35

My First First Love: Season 1 review

Netflix recently dropped their latest original drama My First First Love, and it is every bit as adorable as I could have hoped. The drama stars Ji-soo, Jinyoung (of B1A4, not Got7), and Jung Chae-yeon, and tells the story of a young cast of characters learning about life, love, and friendship. The drama isn’t particularly unique in its story or execution, but it’s breezy, sweet, and enjoyable.

My First First Love was originally described as a campus romance. While this is technically true since most of the characters attend the same college, the drama is not a campus romance (or even campus drama) the same way, say, Cheese in the Trap was. Rather than the bulk of the scenes occurring on-campus and being about college life, most of My First First Love takes place in and around our hero’s house. And as it turns out, that house is rather important.

As the drama opens, we get a rather satirical (or perhaps archetypal) family dinner scene where our hero, Yoon Tae-oh (Ji-soo) is celebrating his 20th birthday. His father is wealthy and disaffected; his step-mother is passive-aggressive and only seems to care about her own son rather than her step-son.

All Tae-oh seems to want (or expect) out of his family is his grandfather’s old house. When he finally gets it, his family hands him the keys, forbids him from having girls over, and promptly forgets about his existence. For Tae-oh, that house stands for both freedom and adulthood — but this is quickly threatened when three of his friends appear on his doorstep one day. Literally.

Episode 1 not only introduces us to Tae-oh, but the cast of supporting characters as well. It doesn’t take long for these separate story lines to converge, when each character finds herself/himself in need of a home — and a haven. There’s Choi Hoon (Kang Tae-oh of 5urprise), the son who endures ridicule and abuse from his parents for wanting to be a musical actor. There’s Oh Ga-rin (Choi Ri), the ditzy, bubbly, sheltered chaebol heiress who escapes her smothering family. And then there’s Han Song-yi (Jung Chae-yeon), Tae-oh’s childhood friend, who shares a special (and about-to-get-complicated) relationship with him.

We’re used to seeing Ji-soo play the grumptopus, or a bad boy with a tofu heart, but this is the first time I’ve seen Ji-soo this cheesy. It took me a little bit to get used to the light-hearted, boyish Tae-oh who you sometimes want to slap some sense into.

Tae-oh might moan that his biggest fear is to turn his precious house into a boarding house, but when it comes down to it, he’s actually a softie that can’t say no to friends in need. The best part about the character of Tae-oh is that even though he seems (and often acts) flaky and immature, he has moments of sweetness and protectiveness that show his true character.

Part of Tae-oh’s immaturity is his preoccupation with getting the perfect girlfriend, and he believes Ryu Se-hyun (Hong Ji-yoon), the ulzzang on campus, is the one for him. He pursues her with toe-curling cheesiness — but it’s funny, whenever his friend needs something, he drops everything and runs to their aid. Particularly Han Song-yi.

Of all the characters with trouble ducking out at Tae-oh’s house, Song-yi is the one who has the most trouble and heartbreak, and, of course, the most pride. Even when she’s homeless and abandoned, she won’t ask for help from Tae-oh. This all-too-common K-drama trope of noble idiocy (and even the suitcase-dragging damsel in distress) somehow didn’t seem worn out here. Whether it’s because of the strength of the young cast, their earnest performances, or just the overall tone of the drama — it made me smile instead of eye roll. It’s completely predictable, but I didn’t mind a whit.

Some of my favorite moments of the drama were watching Tae-oh act like Song-yi’s cantankerous, but doting, oppa. The boy that seemed flaky and self-centered actually notices her worn out shoes and purse and secretly buys her new ones. When she needs a guardian at the police station, he leaves his date and rushes there. When she decides to pitch a tent in his yard instead of taking one of his guestrooms, he picks rocks out of the dirt so the tent is on soft ground, badgers her with bug zapping lights, and basically turns her camping into glamping. Turns out he also has a history of coming to her rescue in the rain. And since this is dramaland, you know that can only mean one thing.

While we’ve seen the scenario play out many times before, watching Tae-oh deal with his changing feelings for Song-yi is the highlight of the drama. On one hand he boasts about his new girlfriend, and he can’t wait for Song-yi to get a boyfriend since “taking care of her takes up all of my time” (and it’s not a lie). But on the other hand, watching Song-yi be romanced by his friend Seo Do-hyun (Jinyoung) starts a whole flood of conflicting actions — and feelings.

