Tag Archives: tv

chuck renewed!

11 May

So I was planning to put up a “Save Chuck!” post today, but from what I just found out now, Chuck has actually been renewed. Whoo!

However, that doesn’t change the fact that Chuck is constantly in danger of cancellation. Chuck has been one of my favorite shows for a while, and it was already cancelled once back in 2009 after the second season. It’s on its fourth now, and the viewers have been dropping once again. I know very few people will read this, but I at least want to lament about the possible (second) cancellation of my beloved Chuck.

How can you resist that adorable nerd and Bond reference?

If you haven’t watched it or even heard about it, you should definitely check it out. It’s a story of your average geek (who works at a Best Buy parody as part of the “Nerd Herd”) getting tangled up with the CIA and a program called the “Intersect” and eventually actually becoming a spy himself. I’d recommend at least seeing the season finale next Monday at 8 on NBC to see if it’s your kind of show as well as helping the viewer count.

So…

Watch Chuck!

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hotaru no hikari review/discussion part 1

8 May

I’ve been in the mood for j-dramas and I’ve gone back to rewatch my old favorites, like Hana Kimi and the one I’m going to discuss in this post,

Hotaru no Hikari

(It’s Only A Little Light in My Life/Light of a Firefly)

At some point, I do want to have a Hana Kimi comparison that talks about the differences and similarities of the dramas, but right now I shall discuss and kinda review a cute, obscure j-drama called Hotaru no Hikari. It has had 2 seasons, the first was in 2007, and the second aired 2010. I will be talking about both, of course.

And this is our heroine.

It stars a 24 year old woman named Amemiya Hotaru who prefers to laze around at home in her sweats over going out to hang out with other women or meeting guys. She lays around on the porch drinking beer and reading manga, and often falls asleep right there on the floor, using newspapers as her blanket. Most people who know her, however, don’t ever witness this side of Hotaru. At work, she appears to be a typical, hardworking office lady.

This is what other women call a “himono-onna” or “dried fish-woman.”

Her lazy days experience an unexpected twist, unfortunately. It turns out the house she’s living in is owned my her stern boss, Takano Seiichi (well technically it’s his father’s house), who has come to stay there upon getting kicked out by his wife. He quickly learns that she got the rights to live in the house by the drunken exchange of handwritten messages at a bar.

And how long do you get to stay in this house?
[She shows him the message which reads:] “Forever, okay? <3” “Okay. <3”

Disgusted by her lifestyle and the very weak argument of why she can stay in the house, he tells her that she must leave the house. Although she does accept the decision, the two of them quickly grow close and Takano– or as she calls him, Buchou(“Manager” or “Chief”)– decides that they can live together. To do so, however, he sets some ground rules and actually ends up splitting their dining table in half, claiming one side as his and the other to be hers.

And thus begins their quirky adventures.

Yes, very quirky.

Over the 1st season, we see them grow closer as they spend their nights drinking beer together on their beloved porch and give each other life advice (well more he gives her advice). Their interactions are always hilarious and often end up being heartwarming as it’s obvious to everyone that by the end they are supposed to get together.

I won’t continue going on in detail about the plot as to avoid spoiling it, but I will say that it involves Hotaru gaining the affection of a younger coworker, Teshima Makota, and thus stumbling her way through a relationship, while also struggling to keep the fact she’s living with Buchou a secret to everyone at work. She gets into very entertaining situations through it all, including completely forgetting she had a date upon hearing someone mention beer, and getting locked in the same room three times (and then getting revenge on Buchou… by locking him in the bathroom and forgetting about him for several hours).

Just as a quick look at it, here’s one of my favorite scenes:

There are, of course, some side characters who also interact with them or even get their own side story. Included in these is Yamada-nee-san, the oldest woman in the firm who everyone else looks to as a mentor, especially for advice with dating. Then there’s Saegusa Yuuka, a woman everyone basically sees as the perfect, mature lady. She happens to have a crush on Makoto and ends up seeing Hotaru a rival. Another character, Kaname, seems to only be there to have a crush on Yuuka and thus have someone to be her love interest. Lastly, I’ll mention Futatsugi, a friend of Buchou. He has a very minor role in the first season, but he ends up being more significant in the second.

Overall, I feel like the side characters weren’t fleshed out much and were more there to fit some kind of role. I s’pose this is okay for this series considering most of the time is spent at Hotaru and Buchou’s house, with them interacting, rather than being out with other people. So really, I didn’t expect any different.

Aw, poor side characters. They didn't stand a chance.

The season (and originally, series) ends as they agree that life is better when they’re on that porch. Together. Oops, spoilers. (Really, who didn’t see it coming?)

Even though they don’t technically “get together” or do so much as kiss, the ending is actually pretty satisfying. They do agree that they love each other and that’s always fitting for those kinda series that involve a guy and a girl being friends when they obviously both have stronger feelings. It’s weird imagining them acting like a true couple, anyway.

…And then comes the second season. Which I’ll talk about later on, along with a quick comparison to the original manga.

Quick Review

Story: The premise of a woman getting their boss as a roommate isn’t entirely unbelievable. I’m sure there are lots of people who end up getting unexpected people rooming with them. Additionally, I’m sure a lot of women are “dried fish,” I mean, I sure am. Either way, all of it is well played for laughs, as intended. A lot of situations are exaggerated, of course, but I think that’s more as a result of Hotaru being overly naive than a result of trying too hard to be funny or something. I think there was a perfect balance of comedy, conflict, and heartwarming interactions between characters.

Characters: As I’ve said earlier, the side characters are pretty much forgettable in my opinion, but it was doomed from the start for them, unfortunately. Makoto, who I didn’t mention much, managed to be even more forgettable as a character despite being the third most important one. He just didn’t have any personality at all and didn’t seem to hold any true feelings for Hotaru. He just seemed so bland and shallow, so it really bothered me. As for Hotaru herself, and Buchou, I liked that they were basically opposites of each other, but yet they still managed to have layers to their personalities. Though, again, since it’s all focused on them, it’s to be expected.

Acting: I can’t say I’m the best judge of acting ability, especially considering the series is in Japanese and I don’t know Japanese. However, I would say that the actress and actor that play Hotaru and Buchou do their parts very well. Hotaru would be tough to play, I would imagine, because of just how eccentric and naive she is, despite the facade she puts on at work. I like all the odd little quirks like the faces she makes upon a silent encounter of Makoto or all her dances and squeals while at home. As for the actor who plays Makoto… well I wouldn’t attribute it to the actors fault as Makoto is such a bland character, but there was little to no emotion. Ugggh, he was just so bland. I really can’t stress it enough.

Tl;dr:

It’s a fun, lighthearted series that’s less about romance and more about the comedy and the special kind of dynamic that occurs between friends living together. It’s even got lots of moments of “d’awwww” thrown in there. If you don’t like shows that are all drama then this is the series for you.