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Dave Spector attacks TV dramas

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2triky
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Dave Spector attacks TV dramas

Post by 2triky » Nov 2nd, '07, 16:51

There's some truth to this! From the Tokyo Shimbun:

===============================================

Dave Spector Attacks Japanese TV Dramas

The Tokyo Shimbun reports (in Japanese) that Dave Spector was a guest speaker at a regular convention of commercial broadcasters. The main question addressed this year was "who wants to watch what on Japanese TV?" and touched on issues like the cosy way TBS dealt with the Kameda boxing family. Dave Spector, along with some other panellists, felt that Japanese TV was not catering enough to the adult audience and tended to treat viewers like children. He singled out TV dramas as one of the worst forms of television on Japan today especially because of the poor quality acting, especially by teen idols and fashion models. He said anyone looking at overseas dramas shown on cable and TV Tokyo can't help but notice the difference in standards. He suggested that even people working in TV found overseas TV programmes more interesting than their own output. He also expressed the view that Japanese TV was too hostile to the internet. He gave the example of the US where cable TV had eaten into the audience for terrestrial broadcasters but now the big 4 networks had fought back by releasing material on the web shortly after showing a programme.

This story has been picked up on 2 Channel where, interestingly, it seems that most people broadly agree with Dave Spector.

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Post by groink » Nov 2nd, '07, 17:04

I love it when an authoritative source (Dave Spector) confirms my views. it is 100-percent true! Japanese TV has virtually written off the mature audience demographic. And for what? Improvement in ratings? Not! As a matter of fact, idol/model/comedy-oriented shows are continuing to drop. I don't even understand why.... It is almost like they're so stubborn to believe their ideas WILL work - and will keep delivering this crap season-after-season until it does. What's their ultimate goal here? Drop the size of the free-broadcast TV audience to artificially increase their points? Before you know it, half of Japan will be subscribing to cable or satellite TV.

Galileo is a prime example of 1990s drama writing and casting, and that show is able to achieve 20-plus ratings each week. And it doesn't even star a SMAP member! I seriously hope the networks learn from this and come to the realization that prime-time TV doesn't have to be the ABC After School Specials every night. Air some mature material during prime-time, and have the teen viewing audience actually go to sleep earlier - as they should be doing in the first place!!!!!

JAPAN! HERE'S A HINT ON WHAT TO DO...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After_school_special

--- groink

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Post by 2triky » Nov 2nd, '07, 17:18

groink wrote:I love it when an authoritative source (Dave Spector) confirms my views. it is 100-percent true! Japanese TV has virtually written off the mature audience demographic. And for what? Improvement in ratings? Not! As a matter of fact, idol/model/comedy-oriented shows are continuing to drop. I don't even understand why.... It is almost like they're so stubborn to believe their ideas WILL work - and will keep delivering this crap season-after-season until it does. What's their ultimate goal here? Drop the size of the free-broadcast TV audience to artificially increase their points? Before you know it, half of Japan will be subscribing to cable or satellite TV.
I share your critique of the "current state of affairs" in the Japanese entertainment industry. I figured you'd find some affirmation in the article I posted above. The current trend in television dramas is sad and misguided, more a vehicle to propel exposure for young idols rather than any sincere attempt at entertainment.

I recently finished watching "Dinner on Thursday" which aired back in '92 (when I first watched it)...man, that's an example of why I got in to watching Japanese dramas.

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Post by Kazuya_ » Nov 2nd, '07, 20:19

I have to say I agree with this wholeheartedly. Current trends of Japanese tv dramas ( and variety shows, too ) are catering to a younger audience and quality is much lower and ratings, not surprisingly are too!

Until a few years ago my parents had watched almost 80-85 percent of the dramas that had aired in the last 20 years! Since they speak limited english, japanese shows were all that was ever on the tv ( via video rental and NHK broadcasts ). Eventually they said forget it to watching the dramas that were airing that geared toward, in their words, " dumb kids ".

Surprisingly enough, Galileo is the one drama this season they're actually watching!

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Post by lomsie » Nov 4th, '07, 23:04

Is there a link to the article? Or was that clip in the original post it? I just wanted to read his whole report.

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Post by groink » Nov 4th, '07, 23:11

lomsie wrote:Is there a link to the article? Or was that clip in the original post it? I just wanted to read his whole report.
Google is you friend...
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/enter ... 60924.html

--- groink

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Post by lomsie » Nov 4th, '07, 23:19

thanks.

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Post by pubbie » Nov 13th, '07, 19:47

I don't really know who this guy is, but I definitely agree with his sentiment.

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Post by emrams » Nov 14th, '07, 03:56

it makes sense. i agree whole heartedly, especially since i find myself unable to watch 90% of the stuff that is being put out there, and if i do it is only by groaning and saying to myself "i can't believe i am watching this," or "that doesn't make any sense at all.| sometimes watching the acting is unbearable, and even in shows with idols that i actually like i have had to stop watching. i find myself turning back to the drama's that were aired way before i was even into drama's, such as those that groink uploads regularly. i have to force myself to get through drama's with stupid and unrealistic story lines and repetitive plot themes and the must-have "lets all get together and we can do our best!!" attitudes. sometimes i stop watching for days because i can't believe the crap that they come up with half the time. i always come crawling back to continue watching though because i have become so detached from American television i feel as if i have nothing to go back to watching. so i just put up with it. i think in general i don't like television at all. but i need something to waste my time with right? i think really the thing with jdrama's is that it is a love-hate relationship sometimes on my part. even when it's crappy though i still think it will end up that i will continue watching them way into the future and just put up with it because it is so entrenched in my daily life.

