Currently Watching: Lady Girls
This drama is nearing its end but I thought it's a drama that deserves a moment in the limelight. It doesn’t offer anything new, but the cast and chemistry are what makes this show worthwhile.
The story is about three 40-year-old women, their love lives and the problems they may face. The three of them are long time best friends, even though they couldn't be any more different from each other. The drama follows their lives pretty individually. I feel that I can't really go to the core of what it is all about without first introducing our main characters, so here goes:
Shinohara Ryoko as Nakahara Aki
A career woman, gorgeous, independent, successful and living the moment, she gets easily criticized for "not acting her age". She might appear very confidant, but she lets others easily use her age against her, hence being taken advantage of. She knows pretty well there's nothing wrong with the way she's been living her life, but she also aware of how her society views things, and is a part of it. Even so, she has admirable strength, honest to herself, and is very driven.
Kichise Michiko as Osaki Moeko
Also still single at 40, Moeko lives a simpler life than Aki. She owns a flower shop and lives with her mother. She's fun, light hearted and very energetic. Since she owns her own business, she has faced less criticism from the way she lives her life. However she gets all that criticism from her mother. We realize her mother may have had a bigger influence on her life than Moeko would like to admit. I like that she doesn't let guys take her lightly, but she has a long way until she finds her independence.
Suzuki Sawa as Sakata Midori
Single mother of three boys, Midori is very committed to her family. Her relationship with her sons is really beautiful. They have such fun and natural interactions. The boys are actually really good kids, but they still face different problems that needs her support. Being a single mother makes both her and kids are easily judged by society. Other than being a mother, Midori is also ready for a new love. On that side I'm just not too convinced of her relationship. I think the person casted to be her lover is just not convincing enough.
Eguchi Yosuke as Takayama Fumio
A veteran romance writer from the 90s, those romances that have become rare in the jdorama scene, he is trying his luck in other genres. He is also a consultant in the company where Aki works. He's always ready to quote old movies when the situation calls for it, and says his hits from back then were imitations of foreign works. He may seem pretty cynical about a lot of subjects, but actually is always full of ears and ready to give his take on things. His child-like nature makes him free judgement, hence easy to talk to.
Tanihara Shosuke as Kurita Junichi
Maybe the most complicated to understand in the bunch. He's the owner of the company where Aki works. Rich and successful, he has everything he wants. Or so it seems. He doesn't seem to like the idea of exclusive relationships and rather publicly date a number of girls at the same time. He likes to read people and isn't easy to deceive. It's interesting to see how no one really criticize his way of life while if a woman his age leads a similar life to him, she'd be looked down on.
Being from a society that is very gender role defined, of course the treatment of women that age is very different from our leading men, being told they can’t consider themselves women if they get to a certain age. I like how the drama highlights this point without being too preachy, and just shows us that people can still enjoy their life despite what others might say or disapprove.
One other point that I enjoy about this drama, and what outshines this drama from others airing this season, making it a must watch, is the romance and chemistry depicted that reminiscences those older jdoramas from the 90s. While the story itself has nothing new to offer, its mature approach in romance is refreshing. Also casting male characters of the same generation of the female characters is what makes the difference here. Men of that generation have even less of a chance of being casted in such romance roles nowadays, which is very unfortunate since they still got a lot they can offer. Here we have the leading men here able to match the leading ladies in acting talent, experience and maturity, making the chemistry engaging and natural.
If you’re looking for a story with unpredictable actions, then that isn’t it. If you like dramas with good dialogs, sweet friendship, mature romance, the different paths we take in life and its challenges, with a bit or reminiscence of the past, then no need to look further!