Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Terrible TV Update

I almost didn't watch the last episode. School is out and I don't need to study up on Things Teeny Boppers Like again until early April. I could have skipped the proof that I was right all along about the ending of Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. But duty is before all! I told You The Readers to check back in seven weeks, though I hadn't realized that the drama had already aired its seventh episode. The shows here have between eight and eleven episodes, and really popular ones often end in a long special or a cinematic feature film. Some have both. YNSH has but ten episodes, enough to be torturous but not enough to kill me.  I told you to check back, and so for the sake of this blog and my reputation I rolled my eyes for an hour and restrained my gag reflex. Ten episodes, by the way, isn't enough for the ravenous fans—all of the comments on this show are squeals of delight, repeat OMG's, never-ending exclamation points, and declarations that the final kiss scene is the best thing since glitter.

You might wonder what has happened between the garbage of episode one and the nuclear waste of the finale. This happens:

The body roll is at 1:37, just in case you don't enjoy uncoordinated choreography to the sound of dying cats. That's the important part. This was on every episode as the opening credits until episode 9 or 10. Though it's never less painful, it does get funnier with every viewing. Remember that these are sexy, sexy men.

So, update: I was right. Dude continues to be a complete jerk and idiotically, insistently insensitive. Girl runs away because dude hurts her feelings, gets in trouble because she's dumb, dude saves her and they realize their love for each other. Urk.

However, this final episode threw in a few bonuses for our viewing pleasure. We get to see guys runs like morons. I don't mean that they run without purpose. I do mean that the archetypes of male attractiveness swing their arms from side to side, bent at the elbow, while they run. I don't want to stereotype that as effeminate, but I'm pretty sure that slows you down. It also makes you look stupid.

Another bonus is seeing our heroine, Sunako, dressed like a stripper. She gets tricked, you see, into doing a fashion show that's actually a masquerade for human trafficking. The models get sold on the black market. Of course, our heroine is so naive/ignorant/just plain dumb that she doesn't suspect a thing when dressed like a Playboy Bunny on Halloween. Nor is the pole dancer at the end of the catwalk in the least alarming. Nor is the venue in Kabuki-cho (Tokyo's red light district, for crying out loud) a good enough reason to leave it all behind. Sure, the girl is nervous about how short her outfit is, but the sly devil who conned her in the show tells her that it's the only way for her to shine.

Ah, then by all means, go ahead. Shine. It gives our male friends a good reason to display their weird running. "Shine" means mooning a bunch of men in suits because your skirt is too short, right? I suppose that counts as a passage into adulthood or something.

We also get the extra super bonus of racial and foreigner stereotypes. Yay! Dante Carver is the black guy in the picture. He's famous for his role an a series of SoftBank (mobile phone service provider) commercials featuring an unconventional family. He's the big brother, the dog is the dad. I don't get it, but the commercials are pretty funny. He speaks fluent Japanese though his accent is distinctly American. His popularity is growing and he's getting more acting gigs and does some modeling. This culture loves to give its celebrities nicknames as much as America likes to condense couples into a single name (Brangelina, Bennifer). Dante Carver's nickname is Yosou Guy, because yosougai means "unexpected," and who expects a black guy from New York to speak Japanese or as a member of a Japanese family, hah hah?

In the final episode of this Bedazzler-ed black hole of a show, Mr. Carver is first seen in the angry jerk's dream. Dude can't move his feet, girl is running around in fright, black guy stalks girl, shoots her in the head. Dude wakes up in a sweat.

Go ahead, roll your eyes.

Then Mr. Carver's character, Greg, shows up in real life. Gasp! Don't worry, though, Greg is an African man who was sent by the heroine's father to fetch her. Totes trustworthy. Also, he scouts models.

Wait a cotton picking minute.

Yep, Greg is not only a killer in Dude's dreams, he's also a human trafficker who tells idiotic females that "shining" involves Fredrick's of Hollywood clothes. After convincing the heroine and another of the achetype's girlfriend (whose voice is higher than Snow White's) Greg calls the dude and tells him to pay a ransom. What a turd.

Angry dude to the rescue!

Oh, in the meantime our heroine gets really nervous and almost backs out. But no, she must do it, because she remembers the jerk she loves; he told her not to run away from obstacles. Yes, this is an obstacle, and she will never grow as a person unless she joins the pole dancer on the catwalk. I think we're supposed to be proud of her. I nearly broke my computer screen.

So she prances out, and who happens to be at the end of the runway but her four archetype housemates? They had to get past Greg the African, who pulled a gun on them, but there they are. Shocking. Then she walks back down the runway, and the four guys start beating up everyone in the room in what is arguably the worst fight scene I have ever witnessed. Oh, I might not have mentioned this before, but the heroine's complex about her appearance means that if anyone calls her ugly, she sees red and starts pummeling everyone nearby. Or expels ghosts. You know, whatever the episode calls for. Anyway, she fights; they fight (in manners befitting their appearance, of course).

Then, when the enemy has been vanquished and has magically disappeared within three minutes, suddenly African Greg is there, holding a pistol to the heroine's head.

Let's all roll our eyes together.

Suddenly Dude can't move his feet again. He watched his beloved die in his dream already. He can't go through that again. Love flows from his eyes in the form of manly tears, and he offers himself in place of the idiot who wasn't paying attention to the only black guy in the room. Don't you know that black guys carry pistols on them, girl? They will sell you to a brothel, just like my grandma feared when I studied to France.

So dude cries like a baby, and I wonder if Dante Carver lied when he said he didn't want to play stereotyped characters in Japan. Dangit, Dante.

He's going to shoot.


The whole fashion show was a setup to get angry jerk dude to confess his feelings for the girl! It was all so that he could understand how the fear of losing someone he cared about! African Greg is only pretending to fill a stereotype for the sake of true love, and whatever compensation he received for playing that role.

Please take the time to tie a pillow to your head. This show is not worth the goose egg and brain cell damage that will result from knocking your cranium against the wall unprotected.

All the guys that were beaten, and pole dancer, and the fake Chinese girl-buyers—it was all an act. The streetwalker getup? Er…that was…necessary for the…uh…shining. Anyway, scratch that racial stereotype bonus guys, it's all good. Does Dude get angry? How could he, having been taught such a valuable lesson? Once they're back home Dude tells the girl he loves her, they suck face, and then things go back to normal. She cooks and cleans, he and the other archetypes eat, but at least they all learned how to tell someone they love of their true feelings. Remember this lesson for life. The End.

Give me my life back.


A bonus for you:

I'm sorry that I couldn't figure out how to make it play specifically at the start of the fight, but it's at 4:44. Stop the video at about 7:30, or forever waste the rest of your life. Spoiler alert, Greg's pointing a gun at Sunako.

Also, the Bedazzler commercial is here. According to advertising, bedazzling is back and bigger than ever. I haven't been in the states for a while, but I'm pretty sure that this is a lie.


  1. Wow. That just changed my life.

  2. And thanks for telling me to tie a pillow around my head BEFORE banging it against the wall. Now I'll only have a dull headache.

  3. Oh, yes! Love the 'blooming flowers' dance move. In other news, that's the most poorly attended fashion show I've ever seen. Also, I'd love to be able to produce lightning as a result of my anger. And I laughed out loud at the four guys telling 'Ugly Sunako!'

    The last word in my comment today is 'ridonkulous.' That's what this show is. Freaking nuts and dumb. The end.