I usually steer clear of dramas set in high schools. Perhaps I find it patronising to see adults be taught lessons in life from some schoolkids. I certainly find the morals behind these kinds of stories to be simplistic and glib.
But Suzuki Sensei is a little different. This time, the teacher approaches the problems he faces almost as if he were a detective. I don't mean he walks around questioning suspects and finding clues. That would look absurd, but we can hear his thought processes as he weighs up his options when trying to control a situation before it gets out of hand. This gives an added depth to the drama and helps us to empathise with the teacher.
As well as the usual issues in the classroom, Suzuki sensei also has problems of his own to face. Specifically, his love life – he’s recently met a woman that he’d like to date but can’t get past his obsession with one of the girls in his class.
This is a great drama, well-written and with a good balance of drama and humour. It is shot in muted colours and the schoolchildren do not resemble models or pop stars, so it looks and feels more realistic than most high school dramas.