Chimu Dodotsu” too…? Five common rules of critically acclaimed morning dramas | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Chimu Dodotsu” too…? Five common rules of critically acclaimed morning dramas

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Will the next morning drama “Soar! will be…

The tag “Chimu Doron Doron Rikkai” (reflection meeting) continued to be a popular topic for NHK’s TV drama series “Chimu Doron Doron “. However, even before social networking services became widespread, there were many morning dramas that received scathing reviews on online forums, and in many cases, the reviews did not match the ratings.

Of course, there are works such as “Oshin ” (1983) that received both high ratings and high acclaim. However, in the latter half of the 2000s, there were works that were reported only as having “low viewer ratings,” such as “Chitoto Tecchin” ( 2nd half of FY 2007), the previous work written by Yuki Fujimoto, who wrote the script for “Come Come Everybody” ( 1st half of FY 2022) and has many enthusiastic fans, and “Imo Tako Nankin” ( 2nd half of FY 2006), which was highly rated after its first BS rebroadcast in 16 years. As in the case of “Chiritottechin” (second half of FY2007), which has many enthusiastic fans, and “Imotako Nankin” (second half of FY2006), which was highly acclaimed in its first BS rerun after a 16-year absence.

So here, instead of “numbers,” we would like to list the common features of morning dramas that did not receive favorable reviews.

From NHK’s official website

1 _”Convenience” due to the “supremacy of the heroine

Regardless of whether the drama has a real-life model or is an original work, most morning dramas tend to be heroine-centered stories in order to depict the heroine’s life or her life story. As a result, supporting characters are placed as pawns to make the heroine shine, and the many troubles that the supporting characters get into are merely ingredients for “solving everything with the heroine’s cheerfulness, vigor, and honesty.

This is probably due to the fact that the drama is made in accordance with one of the “Ten Rules of Morning Drama,” a rule I have heard from several people involved in morning dramas, which is to have the heroine appear in every scene as much as possible. The heroine is placed in the center and the supporting characters are placed as people who bring in trouble one after another, so it is a common pattern that the characters of other characters become blurred and multiple personalities are created.

2_The scriptwriter is not interested in the “occupation” or “motif” being taken up.

The criticisms that “we can’t see what the heroine wants to do,” “we don’t feel respect for her work,” and “she licks her job too much” have been repeated ad nauseam.

In morning dramas, various motifs and occupations are depicted. While this is fine as long as it is what the writer wants to write about, some dramas, such as the “50th anniversary of the reversion of Okinawa to Japan” in “Chimudo-don, ” proceed with a theme, and in such cases, the content tends to be thin. In recent years, the heroine has been a chef (Okinawan and Italian cuisine) + teacher + boxer (for a moment) + pig farmer + folk singer in “Chimu Dodon”, a radio English class + Japanese sweets + jazz + period drama (+ baseball, though not a profession) in ” Come Come Every body”, and an anime + jazz + baseball in “Natsuzora” ( ), an anime + Japanese sweets in “Natsuzora” (first half of 2019), and many other works that span multiple jobs depicted in the series.

In such a situation, there are works like “Chimu Dodon”, where the scriptwriter Daisuke Habara openly stated in a roundtable discussion in “NHK Drama Guide: Serial TV Novel Chimu Dodon Part.1”, “I have to confess here, we three uncles (scriptwriter, production manager and chief director) have no knowledge of cooking at all”. There were also works such as ” Natsuzora” in which the scriptwriter wanted to depict a “home drama” but did not seem to have much interest in animation, and ” Okaeri Monet” in which “depicting recovery from the earthquake from a non-party perspective” was so important that the weather story was diluted.

In the case of ” Come Come Every body,” which is full of elements, a period drama in a slanting sun is a motif similar to “Taira no Kiyomori” and “Chikaemon. In the case of radio, “Minimoni” was produced by the tag team of Rishi Endo, chief producer of “Chiritottechin” and Yuki Fujimoto, who wrote the script. The motif has already appeared on radio in “Chiri to Tecchin” (2004), a collaboration between Rishi Endo, chief producer of “Chiri to Tecchin,” and Yuki Fujimoto, who wrote the script, along with rakugo based on ” Chiri to T ecchin. The scriptwriter has held a strong interest in this theme for nearly 20 years, and it is no wonder that the entire work is filled with an extraordinary affection for it.

