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Because This Is My First Life beautifully takes us along the different roads of love, through three couples at its center. It’s a lovely show that touches the heart and brings a smile to the face. I recently watched it a second time and loved it all over again!

The show stars Jung So Min as Yoon Ji Ho, an aspiring writer and Lee Min Ki as Nam Se Hee, a computer designer. They both enter a contact marriage — she wants a place to stay and he wants a tenant and also his parents are forcing him to get married.

Marriage of convenience is one of my most favorite tropes ever and it makes me instantly excited. So choosing to watch this drama was a no brainer. What sets it apart is the slice of life, understated vibe throughout. The show has a fresh treatment and unpredictability. The two main characters are a bit eccentric in their own way and they bond through daily routine tasks and shared interests. Ji Ho is a charming character whose strength lies in her calmness. She is adorably instinctive and I loved her monologues and thoughtful nature. Similarly, Se Hi is straight-faced person who is thoughtful and caring. He is meticulous and stoic and yet, as the show progressed, he showed subtle emotions which remained true to his personality and yet felt earnest. These two are charmingly awkward and the chemistry between Jung So Min and Lee Min Ki is perfect. I simply loved watching them fall in love gradually.

The drama is contemplative and true to its low-key style, it subtly explores the themes of love, marriage, work, family and friendship. The life lessons are sprinkled from beginning to end. The Graduate references are delightful and the soundtrack is one of the best ones I’ve heard. Every song touches different corners of your heart.

Apart from the main couple, we meet two more pairings who again depict various faces of love. Yang Ho Rang and Woo Soo Ji are best friends with our heroine and their friendship is terrific. Natural and realistic, it warms the heart. Ho Rang is in a long time relationship with Shim Won Suk. She wants to get married but he is busy with making his startup successful. Soo Ji is an independent working woman who doesn’t believe in love commitment. She crosses path with Sang Goo, Se Hi’s boss and friend. Soo Ji and Sang Goo are so different and yet, they make a great couple. These four characters are well written and their relationships are given equal importance. I love that there are no characters in the drama that seem like fillers or are uninteresting.

The show is flavoured with good humour. Be it the situations or certain characters (like Ji Ho’s father, Sang Goo and Bo Mi), they provide ample laughs. There is also a super cute cat, providing super cute moments. I also loved Ji Ho’s interactions with her mom — so heartfelt. The drama also puts unpredictable spin on certain tropes.

Unfortunately, even with all the amazing qualities, the last final arc of the drama is confusing and dissatisfying. We are clueless about the heroine’s motives and reasoning which made me scratch my head. It felt as if the show conjured up this last minute drama only to make a climax. So unnecessary in an otherwise perfect narrative.

Jung So Min is absolutely charming, delivering a performance full of heart and quirkiness. Lee Min Ki provides a laid back charm, and is outstanding in every frame. Esom is perfect as a confident woman who is also vulnerable, and Park Byung Eun has great comic timing. Kim Ga Eun and Kim Min Suk deftly perform cute as well as emotional scenes. A special mention for Kim Byung Ok and Kim Sun Young as Ji Ho’s parents who give a pitch perfect performance. Kim Min Gyu as Yoon Bok Nam is adorable.

BOTTOM LINE: Providing a delightful exploration of love, Because This Is My First Life is thoughtful, funny and touching.

My Rating: 9 out of 10