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A dramedy well worth watching! Fun and very enjoyable.
Ashiya Mizuki is a Japanese teenager living in California. She is a star runner at her high school. One day she finds out that Sano Izumi, a famous high jumper from Japan, is competing at a meet in California. She goes to see him and is immediately enamored by his graceful jump. On her way home, she is jumped by a group of thugs. Sano happens to be close by and comes to her rescue. She gets away. However, she later discovers that Sano was stabbed right under his ankle that night, which required him to stop competing until he fully healed. Even after he healed, though, he refused to jump again. Ashiya, feeling guilty because she blames herself for his injury, decides to move to Japan and find a way to make Sano jump again. Since Sano goes to an all-boys school, she must disguise herself as boy to be a student there and get close to Sano. The adventure begins.
This show has a large cast, yet there are 3 main characters that move the plot. The rest offer an incredible amount of comedy, so the show is not too serious. The school's only criteria for acceptance is that the applicant be good-looking, so there are groupies outside their school everyday. In addition, a group of four girls, that attend their sister school, have made it their mission to make sure all the good-looking boys are happy. If that is not enough, there are three dormitories that compete with each other, thanks to the school's principal. They are hilariously competitive, with so many unique characters.
There is so much going on. I've only touched on all the things that are set up in the first episode. It is a must-see and very enjoyable.
Atashinchi no danshi (2009)
Original, funny, tender and sweet! Best comedy ever.
This is one of the most original and funny comedies I've ever seen. This is a rare comedy that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Mineta Chisato is a young woman who had lost her mother to an illness. She's had to disguise herself, go homeless and on the run, because her father put her down as a cosigner on his gambling debt. He owes one million yen and has abandoned her.
One day, the debt collectors track her down at an internet cafe, where she showers. She's finally cornered, when a helicopter flies toward the building and lands on the roof. A man, wearing a red cape, comes to her rescue. He makes her a proposition. If she marries him for one month, he will immediately pay off the debt and finally be free of the collectors. With little to lose and so much to gain, she agrees. She signs a contract.
The day before her contract would be up, he dies. That is when she discovers that there is a clause in the contract that was hidden. She must become the mother of six adopted sons, who live in a castle. She must succeed in being accepted as their mother. All six sons are estranged from each other. This is when the story truly begins.
This show is so much fun, with several amusing characters, such as Chisato's internet-cafe friends and recruited bodyguards, as well as the bizarre housekeeper. There are many secrets to be revealed and many secret rooms in the castle.
I highly recommend this show. It could be titled: "How to make a family."
Inosento rabu (2008)
Absolutely Riveting! Murder, love, devotion and intrigue. But should be titled "Love is Tragic."
This 10-episode series is wonderfully unpredictable. Just when you think you know what's coming, there are more twists and turns in the plot. I loved every minute of it. Although, I could have done without episode 10. The last episode just seemed to be the writer's indulgence for more drama. Everything else was brilliant and worth watching.
When her family's house burnt down in 2001, Kanon Akiyama became an orphan at age 13. Her brother, Yoji Akiyama, who was 18 at the time, was convicted of arson and parricide.
Six years later, Kanon is on her own doing the best she can living in her hometown and faithfully visiting her brother in prison. However, every time her employer finds out about her past and her bother's conviction, she gets fired. With so much gossip and prejudice around her, she decides to move to the city to find anonymity. She is hard working with a great work ethic and cheerfulness; yet her anonymity is once again shattered when a journalist arrives at her work place and her true identity is exposed. The journalist, Jiro Ikeda, is investigating the truth about the fire. Her brother has maintained that he is innocent, so he believes he can find out the truth.
This story is full of people with secrets and their stubbornness to keep their secrets hidden at all costs. That is where the tragedy lies.
Yet, not all is lost for Kanon. She is open and honest, with the desire to know the truth. Thanks to fate, she meets Junya Nagasaki, a young man with the same desire, but is surrounded by lies as well. Destiny awaits them both. All that needs to be done is for the truth to painfully reveal itself.
