Song-yi continues to do what she does best- act as unattractive as possible. I can't help but find it rather amusing that Ji-an's attempts at depth and romantic impression are constantly foiled by, well, by the fact that Song-yi acts like a child. Because she is one. All the characters are because they're only twenty years old. I seem to mention this fact a lot but it's pretty hard to avoid because the mental age of the characters is in fact the main source of almost all the comedy in "Because It's the First Time".
Tae-oh's continued efforts with Se-hyeon, for example, are amusing because Tae-oh is so comically bad at reading her signals. Tae-oh gets, on the fundamental level, that in order to impress Se-hyeon he needs to demonstrate a great deal of knowledge about their main shared mutual interest- film. Yet he's always prematurely ending their meetings, never really getting that girls don't like to be told that you need to go see another girl who's totally-not-my-girlfriend.
It's easy to see how Tae-oh is so easily flustered by these problems because Song-yi is consistently so very helpless. The weird part is that she's always helpless in a way that requires Tae-oh's intervention. She straight up rejects assistance from another more logical direction because...well, my best guess is that Song-yi doesn't really care about inconveniencing Tae-oh for no reason. Another guy she actually cares what his opinion is.
One of the more interesting parts of growing up "Because It's the First Time" gets into involves how our sense of self ends up revolving around other people's opinions, and how this shift is so subtle we don't always notice it. Take the haircut. I don't think Hoon is lying when his mental opinion makes a complete turnaround. It's just that the whole point of a haircut is to attract pretty girls, ergo, if a pretty girl thinks this is a good haircut, therefore his opinion must be wrong.
Special praise must go to the cast, by the way, for capturing the spirit of these characters so accurately. If you look closely you can even sees the wheels spinning in their heads as they belatedly realize, oh, that's how that's supposed to work, I guess I should change my behavior accordingly then. It also helps that they all seem to be having so much fun with the filming. Either that or they're even better at acting than they look- the sheer joy in the post-hoc music video looked pretty sincere.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Because It's the First Time" Episode 5"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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