Dramas on My Mind: Fall 2012 Edition

Now that the Olympics are over, who’s excited for the next season of dramas? I don’t know about you but nothing really made me swoon this past summer (though this might change once I start watching Answer Me 1997 and Arang proper.) However the fall season is looking really promising (for J-dramas, at least.) Question is: Will they live up to their potential?

This season, I am looking forward to:

The last time I did one of these things, all my predictions backfired on me and I ended up being underwhelmed by the dramas I thought I’d love and loving those I thought I’d find stupid as hell. (I’m not sure I want to know what this says about me -.-;) Hopefully reality won’t be too cruel to my expectations this time round.

Japanese Dramas

High School Kagekidan ~ Otokogumi

I don’t think I need to explain why I’m watching this one.

Expectations: Low. To be honest, this could actually turn out to be an enjoyable underdog tale but I have no idea who the scriptwriter is so I’m not going to entertain any high hopes for it. On the bright side, this drama special will see Sakuraba Nanami reuniting with Daito. They were co-stars in 2009’s Futatsu no Spica (I have got to pimp this drama one of these days) and I thought they had a very natural, easy-going chemistry with each other. Sakuraba is also one of the more promising up-and-coming teen actresses, with her performance in Shigemichi Sugita’s The Last Ronin earning her the thumbs up from critics and bagging her at least two acting awards.

Directing this is Kawamura Yasuhiro, who helmed Ayase Haruka’s latest movie, Akko-chan, as well as Nodame Cantabile 2 and the dramas Ushijima the Loan Shark, Akai Ito, First Kiss and Suppli. So a mixed bag, then. Hmm…

Kekkon Shinai

In a nutshell: Amami Yuki plays a woman who doesn’t give a crap about marrying. Kanno Miho’s character wants to get married but is crap at relationships. Tamaki Hiroshi plays a “kind-hearted, sensitive” part-time florist who is crap with women.

Expectations: Low. I’m guessing that this is basically Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu for the 30-something set. Hell, it even has the same writers. I didn’t watch the drama when it aired last year but I know it got mixed reviews and the thing with these kinds of dramas is that they can careen off into navel-gazing territory if the writing is weak. The fact that the website looks like it was designed by a ten-year-old is also worrying but Imma check out the first two episodes for Amami Yuki. She’s an actress I want to like but for some reason, her recent dramas and I have not been the best of friends. Maybe I should give The Queen’s Classroom a go instead.

Osozaki no Himawari ~ Boku no Jinsei, Renewal

This one also needs no explanation. But just in case you need one, please refer to this post.

Expectations: Low. Is anyone sensing a pattern here? According to the synopsis provided at JDramas, this sounds like one of those dramas with plenty of talk about dreams, hopes and happiness. But here’s the interesting thing: it’s written by Hashibe Atsuko, the person behind Freeter, Ie o Kau, Boku no Aruku Michi and Star no Koi. So maybe this might just turn out to be a good one.

Korean Dramas

Nice Guy

I will admit that I’m checking this out to see just how convincing Joong-ki can be as a jilted lover with a vendetta against his ex. (Sad to say, I was unable to take him seriously as a n’er do well in Penny Pinchers because of his baby face, which I think is not the kind of feedback he wants to get.) I am also curious to know what she did to make him give up med school and become a bartender who moonlights as a hooker (this is the intel I got from Dramabeans. Other sources tell me that his experience turns him into a player…I think I prefer the sound of bartender-cum-gigolo better. Look, if you’re going to be the Korean version of a Venezuelan telenovela, you might as well crank up the trashiness factor all the way, no?) At any rate, most people I know would simply settle for not speaking to their exes ever again, so exactly what kind of emotional/psychological trauma would induce a man to have angry sex with other women for money? Another important question to consider: will KBS be throwing in any hot make-out scenes? We all know SJK knows how to kiss. No point letting his talent go to waste, am I right?

Expectations: Very low. My head hurts just from thinking about the love triangle in this drama. So Joong-ki’s character tries to get back at his ex by making her step-daughter fall in love with him. Right, this is going to end well.

City Conquest

Source: HanCinema.net

Expectations: Non existent. I am watching this to see Kim Hyun-joong blow stuff up and look hot. Yes, I like KHJ. Deal.

Maybe

Going My Home

I’ll be honest with you. I have no idea what this drama is about. The synopsis provided at JDramas suggests that it’s a mystery with dark undertones. However its website has a video of Abe Hiroshi greeting you while a dentist tries to scale his teeth. Maybe it’s a black comedy? I really need more details for this one.

