First Love (1996) poster
7.4
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 79 users
# of Watchers: 402
Reviews: 2 users
Ranked #23401
Popularity #12925
Watchers 79

This early drama focuses on the lives of two brothers, Chan Hyuk and Chan Woo, and their relationship a wealthy girl named Hyo Kyung from childhood through adulthood. Chan Hyuk and Chan Woo move with their family from Seoul to the countryside where their widowed father finds work as a painter for the local movie theater. The two brothers eventually befriend the movie theater owner's daughter, Hyo Kyung. Although both brothers develop feelings for her, Hyo Kyung falls for the artistic Chan Hyuk. Their relationship is severely tested by multiple hardships over the course of many years including the extreme opposition of her father and uncle. Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Norsk
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 66
  • Aired: Sep 7, 1996 - Apr 20, 1997
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: KBS2
  • Duration: 1 hr. 5 min.
  • Score: 7.4 (scored by 79 users)
  • Ranked: #23401
  • Popularity: #12925
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Cast & Credits

Photos

First Love (1996) photo

Reviews

Completed
Park Min
0 people found this review helpful
Apr 15, 2023
66 of 66 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 5.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 1.0

Bad love

For the story and this prolific love of theirs to work, a lot of hard work needed to prove their undisputed love and the leads needed to have a better chemistry which the drama didn't do a good job of neither. They took the concept of "love" and ran it to the ground. It was nothing but ugly. There was a desperate need of balance between good and bad. The opposing party (the baddies) were invincible until they weren't. The pace was often off, 5 episodes can pass while the leads don't even have much screen time. The breakups/separations gaps were too damn long without any interaction between either sides. About 10-15 episodes can pass without these "lovers" talking or seeing each other, what is this writing?! You can't make excuses for the drama for being old because I've seen infinitely better dramas from the same era. On another hand, Suk Jin just looks too old to be involved with the others. I wanted Suk Hee to have a bigger contribution, she got less screen presence than any of the support cast.

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Completed
NoobieFan
0 people found this review helpful
Apr 26, 2023
66 of 66 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 7.0
This review may contain spoilers
I imagine most of you reading this have never heard of this show, despite its popularity or have heard it in passing. To be fair, its name ‘First Love’ is about as vague and non descript as you can get, but my issues with the names of k-drama’s aside, I’ll continue on with my point. First Love was a huge success in 1996. So much in fact that it’s the second HIGHEST RATED drama of all time. It avarged 52.6% of Korean audiences throughout its run which was 66 episodes (50 minutes each). Huge. At one point, it had a peak audience of 65.8%. Imagine 65% of a country that owns a TV watching something. Despite this, it didn’t get many awards. The only one I could find at first glance (and I mean first glance) was a popularity award for Bae Yong-joon (Winter Sonata), who only got more popular from here and is well known. If there is any 90s K-Drama star well known today, it’s likely him. One thing I’d like to address is that synopsis on wikipedia and other places. Some of it is incorrect. It implies a love triangle between the brothers, which is false. There is one but not with Bae Yong-joon’s character, Sung Chan-woo. Rather it's between Sung Chan-hyuk (Choi Soo-jong, Emperor of the Sea) and Park Sung-won (Sandglass or It's Beautiful Now - something more recent that was popular). Chan-woo had liked Lee Hyo-kyung (Lee Seung-yeon) as a kid and decided to push those aside fairly quickly. Spoilers, Chan-woo and Hyo-kyung hardly speak during the time where Chun-hyuk is disabled. So I’m not sure what those people watched but it wasn’t this show.

The story is part love story and part revenge story. It’s largely about a brewing romance that begins between two kids well into their adulthood that is constantly challenged and thwarted by Hyo-kyung’s uncle and father, who do everything without resorting to murder to keep them apart due to their class differences. He is sent to the arm, beat up, forced to run away and even disabled via a car accident. In the background, Chan-woo struggles to get through law school due to financial difficulties and family problems, flirting with a brewing romance of his own with Kang Suk-hee (Choi Ji-woo, Stairway To Heaven) that is sadly underdeveloped, although a really interesting sub plot of the show, which makes it a pain that it didn’t really lead anywhere despite small glimpses of what could be. Chan-woo goes on his own path on revenge and that is that. He eventually succeeded, all while learning forgiveness and all that good hearted crap.

The Chan-woo character is the heart of the show and carries it through its lulls, which this definitely has. The pacing of the plot was too heavy in the beginning and the end and not enough during the 35-45 stage. There were plenty where little took place or developments were repeated for brevity sake. The introduction of a side character called Ju Jung-nam (Son Hyun-joo, The Good Detective) allowed more depth for the Chan-ock, the sister and some plot outside of the main story. It was entertaining but the plot was a little all over the place. You never knew where he stood with Chan-ock. It was back and forward. If I had to continue talking about the side characters, the characters were fine but the stories often went nowhere. 66 episodes and none of them felt completed. Shame. Not crippling to the show but disappointing. Nevertheless, the overarching story was interesting enough to hook me into actually completing the show. I’ve struggled to complete 12 episode dramas before, and I tend to like those. So it must have been good. The story isn’t totally tight from episode to episode but they rarely are. Of course, the acting generally is what attracts people and Bae Yong-joon, Choi Soo-jong, Park Sung-won are great as leading men throughout this. Lee Seung-yeon is fine as the main lead. She can do a nice cry scene. I think she was a more interesting character when trying to portray a teenager. Perhaps it’s because her role was more intertwined with Choi Soo-jong. Park Sung-won really captured my attention for Sandglass and he was really good in his friendly other man role. He had a few plots where he had to show a more depressive, conflicted state and it was captured well. The star is Bae Yong-joon, easily. He’s really good in anything, even if some of his later works are a tad melodramatic for my preference. And this is just the start.

The music in the show changes between classic folksy music to more contemporary tunes. Nothing amazing. Not a patch on Sandglass which has a fantastic, iconic OST (check it out) but there are some ear wigglers here and there.

Recommended. While not amazing, it’s a good show with a strong leading man and a couple of solid side characters. And while I’ve not mentioned it much, the antagonists were solid too. And their comeuppance is sweet.

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Details

  • Drama: First Love
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 66
  • Aired: Sep 7, 1996 - Apr 20, 1997
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: KBS2
  • Duration: 1 hr. 5 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 7.4 (scored by 79 users)
  • Ranked: #23401
  • Popularity: #12925
  • Watchers: 402

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