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

Friday, February 18, 2011

ブラザー☆ビート / Brother Beat

Even with Hayami Mokomichi as Sakurai Riku in this one, I couldn't, quite bring myself to give this 2005 JDorama a fourth flower.

Tamayama Tetsuji as Sakurai Tatsuya became a bigger draw for me, too, and I think he's really fine, but still, no, fourth flower for Brother Beat.

The story was great and believable, about a feisty widow of three, grown boys who happens to be a tad on the shiftless side when it comes to domestic ability.

The eldest boy (Tamayama) is a handsome, upstanding office worker taking fiscal responsibility for the clan, the middle bro, (Hayami) is a bad-ass slacker more interested in looking fly than accomplishing anything, and the baby boy, Nakao Akiyoshi as Sakurai Junpei, who oddly but succinctly takes on the maternal role in the household - cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and making sure that everyone has a healthy lunch before they exit the tiny house they call home.

Tatsuya bumps into his destined love in the first episode, breaking her glasses and feeling obliged to buy her a new pair.

She's not homely, but I think we were supposed to believe that she was, and it took Tatsuya about eight of the ten episodes to realize she was meant to be his for life, too.

She ends up working in management at the same super market as Tatsuya's mother, and the two hit it off right away, with silliness ensuing up to the point where they both realize that she has been talking intimately with her lover's mother about her romance.

Tatsuya and Riku fight a lot, getting into knock-down, drag-outs right there in the tiny livingroom/dining area of the house, upsetting furniture and destroying almost every meal their little brother had lovingly prepared.

Riku eventually decides to open the dry cleaning business their late father once operated inside the house, and for a time, things seem to be going in an upward motion for the Sakurai clan - but, we all know stability isn't something you're likely to witness in a drama from any country.

Little bro ends up being ensnared by a pretty, older girl pregnant with another man's child, and despite the warning signs and stern admonishment of his elders, Junpei chooses to follow his heart (and maybe his crotch, but he was such a sweety in Brother Beat, it's really hard to tell).

Like most Japanese dramas, this one starts off at a fast pace, slows down a bit in the middle, and then picks up again toward the end - and because the topic is rather typical of most humans on the verge of falling in love or getting married, the writers had to devise some interesting filler to add to the mayhem and not let things go stale.

Brother Beat didn't go stale, but it seemed like a played-out story to me, and while the actors managed to pull off their character roles nicely, it still wasn't something I'd rate highly, but would definitely recommend it to you to see and judge for yourself.


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