Double Face ~ Sennyuu Sousa-hen

What I want to know is how TBS and WOWOW are going to spin a drama out of a 2-hour-long movie. I’m assuming this isn’t going to be a one-episode special. Since WOWOW’s involved, I think it’s safe to assume that this isn’t going to be a run-of-the mill Japanese cop drama and that the production values are going to be pretty solid. Imma wait for the reviews to come in first but here’s hoping that this lives up to its buzz.

Ooku ~ Tanjou ~ Arikoto . Iemitsu Hen

This one is based on Yoshinaga Fumi’s critically acclaimed manga (and yes, in case you were wondering, she’s the same lady who wrote Antique Bakery.) I have no idea how faithful this drama is going to be to the source material (it’s definitely no high school shoujo manga that’s for sure) but let’s hope that they won’t cut out all the important stuff and reduce it to mindless fan service, though the J-drama treatment of Antique is making me a little wary.

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20 comments

    1. Ahahahahahahahaha! GOOD ONE, THUNDIE! You got me good. I gotta admit it took a while before my v. v. slow brain was able to grasp the gist of your post…-.-;;;;

      Thanks so much for the vote of confidence. It’s very (x100) flattering, coming from a star like you :DDDD

  1. Priceless, Double Face and Ooku are on my watch list for jdorama. Still reeling at how fantastic Rich Man Poor Woman is. Shun Oguri is the boss!

      1. I love Nino but the first Ooku didn’t work for me, though I like the story. Its just the zero chemistry between Nino and Kou. I’m hoping the new Ooku will be sexier, after all who doesn’t fantasize about a harem with 2,000 handsome ikemen. Hahahaha,I can’t think of anything witty to write! Still imagining what I’m gonna do if I had a harem with 2,000 men. I’d probably go off to Hawaii and go surfing instead, can’t be stressed out making the choice each night!
        Ok chingu! You’re famous, you get reblogged and linked to by heavyweight drama bloggers!

      2. The thing about Drama!Ooku, and I know I’m going to be shot for being so shallow, is that none of the guys look hot. Maybe it’s the period garb (or maybe I just need to get my eyes checked) but if I had a harem filled with these guys, I’d never have a successor. That said, I’m pretty sure you’ll find me stuffing my face with crow again in the not too distant future XD

  2. Double Face is le defo. Was a fan of Hk Triad flicks and wanna see how they pull this off.
    Priceless has both Kimutaku AND Nakai Kiichi. Yum.
    And that thingie with Song Joongki that aired its premiere today . Ommmaaaa…
    But of course im also backlogged with summer dramas.

    1. Double Face is extremely intriguing. I’m really hoping it doesn’t end up turning into a generic J-cop drama.

      I have to confess though that I’ve never watched a single KimuTaku drama…I do enjoy watching his Gatsby hair commercials though XD

      And that thingie with Song Joongki that aired its premiere today . Ommmaaaa…

      I read what you wrote about Nice Guy! So it’s not a Korean take on a Venezuelan telenovela then? XDDD

      1. Ohhh… I need Double Face in my life then. (That sounds so wrong, but so right.)

        No… No.. KimuTaku drama, frealz? I used to obsess over him back in the day, I’ll admit, he was sex on legs but then I watched him in Pride and I know lots love that show but his posturing in that show killed the love for me. And then he’s been aging a bit BYJ-like. Kind of going ahjumma-like. The ginger dye and perm job doesn’t help.
        But Priceless sounds good, and if he’s a turn off in it at least there’s ahjusshi crush Nakai Kiichi to perve on.

        Nice Guy? Nothing like a Venezuelan Telenovela at all. *cough* *cough* Never. *chokes*

      2. I just found out that Renbutsu Misako, who’s someone I’d really like to see more of, is in Priceless so I might actually check it out after all. I’ll be looking forward to your first impressions~!

      3. Ah, supah, just have to reply and say that you are really starting to freak me out. I ALSO didn’t love on Kimmy san as much in Pride as the rest of the world (though I still wouldn’t have minded my own Halu jersey, lol.)

