Tags: jdramas: mother

oh mj ilu

why Woman is Mother: The Upgrade

-It pays to have a protagonist people actually root for.
It doesn’t even matter if the setup is rather calculatedly maudlin
(Widowed mom who adores her children! Victim of the system! Works herself to the bone!
And… just wait for it… she's sick to boot!).
Not to be shallow,
but I'd have to like someone very much
for me to sit through 10+ episodes of her dealing with Serious Issues
(we already encounter far more lousy mothers irl than we would prefer to, after all).
Mother!Koharu is idealised, yes,
but her version of parenthood is so incredibly beautiful I can't bring myself to mind -
she’s strong, and tender,
and just – tries so hard and so seriously, and has clearly done an terrific job. <3
(There is so much we can learn here,
particularly in terms of listening to, and valuing, what children have to say.)
The best part is, there is a genuineness to it all –
these could be real relationships,
this could be you or me (if we were better people, hahaha).

Nao was impenetrably dour,
her conflicts (adoptive identity, reconciliation with her birth mother) far more specific than Koharu’s struggles.
Woman is a foray into similar themes –
what it means to be a mother/child/family member, the righting of past wrongs –
but tackles them in a relatable way and with more life
(if Mother was all dreary greys, Woman is earthy browns),
and sans Mother’s illogical+horribly repetitive take-kid-and-zao4 setup.

-Two kids are always better than one.
Nozomi and Riku are adorable (NOZOMIIII LET ME HUG YOU),
the acting artless (no Mana-esque self-awareness to be had here).
Also they are surprisingly comfortable with Mitsushima Hikari? :D

-It really does help to have more prominent male characters,
if only to switch things up a bit on a tonal/visual level.
...yes, despite the fact that they're all supporting roles
and one is confined to glowingly-sentimental [literally] flashbacks, lolol.


Other things of note:
-Ugikuku ;~;
-Shiori/Nikaido Fumi (though the resolution of the bullying issue was way too rounded, imo)
-This isn't unique to Woman,
but I love the fact that, for Sakamoto,
those undefinable, gauche emotions we tend to brush aside
are instead given their own space to breathe and RELISHED in all their glorious discomfort.
-I do wish he weren't so pointedly agenda-driven, though.


Lmao, apparently I have a lot to say about a drama that - while good - doesn't even touch Soredemo.
oh mj ilu

(no subject)

蘇打綠's music is meant to be luxuriated in -
rubbed all over one and left to set.
Like the whole-body version of a face mask.
It's so difficult to leave it on as background music -
my work always ends up riddled with these pauses that have no business being there.


Finished two sections of number9dream.
I'm now thoroughly convinced that Mitchell never has a clear idea
as to where his books are going -
they're basically all over the place, mere outlets for his imagination.
But. WHAT an imagination.
I loved Cloud Atlas' ambition and breadth of vision;
I'm loving number9 for its out-of-this-world scenarios
(where does he get all these ideas from anyway?)
and ingenious wordplay.
Herein lies the beauty -
it's never 'hmm, let's see how verbose I can get before I get called out on it'.
The strange (and yet, strangely appropriate) turns of phrase
are incredibly frenetic/tiring to read, yes.
But when savoured a little at a time,
so. glorious.


Finally finished Mother on mioTV after an unintentional hiatus of a few months,
and was rather disappointed with the final scenes.
Thought the pair deserved better than
what amounted to a rather trite, predictable ending.

Overall:
The drama had such spectacular moments of dialogue -
genuine, thought-provoking and beautifully-phrased.
I cried like mad during so many scenes.
The acting was first-rate,
and the central theme was thoroughly explored
(particularly impressive given the 10-episode running time :)
K-dramas take twice as long to flesh out half this amount of substance).
So it's a bit of a shame that it didn't live up to its full potential.
The pace ran a little too slow,
so I wound up sick of the whole are-they-going-to-get-caught-in-this-episode shebang
by around the 4th/5th episode.
It didn't help that Nao wasn't exactly the sort of protagonist you'd root for
(though Reina made up for a lot).
Also, IMHO (lol I blame number9's influence),
a lot of Nao's decisions were written more to facilitate dramatic tension/emotion
and less in a drive for plausibility.
I'd say a 6/10:
a good, solid drama, but nothing to shout from the rooftops about.


EDIT: read this entry again
and ugh I sound awfully pretentious.