Saturday, 7 December 2013

Currently Watching: Danda Rin

There’s something comfortably familiar about this series. The office setting, the new arrival who upsets the cosy way of working, the gossipy sub-plots and the menacing story arc that runs through each episode. And if all this may be predictable, there’s no denying it’s a solid foundation to build a TV drama on.

Its success depends on the stories and characters. If the characters interact naturally, and don’t just argue for the sake of the story, and if the stories are entertaining and new then it doesn’t matter how formulaic the format is. Just enjoy the show.

And this is what we have here. After two paragraphs of introduction, there’s actually not much to say about this show. The stories are fine and the cast is good, especially Matsuzaka Tori who plays Minamisanjo, the worker who is given orders to supervise the new addition to the office, Danda Rin (played by Takeuchi Yuko, also very good). He has a difficult task as an actor, since he is basically the straight man. He could be completely anonymous but he gives off such an air of patient tolerance that it makes you believe that he’s been in this situation for years.

I wonder how dark it gets, since some of the omens for the future are pretty ominous. In the meantime, it’s a nice vanilla flavoured piece of J-drama.

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