Monday, 11 April 2011

Just finished: At Home Dad

This show (broadcast in 2004) was one of the first J-dramas that I watched and Sars fansubs have just finished off the end-of-season special so I thought I’d mark it’s ending with a post. The story involves two men who have to look after the house and family while their wives go out to work. One of them has been doing this for a few years, while his neighbour has only recently lost his job and is new to all this housework.

Most of the comedy comes from amusing attempts by the reluctant newcomer Yamamura Kazuyuki (played by Abe Hiroshi (Trick, Shinzanmono)) to cook, clean and prepare his daughter’s things for school. The story also covers how house-husbands are viewed by the wider community, and Kazuyuki often gets reactions of disappointment, pity and amusement from other people when he tells them what he’s doing these days.

It's got a good cast: as well as Abe, it has Shinohara Ryoko, and Miyasako Hiroyuki (Zettai Reido) and the first few episodes set up the situation well, with Abe Hiroshi nicely portraying Kazuyuki's difficulty accepting the situation. But the script is somewhat aimless and after twelve episodes and a special the writers don't have much to do except make the wife work too much so she (almost) misses something important.

Since I'm not Japanese nor live there, I can't say how accurate it is as a social commentary on the changing roles in parenting, but it is pretty funny which is all I can really ask from a comedy.

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