Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Currently watching: Bull Doctor

This new series stars Ishihara Satomi as a career-minded police detective and Esumi Makiko as a no-nonsense forensic scientist. Despite not getting along, they work together to solve crimes.

The first episode followed two cases to their end and yet it seemed like nothing was really happening. There was little time for police work, amongst all the side-stories being introduced, such as families and bottles of gin hidden in desk drawers and a calligraphy class where, by coincidence, Satomi’s character and Makiko’s son both go. Although they don’t know who each other are. I hope this doesn't turn into a major plot device, because it's just absurd.

The acting of the two female leads is fine, and the supporting cast are okay too, if somewhat uneven. Shida Mirai is sorely underused as a first-year medical student, while Inagaki Goro (from SMAP) doesn’t convince at all. In fact, he went through the entire first episode using only one expression.

The writing and directing lack any subtlety. In a scene where a mother and her daughter learn the true reason for the death of her husband, the imagery, music and dialogue were so cliched, it was like someone poking you in the chest, saying “This is sad! This is sad, isn’t it?”

And they really don't credit the viewer with any intelligence. In one scene near the beginning, Makiko begins an autopsy without putting her hands together in prayer first. This is mentioned during the show and then, when she mentions why she doesn't do that, the scene is repeated as a flashback. Just in case you couldn't remember what happened half an hour ago.

A poor start, which is a shame. We’ll see how it goes.

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