Monday, March 26, 2018
NetFlix Original "Prison Playbook" S1. EP1
Kim Je-hyeok, a famous baseball player(super star) was incarcerated because of excessive self defense. Behind the bars, he is going to live in an really bad environment, in contrast to the former life.
The plot itself, and also all the scenes are clear, so that it is easy to understand. Especially when we compare this drama series with majority of Japanese dramas, in the latter, many hypocrisies are given such as: "I have not went through much agony or threat, or internal fight, but you need to be moved". This means there is vacant and nothing but the scene tries to make it beautiful story, so it is really boring to watch.
The thing I think the reason why South Korean film/dramas became popular this decades is because they lack such hypocrisy. They do not say "Look forward" or "I want to see your smile", the phrases duplicated thousands or millions of times with scarce of philosophical background, which the screenwriters themselves are not really involved in (but they want audience to be moved, somehow).
This deviation occurs because the values and sociological background is specuracular:
- They are simple. Their love and hate is clear and there is no fuzziness, comparatively.
- Old school hierarchy (Confucianism) that elder should be respected. (In Japan, now it is so common that kids or the younger talk equally or sometimes looks down on elders or higher social status people(look at recent anime)).
- It derives that the guy labeled with high social status needs to be respected in general.
- They know threats and they experience threats and its tension on the daily basis. (They are still at war with North Korea and also PLA). Threats does not allow you to say something meaning less (but trying to be good story(お涙頂戴ストーリー))
That is why, even though sometimes the figures seems too narcissistic, (二枚目), but the social tension or background that the protagonists must be perfect as possible, which Japan had until around 70s, later deprecated, just deprives the film/drama of fuzzy, unclear, hypocritical elements so there is no garbage in the show itself.
In conclusion, South Korean product has what Japanese ones lost, that is why their product looks more fascinating than ours. (Yet I do not deny that some Japanese dramas/films are also prominent).
Probably another reason is that the difference of the funding + marketing models between us. South Korean government really invest in this kind of industry, on the other hand Japanese Government not does it much, and it means garbage business-only oriented ecosystem forces screenwriter to avert the political/social ideology to be dictate in the story line, or, they rely too much on copying Manga into drama. In order to be competitive to South Korea (and they are really doing well in the international market, including United States, such as Prison Break season 5 or the walking dead.), Japanese Government needs more to invest in our film/drama industries. (But still we are winners in cartoon industry, but if we feel safe about it, it is going to downfall. We need to invest in it more and more.)
If such industry is only at the stake of its sponsors, the creators cannot do what they really want to do. Just an opinion, though.