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Post by doink-chan » Nov 14th, '07, 06:00

When it comes to the media, I tend to use Sturgeon's Law: "90% of everything is crap." There's always going to be a lot of doinky shows out there and only a few real gems, and this goes for J-dramas, K-dramas, whatever-dramas.

Though I've seen a lot of recent dramas that were rather mediocre and doinky and did have doinky acting (*coughYuukanClubcoughNobutaoProducecoughKurosagicoughcough*), and dramas that were disappointing (*coughHakennoHinkakucoughEnkanoJooucough*), I've also seen several recent dramas that were great. The abovementioned Galileo is a good example.

I do agree with Dave that Japanese TV stations should be less hostile to the Internet though, and that there shouldn't be as many dramas that are basically fanservice for Johnny's otaku. (Not that all Johnny's actors are bad, even in the "good old days" you had some good actors who were Johnny's members, but still, don't just shove some random Johnny's member who's never acted before in a drama just because he's from Johnny's.) Hopefully the networks will be able to observe how the high quality of Galileo is a factor in its success, and will be able to make more dramas that capture some of the 'magic' of that series and of the older hit dramas.

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Post by kokitty » Nov 14th, '07, 12:41

groink wrote:I love it when an authoritative source (Dave Spector) confirms my views. it is 100-percent true! Japanese TV has virtually written off the mature audience demographic. And for what? Improvement in ratings? Not! As a matter of fact, idol/model/comedy-oriented shows are continuing to drop. I don't even understand why.... It is almost like they're so stubborn to believe their ideas WILL work - and will keep delivering this crap season-after-season until it does. What's their ultimate goal here? Drop the size of the free-broadcast TV audience to artificially increase their points? Before you know it, half of Japan will be subscribing to cable or satellite TV.

Galileo is a prime example of 1990s drama writing and casting, and that show is able to achieve 20-plus ratings each week. And it doesn't even star a SMAP member! I do a

--- groink
While i do agree the amt of idol/model/manga adapted dramas is getting too out of hand, I do emphasize with the network executives for continuing to shove it down our throats.

Fine, Galileo acheived >20%. They can in turn quote you Hana Yori Dango, in which ratings > Galileo. And hey, the production costs of HYD probably costs half of what Galileo's, young raw (perhaps bad) actors are CHEAP! If my yr end bonus depended on maximising ratings on the least budget, i'll probably continue to churn out tons of HYD like dramas too.

To be honest, the "good old days" is really overrated, there was a fair share of cheesy dramas starring idols too. Actually i can tolerate Johnny's idols better than those female idols used in the "good old days" since i'm a female but guess what, females are watching more TV so the networks are going in the right direction.

While we can complain abt the use of bad Johnny's actors... Galileo probably isn't is a good example to present the case of good acting = good ratings. Afterall, Galileo does star Fukuyama who isn't exactly that good an actor himself. I would think Fukayama > SMAP ex Kimutaku in terms of popularity and hype so having the big names does play a crucial part.

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Post by vulgarshudder » Nov 14th, '07, 15:44

Spector? Uh pot calling kettle black. This is what the gaijin talento sell out has also said:

Making foreigners cuter takes away the threat of foreigners being more powerful, or having more know-how, or more sophistication. So definitely, they use that in a way to make themselves more comfortable. So I've done things on Japanese TV that are totally silly, or ridiculous. I mean like jumping rope with French poodles. Doing things like the lowest Bozo, circus kind of stuff. But it doesn't bother me at all. A lot of times the foreigners on TV, models and what-not, are compared to pandas. They use that term here--pandas-- because they're cuddly, you can go and have fun with them, and throw a marshmallow and that's about it. And you don't get involved any more deeper than that. But...since I'm making half a million dollars a year, I'm very happy to be a panda. I'd be a much lower animal. I'd be like a sloth, or something, or a hedgehog, you know, for that money. So it doesn't bother me at all.

this guy has jumped rope with poodles for money, and is talking about dumbing down? uh huh. If tv got serious he could kiss good bye to his pay check.

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Post by 8thSin » Nov 14th, '07, 16:05

kokitty wrote:
groink wrote:I love it when an authoritative source (Dave Spector) confirms my views. it is 100-percent true! Japanese TV has virtually written off the mature audience demographic. And for what? Improvement in ratings? Not! As a matter of fact, idol/model/comedy-oriented shows are continuing to drop. I don't even understand why.... It is almost like they're so stubborn to believe their ideas WILL work - and will keep delivering this crap season-after-season until it does. What's their ultimate goal here? Drop the size of the free-broadcast TV audience to artificially increase their points? Before you know it, half of Japan will be subscribing to cable or satellite TV.

Galileo is a prime example of 1990s drama writing and casting, and that show is able to achieve 20-plus ratings each week. And it doesn't even star a SMAP member! I do a

--- groink
While i do agree the amt of idol/model/manga adapted dramas is getting too out of hand, I do emphasize with the network executives for continuing to shove it down our throats.