I love when a drama sets up a love triangle that actually makes me wonder which way it will turn out — and My First First Love is doing that for me. My heart knows that Tae-oh and Song-yi are perfect first loves, and complement each other well. But at the same time, Song-yi’s budding relationship with Do-hyun is hands-down the most sweet and sincere young romance I have seen in a while. In contrast to Tae-oh’s childish (and heading for disaster) infatuation with Se-hyun, Song-yi and Do-hyun have a maturity that’s surprising and refreshing.

How is this going to play out? When the heck will Tae-oh put two and two together and realize he has feelings for Song-yi? But then what will happen with the sweet, quiet, and over-burdened Do-hyun? As you can tell, I was 100% committed to this conflict. Then my enjoyment of this drama hit a major bump — or perhaps cliff is more accurate. The eight episodes I had been enjoying were about to grind to a halt mid-thought.

I was not remotely prepared to be watching a “season” of a Korean drama. I’ve talked before about how complete stories with a beginning, middle, and end, are one of the reasons I love dramas so much… so it’s probably no surprise that there was an angry lip curl going on when my story got cut off at its climax in Episode 8.

Like most, My First First Love was written as a 16-episode drama. However, it was decided to cut the drama into two seasons, and space them out, to better fit the Netflix approach. Weep. The good news? Season 2 has already been filmed. So, if you watch Season 1 and must also endure the state of limbo I’m currently in — well, at least we know the second half is signed, sealed, and will eventually be delivered.

Outside of the rudeness of cutting this drama in half, a part of me was secretly relieved. As the plot started to escalate and Episode 8 was approaching with no resolution in sight, I briefly worried how the drama was going to handle and solve its conflicts. After all, there’s a lot more story left to tell, a duplicitous girlfriend to expose (I think so anyway), and I’m sure, some hearts to crack in two before it’s all said and done. Tae-oh and his friends are adorable, earnest creatures, each with their individual journeys. I can’t wait to cheer them on in the second half of the story.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

35

Required fields are marked *

Please kindly correct the name of the leading actress, her name is Jung Chae-yeon (not Chae-young) and she's also an idol from DIA and IOI.

This show is like a breath of fresh air and all characters are likeable. The triangle is so good I don't know who should I side with. I hope a lot of people will give this show a try. I personally can't wait for Season 2.

Thanks very much for the review.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is a remake of another Korean drama that stared Minho from shinee and park so dam. They added more characters and more story lines. I am impatiently waiting for season 2.
Also I don't like this break in drama. I hope Netflix doesn't spoil Korean dramas for me

1
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

Was it the one where Minho gave her his shirt so that she could wipe her tears? I remember to be very grateful to her :p

1
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

What's the tittle?

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Because it's The First Time or My First Time.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you

0

Oh i didn't realize this was a remake for Because it's my first time. 😥
i remembered loving the show and watched out for the casts' post-projects. I was totally rooting for Kim Min Jae to end up with So Dam hehe but in this version, I am conflicted between Jisoo and Jinyoung.
I haven't finished this yet so i am quite bummed with the break. I wish the 2nd season would come sooner hehe coz it's already killing me waiting for Kingdom 2.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

No wonder I thought the premise sounds very very familiar...

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah,it's like a re-telling of Because It's My First Love...I actually believed it would be a companion drama when mentioned that it is related not that it's actually the same story...

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

They've tweaked the timeline and some of the characters. The question is whether they'll go with a different ending.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wait, is it an actual remake?
While I was watching this one, it seemed extremely similar to that one, so I wondered if it was just coincidence. But it makes sense if it is an official remake!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I enjoyed watching this one but wished I'd waited until it was a finished drama. The season 1 season 2 is ridiculous since it just ended abruptly mid-story.

It's definitely a remake of My First Time with a slightly different story line. Will Jisoo get the girl and how long will we have to wait to find out?

