After a successful transfer of the original series to Blu-Ray which not only drew rave reviews from long time fans but also critics who were floored by the pristine transfer was there any question that CBS was not going to proceed to do the same quality work on subsequent Star Trek series? At first glance one would think that transferring Star Trek The Next Generation to Blu-Ray would be an infinitely easier process merely because the show is much newer than the original series yet in reality the issues in doing so are remarkably different and just as steep.
Hotaru no Hikari (Glow of Fireflies) is yet another in a long line of Jdrama romantic comedies featuring colourful leads who initially bicker and butt heads like oil and water yet deep down the audience inherently knows they’ll eventually hook up. Like just about every Jdrama out there in this genre the key for the audience here is presenting events and dilemmas that keep them apart or present alternate love interests in ways that seem justifiable and realistic but at the same time show the slow romantic buds blooming between the leads. In that sense Hotaru no Hikari works despite having next to no originality but viewers will be rewarded with energetic performances and some delightful chemistry that keeps episodes humming along even though the plot reeks of too many clichés.
Potential (noun): 1. The inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being. 2. Something possessing the capacity for growth or development– http://www.thefreedictionary.com
Kimura Takuya makes his annual return to Japanese drama with the high budget Mr. Brain, a procedural crime investigation series that takes elements from American shows such as CSI and Columbo that on paper sounds as if it could have a ton of potential but instead ends up as a middling entry filled with vacant characterizations and episodic narratives rife with a myriad of illogical contrivances.
There are odd setups and then there are totally bizzaro setups. Atashinchi no Danshi is firmly in the later group here. While I can give points for originality the narrative presented here is incredibly fresh yet totally far-fetched and off-the-wall. I suppose it can sort of function if one regards the show as live-action manga or some sort of weird fairy tale but originality aside the series itself has some truly gigantic issues that prevent it from being remotely successful.
Originally meant to be Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor’s follow-up television science fiction series to the just concluded reimagined Battlestar Galactica, Virtuality instead ended up not being picked up by the Fox network that decided to shelve the idea of turning it into a series therefore leaving this two hour pilot suspended in limbo making fans wonder just exactly what went wrong. Instead, Fox has decided to just televise the two hour pilot as a TV movie with minimal advertising on the wasteland that is known as the Friday night prime time period. You don’t really need more information to discern that Fox had lost all appetite for the show and had basically dumped it out there for all to see without any fanfare.
Fun though thoroughly unoriginal inspirational comedy that is a pleasant enough time waster but doesn’t truly make good use of either its leading lady Horikita Maki or its modest plot twist. Chance! is one of those tanpatsu, one-shot TV movies (or in this case 2 episodes) that you occasionally see each Japanese drama season. This time around we have a slice of life tale revolving around a struggling young woman Tamaki Kawamura (Horikita Maki) who after much disappointment manages to finally land a meagre job in a travel company. Shuffled to the lowest rungs of customer service she manages to make it through the days even though she’s saddled with a seemingly nasty boss and a less than bright career path.
I have always been more enamored by movies than I have been with television series. This is not a new admission as my friends have known this for years nor is it based on some sort of elitist mentality that somehow puts cinematic fare on a pedestal while relegating TV programs to the scrap heap. It is just merely a desire of mine to digest a narrative that has closure within a relatively terse two hour time span as compared to a serial that is broadcast over many months. That is not to say that I don’t appreciate an intricately woven story that weaves its magic over a longer period of time but just an observation of mine that what usually occurs to sustain such a show are a series of increasingly fantastical plot devices coupled with a copious amount of filler material that is so often undesirable.
Watching Innocent Love I can’t help but recall that hoary old Hollywood cliché that child actors have it tough when they attempt to transition to more mature subject matter. I’m sure you could start a list of famous kids who earned much praise and kudos for their earlier work only to find their careers careening into the abyss as they start to age. For every Ron Howard, Leonardo Dicaprio, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Taylor or Drew Berrymore there’s a Macaulay Culkin, Edward Furlong, Gary Coleman or Dana Plato. I could go on for hours but you get the point.