It is said that the truth sets people free. However, it also takes its revenge on those who lie and dishonor it.
I highly recommend this show. It is tender, charged and honors those that are true to their hearts.
A wonderful mystery, where East meets West.
Ghosted is a mystery set in Hamburg and Taipeh, surrounding the mysterious death of a Taiwanese woman named Ai-ling Chen, in which her German lover, Sophie Schmitt, is grieving over.
The mystery is set during the Ghost Month, celebrated in Taiwan. There is a belief that during the 7th month of the year, ghosts gain access to the the world of the living. On the 15th day of the month, the Ghost Festival is held, representing the connection between the living and the dead. Offerings and rituals are performed to appease the wandering souls or to guide them back to where they belong, like offering food and burning money.
Sophie is an artist who falls in love with Ai-Ling, who had moved to Hamburg to gain more information about her father. One day, Ai-ling mysteriously dies. Sophie creates an art installation dedicated to Ai-ling. At her exhibit opening in Taiwan, she meets a Taiwanese journalist, who wants to interview her. Sophie tells her that she does not do interviews; however, she's persistent and soon shows up in Hamburg. As the story unfolds, not everything is as it seems.
This is a wonderful mystery. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed it, I wish there were more twists and turns, with a shocking ending.
Past Life (2010)
Moving paranormal crime-solving drama
Like "Ghost Whisperer," "Medium," and "Fringe," this is another mystery-solving drama. Whether you are a skeptic or believer in reincarnation and past-life regression therapy, it is worth suspending reality to enjoy this moving drama. I will admit that I had tears at the end of the first two episodes I've watched, which was unexpected for me.
The series was created by David Hudgins and inspired by the mystery-thriller "The Reincarnationist," a novel written by M.J. Rose. It is set in New York City at a Behavioral Health Institute. Dr. Kate McGinn (Kelli Giddish) is a psychologist specializing in past-life regression therapy. Price Whatley (Nicholas Bishop) is a former NYPD homicide detective, who was fired after he turned to alcohol to deal with the accidental death of his wife and his guilt over it. They're not as compelling a team as the cast of "Bones" or "Fringe;" however, I've only seen two episodes.
The rest of the cast includes Dr. Malachi Talmadge (Richard Schiff) who seems to be the boss, as well as mentor, and Dr. Rishi Karna (Ravi Patel), a research-focused behavioral scientist/M.D. from India.
Each week, a person suffering from unexplained and terrifying visions, seeks Dr. McGinn's help. With her understanding of past lives and Whatley's investigative skills and connections, they unravel the mystery of intrusive and traumatic past-life memories that wreak havoc on their clients' lives. Dr. Talmadge and Dr. Karna play supportive roles back at the office adding their own insights in understanding the presenting symptoms and clues.
So far, the plot begins with a relevantly current event that triggers a past-life trauma which presents itself through flashback-type visions. They've all had to do with a solving a murder using the clues from past-life memories. It's another twist on the crime/mystery-solving drama that I look forward to watching more of.
My only problem is that I don't buy that people reincarnate as soon as they die, let alone reincarnate in the same country, same ethnicity, etc. However, there has only been 2 shows so far. I don't know, though, whether the writers can keep things fresh with more diversity and stranger cases. There is a high likelihood that I will eventually get bored if the stories remain simplistic and predictable.
I give the first two episodes 10 stars. It held my attention. I was intrigued, even with my skepticism. I had tears in my eyes at the end. What more can I ask for from an hour of television entertainment?
