The drama “When a Couple Breaks Up,” starring Izumi Inamori (51), is secretly a hit.
This drama is the first of the “Friday Drama DEEP” (from 0:30) newly established by NTV in April. Although the ratings are modest since it is in the late-night slot, it ranks 6th among all dramas in terms of the number of registered Tver favorites. The number of views exceeded 20 million, setting a record for the highest number of views for a late-night drama in the first week after its broadcast.
The story is about a beautiful female doctor, Yoko Makabe (Izumi Inamori), who thought everything was going well at work and at home, but she discovers that her husband, Kota (Yu Yoshizawa), has been having an affair with Rio Sakura (Mio Yuuki) for over two years and that all her friends around her have been cheating on her as well. Especially Kota’s love for Yoko is a major factor in the story. In particular, Kota’s behind-the-scenes treatment of Yoko has been so severe that a storm of sympathy and empathy for Yoko has erupted. For example, there was this scene in episode 10.
Yoko decides to start over with Kota after she hears that Rio has aborted their child and left him. However, Yoko becomes suspicious of her husband’s behavior and goes to his office.
Kota’s subordinate, a female employee, is surprised at Yoko’s brazenness.
She asks, “What’s wrong?
I just wanted to talk to you for a minute…my husband, he’s here, isn’t he? There was a car parked there.”
The female employee, who at first tries to deceive but is persuaded by Yoko, silently indicates the window with the curtains closed. Yoko opens the curtains and looks out the window to see Kota and Rio cuddling hand in hand in the building across the street….
Yoko’s eyes welled up with tears.
The drama is a remake of “Female Doctor Foster: My Husband’s Affair, My Decision,” which aired for two seasons on the BBC in the U.K. in ’15 and ’17. In 2008, the Korean remake of ”The World of Married Couples” received a rating of 28.37%.
Japan also had a ‘ 20, there had been talk of a remake, but it had been put off because the content was not appropriate for broadcast in prime time. This time, the remake was realized because it fits the concept of the new drama slot, which is to present a deep drama in a deep time slot,” said a drama writer.
The “deep drama” sign is true to its name, and the content is quite hard-hitting. Yoko’s husband, Kota, was not only having an affair, but also pouring the couple’s assets, Yoko’s parents’ inheritance, and even their son’s school insurance into his own business and his lover. And yet, every week the internet is abuzz with the scum of the earth when he tells Yoko’s friends, “I care about both Yoko and Rio,” and “That’s why it’s hard for me.
Mr. Yoshizawa, who plays the role of Kota, has not only drawn the ire of the “sare-wives” who are troubled by their husbands’ infidelity, but also of women who are filled with resentment toward their husbands. For two years, he kept saying to Rio, “My wife and I are a married couple under a mask,” and “I’m divorcing her,” and even when she became pregnant, he was completely unreceptive. He is upset when she gets divorced. He is a perfect scumbag who may have made enemies with all women.
Yoko’s actions are also quite aggressive, as she decides to “erase Kota from her life. She “physically” asks Kota’s friend, an accountant, about the company’s finances, and asks a patient she has become close to to seize the scene of Kota and Rio’s affair, and so on, all in the pursuit of revenge.
Another Tver favorite, “Even If You Don’t Do It for Me,” about a couple’s sexless marriage, is also doing well in terms of subscribers. The ratings are not so good here either, at 5%. Why are films about marital problems becoming hits on the Internet now?
The story itself of “A Couple in Trouble” is, to put it bluntly, “bland. It is reminiscent of the old “daytime dramas” that used to be aired during the daytime. Lunchtime dramas were popular among housewives as a way to secretly enjoy dramas with extreme content that were difficult for the family to watch together during the daytime. Now, drama distribution is probably fulfilling this role.
I have heard that “A Couple…” was produced with distribution clearly in mind from the beginning and had specific numerical targets. Although “Anashi” is a drama in the GP zone, it is difficult to watch together as a couple. In the future, we will probably see an increase in the number of dramas adapted from projects that are difficult to distribute in the GP zone,” said a source from the production company.
As of the end of episode 10, Yoko’s revenge has not yet begun in earnest. Will there be a development that will make the many viewers who have been sitting alone in front of their TVs feeling aggrieved and depressed feel better?
PHOTO.： Kojiro Yamada, Yuri Adachi, Ippei Hara, Kazuhiko Nakamura