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

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30 responses to “Because This is My First Life Korean Drama Review”

  1. raistlin0903 Avatar

    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! 😀

    1. Kay Avatar

      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 🙂

      1. raistlin0903 Avatar

        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 😊

        1. Kay Avatar

          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.

  2. Kimchi Korner Blog Avatar
    Kimchi Korner Blog

    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.

    1. Kay Avatar

      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 🙂

  3. annyeongitsabby Avatar

    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.

    1. Kay Avatar

      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 🙂

  4. shamrockmom3 Avatar

    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.

    1. Kay Avatar

      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.

  5. libraryofthoughts Avatar

    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.

    1. Kay Avatar

      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 🙂

      1. libraryofthoughts Avatar

        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.

        1. Kay Avatar

          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.

          1. libraryofthoughts Avatar

            Yes! I really felt like that could have focused on him a bit more, rather than Ji Ho. This could have easily been done in to a 18 to 20 episode show, but no one seems to like that.

  6. squeewithme Avatar

    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.

    1. Kay Avatar

      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 🙂

  7. Marlene Avatar

    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.

    1. Kay Avatar

      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

  8. […] Lee Min Ki and Jung So Min were a cute couple. I did find Lee Min Ki’s character to be bland, so I didn’t experience a lot of warm fuzzies for a long while concerning their relationship. But there are some very sweet moments, and I enjoyed them as a whole. Because This is My First Life could have used a little extra oomph, but overall it is very well executed and extremely down to earth. My Rating: 7/10 (Because This is My First Life Review) […]

  9. […] wonderful friendship between the three women in Because This Life is My First. These girls love and support each other in the best kind of way. They accept each other’s […]

  10. […] So aside from a few critiques, I found Because This is My First Life to be a very enjoyable and heartfelt drama. It could have used a little extra oomph, but overall it is very well executed and extremely down to earth. (Because This is My First Life Review) […]

  11. Ashleigh Avatar

    Couldn’t disagree with your review more. Lee Minki’s character was very relatable for me, as was the entire drama. He was amazing. I think it’s just that most people don’t relate, this drama is for the minority of people who do. And let me tell you I relate 100%. I loved the lectures, I learnt a LOT from them and also related a lot with them. If you don’t like learning then do NOT watch this. I love realistic shows like this, and it was still fun at the same time. The director and writer deserve a massive praise for this work of art. I’ve seen a lot of dramas and I was starting to lose hope. I’m sure there’ll never be another on like this again though.

    1. Kay Avatar

      It’s great that you loved this drama so much. It’s always wonderful when we find that special drama that really connects with us 🙂 And despite my issues with it, I enjoyed the drama too, so I’m sure we have plenty of common ground. There was definitely a lot to like! But yes, I don’t tend to gravitate towards the more realistic dramas as much. I greatly prefer more fantastical stories. I did feel they were trying a bit to hard to come across as thoughtful and contemplative which is why it eventually began to feel like being lectured. And I was already very well versed in the issues the drama addressed, so it didn’t really give me any new revelations. But for those like you who learned from the drama and really connected with it, that’s so wonderful! I really hope you do find another one like it in the future 🙂

  12. MyKDramaticLife Avatar

    My KDramatic Review on ‘Because This Is My First Life’ and ‘Beauty Inside’:

    I finished both dramas of Lee Min Ki consecutively. It was my first time seeing him and Jung So Min in the Dramaland. At first I was flustered by how similar Lee Min Ki is to Ryu Jun Yeol. Hmm, was I the only one who thought that way? But as I got used to his looks and gestures and acting, I then thought the two actors aren’t that similar after all.
    Beauty Inside started being a drama that really made me want to watch anxiously and excitedly. It was of course due to the presence of one of my favorite unnis, Seo Hyun Jin, and his unquestionable chemistry with Lee Min Ki. So it is the drama remake of a successful movie by the same title. I haven’t watched the movie yet so I couldn’t compare the two. As for Beauty Inside. I was mostly pleased and was just happy and smiling while watching Lee Min Ki and Hyun Jin together on my screen, on the first half. It was until one particular scene (which I really couldn’t understand why Hyun Jin had to go through it, and couldn’t think of a good reason why the writer ended up with that kind of scenario.) Hmm, I am not being too critical by how the writer wrote it, however, I wasn’t satisfied and found myself keeping on wanting to see more of scenarios that I really wish they could have focused. That way, I could have stayed more intrigued and happy and smiling (with happy crying heart) while watching it till its end. Choss! Hehehe.
    Nonetheless, Beauty Inside was overall a pretty good drama with lots of potential actors. The second leads were also great! Nice to see Ahn Jae Hyun again after very very long time. XD And it took me while to recognize Lee Da Hee. She looked so astonishing and pretty in here. And thought her face changed so much but in a better way. Kang Sa Ra (Lee Da Hee’s character) was such a strong character in the drama. I liked her here so much more than her older dramas. Han Se Gye’s bestfriend, Woo Mi, is also quite helpful. I even almost cried in her one scene. I was moved by her and her friendship with Se Gye. Hmm, there is also one of the handsome Joseon F4, Lee Tae Ri, who looked even fresher in this drama.
    Beauty Inside was such a good watch for me. Though I wished many things to have been turned to how I wanted it to be, the plot, the acting, little twist, and all, were surely enough to keep me going. 🙂

