What was missing from the ratings-destroying Gekkan 9 “Cinderella in Midsummer”? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

What was missing from the ratings-destroying Gekkan 9 “Cinderella in Midsummer”?

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Mori’s performance is highly acclaimed, but…

The third episode of Fuji Television’s Monday 9 drama “Cinderella in Midsummer,” starring actress Nana Mori (21) and actor Shotaro Mamiya (30), was aired on March 24, recording an average household rating of 5.5% (Video Research, Kanto region, hereafter the same).

The film is an ensemble coming-of-age love story of eight men and women set at the sea in midsummer. In addition to Mori and Mamiya, the cast includes Ai Yoshikawa (23), Sawa Himura (28), Kamio Fūju (24), Toshihisa Hagiwara (24), Arashi Shirahama (29) of GENERATIONS, and Tsuneji Mizukami (formerly Takeshi Okada, 24), all young, seasonal actors. However, the first episode started at 6.9%. The station’s monthly 9 drama series had been in double digits for the first time since “Absolute Zero: Uncovering a Crime” (10.6%) in the July 2006 season, but this was not the 19th consecutive drama series to start in double digits. The previous second episode was 5.4%, a slight increase of only 0.1 points.

The ratings for the first episode were the worst since 2000. If this trend continues, the worst single episode rating (“An Enemy of the People: Isn’t the World Strange⁉”, October 2005 season, starring Ryoko Shinohara, 4.6% for the final episode) and the worst average rating for all episodes (“Kaituki Hime”, January 2006 season, starring Kyoko Yoshine, 6.1% for all 10 episodes) are also likely to be renewed. Even with the current trend of recording and online viewing, the numbers are still too low. The reason for this is that it lacks all the elements of the hit dramas set on the sea that have colored the history of Tsuki 9 so far,” said a TV station official.

We therefore examined the “indispensable elements for a drama set at the sea” that were found in the three previous Gekkan 9 dramas set at the sea, but not in “Cinderella in Midsummer”.

Beach Boys” (July 1997)

Takashi Sorimachi (49) and Yutaka Takenouchi (52), who both starred in this drama, were catapulted to star status with this drama, which averaged 23.7% viewership for all 12 episodes. Sorimachi made his debut as a singer with the drama’s theme song “Forever,” and also made his first appearance in the Kohaku (red and white) TV show on New Year’s Eve of the same year. The drama was set in a seaside guest house, and actress Ryoko Hirosue (43), who was already a star at the time, also appeared in the role of the signboard girl.

Female viewers were drawn to the handsome duo of Sorimachi and Takenouchi, who played opposite personalities and got along well with each other. Male viewers wanted to see Hirosue, so it was a perfect lineup. At the time, the show was all about love stories, but the male friendship depicted in the roles played by Sorimachi and Takenouchi was one of the factors that drew viewers in.

It was a masterpiece that is still Sorimachi and Takenouchi’s masterpiece.

Classroom of the Sun and Sea” (July 2008)

The average rating for all 10 episodes was 14.8%. Yuji Oda, who has already starred as a detective in the station’s hit drama and movie series “Odoru Daisousasen” (Bayside Shakedown), played the role of a teacher at an elite seaside prep school with a unique background to break new ground. Oda then released the famous Western song “Kimi no Hitomi ni Koishiteru” (I’m in Love with Your Eyes), which has been covered by many singers, under the name “UZ” and was used as the theme song.

The students were played by Masaki Okada (33), Gaku Hamada (35), Yuriko Yoshitaka (35), Kento Kaku (34), and Atsuko Maeda (32), all former members of AKB48, who would later go on to play roles in numerous video works.

Oda is well known, and the students are all well acted. Keiko Kitagawa, Keiko Toda, Fumiyo Kohinata, and Tomohito Yashima also played fellow teachers. The producer is Ken Murase, who made a big hit with last year’s drama “silent,” and the script was written by Yuji Sakamoto, who won the Best Screenplay Award at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival for “Kaibutsu (Monster). The behind-the-scenes team was also very strong.

Now, there are hopes that Murase and Sakamoto will team up again for a film.

SUMMER NUDE” (July 13 season)

The average rating for all 11 episodes was 12.7%. Inspired by the 1995 song “Summer Nude” by the male duo “Sincerity Brothers,” the film depicts the summer love of young people who have an unforgettable lover in their hearts. Tomohisa Yamashita (38), a.k.a. Yamapita P, who was popular at the time for his solo activities while still a member of Johnny’s, played the main character, a photographer working at a seaside photo studio, and “Summer Nude (13),” a cover of the same song, was chosen as the theme song.

The double heroine was played by Erika Toda (34) and Karina (39), both actresses at the height of their popularity at the time, and Masami Nagasawa (36), who had previously appeared with Yamashita, made a supporting appearance.

Yamashita’s overwhelming popularity drew viewers. Yamashita, who has long professed that muscle training is his hobby, was always included in the “service cut,” in which he was naked on top of the body. Yamashita’s singing was also performed many times on singing shows, so in many ways it was music to the ears.

Later, “Code Blue the Movie: Doctor Helicopter Emergency Rescue” (2006), a film adaptation of the Fuji TV drama series in which Yamashita starred, became a blockbuster hit, grossing 9.3 billion yen at the box office. Many fans must be looking forward to a sequel.

Comparing these three films with “Cinderella in Summer,” Mori and Mamiya have done well in their leading roles, but they do not yet have the same strong “aura” as Sorimachi, Takenouchi, Oda, and Yamashita. Although young actors are used in supporting roles, they are not the kind of actors who can deliver a solid performance with a sense of stability. In addition, the script was written by Sayaka Ichihigashi, who won the 34th Young Scenario Award last year, but still lacks experience, and the script for the final episode will be written after seeing the reactions on SNS.

Ms. Mori is a singer, so if she sang the theme song, she would have been able to promote the film on singing shows. Ms. Mori is a water sports sap instructor, and a PR strategy that would have brought in the water sports industry and made sap popular in the city would have been possible. Ms. Mori, who was fair-skinned, went to a tanning salon to tan her skin, exposing the most of her skin to date. Ms. Kamio, Mr. Nimura, and Ms. Mizukami had already taken off their clothes, but the cuts were unnecessary. In any case, there wasn’t enough to draw viewers in.” (Fuji insider)

In other words, the show lacked “indispensable elements” such as the impact, popularity, and recognition of the lead actor, a well-crafted script, a solid supporting cast, and the lead actor’s theme song. If they can incorporate even a few elements from past masterpieces, they may be able to make a comeback in the future.

(From the program’s official website)
  • PHOTO Yusuke Kondo

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