The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Over Time - オーバー・タイム




I'm not sure this 1999 drama even warrants a review.
First off, it's inexcusably next to impossible to find anything online that stars HIDEAKI ITO, and this promised me he would be there, yet he wasn't.
At least not in the way that I would have preferred.
It was likely his debut work, thus relegating his royal hotness to cameos and a less than bit-part in Over Time.

Minus more onscreen appearances by one of my favorite, Japanese actors, Over Time was not, that bad a drama.
It starred Sorimachi Takashi as Kaede Soichiro, a photographer with a big heart, and Esumi Makiko as Kasahara Natsuki, a hair stylist with un-Asian personality traits.
She's tall and pretty, but in the show, they made it seem as if she was not attractive.
She's boisterous and has a deep voice, but her friends encourage her to talk stupid, (asthmatic and childish), the way all the other girls talk.
She's outspoken, which is apparently considered a crime in that part of the world, and she's always having to say Gomen nasai even if she doesn't, really mean it.

Coincidentals occur like clockwork at the beginning of this drama, which set the tone for a bumpy ride and lots of nail biting moments (for me, at least).

The storyline for Over Time is about friendship vs. love. The big question is obviously can a man and woman be simply, just friends.
The answer in reality is yes, with no hesitation whatsoever.
On the big screen, it's entirely different because the actors are hunky or sexy, so it's virtually impossible to avoid the human impulse aspect of that type of a relationship.
Platonic is feasible and even understandable, but improbable if the writer hopes to captivate his/her audience through 11 or 12 episodes. They're trying to say that the more you get to know someone, the more you want to see them naked, and I will never buy that theory.
I know lots of great guys whom I shudder to think of in a bathing suit, much less in the buff. We talk about neat things, we laugh a lot, and we can go drinking together, but that's where the story ends. It's reality.
If I looked like an actress, I could see where some guys might want to take it to the next level, but I'm not alone when it comes to looking average as opposed to dynamite.
Lots of people think that it's a great idea to become good friends first, and then branch out to the love aspect of a relationship. That way, you know what you're getting with few, if any, surprises later on.

What Over Time did for me was to make me wish I had grown up with a small group of close-knit friends to spend time with, share delicious meals with, and to talk about life with on occasion.
When I watch these dramas, I often wonder if people actually live this way, or if like me, the writer wishes it were so for them as well.
Once I was invited to a hot-pot, and the food was marvelous, yet the conversation was in Mandarin and I didn't know anyone other than the girl who invited me.
Another great thing about these dramas is the setting, or in some cases, the scenery.
Over Time took place in the winter, which is depressing.
But what I wouldn't give to spend a few months or even a year living in one of those quaint, little apartments somewhere in a place like Tokyo, or Seoul, or Taipei, or even Hong Kong.


In Over Time, the characters lived together in an upstairs apartment, with a forever sign on the apartment below them that read: FOR RENT
The view from bedroom windows was of the Tokyo Tower, which glows red until midnight, when it shuts off til darkness the next night.
At one part in this drama, Natsuki moves out, and her new apartment is nothing more than a room with a view. You open the door and immediately hit the kitchen sink, which is right next to the window overlooking the tower, with her bed on the wall opposite that window. That's it!
So cozy, so peaceful, so ... Asian.
98,000 yen equals $993 a month rent for that room. UNLESS they pay months in advance or something, I don't know.
Maybe all I'll ever get to do is watch from this side of the world and dream.

funny aside: Over Time means in the future while overtime means beyond the expected limit.

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