Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mother eps 7-11

I was ready to call Mother the best dorama of last season. Ep 7 sees Nao turn to her actual mother for help and has an awesome cliffhanger.Ep 8 deals with Tsumugi's mom's past and the beginning of the end that everyone was dreading. Ep 9 has the authorities finally catching up with Nao and Tsumugi and features a very strong ending to the episode. I really like the scene where Nao realises she is cornered and breaks down screaming Tsumugi's name in despair.

Then we get to ep 10 where there is are hardly any scenes of a trial. Nao is interviewed by the prosecutor without the presence of a lawyer (wtf is up with that) and is given a suspended sentence. There is some mention of the social implications of her case with her sister losing her job but otherwise there is no evidence of a public debate. One of his allies is a freaking writer and he doesn't even write an article defending Nao. All the freaking tension is gone, with just the writer saying that Nao's crime was making herself Tsumugi's mother.

I would have loved to have seen one episode for the court case and to see the public prosecutor and child services interview Tsugumi as she tries to persuade them from charging Nao. I would have liked to see the prosecution debating on whether and how to charge Nao instead of it being reduced to a one liner by the writer. I would have loved to see the public change their minds when they hear about Tsugumi's abuse.

I can understand the writer wanting to concentrate on the characters but frankly I was bored with the last two episodes except for the end of ep 10 which had another awesome cliffhanger which got my hopes up. The writer does know how to get the audience excited for the next episode. Alas, the lack of tension in the final episodes really did kill my enthusiasm for the series. The absense of the court case and media shitstorm was too obvious.

I think that's when the writing become overly sentimental, trying too hard to touch the audience and giving us way too many happy endings. I didn't care for the twist about Nao's mother's crime. It wasn't a main plot line of the series and it was just there to do a 'mother'-like twist that was completely unnecessary. The same for the ending for Nao's pregnant sister. I just did not care at all. If they had ended Mother at ep 9 and put the epilogue of ep 11 in the end, I would have called it a must watch series.


Chuks said...

It's an interesting point of view.
If the drama ended at ep09, I would be really disappointed.
I'm glad the drama gave two episodes to show a life after arrest.
Ordinary drama would have ended at the arrest and show their afterlife at last ten minutes.
I also thought it was brilliant that they didn't show much court scenes, to focus on more important things.
But after reading your review, I'm inclined to agree it would be interesting to see how the arguments would have been.
I also agree with the lack of media frenzy.

I enjoyed reading your review.
It's interesting to see a drama from different angle.

maiku said...

I turned to Mother with high hopes after watching Soredemo Ikite Yuku. If it hadn't been for my trust in writer Sakamoto Yuji I probably would've given up around ep3. The early episodes struck me as bleak, humorless, and generally unpleasant. With Soredemo I stayed on to watch the Hiroki/Futaba relationship develop and because the cliffhangers were so well done. With Mother I struggled through the early episodes thinking, this isn't going to end well. The only consolation was that at least Reina survived the abuse.

Around ep6/7 things became less bleak and more intriguing. They toned down the reporter's evilness and began to explain Reina's mother. Still I agree, at the end it fell apart. I wish there had been something to offset the sadness, like showing the boyfriend getting arrested, or celebrating the fact that Reina had escaped death. Instead it felt pandering and manipulative.

And whatever happened with the life insurance?