Because This is My First Life (2017)

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Profile
Drama: Because This Is My First Life (이번 생은 처음이라)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 9 – November 28, 2017
Runtime: Mondays & Tuesdays 21:30

Plot
Sehee is a single guy in his late 30s, who has a good job and a house and he has no intention of marrying. Jiho is a single girl is her early 30s, who just lost her job and house. She meets Sehee through her friend and moves in with him.

Cast
Lee Minki – Nam Sehee
Jung Somin – Yoon Jiho
Esom – Woo Sooji
Park Byung Eun – Ma Sanggoo
Kim Ga Eun – Yang Horang
Kim Minsuk – Sim Wonseok

Review
This is one of those rare kdramas that is almost perfect, in terms of casting, acting, storyline and even the soundtrack. Pacing was slow and yet it fit perfectly with the whole theme and setting. There was no character that i hated, and each of the couples’ struggles were different and relatable.

Favorite character – Nam Se Hee. From the outside people probably thinks he is weird and geeky, with his mostly expressionless face and toneless voice. But i think he is such a sensitive and great guy. i would say, he best epitomize the phrase “Action speak louder than words”. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Lee Minki in a drama — actually the only drama i remember watching is Dalja’s Spring, which was way back in 2007. I think it’s because he has this pout on his face every single time so i feel that he is so boring. He fit his character very well. As Sehee, i could feel every emotion just by looking at his eyes, without him even saying much.

Favorite couple – it’s hard to choose which couple i love the most, because i liked the 3 couples a lot, so i’ll just brief say something about each couple.

Sehee/Jiho – from the beginning when they met, there was this instant chemistry between them. then when Jiho moved in with Sehee, they just perfectly matched each other’s moods, lifestyle and thinking. I think it’s because they’re both quirky. I remember reading an instagram post saying “Find someone who matches your crazy” and i think this quote describes Sehee and Jiho’s relationship really well. They may have started their marriage without love but that’s where they ended up, which i feel they both deserved. Esp Sehee. Episode 15 when Jiho initiated the divorce, of course i was sad af, but i thought it was necessary for them to stop the contract. and never thought for a second that Jiho was being a martyr by leaving the house. I was actually expecting her to knock on Sehee’s door the next day, asking him to start the relationship as equals, as lovers. But i also liked how the show put them together.

Sanggoo/Sooji – wah! their story is the exact opposite of Sehee/Jiho. while the former was loveless and calm, Sanggu and Sooji started their relationship as a bickering couple, well, mostly a resistant Sooji. and it wasn’t because she wasn’t attracted to Sanggoo, it was more on her own self-guilt/punishment. I love Sanggu, where can i meet someone like him? He may be older than Sooji but he treated her equally and with respect. he didn’t patronize her but he supported her and wasn’t afraid of facing Sooji’s wrath or scolding her when she has gone too far. Sooji is so cute when she smiles, you can just see how much Sanggu has affected her life and she has grown up more mature because of him.

Horang/Wonseok – i love Horang as the cheerful friend, but not as the clingy and marriage obsessed girlfriend. this is the couple where i could say one is at fault or the other. I think both were equally to blame for the slow decline of their relationship. Horang was focusing too much on herself and on getting married that she forgot to think of Wonseok. On the other hand, it’s unfair for Wonseok to lead her on after seven years and asking her to wait for 5 more when he knows how much she wants to get married. I was expecting them to get back together at the end, though i also wouldn’t have minded if they ended up getting married to other people. The accountant was okay and he seemed as cheerful as Horang, though i think he pushed it too fast and too early. I think had he took his time and slowly got to know Horang, he may have had a shot at Horang’s heart. Likewise, i dont think Bomi really liked Wonseok, but it would have been fun to see them end up together.

Favorite group – i heart the girls and boys’ group equally. Both group showed support and friendship when each one is having problems. when one girl is having a tough day, they also have time to meet up, talk it out and have a drink. Likewise, when the guys are having love problems, each had a wise advice to tell the other guy. and the best part is when the boys tell the their girlfriends what is happening to their friend and vice versa. What a solid friendship these couples have with each other.

There were too many scenes that i loved and these are some of my favorite moments:
Top 2 most heartfelt scenes – first is on episodes 11 when Jiho and Sehee were along the beach. I loved what Jiho said to Sehee – it is probably one of the main reasons he was maybe to move forward with his life. She said something like, you may have looked at something before (eg. watch the sea with friend A), but it doesn’t mean it’s the same thing that you are looking now (eg. watch the sea with friend B), because the same thing is different because it’s with someone else so it’s the first time for you. and she also told Sehee not to worry because just because you knew or lived it yesterday does not mean you already know it today (or to that effect). Jiho’s words almost stuck with me and i thought that was a brilliant thought. and Later when Sehee told Jiho their first kiss wasn’t a real kiss and he then he kissed her good.

Second is on episode 5 when Sehee saw Jiho crying on their wedding day and he read Jiho’s mom’s note to let Jiho write again if she wants to and not to give her trouble.

Top 2 saddest scenes – first is episode 15 when we see Sehee crying so hard after Jiho left. Second is episode 16 when again, we see Sehee crying in his sleep, thinking Jiho is in his dreams

Top 2 most bad-ass scenes – first is episode 14 when Sooji finally punches Mr Park in the elevator. he really had it coming. plus that scene when Sooji arrived in a motorcycle to pick up Sanggu in front of Sooji. Sanggu must feel really really proud and lucky to have his cool girlfriend.