    BEAUTY INSIDE: 7.5/10

    Soon to comment review about Because This Is My First Life. 🙂

    1. Kay Avatar

      Ah, your first time seeing Lee Min Ki and Jung So Min 🙂 I’m really glad that despite it developing some issues you ended up mostly happy with your experience of Beauty Inside. I hope to watch it eventually.

      I’m curious to see what Lee Min Ki is like. My first two times seeing him he was extremely lively and charismatic, particularly in Shut Up Flower Boy Band. Then I saw him in Because This is My First Life and I just didn’t care for the character being so robotic. He seemed like he could be that way in the beginning of Beauty Inside, but I’m hoping he loosens up more in that drama unlike in Because This is My First Life. He’s just such a good actor!

      And I love Jung So Min. First saw her in Playful Kiss and just thought she was adorable and hilarious. And her recent performance in The Smile Has Left Your Eyes was fantastic 🙂

      1. MyKDramaticLife Avatar

        He has charms and charisma in both dramas but I think he lacks liveliness in both dramas of course it’s because of his characters. 🙂

        1. Kay Avatar

          Yeah, it’s definitely how the characters are written. I hope his next drama he can return to being a bit more animated though 🙂

  13. MyKDramaticLife Avatar

    My KDramatic Review on ‘Because This Is My First Life’

    Well, this drama is a bit better than the Beauty Inside (7.5/10). Since I’m liking almost what had happened in the drama and it got better and better episode per episode. As for the main cast, we have Lee Min Ki and Jung So Min, both were good and though it took me episodes before I’ve seen it, but from the start I already can tell that the two have some sparkling chemistry. 🙂
    My first time seeing Jung So Min in the Dramaland. I have glimpse on her in Hundred Million Stars From The Sky, but haven’t continued that one yet. And I have watched Playful Kiss way too long ago, during my high school days, when I wasn’t that into KDramas yet. So I have already forgotten about this actress. Well, she acted natural. But I wasn’t really a fan of her natural acting. XD But then she’s good and also very pretty. Thought at first that she has similar vibes with Bae Suzy. And for our cat-lover lead actor, Lee Min Ki, I am glad that I already detached him from being Ryu Jun Yeol. HAHAHA. Hmm, while it’s true that he’s quite the silent type in this drama, a middle-aged guy who doesn’t even know how to convey his own heart, I still root for him and hoped that he would have his happy ending. But of course it took too long for that to happen. Then there was a guest role of Lee Chung Ah, then I was back to thinking I am watching Jun Yeol again, with Chung Ah (Both were starring Lucky Romance (9.5/10). Hahahaha.)
    Anyways, the story for this one is just too simple. Getting married with a contract is something cliche, and having our two leads fall in love to each other during the tenure of their contract is agian too cliche. While everything set for the drama seems like too ordinary, what I have seen were the extraordinary portrayal of each character and how they struggled and overcame every life difference. Something special that I also noticed is the friendship of Yoon Ji Ho (Jung So Min), Woo Soo Ji (Esom) and Yang Ho Rang (Kim Ga Eun). It really was special to me, and I would love to keep them in my heart forever. :)))) There also there were the other love stories of our three 30-year-old girls. Yang Ho Rang’s long-time relationship with her boyfriend and Soo Ji’s vague relationship with Ma Dipyo. Hmm, I enjoyed all the three love stories the drama was trying to show. They also showed enough conflict and clear resolution to it. Hehehe.

    As for the finale, there was similarity to Beauty Inside. Hahaha.
    I couldn’t say much to it and I couldn’t care more to it because the drama already gave me enough during the last episodes. It was good! But not something that I really wish to re-watch. Hehehe.

    MY RATING: 8/10

    1. Kay Avatar

      You have lots of good thoughts on this drama 🙂 I really love Jung So Min and thought she was great here. She does have this very appealing natural quality. It did take too long for Lee Min Ki’s character to open up, but I was always rooting for him too.

      And yes, this show had fantastic relationships between the girls. Their friendship was really special. And it was nice they each had their own love story going on. The drama had some issues, but it was a mostly good watch. It’s nice you enjoyed it too 🙂

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