Thursday, September 13, 2007

Suekko Chounan Ane Sannin

Since the above dorama is currently series of the week, I'd thought it opportune to write about probably the most underrated dorama ever. Mother in law doramas never work. They're boring, predictable and stale. Except for Suekko Chounan Ane Sannin. I remember 3 or 4 years ago, looking a show to watch with my brother and SCAS had been sitting on my HD for sometime. My expectations were very low and somehow this show is able to do the in law theme in an entertaining way.

Fukatsu Eri plays Haruko who meets Ichiro (Okada Junichi) on her 30th birthday. However, he believes that she is 25. Things happen and by the middle of the 1st episode, they're engage to be married and move in with Ichiro's mom. The arrangement was that they would occupy upstairs while the Ichiro's mom would live downstairs. All hell breaks loose when Ichiro's three older sisters return home for different reasons and destroying Haruko's dream.

You're probably thinking it sounds a bit different but its going to end up like all in-law shows. Everyone treats the bride like shit, she slowly helps them one by one and discovers that the in-laws are not to bad etc etc. Yes, some conventions can't be changed but there're reasons why this is the only good in-law show I've seen. (Mukodono doesn't count)

Usually, such shows concentrate on the fight between wife and in-law while we are wondering whatever possesed them to get married anyway! (See Erai Tokoro ni Totsuide Shimatta!) Here, you've got a cute story of how they got together, there's damn good chemistry and you gotta feel sorry for Ichiro growing up in a heyna's den. IMO, casting's probably the most important part. Too often, a strong actress is cast but the husband does not seem to be the wife's equal. (Usually a former prime time actress who's too old to run barefoot in the rain being chased by a Johnny)

Maybe this allows the housewife to project herself to this strong character, but from a storyline perspective if the viewer is unable to understand/feel the bonds that drive such a character to battle with the in-laws, then the battle is meaningless. It is as if fighting to preserve a non-existent marriage. (I seem to recall this other in-law dorama long time ago where the husband was overseas for the whole series and the twist was that he died in the end. Can't remember the name and I don't have it with me...)

The whole super strict mother-in-law bit is lame. Ichiro's mom is more... unconventional and I particularly like her obsession with Mas-san. Actually its more about the selfish sister-in-laws. Actually the show is closer in structure to Mukodono and your typical in-law show. With you average in-law show, the only story arc is between the wife and mother-in-law. With SCAS, you've got your newlywed story arc, and 4 stories for the 3 sisters and the mom. In other words, its good a damn good narrative.

And not to mention Koyuki and Harada Tomoyo. I love being surprised by jdoramas and this I've always remembered this show fondly. Highly recommended! Be sure to look up the meaning of the lyrics to Kanpaku Sengen after watching!


Jung said...

Thanks buddy, I'm getting this series now. Can't wait! And may I say, this season has to be the worst jdorama season ever. At least for an oyaji like me who's watched too much doramas in his life.

Akiramike said...

Looking forward to other's comments on this show.

Anonymous said...

Watched this show last time it was series of the week. Really funny show indeed... i'm still looking kampaku Sengen and never found a mp3 file.
Funny to see that Ito Atsushi was already casted as the geeky little man before Densha.