When Yoon Ji-Ho, a writer, moves into a new apartment, she thinks her new roommate is perfect. Then she realizes her roommate is Nam Se Hee, who is, in fact, a man. Of course, she immediately moves out, but as fate would have it, they are drawn back together. To solve both of their problems, they enter into a two-year marriage contract. Everything is agreed upon and written down to minimize conflicts and maximize happiness. It’s the perfect plan until they start to develop feelings for each other. Will the two be able to stick to the contract terms, or will they allow themselves to fall in love?
Woo Su-Ji – An ambitious career woman who is a school friend of Yoon Ji-Ho. She dreams of climbing the corporate ladder to end up as the boss of her company which is why she endures so many hardships
Yang Ho-Rang – Also a school friend of Yoon Ji-Ho. She dreams of marrying her long-term boyfriend Sim Won-Seok
Sim Won-Seok – the CEO of a startup that is struggling to get off the ground. This causes him to be insecure about providing a good life for Yang Ho-Rang
Ma Sang-Goo – He is the CEO of the company Nam Se-Hee works at
This is going to sound super cheesy, but hear me out. I feel like Because This is My First Life taught me a lot about—(you guessed it)—life. The idea that everyone is living life for the first time and no one has it figured out was really comforting to me. It reminded me to be a little more patient and show a little more grace to everyone around me because even people who seem put together are just winging it. The plot itself was very unique and original. Obviously, it is scripted, but it seemed so relatable. It felt like we got a window into Yoon Ji-Ho’s and Nam Se Hee’s real life.
In addition, the secondary characters also had very realistic and relatable storylines. For example, Woo Su-Ji deals with sexism and harassment at work, and it was rewarding and entertaining to watch her deal with her bullies. I also found the friendship between the three girls extremely refreshing. Having been friends for years, it was nice to see them all having someone to rely on as they were going through struggles at work and in relationships. Each of the three friends has a dream, and they are working diligently toward breaking down the concept of gender roles. Woo Su-Ji is a career woman with no intention of ever settling down and being a housewife. Yang Ho-Rang, on the other hand, only dreams of being a stay-at-home mom. Because This is My First Life does a great job showing that both dreams are equal and perfectly valid. What makes one person happy could cause absolute misery for someone else. One vision or path is not better or worse than any other.
Also, a lot of the main plot with Yoon Ji-Ho and Nam Se Hee revolves around a cat, and what is not to love about that?
For a decent amount of this drama, the relationship between Nam Se Hee and Yoon Ji Ho is fake, but Nam Se Hee is such a catch! He is so kind and caring, and who isn’t a sucker for a man who tears down traditional gender roles? He was the one who said that Yoon Ji Ho wouldn’t have to visit his parents during the holidays since he knew that she would be treated like a slave. Plus, even before the feelings had fully developed between Nam Se Hee and Yoon Ji Ho, he ran to protect her from someone he suspected of being a stalker. This was a great example of a boy treating his girl right.
The same can be said for Yoon Ji Ho. Throughout Because This is My First Life she was considerate of his needs and really worked hard to take care of him. Though their romance developed slowly, we got enough bread crumbs along the way to build the tension to perfection. I think I squealed with glee a little bit when they finally got together. Along with the drama’s plot, the romance is just so simple, mature, and realistic that I found myself really drawn into it.
I also think it’s worth mentioning the romantic relationships of the secondary characters here as well. First, there is the relationship between Sim Won-Seok and Yang Ho-Rang. They deeply love each other and have been together for years but struggle to understand each other and communicate. Again, the problems they were facing were very realistic. Communication is something we can all struggle with at times. (it is so refreshing to see relationships with real issues instead of some weird twisted backstory about parents killing each other in the past like Suspicious Partner). I was rooting for them so hard and was just as engrossed in this storyline as I was in the main character’s relationship.
Woo Su-Ji and Mr. Na have a relationship that is just as solid. It is a new relationship, and both of them are still figuring things out, but it seems very healthy and built on support and trust.
Because This is My First Life is such a joy to watch. Light-hearted and warm, it gives you all the feels and leaves you feeling good at the end of it. Even though I watched this drama months ago, I think about it often and it brings a smile to my face whenever I do. Definitely had the rewatch factor for me.