Thursday Movie Picks is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Television shows dominate every last Thursday of the month, with this month’s theme being non-English TV shows. The only non-English TV shows that I usually watch are East Asian shows, with all my picks coming from Japan. Here are my picks this week.
Liar Game – Liar Game can be classified as a psychological thriller. Random people are selected all over Japan to participate in a game and are given a sum of money as their playing chip. If they lose the game, they immediately owe the game dealer the money he gave, and if they win, they get everyone else’s money. In the current round, the company has chosen a naïve, good-natured girl to participate. In order to go debt-free, she enlists the help of a master manipulator (I forgot what he does), thus entering him in the game. I don’t think I’m explaining this show pretty well, but you win the game if you're the best liar. Unfortunately, this game tests the human conscience and ethics – if you’re willing to edge everyone out to win a huge sum of money, or get out of the game scathe-free. The game is pretty simple (it’s a voting game) but it’s exciting to watch events unfold – the trickery, the manipulation, and the results. The acting of some of the characters is on the extreme theatrical side, but it doesn’t deter from the amazingness that is this show. It has three seasons and two movies, I think so it’s safe to assume that this was pretty big in Japan.
Atami No Sousakan – This one is on the paranormal side. Four high school students suddenly disappear but only one comes back. That person doesn’t remember where she has been, what happened to her, and what happened to the three other girls. Two detectives were sent to investigate, and by the way the people were behaving, they knew something was strange in the town. The show left me stumped by the way it ended, and how it ended made the whole show seem more chilling that it already was.
My Boss, My Hero – Now on a fun, light-hearted side of Japanese television. This has a mafia boss going back to school because he has failed to finish his studies. In order to become the heir of the mafia, he just had to finish school. This was hilarious, made in part by the actor who played the main role. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched this, but I’ve always related this show with custard pudding, as the food is one of the running sequences of the show.