Hi! I'll share with you what I like about this currently airing K-drama Because This Is My First Life. To be honest, I found the first episode boring and I couldn't get into it either because I was feeling restless or because I found the female lead too dull, I can't remember. Anyway, there wasn't anything else for me to watch and I decided to give the second episode a go and voila, I got hooked!
This drama falls under the category of rom-com, which means that you can expect romance and comedy elements, but in a slow-paced way. If you're in the mood for something fast-paced and suspenseful then this drama might not appeal to you at this moment. If you are interested, stay tuned in and let me give you a quick overview and analysis of the first two episodes.
WARNING: this article contains SPOILERS for episodes 1 and 2!
THE STORY OVERVIEW
Yoon Ji Ho (Jung So Min) and Nam Se Hee (Lee Min Ki) are a woman and man in their early 30s who have given up on romance due to financial difficulties. Because of a set of unexpected events, they end up living together as housemates.
However, because of their friends' miscommunication, they spend the first week believing they are of the same sex. It is funny when they finally realize that they are of the opposite sex but they still decide to continue living together.
The story will most likely follow their growing attraction and daily struggles because it is not really socially acceptable for a man and woman to live together if they are not officially in a relationship or married (at least in S. Korea).
The story is really endearing for now and I can't wait to see more.
- The 1st (main) pair: Yoon Ji Ho (Jung So Min) x Nam Se Hee (Lee Min Ki). Ji Ho is a woman who strives to become a famous screenwriter and even though she graduated from a prestigious college, she only wants to write. Se Hee managed to buy his own home but is in huge debts. He appears to be cold and weird, but there is more to him. He is generally more awkward than Ji Ho and he likes cats. They both love football and get along well.
- The 2nd pair: Woo Su Ji (Lee Som) x Ma Song Goo (Park Byung Eun). Su Ji is Ji Ho's close friend and I find her likeable - she is outspoken, bold and not afraid to claim a condom! :D Song Goo is Se Hee's friend and boss, a quirky and funny person.
- The 3rd pair: Yang Ho Rang (Kim Ga Eun) x Shim Won Seok (Kim Min Suk), a lovey-dovey couple. Ho Rang is Ji Ho's friend while Won Seok is Song Goo's friend. They seem to love each other and there is even a scene of them (almost) having sex. You do not see that every day in Dramaworld. :D
WHAT I LIKE & WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT
The son is more worthy than a daughter. This is actually one of the issues that is basically thrown in our faces during the first scene. We see that Ji Ho has grown up in a patriarchal family in which her father has never appreciated her as much as her younger brother. For example, it was always her brother who blew out the candles on her B-day cakes, not her.
Also, there is the fact that it is considered normal for a son to inherit the house, instead of sharing it with his sister who has paid all the bills for the last five years. Once her brother's girlfriend gets pregnant and moves in with them, Ji Ho is forced to leave the home and rent an apartment. This is actually something that very often happens in my culture as well. It is believed that a daughter should marry and move into her husband's home thus give up all her rights to the home she would have otherwise inherited. My personal opinion is that it is not fair.
Renting an apartment or house in South Korea is crazy! I've heard stories that in order to rent an apartment in Korea you would have to pay a deposit beforehand which can be around $20k! If there are any of you that can confirm this, please share it in the comment section. I've watched many vloggers who live in Korea and state that it is exactly like this.
This is actually another issue presented in this drama. Since Ji Ho is kicked out of her parents' house (even though she was the one paying the bills), she goes on an apartment hunt that would fit her budget and it soon becomes apparent that it is not easy to find an affordable apartment that is not a dump.
Se Hee, on the other hand, managed to buy his own apartment but is in terrible debts, it would take 30 years to pay off his loans. In order to achieve that, he decides to find a housemate who would pay a rent. However, the "housemate contract" that he forces upon his housemates is very hard to keep up so many of them give up.
The main couple is cute. I'm not really into fluffy and cute romance but I like Ji Ho and Se Hee together, they are so different. Ji Hoo seemed too dull to me at first, I thought she was a typical Korean heroine who is cute but also too afraid to speak her mind. And she was a pushover at the beginning. That changed when she took the initiative and kissed Se Hee at the end of 1st episode :D He is socially-awkward, prefers the company of his cat to other people and seems to have a strange way of thinking (based on calculations and data instead of emotions). But I like the silent and strong male leads. It's funny to see his logically-driven personality and her sensibility come together.
The skin-ship is on point. You simply do not see this every day in Kdramas, or should I say Asian dramas in general. We get our first kiss by the end of the 1st episode and it is initiated by the female, not the guy. There are also scenes of non-explicit sex and grabbing a condom. Unfortunately, there is also a scene of intended rape, but all ended well.
It is not easy to be a screenwriter. We see Ji Ho struggling with her career and she is often looked down by her colleagues. She mostly works as a product placement writer who writes cheesy lines for melodramas. We get a glimpse into how writing actually works - there are writers who are paid low salary in order to help the "big names" to finish their work on time; in short, they are exploited.
But of course, Ji Ho wants more. Even her work gets changed without her permission and that is the moment where she finally shows the backbone. She still wants to follow her dreams and succeed which makes her very interesting.
Sometimes, your family can be the least close people to you. When I decided to follow my dream, I thought my life would be like walking through a dark tunnel. But I didn’t know it was going to be… this dark. I didn’t know it was going to be this lonely. – Ji Ho
The struggles of being an adult I guess... I feel your pain, Ji Ho.
I'm going to die in this house. Actually, your room will be where my death will take place. That room has nice ventilation. - Se Hee
Who said that Se Hee doesn't have a sense of humour? :D He was serious here though.
Whether you’re 30 or 40, to a cat, it’s all the same. Chin up, this life is everyone’s first. - Se Hee
Even though he is mostly emotionless, Se Hee gives Ji Ho this amazing advice. It is never late to start living your life, right?