Fuji Television’s Thursday drama “Even if You Don’t Do It for Me” (Thursdays at 10 p.m.) started on April 13, but the numbers are not growing as expected, indicating the current difficult situation of TV dramas.
The drama is a live-action adaptation of Haruno Haru’s comic of the same title. Actress Nao (28) plays the role of Michi Yoshino, a 32-year-old, ordinary office worker, in her first starring role in a drama series for the station. The story is about two seemingly happy couples who become entangled in a complicated relationship.
The production team reunites the production staff from that time, including Hiroshi Nishitani, who directed the drama series “Lunch Faces: Lovers at 3 PM on Weekdays” (2002), starring actress Aya Ueto (37), which caused a social phenomenon.
Although the drama was intended to once again become a social phenomenon, the average household viewership ratings from the first episode to the fourth episode broadcast on March 4 have been poor, at 5.8% (according to Video Research, Kanto region), 4.9%, 5.0%, and 5.2%, respectively.
The first episode started with 13.3% and the 10th episode reached a high of 16.7%, a figure that is likely to be a far cry from “LUNCHFACE,” which averaged 13.9% for all 11 episodes and whose theater version released in ’17 grossed 2.33 billion yen at the box office.
Fuji has been focusing on “core viewership ratings” and “individual viewership ratings” among men and women between the ages of 13 and 49, as well as the number of views on TVer, an app for streaming missed episodes.
Of these, the number of views on TVer for episode 3 reached 3.81 million in the midstream count (April 27-May 2). The total number of views of the missed distribution of episodes 1 through 3 in the first week after the broadcast exceeded 10 million views.
The number of subscribers to “Favorites” was 1.12 million (as of May 7), close to the 1.15 million subscribers for “Kazama Kochin: Kyobo 0,” a Monday 9 drama series starring Takuya Kimura.
The number seems not bad at all, but there is no indication that the number is getting higher with each episode as in the case of “Daytime Faces”. In short, it is being watched in real time and on missed episodes, but it has not reached the stage of gaining viewers’ sympathy.
In “LUNCHFACE,” an ordinary part-time housewife, played by Ueto, has an affair with a married biology teacher (Takumi Saito) and goes on the run. Although she thought the relationship was dissolved when she was brought back by the relatives of both families, in the film version, the adulterous love flares up again, leading to an outrageous situation.
On the other hand, the female office worker played by Nao in “You Are” wants to have a baby, but she and her husband (Eita Nagayama), the manager of a coffee shop, are sexless. When she talks to her boss (Gosuke Iwata) about it, he has no sex with his wife (Minami Tanaka), the deputy editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine. As they share with each other, they fall into a forbidden relationship. ……
The actress, who has played many cheerful roles since her debut and was married to EXILE HIRO at the time of starring in the drama version of “LUNCHFACE,” unexpectedly plays an adulterous housewife. Many housewives in the public were emotionally moved by Ueto’s role, and Saito’s full-blown pheromone as a man captivated women in the world, leading to the hit.
On the other hand, in “You Are”, Eita is the only married man among the four main characters. The main character buys sexy underwear for her husband, gets her period when she tries to have sex with him, and secretly flirts with her boss in the elevator at work, all scenes and lines that give a sense of deja vu.
In this day and age, there are many sexless couples and partners, whether they have children or not, but according to various surveys, the trend is that they do not seek out opposite-sex husbands or partners for the act, even though they are worried about it and make an effort. Therefore, it is likely that viewers are not able to empathize with the words and actions of the characters in the drama and are not hooked on the situations that have been common in previous dramas. At this rate, it will never be as good as “Day Faces”” (entertainment reporter).
In the fifth episode, the main character finally confronts his boss’s wife, and it will be interesting to see if the drama can build up from here toward the end of the season.
PHOTO.： Takero Yui, Kazuhiko Nakamura