  3. I voted for Double Face simply because Infernal Affairs is one of my favourite films ever (know how much this means because I am a hardcore Kimura Takuya follower. Even when he has a perm. Btw, do you need some recs to get your Kimura love rollin’? ;PP)

    While I love Martin Scorsese and think that his version on the film was good in its own right, I still believe IA is the superior movie and actually got a bit annoyed that it didn’t get more recognition internationally at the time. I remember at the Academy Awards the announcer referred to it as a Japanese film *shakes head*

    I think the Japanese drama will have substantial storyline to work with because the (excellent) prequel to IA was espcially rich in character depth. And of course, there was Infernal Affairs III, which went a little whack for me but nonetheless, it was an engaging psychological look at the characters, too.

    I must agree with your thoughts on Penny Pinchers. I also didn’t find Joong Ki convincing. I was anticipating the, ah, groping scenes that someone had told me about beforehand but it actually did nothing for me. However, Joong Ki as a bad boy still sounds appealing enough for me and so far from what I’ve seen and heard, he’s doing okay. Will be tuning in for sure. Plus, Lee Kyung Hee for the screenplay? Hells yes.

    1. Well, I’m really hoping Double Face lives up to the weight of everyone’s expectations. That said, I am curious about the soundtrack. Tsai Chin’s song, The Forbidden Time, played a pretty important role in all the movies but somehow, I don’t think music is going to feature that prominently in the drama. It would be nice to be wrong though.

      I remember at the Academy Awards the announcer referred to it as a Japanese film *shakes head*

      I can’t remember the last time I watched the Academy Awards but hey, can’t say I’m surprised. Now if they had actually gotten it right — that would have been a real surprise.

      Btw, do you need some recs to get your Kimura love rollin’?

      I think Imma have to take a rain check on this. I am currently trying to perv someone out of my system so I’m afraid I’m not going to have eyes for Kimura anytime soon. ;p

      I was anticipating the, ah, groping scenes that someone had told me about beforehand but it actually did nothing for me.

      Ahahahahahaha! I’m sorry they didn’t live up to the expectations created by those screencaps. Imma get around to watching Nice Guy once I’m done bleaching Rich Man Poor Woman out of my brain.

    2. Aww. But i wubbed him in Penny Pinchers he was always convincing. I have yet to find any flaw in any one of his characters. Or maybe I’m unable to be objective in the face of his disarming beauty. Wibble.

      (high fives jicks) Halu was a conceited self-involved greaseball. But pretty. Hubba. And no I wouldn’t have minded his jersey either. Ellely just doesn’t know what she’s been missing all her life. ^^

      1. Aww. But i wubbed him in Penny Pinchers he was always convincing. I have yet to find any flaw in any one of his characters. Or maybe I’m unable to be objective in the face of his disarming beauty. Wibble.

        I’m still on episode 3 of Nice Guy and I’m probably the only one thinking this but I wish SJK was playing his character darker. In fact, I’d say this of the drama as a whole but that said, I’m glad he’s underplaying Maru’s emotions. Had this role been given to someone else, I’m sure we’d be hearing lots of shouting and seeing lots of death glares so this is something to be thankful for. Heh.

        Ellely just doesn’t know what she’s been missing all her life. ^^

        That’s okay. My current harem is keeping me extremely busy so I think I’ll leave KimuTaku to you guys! ;P

  4. I’ve been hankering for some good Kanno Miho drama ever since watching Magerarenai Onna. Her other stuff since then have unfortunately failed to interest me though heaven knows I really tried *Looking at untouched ‘Guilty’ files on my computer –> which also starred Hiroshi Tamaki. Hopefully Kekkon Shinai turns out to be good.

    1. Kanno Miho? Have you watched the Sakamoto Yuji-penned (yes, colour me obsessed) Watashitachi no Kyokasho? Cos that’s got to be one of her most supple most kickass performances ever. And I do mean that in the figurative sense as the drama was a psychological human drama.

  5. “The thing about Drama!Ooku, and I know I’m going to be shot for being so shallow, is that none of the guys look hot. ”
    Gosh MTE. Wish the ooku had more manly robust men instead of gurly looking tiny ones. Sigh!

      1. Watched 2 episodes of Ooku and I’m in for the fictional historical flavor. No sexy manly concubines. The lady Shogun is more masculine than the concubine lead actor who I adore!

        And Double Face was EPIC! The two main leads nailed their characters! I effin love it! Was biting my nails every second! Loved the HK original Infernal Affairs and all the pre-quels and sequels. But OMG the japanese dorama remake was more than awesome! *REI* [ just cut & pasted this from my comment on sulovesdrama] tehehehe!

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