For the final episode of "Because It's the First Time", Tae-oh ruins everything. Well, he doesn't really. Part of the point of being twenty is that you can make big mistakes and it doesn't really make that much of a long-term difference, because there's always tomorrow. As the soundtrack constantly sunnily reminds us, every day is a new day. And besides, Tae-oh will always have his friends even if he almost managed to alienate half of them.
Tae-oh is unable to resolve the sexual tension with Song-yi, so Song-yi does it for him by making a statement so absolute, and so definitely angry, that Tae-oh can't disregard it this time. In fact, the whole speech she gives in Gunsan is poignant because it points out the big problem with Tae-oh's protective attitude. Song-yi is twenty too. She's also learning about life for the first time, and Song-yi needs to be able to approach these major life crises on her own. This is Song-yi's mother, after all, and Tae-oh has no right to try and stand in the way of that.
Ji-an also gets a good word in on Song-yi pointing out that as his boyfriend, she needs to give him more credit. The fact that Tae-oh was even in a position to go after Song-yi when Ji-an wasn't is an issue. Ji-an doesn't want to lose Tae-oh as a friend any more than Song-yi does, but proper boundaries are needed. As relationship chats go this isn't a particular deep one. Still, it's pretty good for twenty-year-olds.
Se-hyeon, though- she continues to show maturity far beyond her years. All the cast members in "Because It's the First Time" are good, but Jung Yoo-jin especially shines as the young woman who struggles to be as cool and sophisticated as her physical appearance implies. Her own speech about the importance of first time also manages to be touching, in part because Se-hyeon isn't shying away from the reality of Tae-oh's emotional issues while still admitting she enjoyed having, well, a series of first times.
It's fitting that "Because It's the First Time" was, itself, a first time for the OnStyle network. And like the misadventures of Tae-oh and his friend, its imperfections are easily forgivable as growing pains for the network to find its own groove for future dramas. "Because It's the First Time" is a high quality production that exceedingly well captures the ups and downs of being twenty. At only eight full length episodes, it's well worth a watch for anyone.
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 8"
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