Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Avoid: Atashinchi no Danshi

Okay, so this series is for children (at least I hope it is) but I can't keep saying nice things about Japanese TV. It's just not right. So here goes...

In this series a homeless woman is chased by some hoodlums, and is rescued by a man in a helicopter, who she then marries because he's going to pay off her debts and besides he's about to die soon but she's tricked into looking after his family after his death. Even though his family are all fully grown adults and can probably look after themselves.

But if I were to pick holes in the story, I’d be here all day. Suffice to say, it makes no sense and lacks likeable characters, humour, narrative drive or any redeeming features at all. Horikita Maki is lumbered with the lead role which requires her to look baffled or annoyed while dumbly accepting her improbable fate. The emotional range required for this role is such that if she simply played the kazoo and slapped herself repeatedly on the forehead, she’d get more sympathy.

Meanwhile the rest of the cast, despite boasting an impressive number of familiar faces, struggle under the weight of the wretched script. For all the emotional connection I had with these people, I may as well have been watching some geometric shapes moving across the screen at random while the words "You’re wasting your time" flash on and off.

The parade of ill-defined stereotypes is too depressing to list, the directing is all over the place, the story is tedious, and before too long I found myself wistfully gazing out of the window before deciding life’s too short and giving up the ghost after one and a bit episodes. Perhaps the only reason for watching this is to experience how good it feels to turn it off and go and do something else instead.

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