Fine, Galileo acheived >20%. They can in turn quote you Hana Yori Dango, in which ratings > Galileo. And hey, the production costs of HYD probably costs half of what Galileo's, young raw (perhaps bad) actors are CHEAP! If my yr end bonus depended on maximising ratings on the least budget, i'll probably continue to churn out tons of HYD like dramas too.

To be honest, the "good old days" is really overrated, there was a fair share of cheesy dramas starring idols too. Actually i can tolerate Johnny's idols better than those female idols used in the "good old days" since i'm a female but guess what, females are watching more TV so the networks are going in the right direction.

While we can complain abt the use of bad Johnny's actors... Galileo probably isn't is a good example to present the case of good acting = good ratings. Afterall, Galileo does star Fukuyama who isn't exactly that good an actor himself. I would think Fukayama > SMAP ex Kimutaku in terms of popularity and hype so having the big names does play a crucial part.
I agree that the old doramas may seem overrated for people who recently got into the dorama scene. Although I don't think it can be disputed that the acting was way better back then, and for us already used to the old series, new ones are pretty challenging to watch. But I guess it has a little to do with preferences...
I personally like series between 1998 and 2004 the most.


There are so many things wrong with your statements though. First of all, HYD's rating is a lot lower than Galileo so far. None of 4 Galileo episodes has fallen below 20% yet, where HYD did, even in season 2, where sequels are known to have higher ratings.

Second, there is no way Fukuyama Masaharu is more popular than KimuTaku, although there are lots of hype with his comeback to dorama. There is absolutely no one who "possess more numbers" than KumuTaku on TV.

And lastly... Dorama has always been dominated by female audiences. For a long time, series on Gekku (Monday @ 9) had been pure romance EVERY single season, and other networks also had more romance genre dorama that appeals to female audiences.
These days, more females in Japan work instead of staying home all day. Maybe there are more younger female audiences than before, but the F-1 (female 20~35) and F-2 (female 35~50) level audience has definitely decreased compared to the past.
But I guess producers don't give a crap about losing older audiences, especially F-2. Teens consume more than any other level of audiences. As long as they get like 10% audience of C and T level, it's fine with them as it would make advertisers as much money as 20% overall and only 5% C+T level audiences.


I think the biggest problem is that anyone who has any acting skills "graduate" to the big screens nowadays. There's way too much money involved in movies. Perfection is required, but it's only 2 hour run-time in 6 months or so. You don't have to stay up 'till 4AM everyday shooting your scenes and trying to meet deadlines every single week, with commitment of 10 hours run-time in 3 months.
Also, NTV and Asahi has been very weak in dorama recently, especially in non-comedy series. They used to be major threat to FujiTV and TBS, forcing them to make better stuff all the time.

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Post by 8thSin » Nov 14th, '07, 16:32

vulgarshudder wrote:Spector? Uh pot calling kettle black. This is what the gaijin talento sell out has also said:

Making foreigners cuter takes away the threat of foreigners being more powerful, or having more know-how, or more sophistication. So definitely, they use that in a way to make themselves more comfortable. So I've done things on Japanese TV that are totally silly, or ridiculous. I mean like jumping rope with French poodles. Doing things like the lowest Bozo, circus kind of stuff. But it doesn't bother me at all. A lot of times the foreigners on TV, models and what-not, are compared to pandas. They use that term here--pandas-- because they're cuddly, you can go and have fun with them, and throw a marshmallow and that's about it. And you don't get involved any more deeper than that. But...since I'm making half a million dollars a year, I'm very happy to be a panda. I'd be a much lower animal. I'd be like a sloth, or something, or a hedgehog, you know, for that money. So it doesn't bother me at all.

this guy has jumped rope with poodles for money, and is talking about dumbing down? uh huh. If tv got serious he could kiss good bye to his pay check.
A little exaggerated, but there's nothing wrong with what he's saying... Just look at how they treat Bobby Ologun or even Billy Blanks (of Billy's Boot Camp). You may not like it, but that's the reality.

Dave Spector uses it to his advantage. Seems pretty smart to me. I think it's way better to be able to joke about yourself than be depressed and offended all the time about something you can't change.
Dave Spector also appears in "World Sinks Except Japan", which is a pretty funny (though offensive to some) movie that deals with discrimination in Japan.

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Post by kokitty » Nov 14th, '07, 16:53

8thSin wrote: I agree that the old doramas may seem overrated for people who recently got into the dorama scene. Although I don't think it can be disputed that the acting was way better back then, and for us already used to the old series, new ones are pretty challenging to watch. But I guess it has a little to do with preferences...
I personally like series between 1998 and 2004 the most.
Got my jdorama start since early 1990s, so i guess the so called "good old days" of 1990s are what got me started. Still i've never really agreed with people proclaiming better writing in jdoramas back then. Better ratings back then, yes... but people didn't spend so much time on the internet, recording a programme is easier these days, with dvds you get the same quality as tv broadcasts unlike the days of vhs? Better acting generally yes, better execution and scripts? debatable. I do personally prefer the 1999 to 2003 period though... but those are the so called low period in ratings for doramas so i guess my definition of good ain't appealing to the masses at all.
There are so many things wrong with your statements though. First of all, HYD's rating is a lot lower than Galileo so far. None of 4 Galileo episodes has fallen below 20% yet, where HYD did, even in season 2, where sequels are known to have higher ratings.
Oh, i got the HYD ratings wrong. My bad, my mind must have been so brainwashed by TBS and their dozen of reports proclaiming great ratings for HYD. But we must agree that in terms of cost effectiveness per % rating attained. HDY would triumphs over Galileo.... unless Galileo can eventually hit above 27% in average ratings which doesn't look possible currently.
Second, there is absolutely no way Fukuyama Masaharu is more popular than KimuTaku, although there are lots of hype with his comeback to dorama.
I didn't say Fukuyama is more popular than Kimutaru. I said Fukuyama > SMAP ex Kimutaku which means Fukuyama is more popular than the other 4 SMAP guys with the exception of Kimutaku.