3_There is physically little to write about.

Morning dramas are overwhelmingly full of material anyway. Therefore, in many cases, a rough chronology is made at the beginning, and what will happen during what airing period is decided upon before proceeding. However, if what you want to write starts with the message or lines that the scriptwriter or chief producer wants to convey, it is inevitably a tragedy that you cannot have half a year’s worth of time.

Moreover, since stories are often created on a weekly basis, they tend to be full of episodes that could be omitted entirely for one week. Inevitably, the content tends to be thin, the characters are lifeless, the local temperature and smell cannot be felt, and abrupt guest characters appear one after another, never to be recalled again.

On the other hand, the creation of strange characters and subplots that sometimes make no sense is a rare and unique flavor of morning dramas.

In addition, since morning dramas are directed by multiple directors on a weekly basis, they often become a place for various challenges and experiments by the directors, making the most of the large volume of material. Even in works that are not coherent as a whole and in which it is not clear what is being depicted, there are sometimes works in which innovative direction and images appear on a weekly basis, which gives an impression similar to that of old-time animation in which the drawing was not stable.

4_An excessive amount of romance.

Related to 1, 2, and 3, in the case of works that do not describe the occupation well, do not describe what the heroine wants to do well, and repeat the same development over and over again, the element that fills the gaps is usually “romance”.

Therefore, there is first of all the heroine irresistible pattern that everyone likes. Or, everyone becomes a resident of a world in which everyone must be in love, and the structure tends to be one in which love-related disturbances occur in turn and are “cleared up” in turn. In some cases, the romance of an unfamiliar guest character to whom no one has any attachment is suddenly depicted, and the heroine plays the role of cupid.

In addition to the purpose of filling in the gaps, the reason for the overabundance of romance is in some cases because the creators continue to hold the preconceived notion that “morning dramas = female viewers = love stories.

If there are many depictions of romance, it would be more refreshing if the drama were to place romance in the center of the story, as in “Mio Tsukushi” ( first half of 1985), and depict raw emotions such as human karma and love and hate without running away from them.

The morning drama “Soar! will start airing on Monday, October 3, 2022! (From NHK’s official website)

5_A sense of stagnation due to the presence of a real-life model

Some people say that original works tend to fall apart and that works with real-life models are more interesting.

However, in fact, while the presence of models supports the story, various discernments are made with organizations related to the actual models, etc., and there are many cases where the ” parts that are faithfully portrayed” and “parts that are not portrayed” are blurred.

In addition, the fact that the major flow, ending, and exit are fixed tends to lead to meaningless padding and cattle prodding as a bridge between the two.

Incidentally, in the case of a critically acclaimed film, only the lead actor or the scriptwriter tends to be criticized, but the reasons for not working well together tend to include the scriptwriter’s “authorship” not being respected and not writing what he/she wants to write, poor chemistry between the chief producer & chief director and the scriptwriter, or a lack of communication. It tends to be the case that there is a lack of communication between the chief producer & chief director and the scriptwriter. Therefore, when we look into the past works of the scriptwriter, chief producer, chief director, etc., we can often get a faint idea of where the cause lies, and it becomes clear to us that “Oh, …… is the reason this happened.

However, there are many different ways of looking at morning dramas and what the viewers want, and if only the pursuit of high quality were the only thing to be pursued, the content would not have lasted to this day. What will the next morning drama , “Soar! will be the next morning drama. I look forward to watching it.

  • Text by Wakako Tago

    Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, became a freelance writer. She interviews actors for weekly and monthly magazines and writes drama columns for various media. His main publications include "All Important Things Are Taught by Morning Drama" (Ota Publishing), "KinKiKids: Owarinaki Michi" and "Hey!Say!JUMP: When 9 Tobira Open" (both from Earls Publishing).

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