‘Because This is My First Life’: The quirky K-drama you need
It’s time to search for a new K-drama so you can continue procrastinating that list of quarantine chores you only got halfway through. This delightful little romantic drama called Because This is My First Life, is perfect for anyone who is feeling a little down about their life trajectory so far — so pretty much all of us.
This sweet story follows the lives of Nam See-hee (Lee Min-ki) & Yoon Ji-ho (Jung So-min), two professionals who are not exactly in an ideal place in their lives or careers. They end up living together as neither make enough to support themselves on their own. The story takes us on a discovery of what it means to be a late-bloomer as well as what it looks like to be successful & happy in today’s world.
Nam See-hee is a thirty-eight-year-old computer designer who is perfectly happy living a life of solitude (except for his adorable cat). Nam See-hee however, needs a roommate to pay off his mortgage and rents the extra room in his town house to thirty-year-old Yoon Ji-ho, an assistant screenwriter whose career has stalled.
The two agree to live together due to a miscommunication, Nam See-hee thinking Yoon Ji-ho is a boy and Yoon Ji-ho assuming Nam See-hee is a girl. Despite the mix-up, the two try to make their living situation work and slowly begin to get to know & learn from each other.
What to be when you grow up
This drama tackles the theme of finding success later in life. Even in today’s climate of millennials still living with their parents and couples waiting longer to get married, we still feel the pressure to have our lives on track by the time we’re in our thirties. That’s the dream isn’t it?
In Because This Is My First Life we see two people, unmarried in their thirties who have to find innovative ways to stay afloat, financially and emotionally. Nam See-hee wants independence but his money situation means he has to take on a roommate. Yoon Ji-ho wants to be a successful writer but obstacles at work take a toll on her spirits.
We can find Yoon Ji-ho’s situation especially relatable. She started off at Seoul National Academy, a prestigious university, but it didn’t automatically catapult her to success. Then she finds herself in a dull, disappointing job as an assistant-writer.
Yoon Ji-ho tries to soldier on and be the best at her job that she can be. She then experiences a devastating incident of sexual harassment in the workplace which compels her to leave the writing industry. Even though she tried her hardest, she was still knocked back and the poignant moment of her defeat is something we all know too well, that bitter taste of failure when you’ve done your best.
We’ve all been there
Because This Is My First Life draws us in because it’s a drama that doesn’t expect anything. It isn’t a grand tale of billionaire businessmen or highly-skilled special agents. It’s a simple story about ordinary people.
Even the characters are not the perfectly polished specimens we often see in other dramas. Nam See-hee is a reserved but kind man who works hard to live a quiet life. Yoon Ji-ho is an insecure but also very caring woman with a head full of beautiful dreams.
The drama subverts the expectations put upon the characters by society or their families and allows the couple to share their failures and accept each other despite them. It’s a wonderful relief from the pressure we can feel in life as a young (and older) adult. The story of Nam See-hee & Yoon Ji-ho tells us no matter where you are in your life’s journey, it’s exactly where you need to be.