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 nowhere 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 affect 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
Click here for more Kdrama Reviews.
Sign Up to receive email updates of kdrama reviews, casting news, trailers, and more.