Fukuyama had a couple of flops too ratings wise. In fact, I wouldn't even put him on the S list like Kimutaku is now even with the sucess of Galileo.
And lastly... Dorama has always been dominated by female audiences. For a long time, series on Gekku (Monday @ 9) had been pure romance EVERY single season, and other networks also had more romance genre dorama that appeals to female audiences.
These days, more females in Japan work instead of staying home all day. Maybe there are more younger female audiences than before, but the F-1 and F-2 level audience has definitely decreased compared to the past.
My poor phrasing created this misunderstanding. What i meant is even now, there are more women watching doramas than men, the tv stations have finally woken up, realised this and gave us pretty boys instead of pretty girls to oggle at. I agree with your take that the disparity bet female and male viewers was even greater say 10yrs ago, but what were the TV stations doing? They were flooding us with dramas from the likes of Uchida Yuki, Mizuki Arisa and some other female idols before them. Uchida and Mizuki have of course improved vastly over the yrs but i have to say their acting then is equally bad, if not worse than the likes of the young Johnny's boys now. Given a choice, i guess the Johnnys are less offensive to me than those gals.
I think the biggest problem is that anyone who has any acting skills "graduates" to movies nowadays. There's way too much money involved there, in much shorter time and effort. Perfection is required, but it's only 2 hour run-time after all. You don't have to stay up 'till 4AM everyday shooting your scenes and trying to meet deadlines every single week
I agree with this. I've read somewhere that Japanese film production is at an all time high these 3 years since the last 2 decades. There is ample work in films so no point going back to doramas unless there's something really that attractive.

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Post by clakaz » Nov 14th, '07, 17:32

For every Long Vacation there was tons and tons of **** doramas. It´s just that the time and the natural selection disregard them. Nowadays, every single dorama is uploaded and archived, independent of the quality.

So, yeah, I think people are mistifying the so called golden age.

Even recently, I think it´s possible pick a pair or more dramas per year that can be head to head with the classics or even beat them.

Sorry for my crap English, just my two cents.

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Post by 8thSin » Nov 14th, '07, 18:34

kokitty wrote: Got my jdorama start since early 1990s, so i guess the so called "good old days" of 1990s are what got me started. Still i've never really agreed with people proclaiming better writing in jdoramas back then. Better ratings back then, yes... but people didn't spend so much time on the internet, recording a programme is easier these days, with dvds you get the same quality as tv broadcasts unlike the days of vhs? Better acting generally yes, better execution and scripts? debatable. I do personally prefer the 1999 to 2003 period though... but those are the so called low period in ratings for doramas so i guess my definition of good ain't appealing to the masses at all.
Well, internet and recording shouldn't have any negative effects on ratings (in fact, should increase them).
The most common misconception about ratings is that they represent the % of the entire population viewing the program, but in fact it's the % of all TVs (signed up with the Nielsen or whatever) that are tuned into that particular channel. Internet, for example, makes it much easier to view news online than dorama. More people get their entertainment off the internet, but it affects other shows as well, shouldn't be only for dorama.
Recording devices increase ratings because you usually won't program them to switch channels during the show. Recording registers in viewership just as if you are watching it. Ratings usually fluctuate by 5 or 6% from people changing channels. When you record a show, you are practically watching it for the whole hour as long as the ratings are concerned.

I don't think downloading is that much of a problem yet... Like 10,000 DL at d-addicts isn't even 0.01%. I don't think there are enough being exchanged in Japanese share programs to affect ratings either...

DVD sales, I guess somewhat plays a role, but I don't think people used to complain about video quality when they used to sell dorama in VHS. I personally didn't mind at all when I was renting them. It's tough as hell going back to VHS now though :roll
I didn't say Fukuyama is more popular than Kimutaru. I said Fukuyama > SMAP ex Kimutaku which means Fukuyama is more popular than the other 4 SMAP guys with the exception of Kimutaku.

Fukuyama had a couple of flops too ratings wise. In fact, I wouldn't even put him on the S list like Kimutaku is now even with the sucess of Galileo.
Oh, I see... It was excl. :P
I guess you are right.
My poor phrasing created this misunderstanding. What i meant is even now, there are more women watching doramas than men, the tv stations have finally woken up, realised this and gave us pretty boys instead of pretty girls to oggle at. I agree with your take that the disparity bet female and male viewers was even greater say 10yrs ago, but what were the TV stations doing? They were flooding us with dramas from the likes of Uchida Yuki, Mizuki Arisa and some other female idols before them. Uchida and Mizuki have of course improved vastly over the yrs but i have to say their acting then is equally bad, if not worse than the likes of the young Johnny's boys now. Given a choice, i guess the Johnnys are less offensive to me than those gals.
There were lots of famous actresses being casted back then, but many of them were popular among females as well. Popular actresses like Yamaguchi Tomoko, Tokiwa Takako, and also Fukatsu Eri etc were definitely more popular to female than male audiences. Then of course, there were many good looking actors back then as well. I'm sure many of them were casted as eye-candy for female viewers, just that they are not Johnny's in teens that fangirls would scream over.
Most of our complaint is how most of the series seem pretty immature and targeted toward teens rather than the general population. I'm one of those who think writing was much better back then. Even if it wasn't, at least they weren't based on Shoujo manga. It's fine to have couple of series like that, but they shouldn't have completely thrown away traditional dorama series IMO.


