picture credits to: http://wiki.d-addicts.com/File:Papadoru.jpg
This show is going by a whole lot of different names: Papadol!, Papadoru, Papa Doru (apparently spacing or no spacing makes A Big Difference) and possibly others. To be honest, I’ve been so out of the Jdrama loop that I can’t say which is the official one – I’ve decided that I’ll just follow what d-addicts use and that’s the second listed.
First episode impression? Friggin’ HILARIOUS.
However, more than that – what I really, sincerely enjoyed and get such a kick out of is the meta-on-meta plot. First off though: who else had a mini heart attack when news leaked of a “sudden press conference confessing his marriage?!” a month or so ago? I know mine did, in genuine surprise …until it was revealed that it was all for show. But dang it, it really did look so believable!
The fact that Ryo (my once, okay maybe still One True Love) is playing himself: Nishikido Ryo the idol-slash-entertainer and his own Real Life version – damn, so awesome. The meta is killing me, but in the best ways because he totally looked and seemed to be himself, yet this is all supposed to be show-for-show you know what I mean? Plus the added realism namely reference to real people like his group members from Kanjani8 (I may be a bitter NEWS fan, but fine, I’ll accept this much) and the jimusho connection – Arashi’s Sakurai Sho and Ohno Satoshi making cameos of their own, for instance – ? I love a show that can take in a slice, or a few, of reality and still concocts a balanced mixture of entertainment without having to resort to pure, empty jokes.
The plot is a simple one: he’s an idol who having recently met The One, has decided to get married. So what if he falls in love with a good lady and wants to get married right? Not as easy in this crazy I’m-a-Johnny’s-idol world – both real and reel life depicted here. He questioned at the end of the episode when confronted by Power Lady, “Am I not entitled to that?” … A question that I personally, when thinking of these idols, tsk tsk tsk in pity because these fangirls damnit they get so rabid and possessive, forgetting these people are above all else, persons with autonomy of their own.
However, as the Power Lady (anyone else thinks she’s a reference to Johnny’s sister? That was my assumption anyway) so aptly responded, “You can’t. Your job is to sell dreams. Who will dream for you once you chase after reality?” I’m trying to see two sides of a coin here – and who else immediately started thinking about Akanishi Jin‘s most recent ‘scandal’, oh so similar in situation as the one depicted and explored in this show? (for the record I think the guy needs to be left alone; not a fan of his but I respect his refusal to conform in a society so defined by such attribute) – and while I see her point, for myself personally, I really think these celebrities are persons of their own first. Yes they’re public figures with responsibilities and I guess to a certain degree, big shoes to fill for those who laud and support them – but is a person really owned? Can a person really be possessed like an entity? I think not.
This show is hilarious – the comedy scenes injected here and there are winning – but more than that, I just love the exploration of the issue aforementioned. I’d bet my money that this sort of situation is so common in Real Life, in real idols, regardless in Japan or Korea (both places where idols are positively selling millions in records, endorsements and the like). I love it that they’re – the brains behind this show – actually brave enough to produce this show: venture into the issue and present it pretty much no-holds-barred.
Fangirls should really take note: learn a thing or more of the do’s and don’ts.
I’ve only caught on this first episode, but I’m already sold. Sincerely, here’s to hoping the show will be solid throughout and that yes, the writers/producers/actors will not be afraid to Prove A Point (or many) when necessary pertaining to the idol-image role vs. real-selves take. Bring it on, I say!
Yay or Nay Verdict: YAY! (watch it)