When I was watching Rich Man, Poor Woman, another dorama came to mind that actually could use the same name. That would be the execrable Tsuki no Koibito (Moon Lovers) starring Kimura Takyua as the rich man and Taiwanese supermodel/wannabe actress Lin Chi Ling as the poor woman. KimuTaku has a new dorama coming out next month called Priceless, and with two consecutive flops under his belt now, if Priceless doesn’t break 20 in rating then its clear the heyday of the Crown Prince of J-ent might really be over. If that happens, I would lay the moment of his downward trajectory at the door of TnK. I actually like older and more weathered KimuTaku, and the poor ratings and reception for TnK and Nankyoku Tairiku is truly the result of terrible screenplays above all else. TnK was one of those dramas that was SO BAD I actually watched it all for trainwreck purposes. It’s run was cut short, which is unprecedented embarrassment for a KimuTaku drama, and the final outcome was rewritten on the fly and made no narrative sense but at least salvaged a tiny bit of the horror that was unfolding onscreen. This dorama was panned all across Asia, even in Chinese-speaking countries where the netizens were by and large embarrassed to send Lin Chi Ling out to represent. In the end, this dorama was hilarity all around, but for all the wrong reasons.
In TnK, KimuTaku plays Ren, rich arrogant furniture designer and Japanese conglomerate president looking to enter the Chinese furniture market. He goes to China to build a factory there, and the good hardworking Chinese factory workers unite and protest his big bad ways. In the midst is poor worker bee Lin Chi Ling playing Liu Xiu Mei, wearing a jumpsuit worker’s uniform during the day that secretly conceals her glorious beauty underneath. Ren ends up using her as to walk the runway in some launch show to demonstrate how his company will respect its Chinese workforce, or some shit like that. Xiu Mei also enjoys touching stagnant dirty puddles of water because its magical, or some shit like that. Ren is reluctantly and powerfully attracted to Xiu Mei, and what ensues is some male/female, boss/employee, Japanese/Chinese power struggle before they succumb to their
lust love for each other. And she somehow makes him want to be a better person (headdesk). Along for this batshit insane ride is Shinohara Ryoko, roped in to add some legitimacy and acting chops, Matsuda Shota glowering while plotting to overthrow his overlord Ren, and poor confused and pointless Kitagawa Keiko as a supermodel with a crush on Ren. This crap needs to be seen to be believed, and I have just the perfect MV to while away the time laughing and pointing at the screen.
Seeing how wonderful RMPW was, its easy to ask Japan to make more renzoku renai doramas. But then TnK shows us that when Japan tries to tap the formula, even armed with superstars it could fail to such a dizzying degree. Lin Chi Ling’s character was so appallingly written, and coupled with her truly shiteous acting, the powers-that-be finally had no choice and wrote her off in the middle of the dorama. Sadly she didn’t die some factory accident death (which would have been EPIC), but was instead shipped back to China so suddenly and abruptly it gave everyone whiplash. Then the final few episodes were spent trying to shove Ren and his previously platonic female BFF played by Shinohara Ryoko together. Which went as well as expected. The final scene where they got married and drove off in a convertible, both looked like they were headed to the executioners. Ah, good times, good times. Check out the video below, where clumsy poor worker Xiu Mei could magically transform into a supermodel (with a runway walk seen on Paris catwalks) simply by changing into a couture dress. She also has a guy BFF who happens to be a worker by day and transvestite by night, played by the hapless Abe Tsuyoshi. And apparently Ren, who has his pick of the hot chicks back in Japan, can’t take his eyes (or hands or lips) off poor but plucky Xiu Mei. Sometimes I wonder who came up with this story? Someone with a really developed sense of the absurd?
Tsuki no Koibito MV:
This really is a must watch bad drama, though. Not as cringe worthy as Jin, but there really are many many things that require you to yell at the screen in disgust, shock, re-donk-ulousness.
I found an email I wrote about this show:
For the love of Matsuda Shota, who doesn’t get enough screen time, I think, I watched Tsuki no Koibito (2010) accidentally all the way through.
OMG soooo bad I say accidentally because even as I watched it, I was thinking “this is the last episode I am wasting my time on.”
Sometimes KT looked like Alan Rickman. Maybe it’s the way he holds his jaw. I expected him to say, “Mr. Pott-aaaire” once in a while.
I kept thinking “Ewwwww – Why is he smoking so much and ewwwww he’s gonna kiss her with that mouth?”
