30 Oct 2011

mayoraasei: (Jdrama)
This may turn out to be the best rated season of the year, with several high-rating dramas retaining their ratings. Nankyoku Tairiku is rating at around 20, which is no surprise given the stellar cast (although I expected it to rate more given the stellar cast). The gekku Watashi ga ren'ai dekinai riyuu is already the highest rating Monday primetime drama of the year, opening at 17 and remaining above 15 in the second week - the first gekku to do so since, actually, April 2010 when Kimura proved even screen gods can get it wrong with Tsuki no koibito. Matsushima Nanako's Kaseifu no mita is also rating phenomenally well, hovering around 19 for three consecutive weeks since opening. Even Sho and Keiko's rather flimsy Nazotoki wa Dinner no ato de is retaining its rating above 15.

In fact, so far we have had five dramas premiere above 17 (with Nankyoku above 20), something that hasn't happened at all since...again, April last year. The audience retention rate for the top rating dramas is also much higher than previous seasons. Judging by this week's Bemu, I'm expecting it to retain its ratings at least above 14 (will be tres sad if proven wrong tomorrow ;__;).

For historical and easy comparison's sake, these are the highest ratings for series premieres this year:
1. Jin (April 2011) - 23.7
2. Nankyoku tairiku (Oct 2011) - 22.2
3. Kaseifu no mita (Oct 2011) - 19.5
4. Youkai ningen Bemu (Oct 2011) - 18.9
5. CONTROL (Jan 2011) - 18.4
6. Nazotoki wa dinner no ato de (Oct 2011) - 18.1
7. Watashi ga ren'ai dekinai riyuu (Oct 2011) - 17.0
7. Iryuu sousa (April 2011) - 17.0
9. Shiawase ni narou yo (April 2011 gekku) - 16.4
10. BOSS 2 (April 2011) - 16.3
11. Zettai reido (July 2011) - 15.4

As you can see, out of the 11 dramas that rated above 15 this year at the first episode (which often can be the highest rated episode), 5 are from this season and 4 are from April. The thing to remember from April is that Jin and Boss were both sequels to established, highly-popular dramas with a guaranteed audience base...which makes this season's ratings all the more jaw-dropping.

The moral of the story is, Japan hasn't gotten sick of TV, they just got sick of really poorly written TV scripts.

I caught the second episodes of Ren'ai dekinai and Bemu. Both are highly watchable, which is saying a lot since 1) I can't stand romantic dramas, and 2) I can't stand watching Kame act, respectively Orz

I think I figured out what Oshima's problem in Ren'ai dekinai is. She has the same problem that Toma did when he first started out on TV. They were both trained on stage and are more used to theatre work. Oshima in particular has this rather blank look in her eyes, especially when placed next to relative veterans like Karina and Yoshitaka who speak a lot through eye movements and facial expressions alone. Oshima on the other hand seems to be more reliant on body movements that would have been perfect on stage but seem exaggerated on the small screen. I don't think she's a bad actress, per se, since she hit the note pretty well during that confrontational scene with Yoshitaka, she probably just needs to learn to play to the camera more. Or perhaps less, since she seems overly camera-conscious at the moment.

I loved the second episode of Bemu, possibly even more than the first. This is the drama that I've always wanted Kame to have, instead of some silly romance in which he never looks comfortable. I loved in particular the fact that while Kame is undoubtedly the central character, both Bero and Bera are given ample opportunity to shine. They're not there to complement his presence - which was the major flaw with all his dramas to date - but they have stories and personality of their own and can I just say Bera is, like, totally kickass? There are some fantastic women in this season's dramas. Also, the bad guy in Bemu looked super familiar and it took me 15 minutes to figure out OMG KAZAMA YOU ARE STILL ALIVE.

I also watched 11 nin mo iru, a cute family drama about a huge family of 8 kids and a ghost that only the youngest child could see. After his scary turn in SPEC, Kamiki has gone back to his good boy roles as the stressed out eldest brother who in between trying to get through the final year of high school, is working his ass off to support the family because his dad is unemployed and his mum's restaurant has no customers. It is a really hilarious and occasionally heart-warming (although at times frustrating) drama that would have scored higher on my to-watch list if there weren't already so many other good shows to watch this season. I am not sure I can agree with the father's philosophy towards life though so we'll just have to see how cheesy it gets.

I plan to get to Kaseifu no mita and Ueda's Runaway eventually....... T-T Too much to see.......well, at least it's after exams.

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