Not worth watching
D.L. Hugley hosts this sequel of the All Star Comedy Jam. Four African-American comedians, Earthquake, Lavell Crawford, Melanie Comarcho, and Arnez J., perform live in South Beach's Jackie Gleason Theater. There are two parts that I thought were funny. However, most of it I found boring. Even worse, there were a few offensive jokes. Melanie talks about putting the new Viagra-type medication in men's drinks, because "if you're going to date rape me, you better have a big dick." There were also plenty of jokes about disabled people and "retarded" people. D.L. Hugley, also, tells his tired joke about Chris Brown being young and not knowing any better about hitting a woman. Then he comments that there are some "women who don't know when to shut the f*** up. You never see a quiet woman being choked." I didn't think this was worth watching. The female comedian was especially awful.
Find My Family (2009)
Moving! Birth parents and adoptees will understand.
It seems that viewers either love it or hate. I think if you are a birth parent or an adopted child, you can't help but be completely moved by the experiences of the people who come on the show. I've watched the first three episodes and each one brought tears to my eyes. Each person had been searching with no results for years. This show goes where and discovers what private detectives have failed to find for their clients. It is a very emotional experience to seek someone out and be reunited. Birth parents want the chance to explain what happened and to see whether their decision was a good one. Adopted children have so many questions, like wanting to know where they come from, why they were given up for adoption, and sometimes, whether they have any siblings. There are many fears, secrets, misconceptions, and unresolved issues that are faced in this series. I hope it continues to stay on the air. It's worth watching. My only criticism, which made me give it only 9 stars, is the horrible way they make the person searching climb a steep hill to meet the person they've been searching for. It's so contrived for drama, suspense and more emotional reactions.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008)
Riveting! Moving! The power of women triumphs.
This is one of the most moving and incredible documentaries I've ever seen. A civil war had been raging for years between the dictatorship of the Liberian president and the rebels who called themselves the LURD. The LURD wanted to overthrow the government. They terrorized the people in the country through killings, rapes, dismemberment and destruction. They were becoming more powerful as they closed in on the capital city, Monrovia. One unlikely heroine is inspired by a dream to bring Christian women together. She begins within her own church and asks that all women from all churches are brought together. At one meeting, a Muslim woman goes up to the podium to address the church and tells them that she is moved by what they were doing and that Muslim women need to be brought into the Peace Movement. This was a cause that transcended all differences.
**** SPOILER ALERT! Synopsis follows. ******
With this extraordinary mission, the women dressed in plain white clothes and covered their heads, as a way to shed any differences of class or religion among them. They decide to make peace signs and sit in at the fish market where the Liberian president drove past every morning. He refuses to acknowledge them for weeks. What happens then is remarkable.
The women finally get to present their mission statement to the president, as well as demand peace talks between the government and the rebels. The women do not just hand things over to the men, however. When the peace talks finally come to fruition, a delegate group goes to Ghana to ensure that a resolution is made. The first two weeks no progress is made. The rebel warlords are just demanding future positions in the government and access to the country's resources.
The Liberian president had already fled back to Liberia when Sierra Leone tries to indict him for war crimes. The women's growing anger and frustration lead them to stage a sit in. They block all the doors and windows preventing anyone from leaving the peace talks without a resolution. Trapped with no food and water, the talks turn serious. Finally, a resolution is signed. The UN peacekeepers move in and the Liberian president is exiled to Nigeria.
You might think that this is where the women could finally go back home and take care of their children. However, they understood that they could not rely on anyone else to make sure that the resolutions are implemented. They also realize, seeing the UN only creating chaos, that to ensure full disarmament in the country, they would need to step in, forgive their perpetrators, and convince each one of them that they would be accepted back into the community.
The truly final mission for the women was to ensure a democratic election and elect a woman into the office of the presidency. The power of the women prevails. The first female president is elected. The women can finally go home. Mission accomplished. Peace reigns in Liberia.
If only the women of Israel and Palestine could unite for peace, as well, to ensure peace for their children, since that can always be a uniting mission. This is an example for all women in the world that they truly have power to change the world.
I love the moment the women decide to withhold sex from their men to force them to step up and accept that the peace movement involves them as well.
I highly recommend this documentary for all.