(He does kiss good, though. Not all of them have that skill.)
His character was like Bob Fosse only without all that dancing ability and charisma.
And Lin Chi Ling – what was that?
She was like an Easy Bake Seductress… One minute she’s getting KT all excited with her filthy runway walk and attack kissing, but not really. She’s really just an innocent mentally challenged adult who still writes in crayon. In fact, if you tuned in part way without knowing the premise, you may actually think this is another Kim Taku drama where he falls in love with someone who is disabled.
Dr Jin was worse? O_O
Now I want to see what Koala thinks of Dr Jin if she so deliciously makes fun of TnK like this. 🙂
Jin is worse!? I personally Loved Jin (btw NOT dr. Jin the korean remake)
Jin was ONE of the best J-dramas that I have seen.
I am talking about the K Jin, not the J one.
Ha! I love the reasoning of watching this dorama! Matsuda Shota FTW. Even Jotei is good in my taste. Eventhough he REALLY lacks screentime there, but I watched it til the end, because I’m intrigued. (*He should stop filming a period drama and come forth with something like Shuffle, already!)
TnK made me stopped watching Jdorama all together. I’ve been in slump of Jdorama for years. God knows why are they lack of renai scripwriters. Can’t all those 90’s writers came back and write a great renai? I don’t mind conventional, really. 🙁
I just about died watching him in Love Shuffle.
The boy’s just got it. He was so damn sexy as the pushy photog, then adorable making the puns, then lovely as the caretaker…swoon/sigh.
Ayachan is a talented MV maker but even her can’t sell me this. And I love KimuTaku as an actor.
A newish Gravitar, I see. Totally love it.
She kinda sold me because it’s bereft of dialogue and character, just pretty people. But ew, what is Lan Chi Ling poking her fingers in? No adult would mess in those puddles like that. Yup, there’s no way I’m going near that drama.
LOL yes, that was so weird! Most of the time, I was like: “Well, this MV actually makes the show look mildly interesting! Oh, the power of music and editing!” And then it was like: “Umm…What are you doing? Seriously. What are you doing?? Don’t bend over the–wait, you see that’s dirty, right? You do see that’s a dirty puddle you’re looking at? Are you–are you CROUCHING OVER THE TYPHOID PUDDLE? Are you…are you POKING the stagnant water?!! Did you not go to kindergarten?! Why would you touch that? WHY???!” And then came the dramatic kiss, where they were standing in a–you guessed it–DIRTY PUDDLE. Like, wow man. That’s artistic.
It’s like Manic Pixie Dream Girl gone horribly, horribly wrong. I hope she doesn’t catch the plague. Actually, that would be an interesting premise for a movie. When Manic Pixie Dream Girls Attack 4: Unleashing the Plague.
That image inspired the film:
CROUCHING PUDDLE HIDDEN TYPHOID
The process of selective evolution should have killed her before she reached puberty. The fact that Liu Xiu Mei was alive to meet Ren meant it was a sick cruel joke on all of us. She had the IQ of a walnut.
I commend you guys for actually having the guts to watch MV. I am too afraid, afraid that the memories/nightmares (same thing really) might come rushing back.
@jomo & ockoala: HAHAHA!
Crouching Puddle Hidden Typhoid??
hellochloe, probably the only reason I could happily watch the MV is that I wasn’t subjected to the full-length awfulness. I’d never heard of this show before now.
I think the ending just does not make sense. I mean so many episodes are talking about LCL and KT as OPT. Suddenly, in the last episode KT realizes his love for SR..??! I think it will make more sense if the writer shows more development for SR and KT loveline. To be honest, I much prefer LCL and KT together because their characters match each other.
Oh well.. what a waste of time watching this crap.
I was hoping to see how marvelous a drama would be if it has Kimura and Shinohara Ryoko as pair (though in real live, it is to believe that Shinohara dislike Kimura). Both of them are gems in the Jdrama world.
But it turns out to be such a crap, that even for those who are devoted Kimura fans (yes, pointed finger to myself) could not stand to watch it. Can not believe that Kimura agreed to join such an embarrassing drama.
Really hope that Kimura’s latest drama is better written. *fingers crossed
This drama was SO bad, I spent every evening after watching each ep raging like I’ve never done before. Thankfully, the last few eps kind of salvaged the drama for me..and by salvaged, I mean it could have been worse. Much, MUCH worse.
