Do you ever remember being twenty years old and having really stupid dreams? Like, a dream where you just do something in real life that comes off real poetic and cool and romantic, like a scene in a drama? All right, I'll admit it- I have dreams like that even today, although I'm old enough and cynical enough to know they're probably not ever going to happen. But then that's the beauty of "Because It's the First Time". Its characters are young enough to still be dumb enough to believe in these dreams. And then of course an unexpected curveball makes this dream unattainable.
All right I'm writing in riddles even more than usual here but believe me, the end of episode ten really packs a wallop, and you don't want the experience spoiled. Especially when come the end of episode twelve there's another important turnabout that ends up saying a lot about the meaning of friendship, love, and trust. Because that's another one of the perks of being twenty- it's still easy to believe in all that stuff before reality comes crushing down. All sorts of stuff that once seemed unbearable actually comes off as rather quaint.
Take Hoon. He's really the odd character out, because Tae-oh and Ji-an are already all the male leads "Because It's the First Time" needs. Hoon actually even takes a moment to consider the fact that he's probably the least important person in the group. And what's wrong with that? Why should it be a big deal to not to be the headliner when he still gets to do fun stuff like pretend it's still summer because seriously, the weather is no longer appropriate for that kind of frolicking anymore how did it get so cold so fast?
There's also a very strong sweetness with the Tae-oh / Se-hyeon loveline right now. I especially like Se-hyeon as a character. She's unattainably attractive. And yet because Tae-oh's too stupid to know when to quit, he's able to make incremental progress. Really, maybe the power here is just in Jung Yoo-jin's smile- she really gives off this great sense of being bemused by Tae-oh's attitude. There's just something so charming in how incapable Tae-oh is of being sneaky.
If there's any problem with "Because It's the First Time", it's that this set of episodes rather inadvertently makes the case that Tae-oh and Song-yi are better off as friends rather than lovers. Although maybe that's just because they don't have much screen time together. But ignoring long-term questions, this episode was sweet enough to actually make me wish that I was a little more impulsive and just, well, stupid. To feel like that unattainable dream is worth the effort.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Because It's the First Time" Episode 4"
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