Friday, August 19, 2011

Freeter, Ie wo Kau eps 5-10

Freeter is a dorama with an identity crisis. It wants to be this character study, serious movie type story life as a temporary employee and dealing with an assortment of family problems including a mother battling depression. On the other hand, it is shot like your typical brightly lit prime time dorama with your usual jdorama cliches to help pad it out.

Yup, I'm still hung up over the lighting that makes it look like a daytime soap opera because Freeter has some interesting things to say about working life and depression. About how choosing who you work with can be more important than choosing where you work. About what the big deal is about being a temp worker rather than a permanent one.

Sure, there is no job security but what job has? The only major difference would be long service leave. Lots of I.T. jobs now are contract based. I kind of enjoyed watching Seiji gaining his confidence in himself one step at a time and his dysfunctional relationship with his father is fun to watch.

On the other hand, we have Karina's soap opera story which just feels like fluff especially the 'woe is me cause two accidents happened on my watch' self pity. Talk about trying to squeeze blood from a stone. If you followed all safety procedures or if someone was bloody reckless, then its not your fucking fault! Instead of calling out Karina's character for the idiot that she is, everyone just stands back and just says 'poor girl'.

Then we have Igawa Haruka's story where she plays this wife with mother in law trouble to an absent husband. I can see why they chose not have to the husband on screen but it does not validate her relationship with her rich husband. Sure, in the end she learns to stand up to her mother in law in the end but there is nothing to cheer for. There is no background story. It is a mere conflict because she had for a long time chosen to accept the mother in law's abuse. In the end when the husband supports her, it is not big deal cause we don't know who he is. He has been a character that existed by name throughout the series.

The less said about the OL relationship with the persistent guy the better. I enjoyed Asano Atsuko's portrayal as Seiji's mom. Maybe its because her face doesn't look as plastic as it was in Maria or maybe her relationship with Seiji's short tempered dad felt real. In summary, Freeter has a good main story and is brought down by cliched side soap opera stories. Its watchable but prepare for some scenes and storyline that would make you cringe. Perhaps I am concerned to much with what Freeter could be and not what it is, fluff with hints of substance.

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