Lee Soo Jin is an actress that used to run away from her problems before getting famous. While filming a difficult commercial shoot, she gets scared and runs away. While on the run from her management company, she meets and grows to love Hyun Soo, a sushi chef from Korea living in Japan. She also befriends Eun Bi (an aspiring singer) and Park Sang Gil (a college student) both of whom are trying to make as Korean expatriates in Japan. Seven years have passed since Soo Jin last saw Hyun Soo and she can't forget about him. Add Synopsis In Portuguese
Cast & Credits
After a disappointing Noriko, Goes To Seoul, I figured I should give another Korean-Japanese co-production a chance. This time it's the 4 episode Tokyo Showers mini-series, broadcast on SBS in 2008.
There is something about this mini-series/drama that separates it from other Korean dramas (and the few Japanese dramas I have seen). Admittedly, it's my own fault for not paying enough attention when I took my pop culture theory courses, so I can't quite put my finger on what precisely makes it feel different. The best way I can come up with to describe it is that it reminds me of British/English romance literature and TV series. I can't make a direct connection, but there are at least three issues that make this drama unique.
First, there is the location. Japan is different from South Korea, but this change in surroundings is more significant than one may think. I believe that the usage of a Japanese filming crew plays an important role. Combine this with - Secondly - the soundtrack. There is Ivy making her return with a touching love song. Though what's even more important is the classical music. Combine this with the Japanese filming crew with its different experiences and style and you have a series of gorgeous scenes that make the 4 hours of run time fly by. This is on the same level of Secret Garden, but then less emphasis on shiny overproduction and more on what could be stylized as modesty and sincerity. In order to get an idea of what I am on about;
- American TV series 24 with the British TV series Spooks
- Discovery Channel with the BBC Natural History Unit
- CNN International with BBC News
Strange comparisons perhaps, but it is merely to illustrate the difference between what comes across as focus on production to the extent where it becomes overproduced (the average Korean drama) and just hitting the nail right on the head (Tokyo Showers).
Thirdly, the story is simple, classic and as such powerful. No complicated story lines or twists here and as a result no annoyingly predictable plot devices that serve as excuses to explain the characters' feelings and emotions that are so common in Korean dramas. This feels more like a 'Western' romance (the word classic keeps popping up) than a Korean drama and the combination of this with the Korean cast produce a refreshing result.
The cast is quite limited, but only in numbers. Not in its abilities. Solid performances come from all the actors and actresses involved. The exceptional and blindingly beautiful Kim Sa-Rang deserves the first mention for showing all sides of her character in a convincing way. She would later go on to perform well as the 'mean girl' in Secret Garden. Kim Tae-Woo does well as the coldhearted ("cool" is apparently the word for that in Korean) Jeong Hyeon-su and is a good match for Kim Sa-Rang, their chemistry does well on screen. Also, a brief moment to pay attention to Jin Goo, whose character Park Sang-kil deals with gambling problems, debts, loan sharks and actions which ultimately separates the main characters. He has quite a filmography and also plays in Spotlight, which is on my to-watch list. The Japanese cast all play minor characters, but do so well as one would expect.
If you have some time to spare, are between dramas or simply want to see something different and unique Tokyo Showers is definitely a good and refreshing way to pass the time.