There are many stupid series from 90's that I can't stand, but I personally haven't seen anything in the past 3 years that comes close to some of the great series aired before then.

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Post by groink » Nov 14th, '07, 19:47

kokitty wrote:Fine, Galileo acheived >20%. They can in turn quote you Hana Yori Dango, in which ratings > Galileo. And hey, the production costs of HYD probably costs half of what Galileo's, young raw (perhaps bad) actors are CHEAP! If my yr end bonus depended on maximising ratings on the least budget, i'll probably continue to churn out tons of HYD like dramas too.
Where the flying hell did you get the stat that HYD is rated higher than Galileo? HYD only averaged 19.6 - and it would've been MUCH lower if it wasn't for the last episode. And Hana Kimi - 17.3!!!! Your theory is hosed - ikemen dramas are on a DOWNSLIDE ratings-wise. Sure you have happy horny females watching these shows. But what will that get you? Horny females - that's what!
kokitty wrote:To be honest, the "good old days" is really overrated, there was a fair share of cheesy dramas starring idols too. Actually i can tolerate Johnny's idols better than those female idols used in the "good old days" since i'm a female but guess what, females are watching more TV so the networks are going in the right direction.

While we can complain abt the use of bad Johnny's actors... Galileo probably isn't is a good example to present the case of good acting = good ratings. Afterall, Galileo does star Fukuyama who isn't exactly that good an actor himself. I would think Fukayama > SMAP ex Kimutaku in terms of popularity and hype so having the big names does play a crucial part.
Jesus... I don't even know where to start. Other than Kimutaku, Fukuyama Masaharu has WAY more star-power (remember, he is NOT an idol) than any one else in the geinokai. And he is a "fine" actor. You can't critique him because he hasn't been that active in TV dramas in the 21st century - as he focuses more on his music. And think about it - Kimutaku has to keep cranking out TV dramas in order to keep himself visible. On the other hand, Masaharu can come out from literally NOWHERE and still carry the show to 20-plus ratings week after week. And to say that he isn't a great actor - where do you get that idea? Have you even watched any of his dramas? The only dramas D-Addicts carry starring him is HOMEWORK and Meguri Ai. All his other great shows - Hitotsu Yane no Shita, Itsuka Mata Aeru.... Your opinion is based on what - one or two of his shows?

Let's get real here..... Sheesh...

--- groink

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Post by kokitty » Nov 15th, '07, 00:51

8thSin wrote:Well, internet and recording shouldn't have any negative effects on ratings (in fact, should increase them).
The most common misconception about ratings is that they represent the % of the entire population viewing the program, but in fact it's the % of all TVs (signed up with the Nielsen or whatever) that are tuned into that particular channel. Internet, for example, makes it much easier to view news online than dorama. More people get their entertainment off the internet, but it affects other shows as well, shouldn't be only for dorama.
Recording devices increase ratings because you usually won't program them to switch channels during the show. Recording registers in viewership just as if you are watching it. Ratings usually fluctuate by 5 or 6% from people changing channels. When you record a show, you are practically watching it for the whole hour as long as the ratings are concerned.

I don't think downloading is that much of a problem yet... Like 10,000 DL at d-addicts isn't even 0.01%. I don't think there are enough being exchanged in Japanese share programs to affect ratings either...

DVD sales, I guess somewhat plays a role, but I don't think people used to complain about video quality when they used to sell dorama in VHS. I personally didn't mind at all when I was renting them. It's tough as hell going back to VHS now though :roll
I don't mean internet downloading affects ratings. In fact, i agree with your take that less than 0.01% are downloading. I just meant people are surfing the internet more, playing online games, chatting on msn, blogging... activities which took time away from watching TV.

I think with the ease of digitalization on dvds, most doramas actually gets released faster on dvds than they do back in the days of VHS. I've been a buyer of VHS and dvds over the last decade, this is a casual observation. Was in Tokyo for a consulting assignment for one of the disc rental chains, cos it's easier to store dvds than vhs and there are some changes with regards to cost per license fee, stores actually physically store more sets of each drama than 10yrs ago. You can rent anything faster and easier these days, so i guess this could have played a part in decreasing ratings.

To put it simply, put yourself in the shoes of a network executive. You're trying to convince your boss and your argument being " Do better quality dramas and just like 10-15yrs ago, ratings will come back". Problem is if you find cold hard figures to quantify ur argument to convince the top people. Ratings were higher 10yrs back, very true but were they really due to the so called better dramas or just people generally watching more TV back then cos of fewer other distractions like the internet

I could be wrong since my data for Japanese viewership capture definition in the office is backdated to 2yrs ago. Understand that for the states, recording devices data gets captured into the viewership ratings. I don't think that has happened for Japan yet, or maybe someone else here can enlighten us on the latest information on recording devices for Japan?

