Withhold your judgment, have a look into this drama with your heart—it might turn out to be the one you have been longing for. Because This Is My First Life is just like a dish full of different ingredients, yet they blended out so well when consumed as a whole. And it will leave you craving for more.
When I heard who the drama’s writer would be after the cast lineup announcement, I thought Lee Min-ki’s comeback project after his involvement in a sexual assault scandal would be ruined. I have had bitter experience with this writer ever since Flower Boy Ramyun Shop gave me so much second lead syndrome that I rage-quit in the middle of the show. Thus, I didn’t pay attention to the series much… until I saw this highlight trailer.
This drama starts out with a cohabitation trope about female lead Yoon Ji-ho (Jung So-min) and male lead Nam Se-hee (Lee Min-ki) who end up living together in one house by accident and unfolds with an apparently clichéd plot direction as well that they would fall in love after spending some time under one roof. This synopsis seems boring but as soon as I watched the pilot episode, I fell in love and I liked it. To my surprise, the writer was able to make use of the cliché stuff and turned it into a fresh breath of air.
Plot quality-wise, it definitely deserves a 10. Unlike the rom-com outer appearance, this drama is deeper and more philosophical than I thought it would be. The story itself is easily relatable, not to mention it addresses some issues existing in the modern society (in South Korea, at least), the most notable of which deals with marriage and relationships—in particular, whether love is really needed or not for marriage to take place. Furthermore, much appreciation to the writers for quoting some books and movies reference in our leads’ narratives, which added much artistic values and meaning to this drama.
In addition, the reasoning and situation in this drama work unlike other dramas do. For instance, the writing department did not forcefully make our main couple live together, but properly introduced and explained why and how the situation occurred. It caught me off guard that they are following real-life common logic rather than using Kdramaland’s. Well, it’s a slice-of-life romance after all.
What’s more impressive with this drama is that it does not focus on the main OTP alone but turns the spotlight to the other two side pairings as well, and still is able to make every single of them lovable and understandable to us. Each of them has their own problems to address that reflect the issues facing today’s generation—Ji-ho and See-hee teach us how complicated a married life is, Sim Won-seok (Kim Min-seok) and Yang Ho-rang (Kim Ga-eun) teach us that love alone is not going to make the relationship work well all the time, and we learn from Ma Sang-goo (Park Byung-eun) and Woo Soo-ji (Esom) that love is something you have to open your heart and fight for.
As a fan of the Let’s Eat, there’s no doubt that the director of the drama (Park Joon-hwa) would be able to deliver a beautiful cinematography. Unlike his previous work, this drama has warmer and calmer tone but I think it suits the overall theme of the series. As always, the PD Park was able to make us laugh with his unique style and editing.
I would also like to admire the casting choices and the actors for showing such a great synergy and amazing performance. They acted so well that they didn’t remind me of the past roles they had in their previous projects. In particular, I’d like to give a shout-out to Lee Min-ki who managed to have different speech pattern and oozing manlier aura throughout the drama.
All in all, Because This Is My First Life is a not-to-be-missed drama for viewers who enjoy the slice-of-life genre because it excels in getting its serious message across while giving the viewers a fun viewing experience at the same time.