Second is also on episode 14 when that sleazy assistant director met up with Sehee to try to drop the charges. while we didn’t see Sejoo actually beating up the guy, his fierce face when he stopped him and said, Sit down and tell me everything is all i needed to see.
Runner up is on episode 8 when Sehee got so mad, he kicked Bok nam’s motorcycle just a few hours/days before he got hurt trying to dodge the motorcycle.

Top 2 most heartbreaking scenes – First is episode 14 when Sehee was building up the courage to propose to Jiho, but Jiho said she wanted a divorce. I felt Sehee’s heart break into millions of pieces.

Second is on episode 13 when Wonseok broke up with Horang. i could feel the anguish from both sides. Wonseok knows he couldn’t make her happy so he let her go. Horang angry at Wonseok for not having the confidence to standby her even after telling her to wait for him.

Cutest scenes – anytime the Kitty is in the scene! the kitty was so calm and adorable!

Lesson learned – Although the three couples ended up marrying, for me, the lesson I got from this show is that every relationship and marriage is different. What works for one couple may not work for the other. marriage is also not easy, as Jiho’s mom said, there will be a lot of ups and downs and be sure to have plenty of stars in your pocket so that every time you are having a difficult time, you can just look back at all the stars (good moments) and then you can survive. It’s also about being able to find the relationship that works well for you and your partner. It doesn’t matter if you get married or just dating or living in, marriage is not the ultimate goal. It is not the validation that you have “arrived” or you have settled down. What is important is the quality of the relationship that you have with your partner. And even for the singles, it’s more important to find yourself, to be happy with your choices and to live your life by your own terms.

[throwback] 1% of anything

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Drama: Something About 1% (1%의 어떤것)
Network: Dramax
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 5 – November 24, 2016
Runtime: Weds. & Thurs. 21:00

Plot
Lee Jae-In possesses a good appearance, he is smart and comes from a wealthy family, but he is also arrogant. His grandfather orders Jae-In to enter into a 10 month contract engagement with a female school teacher that he has never met in his life. Lee Jae-In slowly falls in love with her.

Cast
Ha Seok Jin as Lee Jae In
Jeon So Min as Kim Da Hyun

Review
After watching 20th Century Boy and Girl and seeing the sister Kim, who i missed seeing on tv, i decided to check out the updated version of 1% of Anything. She starred in this drama way back in 2003 and i was curious to see how they updated the series. This time, the drama stars Ha Seok Jin and Jeon So Min. I’ve watched Ha Seok Jin in some dramas before, and I always confuse him with another korean actor, Kim Kang Woo. On the other hand, i have never watched Jeon So Min in any drama before. Thus, to be honest, i didn’t really have high expectations from this show, i just wanted to watch a quick and fun drama – and I’m glad I did!

The best part of this drama, of course, is the relationship between Jae in and Da hyun. At first i was put off by how arrogant and how dismissive Jae in was so Da Hyun and how he kept manhandling her, but as i watch the show, i realized he wasn’t really being arrogant, he was just a very straight guy who means what he says and acts the way he wants to. i still dont like how he kept grabbing her and i’m glad it toned down as they were both falling for each other. We can see how he started softening from a very workaholic career driven guy who hates wasting time to actually being a romantic boyfriend who is able to balance being the tough boss and the sweet husband. Da Hyun was such a sweetie pie! No wonder Jae In fell in love with her. Even though it felt like they were so wrong for each other at the start, you later realize that they complemented each other very well. they were both passionate with their work, had good hearts and they knew how to communicate with each other and was mature in dealing with their relationship. In real life, people often stick within their circle of friends, and people end up dating the same types of people from the same background and i realized, you know what? it’s also interesting to actually go out of your comfort zone, to go out of your circle, to actually meet different types of people and just learn new things from them. and it’s not just about dating, this can be about work or hobbies.

Okay, now back to the drama. there wasn’t much conflict in the show, which i loved. There was no evil cousin – dont you hate it that the parents are so vindictive and greedy that it affects the relationships of siblings and cousins? I can’t imagine why relatives will fight over a position – why cant they just share and grow the empire instead of fighting? of course easier said than done since i’m not rich. lol. i did hate the ex girlfriend. I thought she was an unnecessary annoyance – it was so obvious that her scheming ways wont even make a dent in Jae in and Da hyun’s relationship – she was that insignificant to the story. As for the grandpa, I think he was more just a tool to have a reason why they had to meet in the first place, but there was really nothing much he did. I thought there was going to be some tough work drama but it didn’t really happen.

I could also understand their dilemma – they were from two different worlds and backgrounds – how can they make it work? Jae in will unintentionally put Da hyun in the spot as his wife and potential madame of a major company – puts her in the news, her life will be scrutinized, she wont get as much freedom as she used to have. Likewise, I loved that Da hyun was such a great girl – she didn’t bow down to Jae in, she wasn’t just about to swallow everything, she also thought of herself and her career which she loved. And I think it’s because she is a teacher by profession, she is used to handling kids so she knows how to sticky situations. I loved how they resolved the conflict though it felt a tiny bit unrealistic and I wished the big confession had more impact – like Jae in getting down on one knee and not just saying “i love you let’s get married”. But then again, that is how simple and low key their relationship was. Nothing grand and fancy, just pure heart and sincerity. I wished they showed the wedding, I would have cried buckets of tears seeing her walk down the aisle, and I bet Jae in would have bawled like a big baby.

Overall, super loved this underrated rom-com! And this just made me want to watch more Ha Seok Jin dramas!