The intial OTP made no sense to me. There was zero chemistry and their story itself and their characters? Argh. I liked the final OTP better but just because I liked Shinohara Ryoko’s character the best, among all the other characters.
She was the only sane one, perhaps thats why we all liked her. Even if she had zero chemistry with KimuTaku since in RL they can’t stand each other.
Really? Do tell, what happened in real life between them?
Oh nothing in particular. You just can’t have two alpha dogs in the same dorama.
YES.. terrible drama.. I saw it because I’m a big Matsuda Shota fan and I thought he did a better job as a second lead than the main 3… but whatever.. Not going to watch it again.. I enjoyed it when they were promoting the show on SMAP x SMAP but aigh.. other than that.. what a show..
i watched it for Shota too and i totally thought he was going to end up with SR’s character…they such awkward chemistry that it was almost hot…aaa what could have been. I kept telling myself it wasn’t bad all the way through until i thought back on the drama a week after it finished and got koolaid out of my system. it was awesomely craptastic with the focus of a bipolar lion…making so much noise and confusing itself.
i watched the first episode…gave up then watched the last episode…just coz i think it would have been a good dorama if the story focused on Shinohara Ryoko and Kimura Takuya. i thought they had good chemistry.
Well this TnK post has been inspiring! In fact, so inspired wrote a haiku:
No no no no no no
No no no no no no no no
No no no no no no
omigoshhh!! Totally experienced second-hand embarrassment for KimuTaku! ickkk. The premise does bear resemblance to RMPW. I recently learnt that MatsuJun co-produced RMPW…absolutely love him since he could’ve done this instead of that procedural that he did with Eita.
Hope KT’s upcoming show does well. I’m excited for the Fall lineup of doramas since Abe Hiroshi, Narimiya, and Ikuta are also doing shows.
I was seriously looking forward to this diorama for the ryoko and kimutaku OTP pairing but at the end I got the horrendous script and terrible acting from Lin, which just made me mad. I reckon this is my personal worst dorama experience.
Snerk. Giggle. I couldn’t make it very far. It was just mind blowingly bad.
This was seriously the first time that I have hated a script so much. Usually I recognize its bad but I also recognize some decent parts. But there was none of that here – the script just plain sucked period. No other words can describe it. Even the last fee episodes were terrible… It just made no sense. I thought he had zero chemistry with either female. LZL – I had zero expectation that she would be anything but bad. I know she’s pretty, tallish, leggy and can be cute but an actress, she is not. This doesn’t excuse her but sheesh the rest of the cast phoned it too. I actually watched this while it aired. Was really really disappointed and I do watch a lot of crap. This was really horrific. In terms of kimura… I know nothing about behind the scenes but perhaps he should just do something that he actually has fun doing? In terms of role I mean. I just haven’t really connected with anything he has done recently. I liked brain but I know most people hated that one.
I really don’t understand what Jerry Yan saw in LZL… he was dating her before wasn’t he? Anyway, yeah I watched this only because it was a KimuTaku drama and regretted it so much. Only liked the last episode, I mean one scene in the last episode when he showed up suddenly at RS’s place fixed her door and almost scared the living daylights out of her, and ended up kissing her. Hahaha… it was really the only good part in the entire drama.
KimuTaku is the poster boy for stop smoking campaign. I get the shiver whenever I see his lips and the texture of his skin. Dear God, please help me to ditch the habit.
Have to say, all the comments about this drama made me LAUGH. So sad for the ones involved in it, but good for those of us who want to avoid, um, stinkers(?!) like this. I’ve watched (or rather skipped through, or dropped) so many bad dramas, I’ve finally learned to read blogs such as yours, Ms. K, to avoid the unwatchable ones. I love your pithiness, BTW. Thanks to you, and your followers/commenters, I’ve had a good giggle, and, I’ve added another to my “do not watch” list, even though I, too, have liked most of KT’s shows.
Thank you for the warning, I will stay away. I actually spent the weekend unintentionally marathoning a great drama, Long Vacation, for the second time. I was just going to watch a couple episodes but then the cat decided that I was the most comfortable piece of furniture in the house and settled in for the long haul. I think she saw Kimura Takuya’s face on the TV and came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. She’s smart, that one!
HAHAHA I loved how Koala disses about dramas. But Hey! at least the modelling part is not as cringe-worthy as the one Keiko did in ParaKiss! That one, really cannot unsee.