Last month, Dungis told me to watch Because This Is My First Life (이번 생은 처음이라) and said: “hindi ka masstress haha” (you won’t be stressed). But I was stressed! Not because it’s bad. But rather it is way toooo goood. There’s just so much to talk about. Bear with me.

“Don’t worry too much. It’s not like you know all about today just because you lived yesterday.”

The Story

Nam Se Hee is in his early 30s. He has a house and a cat, and he plans to die that way. He needs to pay his loan for his house so he has the second room open for rent. His friend, Ma Sang Goo, hired a tenant for him. It’s Yoon Ji Ho. Se Hee thought Ji Ho is a guy. Ji Ho thought Se Hee is a girl. They didn’t meet right away because Se Hee is too busy at work.

They ended up marrying each other not because of love. They married each other just because it is beneficial. It’s a contract marriage.

The story doesn’t just revolve around the two main casts. There are also other kinds of relationship present. Family. Friends. Long-term. Fling.

It is funny in general! But, I must say that it really tackles the different aspects of life. You will connect to the characters really well. The main point of the story? This:

That’s the plague of the neocortex.
Cats do not have cortexes, unlike humans.
For cats, only the present exists; they neither have a future nor a past.
Because I’m in my twenties, my thirties, and soon to be forties.
Only humans lock themselves in time.
Only humans draw on the weakness of age, ending up spending money and emotions.
That is the catastrophic disaster that man has earned in return for evolution.
Thirty or forty in age is just the same as today for cats.
I wish you luck. Going through this life is the first time for all of us anyway.

The first chapter ended there. Bull’s eye. I like the thought so much. It is okay to fail because who taught us to live anyway? Is there a right book that teaches us how to live?

Even in school, we get pointers to review, but we still get the wrong answers. The thought is comforting. Not in a way that you will always keep failing and that should be okay. It’s just that, don’t beat yourself too much and learn from your mistakes.

The Characters

because this is my first life
Lee Min Ki (이민기) as Nam Se Hee | Jung So Min (정소민) as Yoon Ji Ho

Se Hee needs a tenant so he can have extra money to pay his mortgages. Ji Hoo, who doesn’t have money for a house deposit needs a cheap place where she can stay. Their needs totally fit, but they are the exact opposite of each other. Se Hee lives in an algorithm. He calculates almost everything. He is a genius. Weird. Awkward. Too awkward, it’s so hilarious!

Ji Ho is a dreamer. She wears her heart on her sleeves. She believes there should be love in marriage. But with her circumstance, she changed her mind. They both agreed that need weighs more; that marriage is a way of survival. Until we get on to the later part of the drama, you will see their emotional struggles and how they got through their marriage.

because this is my first life review
Park Byung Eun (박병은) as Ma Sang Goo | Esom (이솜) as Woo Soo Ji

Mr. Ma is the CEO of a dating app. It aims to promote dating and not marriage. Contrary to that, Mr. Ma wants to get married. He is very emotionally invested in Soo Ji. He wants a long-term relationship with her. Meanwhile, Soo Ji is always sexually harassed in her workplace. She saw how Mr. Ma is concerned about her that she gave him a chance to date her but still, not to marry.

Soo Ji has a very strong personality but is actually soft inside. Like most of us, she has her guards up because life can be too cruel and people can be too dangerous. But then, there will always be someone who will we open our doors for.

Kim Ga Eun and Kim Min Seok
Kim Ga Eun (김가은) as Yang Ho Rang | Kim Min Seok (김민석) as Sim Won Seok

My favorite couple! They have been in a relationship for seven years, and they still love each other so much. They always claim that they can’t live without each other. Until the talk of marriage gets in the way. Ho Rang wants to get married. It is her dream. On the other hand, Wonseok doesn’t know if he wants to get married because is it different from dating? He doesn’t know what marriage is and it scares him. But to make Ho Rang happy, he proposed to her.

It got all tangled and twisted because Ho Rang wanted to do it right away. Wonseok is still struggling with his career and even gave up his failing company. He transferred to another organization to give Ho Rang a good life. Until he got too suffocated. They broke up and made up and broke up and made up. At the end of the day, maybe love is really not enough. There are a lot of things to consider. There are a lot of things we need to compromise on.

My Thoughts In General

💭 The character development is so on point. You will see how they all matured. As they learned to get to know their partners, they also got to learn more about themselves. It is very important to still get your identity separate from your partner. Just because you are together doesn’t mean you have to be one. Together is more powerful than one. If you get what I mean.

💭 The contrast between the love pairs. They are totally opposite, but with understanding and proper communication, they get through whatever it is they have to face.

💭 There is a subplot that I think is too funny but not necessary. This involves another character named Bok Nam. I think it was put there just so there can be a twist.

💭 A poem used in the drama matched with the backstories really well. It is called Visitor:

In truth, one’s visit is a tremendous thing
for he comes with his past, present, and future
for it is because he comes with his whole life

When we meet someone, we meet his past, present, and future with him. Everyone has their weight. The beauty of meeting someone would be accepting all of his baggage. After all, every failure, triumph, and dreams are what make us.

💭 The books used. Remember when I got too excited over Two Worlds I bought the illustration book there? I want to buy these books as well but I’m too broke! Maybe next time when I can fully understand Hangul. I want to learn more about Korean literature. Ugh.

All the books are in Hangul (with no English translations), except To Room Nineteen. It is originally published in English. Based on the interpretation in the drama, the story says so much about oneself. Apparently, we all have this Room 19 that we only want for ourselves. Even the closest people to us are not allowed inside. Isn’t it interesting?
Room 19 in Because This Is My First Life

There is this one with English translation but only in audio. It’s the book Bok Name gave to Ji Ho: The World’s End Girlfriend. It is translated by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea and you can listen to it here.

The World's End Girlfriend

💭 The snail plushie. He See loves cat, but he got Ji Ho a snail plushie because it is her favorite animal. Why? Because snails always have a home.

snail plushie

💭 Strong lines. I love how they are delivered and the message it wants to convey.

“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. How much longer do I have to keep going?”

I literally cried on this scene because I am a dreamer myself. The fact that Ji Ho is a writer connects more to me. People always say: “Dream big!” They say that if your dreams don’t scare you then they are not big enough. I am so scared. Dreaming ain’t easy. They say it’s free but growing up, you will realize that it is not. Working hard isn’t free. Going for a degree to prove that you are fit for your dream isn’t free. Adults should stop talking nonsense to kids.

💭 Last but not the least, words. No matter how beautiful they are, they need actions, too. And vice versa.

That’s it for my review! Have you watched this as well? Let me know what you think!

“Even if you’ve seen the sea before, it’s your first time to see it today.”

Cheers! This is only our first life. Make the most out of it.


Thank you for reading! 🤎
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[Featured Image: Courtesy of TVN; Images from Viki]

16 thoughts on “KDrama Review | Because This Is My First Life

  1. Pinanood ko ito last year (2020) and still one of the top k-dramas for me kahit ang dami ko na napanood after. Katulad mo, nagustuhan ko ang script! Kailangan mo lang ng mabilis na reading comprehension kasi minsan ang bilis i-flash hehe

    Liked by 1 person

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