What Mary Thinks: Because This Life is Our First

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I’m back and hopefully for good. School, work, and college just in general has really been taking up most of my time that I haven’t had the time to just sit down, settle, and devote some time to this blog. So since it’s the weekend, I thought I’d return and update y’all with some posts of what I’ve been up to lately!

In terms of Korean dramas, I’m currently watching 3 dramas right now: Mad Dog, Because This Life is Our First, and Witch’s Court. I’ll write about the other two dramas as well, but I wanted to start off with ‘Because This Life is Our First.’

Out of the 3 dramas I’m watching right now, this one probably has to be my favorite. I came into the drama excited because I love Lee Min-ki and I missed him in dramaland so I was totally going to give this drama a chance. I didn’t know what I was signing myself up for though and I wasn’t so sure what to expect with this drama, but it’s been pleasant to watch and has been doing a great job in keeping me engaged and definitely interested.

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Just to give some context, Lee Min-ki plays Se-hee who works as a computer programmer for a dating app company. He has an apartment, but he’s paying for it through loans so he has to pay back the loans and that’s how he meets Ji-ho (played by Jung So-min). She on the other hand leaves her parent’s house where she had been living and volunteers to move in with Se-hee and help pay rent since she needs a place to live in. They quickly become acquainted with each other for their own individual purposes, but discovers through some obstacles and challenges that their marriage is not just based off individual benefits but that there might actually be some romantic feelings involved in their relationship (and that’s where the fun begins!)

I’m currently caught up with the drama and like I mentioned earlier, it’s actually been an easy, breezy, and pleasant watch. I had noticed how much buzz it was getting on Dramabeans and so I finally gave it a try when I had some time not too long ago and while I enjoyed the first few episodes, it wasn’t until episode 4 that I became sold. The beginning was a slow start and it was actually quite difficult for me to keep myself invested, but once I finished episode four I knew that I was going to stay and watch the entire drama. Thankfully the drama does a wonderful job in showcasing the growth of Se-hee and Ji-ho’s relationship from being just housemates to husband and wife and then to actually having feelings for each other.

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While there are many aspects about Se-hee and Ji-ho’s relationship that I enjoy like the little moments where they show their care for each other or how the bus has become their second home in a way, the thing that I enjoy the most about their relationship is how respectful and kind they are towards each other. The two always consider each other’s feelings before making decisions or saying things and maybe a part of this stems from them not having really known each other that long yet, but I also love the way that they each think about the other before making a decision. It’s those moments when Ji-ho recalls Se-hee’s comment about feeling uncomfortable that she holds herself back from saying things or the times when Se-hee reminds Bok-nam that Ji-ho is a grown woman who can make decisions for herself that I find myself rooting for them as a couple. Ji-ho doesn’t need two guys telling her what to do; she’s an adult herself and knows what she wants best. It’s so refreshing to see male leads like Se-hee respect the opinions of the female leads — another reason as to why I’m rooting for Se-hee (other than the fact that he’s played by Lee Min-ki who I have to add is doing a phenomenal job playing such a stoic and robotic character as Se-hee). All the more reasons to root for Se-hee and Ji-ho as a couple.

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I know that some folks were disappointed in the way that the drama had used Bok-nam as the second lead in that he wasn’t your typical second lead, but rather was made out to be a stalker/creepy guy. I don’t think he was intended to play a big role though; he was there only so that Se-hee could become aware of his feelings for Ji-ho. Someone or something needed to come along to make Se-hee realize that he does indeed having feelings for Ji-ho and that person happened to be Bok-nam. I’m actually okay with him not being the typical second lead; if the drama had just set him up to be a plot device just so Se-hee could be jealous and therefore fight for Ji-ho, I would be okay with that and that’s actually what I would prefer. I enjoy watching Ji-ho and Se-hee’s relationship develop that I would not want a second female or male lead to intervene with this so I wouldn’t be surprised if the drama decided to remove Bok-nam from the drama within a few episodes or give him less screen time.