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I feel like Netflix doesn't realise this won't bring in subscriptions but will just annoy their current subscribers. Thankfully I realised about episode 3 that the pacing was a standard 16 ep pacing and quickly googled. They can maybe get away with this for something like Kingdom but slice of life shows don't have a lot of cliffhangers. The first half just... ends.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Exactly. It's not a season 1, it's a part 1. I hope they don't keep trying to make this a thing.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Netflix doesn't really get that with some of these K-dramas. You can't just break things into two parts and expect the audience to get that.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@missvictrix Thank u.You completely said what I was feeling for this drama in such beautiful way .
I started the drama because of JIsoo and want to watch something lighthearted. I didnot think i will love it so much. though the story is nothing new but the characters somehow feel real and their interactions very organic. and i think this is one drama where the dilemma of love and friendship was very real and feel like i have been there.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I watched this with my teen daughter, and we both enjoyed it. The relationship between the housemates was the best part for me. Tae-Oh has a lot of growing up to do.I know that by Kdrama logic she will probably end up with Tae-Oh, but I prefer Do-Hyun. I was happy that they were together at the end of 8.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I enjoyed this, but I was not happy that it stopped at episode 8. It doesn't even make sense, at least give us 10 episodes. That being said I want Jisoo to find some happiness at the end of a drama. The last drama he was in was Bad Guys and Ping Pong and those were so depressing. I need my man to be happy.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

lol i used to joke and say "i cant wait until jisoo finally gets the girl!" but a part of me doesn't want him to get the girl this time around lol.

i really like do-hyun's character and his relationship with song-yi. yes song-yi and tae-oh are super cute with them having a really special friendship, but there's just something about do-hyun that makes me root for him lol. but.....i feel like she'll end up with tae-oh. idk haha

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Methinks i just want jisoo to finally get the girl. Lol But i also like chae yeon and jinyoung's sweet connection..waah. if only the sunbae isn't shady i wouldn't mind jisoo with her lol

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved this so much. It was exactly as cute as I wanted it to be, but not as silly as I feared it would be. Excited for season 2!

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Despite of me getting disappointed because my Ji Soo didn't get the girl, I enjoy watching this drama mainly because of the friendship portrays in this drama. Tae-O is such a selfless person who will do anything for his friends, so I really want a happy ending for him. Season 2, please come faster!

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I didn’t mind this season but I think the original had just more of an organic feel to it? Idk the characters just seemed to mesh better

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

So, who thinks Ji-soo will finally get the girl?

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

On the one hand, I want Jisoo to finally get the girl. On the other hand, it just seems wrong somehow - like the universe itself would rebel against us.

Narratively, I feel like the show basically told us that she wouldn't end up with Jisoo when they introduced the characters. I guess we'll see.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

A science fiction story I read a long time ago had a similar line, on time travel.

1. The physical laws of the universe allows time travel into the past.
2. Such travel invariably leads to paradoxes - really intolerable to the universe.
3. So, the universe take action to make sure anyone trying to build a time machine can’t. Like blowing up your star and ending your civilization.

Ji-soo finally getting the girl would lead to a similar calamity in the kdrama universe. ???

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The fabric of space time would be rendered asunder and the universe would be destroyed.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Dear Netflix,
I'm not watching until the whole drama is uploaded. Please, don't do this again, or we will have to have some harsh words. Listen while I'm polite.
Best,
nahaluk

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

What you said! ;)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is a lovely little slice of life drama. I just think that cutting it into two pieces will ruin the (small) momentum it has heading into the back half. It's just not written to be watched this way.

Other than that, there's really not much to say. Slice of life isn't always my thing but this works for me. I like the characters and the performances and Jisoo always works best when he's told to be cute and warm rather than cold and badass.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

May be except for that cross dressed scene in strong woman do bong soon...?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

oh wow, you have me intrigued. I'm seriously in love with Jin young but even that massive crush didn't make me watch. Now, i think i will. Thank you.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really enjoyed this cute drama as well. Anyone know when season 2 is being released? I couldn't find any info on it anywhere.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love this. I don't mind the ending because Tae-Oh deserved it for wanting the best of both girls. He is so adorable as the halabeoji holding a twig and waiting to reprimand Song-Yi from returning home late at night. It is a refreshing Kdrama.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the review, @missvictrix! I've seen this drama with different stars before so I thought the 8 episodes was just it. I was a little disappointed with how it ended but now that I learned there's a season 2 coming, I'm hopeful for it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *