Because It’s The First Time marked first foray into dramaland for fashion and style channel OnStyle last week. It will air only one episode a week and my love for everything romantic and comedy let me to check this one out. It’s a cute, simple and breezy start. The drama is anchored behind the scenes by the team responsible for modern rom-coms like I Need Romance and Witch’s Romance. Another icing — episodes are only 45 minutes long!
So without further ado, let’s begin the recap.
Recap Episode 1
The episode is actually divided into 3 chapters. So viewers can feel as if it’s a web drama but then I felt more like the divisions were that of a commercial break time.
Chapter 1 – There’s a Girl I Like, But…
We start with 5 friends — Yoon Tae Oh (Minho), Han Song Yi (Park So Dam), Seo Ji Ahn (Kim Min Jae), Choi Hoon (Lee Yi Kyung) and Oh Ga In (Cho Hye Jung) — all gathering up at Tae Oh’s rooftop. They are friends since childhood. We see that Hoon always gets kicked out of his house in the morning by his parents, in his underwear.
Tae Oh is getting ready for a blind date. Everyone teases him.
In a voiceover, Tae Oh tells us that Song Yi is his first love.
Flashback — when Tae Oh and Song Yi were in high school, her father died. He helps her in filling her college application. Later, he consoles her by saying that he too lost his mother and she will be fine as she has him.
We see some more school hijinks where the friends play a prank on Tae Oh by making use of his dedication towards Song Yi. She tells him to buy a sausage pastry and he even declines his pretty senior’s (a cameo by Yoona) request to date him for that.
The present Tae Oh sighs that he has ruined his life for Song Yi. There are so many women in the world and he is only 20 years old.
He gives her a ride as she is doing part-time job at the same cafe where he is supposed to meet his date.
Chapter 2: When You’re 20 Years Old
He sees a beautiful girl sitting there and joins her. He introduces himself and starts praising her beauty. He keeps on talking and talking (I’m sure he misunderstood someone else for his date). He asks her address and says that’s in his neighbourhood. She says that if he is not a player, then he is a fool. He admits being a fool because he becomes one when he is happy. She looks amused.
When Tae Oh goes to order their coffee, he finds out how Song Yi’s boss makes her do extra work other than her usual duty at the cafe. When he can’t bear him insulting her anymore, he punches her boss in the face and says that he is her boyfriend when asked about it.
She blames him. He suddenly remembers about his date. He sees that she has left and regrets, saying that he really liked her. Actually, the girl is listening to all this and smiles.
Song Yi gets fired from her job. She is very sad and contemplates in a voiceover that she is twenty years old and she wanted to wear high heels, wear pretty clothes and wanted to go on a date, and she wants to go with Ji Ahn. But working is her reality.
Ga In works in a salon and Song Yi wants a haircut. Tae Oh teases that at least he helped in getting rid of one job (LOL). Ji Ahn comes and says that she is pretty the way she is and not to cut her hair. She is super happy to hear that and blushes. We see Ji Ahn smiling too while driving his two-wheeler.
Chapter 3 – Youth, What is That?
Tae Oh tries to explain his situation to his blind date on phone but fails. Ga In and Hoon make fun of him. Song Yi arrives with her suitcase and bag. She informs that her mother ran away last night and asks if she has taken money from their parents too. Her mom left a letter that she is leaving and to pretend that she doesn’t exist. They are behind rent too and her aunt will take care of her younger sister.
When the friends show concern about where will she live, she says she has a plan.
Song Yi takes her sister Song Ah to her aunt and Tae Oh follows, pretending that he is going to meet his friend who lives there. I think Song yi knows he is lying.
In the bus, Tae Oh thinks that this is why he doesn’t want to like Song Yi as something bad always happens whenever he gets involved with her. He becomes angrier because he helps but she never feels grateful.
Her aunt is clearly not happy to keep her little sister and says many harsh things to her. Song yi answers that she will take her sister back soon.
Tae Oh takes her with him to eat and says that her sister is a strong girl and will take care of herself.
Ji Ahn tells his father to not mention about the money her mom took in front of Song Yi.
Tae Oh is home but Song Yi hasn’t come yet. Ji Ahn also comes there. They talk about her house and that her owner must have evicted her.
Song Yi gets a message that her interest is due in a few days. She is depressed and calls SOS lifeline. A lady picks up and Song Yi says there is no such thing as hope. She has nowhere to go. She worked so hard but no one praised her.
Hoon tells Ga In that he runs in his underwear everyday because his parents are not curious about what he wants to become someday.
Song yi starts shouting at god, standing on the bridge. Cops come and she gets frightened.
I think the hour passed very easily for the drama. It was filled with feel-good-ness but I cringed at the annoying Kdrama stereotypical scenarios like careless mom running away with the money without even thinking about her daughters, then insensitive relatives, but overall, the tone of the show is breezy and the friendship looks very raw and endearing. The basic premise is of course, best friends in love as we have seen clear feelings of Tae Oh for Song yi and saw a glimpse of jealousy on Song yi’s face when he was eagerly meeting that lady in the cafe. I like our hero already as he is so easy-going and caring and most importantly, normal. In fact everyone looks normal here and realistic, even if the acting is a bit green. Kim Min Jae’s acting is better here than in Twenty Again and I was surprised to see him act well here. There is also humour here and there and the constant teasing between friends was a sight of delight and fun.
Talking about our heroine, I like that she is not a perfect candidate of becoming a candy as she actually complains about her poor condition, rather than being unrealistically cheerful. I can’t wait for the cohabitation hijinks and I think the first episode gave us a fairly good outline about our characters, but of course we need to see more of Ji Ahn, Ga In and Hoon to know them better. All in all, I liked the first episode of Because It’s The First Time.