up a large part of the narrative. These girls love and support each other in the best kind of way. They accept each other’s flaws and know the real meaning of being friends.

And a special shout out to the Cat! So adorable and definitely an important character in the drama. Though it did suffer from a constant squeaky sound thanks to an overzealous sound effects guy, hehe.

Because This Life is My First is super realistic in many ways. All of the characters seem very real and the situations faced by them are very relatable. There are also pretty much no cliches or overly dramatic plot twists. So for fans who don’t like those things, this drama is perfect for you! Now I tend to like crazy things like that, so sometimes the drama felt a little bland to me. Nothing serious, but it was just lacking that extra oomph I like. But as a whole, it is very well executed and extremely down to earth.

There were also a lot of long monologues throughout the drama as we explore some of the characters thoughts and feelings. They were definitely of a thoughtful nature and delivered a lot of moments of wisdom. It was all just a bit much for me though, and by the end I felt more like I was getting a lecture many times.

But aside from a few critiques, I found Because This is My First Life to be a very enjoyable and heartfelt drama. I see why it received so much love from fans because of its realistic portrayal of the characters and the issues that people face in modern society. All in all, it’s a solid drama that adds a unique spin on the contract relationship trope.

My Rating: 7/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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22 Responses to Because This is My First Life Korean Drama Review

  1. raistlin0903 says:

    Hmm seeing this is a comedy it probably won’t be a real surprise that I am going to be skipping this one. It can be hard to have a main character for a series that you can’t warm up too though. I always think that one of the most important things on movies or tv shows are characters. They are what usually has me interested in something, whatever it is. If they are not relatable I usually have a hard time getting warmed up to something. Still it’s nice to see this series adress some issues that aren’t very common. As always: great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Although it does have some comedy in it, it’s really more of a down to earth, slice of life kind of drama. But yes, it’s difficult when you don’t warm up to the main character. I did like who is character was, but for me, I like to see stronger emotional growth. And I just plain have a hard time connecting with someone who shows hardly any emotion. But luckily, there were plenty of other good things going on in the drama, so that really helped me to enjoy it overall 🙂

      Like

      • raistlin0903 says:

        Hmm, maybe that’s also one of the reasons you did not like Stranger. The main character for that one also seems to have absolutely zero emotion at times. But yeah, I can understand that: it really is hard to form an attachment to characters like that 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          That’s a good observation 🙂 It was definitely one of the reasons it wasn’t clicking. And I know he stays that way throughout the drama. It’s one of those situations where I didn’t dislike the character, but yes, very hard to warm up too.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Kimchi Korner Blog says:

    Awesome review!! I just started this drama so only a couple episodes in. But, I definitely agree with your opinion on Lee Min Ki’s character so far. I’m interested to see how each of the three main couples turn out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Thank you 🙂 All three of the couples are definitely interesting in this drama, and they develop them all well. The majority of people seemed to really like Lee Min Ki’s character, so hopefully you’ll be lucky and warm up to him more as it goes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like this drama. One of the reasons I watched this while it was still on going is Lee Min Ki. He’s such a great actor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It was a good one 🙂 I really like Lee Min Ki too. I first saw him in Shut Up Flower Boy Band and was completely pulled in by his character and performance. Hoping he doesn’t wait so long to do another drama next time 🙂

      Like

  4. shamrockmom3 says:

    Good to know I wasn’t the only one who felt this drama lacked in many ways. A headache-inducing watch for me and left me in a foul mood. The “lectures” were way too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Haha, I hadn’t heard anyone else say they felt lectured too, so good to know it wasn’t just me. Luckily, I did enjoy it for the most part, but I agree, it had quite a few issues.

      Like

  5. My main gripe about this show was mainly with the main characters. Lack of communication and sometimes this usual thing that women are partnered with. That is, the assumption that our partner will actually read our minds to understand what we mean. Ji Ho was just to much at times through the show. She comes off as strong, yet can be completely oblivious. Se Hee was not without his faults. His struggle to express himself really could have gone down the deep end. Nowadays, it does seem like writers will automatically write happy endings, but I think I would have been okay with both parties separating and then slowly coming back together or not at all. It reminds me of the dramas from the 90s and early 2000s, where the leads either separated, died, or just got their sappy happy ending (like now). I still like this show. It showed realistic relationships today AND sex. I don’t know about you, but it pains me when I see people commenting that K-dramas should be PG. The assumption that it reflects Korean society, when it doesn’t. I’ve some stories from folks over there and it’s not all sap. So this was a breath of fresh air.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Yep, the main characters had serious communication issues. I don’t usually mind that in more “dramatic” dramas, but it really sticks out in a more down to earth style one like this. And I really wish they would have explored Se Hee’s issues more. They just kind of presented him as is with a few notes here and there.

      I guess I’m kind of a PG girl, but not in that I don’t want them to include sex. I’m fine with dramas addressing sexual issues and relationships. I just prefer them to not get too showy when it comes to the actual bed scenes. And I honestly haven’t seen very many kdramas that I thought over did it (speaking of ones that actually do show those scenes). But it’s never been a big issue for me since I feel like western shows include way too much and I liked the change of pace in kdramas. But this show did well at depicting relationships and some of the things people deal with in a very realistic way. I guess it would get a PG13 rating, but I certainly had no issues with the way they handled things 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I often felt that Se Hee may have had some form of Asperger’s. He tended to handle some situations as if he didn’t really get the other’s emotions, but I just think he is analytical.

        As for the PG, I’m used to watching films where it doesn’t really matter. I guess I am just used it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          I actually wondered if that might be the case with Se Hee too for a while. But eventually I just figured he was extremely logical and that was enhanced by what happened in his past. He did seem more emotional in the few scenes we get of him in the past even down to his mannerisms. That’s why I was hoping they would explore that a bit more since it seemed like what happened pushed him to isolate himself and just want to live comfortably while not effecting anyone else.

          Like

  6. squeewithme says:

    Nice series review!! It may just be because I’ve barely been bingeing Kdramas lately that I loved the tone of this one (generally anyway). Honestly I wasn’t sure how I’d like the lead couple at first either because Se Hee really did just seem so robotic. The Sang Goo-Soo Ji pairing I started out iffy about though! Seriously ended up being my fave haha!

    Overall I guess the little things counted for me in this series? Like Bok Nam and the cat! They were such cuties! Gotta admit too, I definitely appreciated the show of female friendships, the moments with Ji Ho’s mom (which turn out lowkey comedic almost every time? Hahaha) and bless Jung Min for being such a chic ex.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      This one did have a very unique and down to earth sort of tone. I think a lot of us were iffy about the Sang Goo/Soo Ji pairing, and then it pleasantly worked out 🙂 I know what you mean about the little things making a difference. I too enjoyed the female friendships, the cat having such a nice part, and a lot of the issues they addressed. Those things helped balance things out for me to make for an overall nice watch 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Marlene says:

    There’s nothing more annoying to me than bad acting, if one of the main character is bad on acting it’s a no for me, I was planning to watch this because of Jung So Min, I like her personality, she’s cute as a button but still a no for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I don’t really think any of the actors were bad in this one. It was more that Lee Min Ki’s character was written to be very robotic. He’s a good actor and just did what he was supposed to. And I love Jung So Min too! She is wonderful in this for the most part (her character gets a tad annoying towards the end though).

      A lot of people really loved this drama though. I would say if you watch and like the first couple episodes and enjoy the tone and characters you would probably mostly enjoy the drama. Also the way it portrays the various relationships and issues was a big draw for a lot of fans, so those things could be positive enough to enhance it too. I did like this one, but it’s certainly not on any of my favorites list, hehe

      Like

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