Because This Is My First Life on Netflix is objectively a very sappy Korean drama. I’m watching it anyway because I find the female lead unbearably cute. Also I guess I’m a big sap at times.
The show is about a failed TV writer who enters into a fake marriage for a roof over her head and her landlord who goes for it so he can get help with his crushing mortgage payments (also tax breaks? I haven’t seen episode 1 in a while). If you’ve read South Korean romance comics before then you’ll know this is a very standard setup in that medium and the show is very much one of those comics but in live action form. I’m better able to accept the extraordinarily dumb events, though, possibly because real people can sell stupid twists better than a lifeless drawing.
The show is actually more of an ensemble piece and is really about three different couples who are friends with each other. One couple is a woman who wants nothing more than to be a housewife who’s working as a waitress to support her loser boyfriend who swears his app is going to be a hit any day now, and the other is two hard charger businessfolk where the woman just wants to be friends with benefits while the guy pretends he’s okay with that.
Money is essentially another character in the show because the lack of it hangs like a miasma over every interaction we see. It’s kind of operating in the same space as Friends in that it’s a comedy about people living and loving in the big city. However, Friends is basically about being a broke hipster but still being able to live a full romantic and social life in New York, while in this show there’s no handwaving about rent-controlled apartments in Seoul. Who you date and who you marry is always tangled up with money and I suspect half the characters secretly have stress-induced ulcers about it.
I haven’t finished watching the show yet but it’s obvious the main couple are going to end up together. I really hope at least one of the other couples doesn’t make it because that’s just realistic when it’s the 21st century and people with different ideas about their future are in a long-term relationship.
Anyway, this is me revealing myself as a big softie.