General TV viewership for other programs is in fact also declining too, not only for doramas. So i guess another evidence supporting people are just having more other distractions? I'm not saying that the perceived decline in quality in television programming had no impact on viewership decline. I'm just pointing out that there are other factors to consider, factors which are more easily quantifiable than a "perceived decline in quality". And if tv network executives need cold hard figures and evidence to present to their bosses to justify more budget for better programs, it'll be hard.

Untill the tv stations can find a way to produce Galileo like dramas at the same budget as your HYDs or Galileo dramas hitting 25% while HYDs are hitting <10%, it will be hard to see a change in present programming.
There were lots of famous actresses being casted back then, but many of them were popular among females as well. Popular actresses like Yamaguchi Tomoko, Tokiwa Takako, and also Fukatsu Eri etc were definitely more popular to female than male audiences. Then of course, there were many good looking actors back then as well. I'm sure many of them were casted as eye-candy for female viewers, just that they are not Johnny's in teens that fangirls would scream over.
Most of our complaint is how most of the series seem pretty immature and targeted toward teens rather than the general population. I'm one of those who think writing was much better back then. Even if it wasn't, at least they weren't based on Shoujo manga. It's fine to have couple of series like that, but they shouldn't have completely thrown away traditional dorama series IMO.
You're straying away from the point by bringing in people like Yamaguchi Tomoko, Tokiwa Takako etc. You people were pointing out the inexperienced Johnny's actors lowering the quality of acting in dramas these days. You can't compare the young Johnny's actors with people like Yamaguchi Tomoko, Tokiwa Takako, the more appropriate comparison with these 2 actresses would be a present day Tsumabuki Satoshi for example who was still doing dramas in the period that i love but not exactly a "good old days" era actor, someone with good looks, good enough acting and popular. Compare A lists with A lists, inexperienced poor acting idols against inexperienced idols... Think abt it, aren't the young Johnny's actors are just similar to the likes of Uchida Yuki, Mizuki Arisa 10-15yrs ago, poor acting and doing really chessy stuff. Every era will have it's use of young idols, only difference now being they are using Johnny's male idols now instead of those teenage gals.
There are many stupid series from 90's that I can't stand, but I personally haven't seen anything in the past 3 years that comes close to some of the great series aired before then.
Oh i have, Tiger and Dragon, done in 2005. And i'm not alone in my praise for this, it won the gold prize Galaxy awards for outstanding tv programming for 2005, first time in 30yrs for a dorama. Galaxy awards comes with a cash prize with recognition from the ministry of arts, gold prize awards winners are immediately placed on all the PTA recommended list for televison watching, libaries across Jpn will carry them as reference material.
groink wrote:[Where the flying hell did you get the stat that HYD is rated higher than Galileo? HYD only averaged 19.6 - and it would've been MUCH lower if it wasn't for the last episode. And Hana Kimi - 17.3!!!! Your theory is hosed - ikemen dramas are on a DOWNSLIDE ratings-wise. Sure you have happy horny females watching these shows. But what will that get you? Horny females - that's what!
I was wrong and was most upfront to admit my mistake. Instead of ranting about something which someone else has already pointed out, why don't you try arguing against what i was really trying to drive at. It's silly going in circles.

HYD 1 - 19.6%. Production costs about half of Galileo. Galileo at the rate we're going, 25% at best. Make a cold business decision, would you invest 50% more money to get 5% more ratings? Would you be able to sell advertising time to the sponsors charging them 50% more to cover your cost by telling them this program will generate 5% more viewership. Not to mention HYD targets the teen market and they have been eating up dvds, cds more than the mature audience. There is just more merchandising potential in HDY than Galileo.

Hanakimi 17%, but hey i think the production costs is even cheaper than HYD's lol. Sure, maybe ikemen dramas are declining in ratings. Who is to say if you attempt to do another Galileo style drama, the ratings wouldn't decline as much? And you're risking more production costs as well.

Brianless fluffy manga adapted dramas now are popular for a reason, they represent best value for investment presently. When interest reaches a saturation pt and ratings have declined to a certain level, the tv stations will just stop doing those and try to discover the next new best value formula.

You know what, i can't believe i'm actually defending HYD and Hanakimi cos i don't like these dramas either. I don't want the trend of shouju manga adapted dramas continuing any longer just like some of you here. But the difference between me and you people, i put myself in the shoes of those people actually doing tv programming, as purely a business decision, ikemen dramas offer better risk reward presently.
Jesus... I don't even know where to start. Other than Kimutaku, Fukuyama Masaharu has WAY more star-power (remember, he is NOT an idol) than any one else in the geinokai. And he is a "fine" actor. You can't critique him because he hasn't been that active in TV dramas in the 21st century - as he focuses more on his music. And think about it - Kimutaku has to keep cranking out TV dramas in order to keep himself visible. On the other hand, Masaharu can come out from literally NOWHERE and still carry the show to 20-plus ratings week after week. And to say that he isn't a great actor - where do you get that idea? Have you even watched any of his dramas? The only dramas D-Addicts carry starring him is HOMEWORK and Meguri Ai. All his other great shows - Hitotsu Yane no Shita, Itsuka Mata Aeru.... Your opinion is based on what - one or two of his shows?

Let's get real here..... Sheesh...
I've been a Fukuyama fan for the last decade. Have watched every single drama he's been in, and repeated them many more times in total too. Brought all his cds, dvds and attended a couple of his concerts so i guess i'm a little qualified to express my views about his acting, not that people have to agree with me though.