I also really like what the drama has demonstrated with his character. So far, the drama is making him out to be a stalker of Ji-ho and whether this is true or not has yet to be discovered, but IF he actually turns out to be a stalker I think there’s something we can learn from this. Looks are deceiving and you should never trust a person just based on their looks. Often times we associate stalkers with guys who look old, evil, like outsiders, but Bok-nam is the total opposite here which is why no one is suspicious of him at first. His image contrasts greatly with what we’re used to when we think about stalkers and criminals and bad people so I appreciate the message that the drama is conveying through Bok-nam’s character.

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I’m just as invested in Sang-gu and Soo-ji’s relationship and their relationship is probably my favorite (although Se-hee and Ji-ho is really close up there as well). There’s just something about Soo-ji and the way that she builds walls to protect herself and then Sang-gu wanting to break down those walls and get to her that is so interesting to me. I love how Soo-ji carries herself in her workplace that is heavily male-dominated. She has to do things that she doesn’t want to do and has to put up with co-workers that she hates and doesn’t want to associate with, but as she mentioned in the drama, it’s not easy for employees like her who are at the bottom of the hierarchy to make decisions. She has no choice, but to partake in these kind of activities, meetings, and social gatherings — a message that she had to convey to Sang-gu because he just couldn’t understand why she would put herself in situations that makes her uncomfortable and powerless. Their relationship is a push-and-pull game and I like that they both each offer the other different perspectives and thoughts about life, relationships, and the workplace. I don’t doubt that Soo-ji does have some feelings for Sang-gu, but she has to be a lot more careful with the way she acts and what decisions she makes because it could really affect her and her work, hence, why she’s not as active in pursuing Sang-gu and reciprocating his feelings. I’m looking forward to the development of their relationship as well and all the other raw conversations they’ll have with each other about each other and their social status in society.

Ho-rang and Won-seok’s relationship is probably my least favorite out of the three. They clearly have miscommunication issues and Ho-rang is a little too passive aggressive to my liking. I also think her approach in wanting to get married and therefore programming Won-seok to act and think in ways that she wants him to is too much for me. I actually am siding a little bit on Won-seok’s side so far just because I think he’s being realistic. He’s not sure if he wants to get married with Ho-rang because marriage is just not about love. Sure, you need love to get married, but love is not sufficient enough for a marriage to last. Won-seok would marry Ho-rang because he loves her, but marriage is so much more than just love and Won-seok realizes that.  He’s openly relayed his feelings and thoughts about marriage to Ho-rang, but she’s not on the same page because all she can think about is marriage. She’s looking at things in a much more simplified perspective and I’m waiting for the day where she and Won-seok can just learn to be honest with each other on marriage. They should have a serious and honest talk about their relationship and whether or not they want to go through with marrying each other. 7 years is a long time for a relationship, but it seems like they’re on two different pages right now. How much longer will it take them to be on the same page?

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Other aspects about the show that I’m enjoying is Bo-mi (I was surprised to see her in this drama! Didn’t expect her to be in it). She’s such a breath of fresh air due to her comedic timing and humor and I just love how blunt she is with people. Of course, I can’t talk about this drama without mentioning Ji-ho, Soo-ji, and Ho-rang’s friendship. They’re there for one another and support one another with any problems or issues they’re facing and I like how even though they’re each so different individually, they work in such harmony and love when they’re together.

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Now that Se-hee is aware of his feelings for Ji-ho, I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen from here on out. Is Bok-nam actually the stalker that the drama is creating him out to be so far? How will Se-hee and Ji-ho’s dynamic change with each other now that he knows he likes her? Will they transition from just being married housemates to actually being partners? What about Sang-gu and Soo-ji? Will he able to break down her walls and earn a spot in her heart? Ahhh, there are so many questions and not enough answers. While I try to patiently wait for the next episodes, I shall go and watch all the behind the scenes videos that tvN has been graciously gifting us with.

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