Since I've been watching more dramas again lately, I thought I'd make this post about dramas I have seen so far and whether I liked them or not. Feel free to comment!
While the first dramas I watched were Hana Yori Dango and Nodame Cantabile and I still love those, I have since moved away from manga adaptations to more realistic dramas. Dramas I'm interested in can basically be divided into two major groups:
Romantic comedy: I like the ones with a kind of moral or social problems aspect, like Ohitorisama and Kimi wa petto, which deal with successful, but unmarried women and their problems, or Buzzer Beat and Kekkon Shinai, which make you think about what is more important, love or your dream. Special points if the characters don't act like spoilt brats and misunderstand every harmless situation for the sake of the plot (or to distract from the lack of plot.)
Detective drama/ mystery: Can be one huge mystery solved over the course of the show, or an episodic drama, as long as their is some continuous story line, e.g. relationships between the characters or something from a protagonist's past. Nice if it involves a bit of romance, but no necessity. While I like dramas like Bloody Monday once in a while, for this category I am mostly thinking of dramas like Mr. Brain or Maou.
I am also trying to watch more dramas based on their plot (summary) than by who's in them, although sometimes I do watch a show just for an actor I like.
(For your reference, my favourite US show is the now ended Gilmore Girls*. At the moment, I am also watching Revenge and Glee, although the latter is... a difficult case. As for sitcoms, I really liked Friends and The Nanny. Also, I love, love, love the BBC series Sherlock. Of course, that's not all I've ever watched, but I thought I'd only list my all-time favourites. I also really like Pushing Daisies, which was cancelled way too early. :/
Shows I tried and didn't like enough to continue watching were The O.C., Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs... They're okay, I guess, but not quite my cup of tea.
If anyone knows a good Gilmore Girls replacement, though, please let me know! I guess I'd also enjoy watching a good crime/mystery show if I could choose one from the bazillions out there!)
*which I have on DVD and watched way too many times already
In alphabetical order, marking recommended dramas in italics, and my favourites underlined:
33pun Tantei: Episodic detective drama playing with the genre cliches. Fun for a while, but gets annoying quickly.
Akai Ito: A bunch of teens with too many problems to be realistic, yet somewhat heartwrenching.
Binbou Danshi: Oguri Shun is too nice for his own good. Made me irritated after a while.
Bloody Monday: (Still haven't seen season 2. >.<) So exciting I watched the whole thing in one night.
Buzzer Beat: Great characters (even the minor ones), good plot, recommended. YamaPi <3
Code Blue: (Haven't seen season 2 yet.) The whole cutting people thing isn't my cup of tea, but nice human drama and again, YamaPi <3
Gokusen: Watched it because of MatsuJun, who was good. Story of Yankumi saving students got old pretty quick, though.
Hanazakari no kimitachi e: Fun to watch, but nothing to write about home about.
Hana Yori Dango: My first drama love, although I now see several flaws (hello. season 2!) Still, a classic. (The manga is waaay better, though!)
Juui Dolittle: Oguri Shun as a grumpy vet, Inoue Maou as his assistant, cute animals and some serious questions to us humans.
Kekkon Shinai: Great actors, extremely realistic storylines and very well made. Highly recommended, especially if you're into dramas with a bit of a background (like real social problems Japan is facing nowadays). (Also, this could be "Ohitorisama, ten years later".)
Kimi wa petto: Single women have it tough, and sometimes, they need a special kind of pet.
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo 3: Apart from the fact that I can't seem to find this without absolutely crappy hardsubs, I mostly liked it.
Kudou Shin'ichi e no chousenjou: Doesn't feel quite right for me as a Detective Conan fan.
Last Friends: Looked promising at first, but the main girl grew on my nerves and the end was such a joke.
Love Shuffle: 4 guys and 4 girls get coupled randomly for a week each while coping with their individual problems. Good actors (Tamaki Hiroshi <3) and the right balance between light-hearted comedy and more serious problems.
Maou: Arashi's Ohno-kun is a surprisingly good serial killer who meets a psychic girl. If only the police wouldn't act as stupid.
Mei-chan no Shitsuji: Annoying main girl chooses the wrong guy. It's not enough to look good if you lack personality. (As you can see when you click the link, I was slightly obsessed with this drama at the time it was airing. Don't ask me why.)
Mr. Brain: KimuTaku as an eccentric detective solving cases with notable guest stars. Gackt eats his own fingers.
Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan: Based on Higashino Keigo's writing, starring Tabe Mikako as an ill-tempered teacher and Koike Teppei (<3) as a cop who I wouldn't object to put me in handcuffs. *coughs*
Nodame Cantabile: Apart from male senpai on girl violence, a fun and heartwarming drama with quirky characters and great music. Chiaki <3
Ohitorisama: Should have been subtitled "Julia's life in ten years". Veggie boy has the nicest smile ever. Highly recommended!
Otomen: I think I gave up before the end. Seemingly perfect and "manly" guy has a secret desire to knit. Oh my God.
Pride: KimuTaku plays substitute lover for OL's absent boyfriend. The rest you can guess. (Not as bland as it sounds, though.)
Rebound: Apart from unrealistically fast weight loss and gain, nice drama addressing several problems at once. Funny male rival.
Samurai High School: Miura Haruma gets possessed by a samurai spirit at the most inconvenient times. Yawn.
Shikaotoko Awoniyoshi: Anti-hero has to save the world - at least a talking deer says so. Japanese history for the lazy.
Sora kara furu ichioku no hoshi: Dark and mysterious. When will girls learn to stay away from bad boys?
Stand up!: Or why it's hard on four guys if all they can do is stand and watch...
Sunao ni narenakute: Similar to Last Friends (same actors O.o), good ideas wasted.
Tokyo Dogs: Will two cops save a girl, and who will win her heart? Mizushima Hiro has facial hair. >.< Thankfully, Oguri Shun doesn't.
Uta no Onii-san: Ohno-kun lands the wrong job and has to start liking it. Crazy people. Not recommended for Japanese studying.
Voice: Listen to what the dead people are saying. A bit slow and a bit lacking in the character department, but solid.
Watashi ga ren'ai dekinai riyuu: Why can't I, indeed? Surprisingly realistic look on love nowadays.
Yasuko to Kenji: Over the top and a tad repetitive, but great fun.
Yoiko no Mikata: Kids are cute. Arashi's Sakurai-kun is cute (he cries in every episode). Addresses child raising issues in modern Japan.
Yuukan Club: Bunch of high school kids is bored with their rich and sheltered life and get involved into cases. If that isn't boring.
Zenkai Girl: She's never had it, now she wants it: Money. But what about the poor, but cute ikumen and her ideal of a good lawyer?
Zettai Kareshi: Never in her life had she imagined she'd be torn between her hot junior boss and a ... robot?! Be careful what you wish for.
* No italics doesn't mean I don't recommend the drama, but the italics are my favourites and should be safe for most tastes to watch. Some dramas were nice (if you like the genre), but didn't thrill me. Should I mark the "definitely not recommended"s? I don't want to offend anyone who does like those, though.
Shall I list the movies, too?
- Current Mood: awake