As a fan, and someone still in love with Fukuyama, yes i think he's not that fantastic an actor. Not a bad actor by any means but if i were to name my top 20 leading man type actors purely by acting skills, Fukuyama wouldn't be in it. His great dramas... Hitotsu Yane no Shita for example, his function was very much the pretty boy. To me, he was the weakest performer of the cast but didn't stop me from falling in love with him of course.

I never said Fukuyama has no star power, arguable if he's an idol or not. He's not an idol by profile but the fanatic tendencies of his fans would rival any of the Johnny's idols.

Is the star power of Fukuyama truly the most defining factor with Galileo maintaining above 20%? I beg to differ. There was a hype and anticipation factor for epi 1, people were curious abt Fukuyama's return and tuned in to watch primarily cos of his star power. If Galileo wasn't any good or if they didn't keep people anticipating which other big name guest stars to come, i don't think the above 20% ratings would have been maintained at all. Think Oda Yuji, he's the only one besides Kimutaku who is able to maintain >20% for first episode now just from his name, but ratings for this recent drama slided after epi 1 purely because it simply wasn't that good!

I don't think Fukuyama literally came out of nowhere. Maybe when you're talking to the d-addicts little teenage girls crowd yes. Don't give me that bullshit. When you are as big a star as Fukuyama and kept the profile as he did these few yrs, you do not come out of nowhere, most japanese audience still remember that he's also an actor. He was still very visible in CMs, million selling single, magazines etc. Fukuyama is a very smart man, he earns a good enough living with CMs and just collecting royalities on his music that he doesn't have to stick to the schedule of a drama every yr. He bidded his time, waited for a script that was good and suited him.

I would argue that having Fukuyama in Galileo signalled to viewers that the drama would be good hence people tuned in to watch epi 1, found their expectations fufilled and continued watching. If Galileo wasn't up to the mark, the ratings would have dropped drastically thereafter, Fukuyama or no Fukuyama.

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Post by 8thSin » Nov 15th, '07, 23:55

^ Once again... Internet reduces total number of viewers, but does NOT reduce ratings. It doesn't matter if there were 1 million viewers before and only half now, only thing that matters is the proportion of viewers watching your channel vs other TV channels at the same timeslot.
The ratings for all TV stations combined always equal to 100% even though not everyone is watching TV.
People are watching less dorama today, more variety shows and news etc instead, which indicates poorer quality of recent dorama, or at least that it didn't improve as much as other shows.

kokitty wrote:
8thSin wrote:
kokitty wrote:What i meant is even now, there are more women watching doramas than men, the tv stations have finally woken up, realised this and gave us pretty boys instead of pretty girls to oggle at. I agree with your take that the disparity bet female and male viewers was even greater say 10yrs ago, but what were the TV stations doing? They were flooding us with dramas from the likes of Uchida Yuki, Mizuki Arisa and some other female idols before them. Uchida and Mizuki have of course improved vastly over the yrs but i have to say their acting then is equally bad, if not worse than the likes of the young Johnny's boys now. Given a choice, i guess the Johnnys are less offensive to me than those gals.
There were lots of famous actresses being casted back then, but many of them were popular among females as well. Popular actresses like Yamaguchi Tomoko, Tokiwa Takako, and also Fukatsu Eri etc were definitely more popular to female than male audiences. Then of course, there were many good looking actors back then as well. I'm sure many of them were casted as eye-candy for female viewers, just that they are not Johnny's in teens that fangirls would scream over.
Most of our complaint is how most of the series seem pretty immature and targeted toward teens rather than the general population. I'm one of those who think writing was much better back then. Even if it wasn't, at least they weren't based on Shoujo manga. It's fine to have couple of series like that, but they shouldn't have completely thrown away traditional dorama series IMO.
You're straying away from the point by bringing in people like Yamaguchi Tomoko, Tokiwa Takako etc. You people were pointing out the inexperienced Johnny's actors lowering the quality of acting in dramas these days. You can't compare the young Johnny's actors with people like Yamaguchi Tomoko, Tokiwa Takako, the more appropriate comparison with these 2 actresses would be a present day Tsumabuki Satoshi for example who was still doing dramas in the period that i love but not exactly a "good old days" era actor, someone with good looks, good enough acting and popular. Compare A lists with A lists, inexperienced poor acting idols against inexperienced idols... Think abt it, aren't the young Johnny's actors are just similar to the likes of Uchida Yuki, Mizuki Arisa 10-15yrs ago, poor acting and doing really chessy stuff. Every era will have it's use of young idols, only difference now being they are using Johnny's male idols now instead of those teenage gals.
I fail to see how I strayed away from the point... My example with Yamaguchi Tomoko, Tokiwa Takako was just trying to say that TV stations targeting females aren't anything new. Japanese TV stations always casted a lot of actors/actresses who were popular with females. They didn't necessarily had to cast so many Johnny's idols with doubtful acting skills to attract female audiences.

There are still plenty of idols being casted in recent dorama too, Ueto Aya, Ayase Haruka, Sawajiri Erika, model Yamada Yuu, even moe (萌え)-type actresses now like Oogo Suzuka... List goes on.

And funny how you mention Tsumabuki Satoshi, because he is one of the actors who stopped appearing in dorama and moved on to movies. General level of acting in dorama is lower today because there are much more idols now, and also because so many talented actors move on to the big screen when they gained enough acting skills, experience, and fame from dorama.
I guess it also has to do with the fact that there are more young actors because so many dorama series are targeted towards younger audiences.


Although acting skills is still debatable, I think the success of Galileo is from... As groink mentioned, "Fukuyama Masaharu has WAY more star-power" than anyone other than KimuTaku (popular to all age groups), actress who graduated to movies (Shibasaki Kou), but more importantly, a genre that appeals to all audiences.
Individual fame and hype can boost up the rating for Ep1, but only the quality of it can ensure ratings for following episodes. I personally think Fukuyama Masaharu is doing very well as Yukawa. Whether or not he's a good actor, his level of acting in this series, I think, is much higher than leading actor of most other series in past few years.

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Post by groink » Nov 16th, '07, 06:13

You know... Production cost has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with what is produced by the TV networks. Korean dramas prove this. The cost of producing a single Korean drama is three times more than even the most expensive Japanese drama (excluding taiga dramas, which has a budget equal to American TV dramas.) You NEVER go cheap on your product. Selling a TV show is based on advertising revenue. THAT'S how TV networks make money. If they go cheap on production, then the advertising revenue also drops. You go cheap on crap shows like Ai Nori and other reality shows - NOT TV dramas! It works the other way - if you make a sound investment in producing a great TV drama, then you'll be able to charge a premium price for advertising time. I'm starting to believe that you seriously believe that by going cheap by hiring 900 yen ikemen, you can still charge a premium rate for advertising. That's horse **** and you know it (or maybe you don't!!!) Advertising budgets for advertisers are set months in advance - and they base their projections on the TV ratings during the time of producing the budget. There are ONLY TWO THINGS that can cause a premium price charge regardless of what the outcome may be: The Super Bowl and Kimutaku. And the difference between the two is that we know years in advanced when the Super Bowl will air. Advertisers won't know when Kimutaku will pop up until three or four months before airing.

So the theory that the Japanese executives are going cheap is totally bullcrap. That's 9th grade high school economic thinking. Let's face it - ikemen is here to stay for ONE reason: Johnny and his monopolistic practices are practically YAKUZA like. TV networks are pressured by his dominance in the geinokai to constantly use his people in entertainment. There are many examples on the Internet proving that when a TV producer goes against Johnny by starring an actor from a competitor, the entire network will suffer via a boycott. Their Jpop TV shows will suffer. Their other TV specials will suffer. In other words, it isn't demand that is producing these shows. Think about it - if the demand was high, you'd be seeing better ratings from these ikemen shows.

****, even SMAPxSMAP's ratings are dropping the last few years. My favorite old fart enka show - NHK Kayo Concert - that show's beating out HEY!HEY!HEY!, MUSIC FAIR21... (13.2, 11.0 and 10.5 respectively as of the 2007-Nov-5 to 11 Video Research ratings.) As someone in another topic mentioned, it isn't the TV variety shows or comedies that are getting popular. They're also dropping in ratings. Do you realize that the genre with the highest ratings in television is THE NEWS???????? More people are watching news than entertainment. Now you know why many of the TV networks are flooding the news programs with models.

And BTW, the theory that more women are watching dramas? Sure, they're watching more dramas than the men. But it is the men who are watching everything else! Are women the bigger contributor to Japan's GNP? I don't think so! If you want to maximize your advertising dollar, you aim for the MEN! Men make the big money in Japan. Men are buying the bigger ticket items like electronic appliances and cars. Women may spend more money on clothes, but that's basically it. So to say that the aim in TV is to target the women.... I'd better stop here!

--- groink

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Post by pinkuonigiri » Nov 17th, '07, 10:11

Sorry to get off on a little personal rant but this has been bugging be for a little while.
I have to admit I can’t deny that most of what Spector is true. And I also am a firm believer in Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything being crap) So much to the point that I can go several seasons with out seeing anything new, because a lot of the drama story lines are the same old regurgitated crap. And even though I have some favorite actors and actresses (yes, some of them are idols) I wont see a drama unless the plot specifically sounds interesting to me. (I don’t believe in suffering though a bad or boring drama I know I probably won’t like just because it has an actor or actress in it that I like)

That being said yes I admit I like some drama's with idols in them. (Johnny’s in particular) I don’t really care how shallow that makes me sound. While I do like original dramas with good acting that are well written, sometimes I just want to watch something that is cute or silly. Not all of the entertainment I like has to be some kind of "high brow" show with the best and most serious dramatic acting ever. Honestly I’ve never been that picky with acting in the first place, and if I’m watching something like Yukan Club or Attention Please, I expect cute, dumb and corny acting. It’s not really the type of show that’s supposed to have super serious well acted scenes. It’s like expecting Shakespearian stage acting out of a Polly Shore movie. Sometimes I just want to watch something that will make me smile and I have a thing for silly dorky humor and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’m not that type that over exaggerates the greatness of crappy shallow drama like Yukan Club, but there’s nothing wrong by being entertained from it for cheep and shallow reasons.

While I don’t really appreciate the some what pretentious attitude of “drama’s of the past were sooo much better, today’s stuff is pandering fan girl crap”. I obviously can’t deny that’s not true in some form or another. I guess what we need is some kind of balance. I don’t really like the idea of all Japanese dramas heading in a direction of being super dramatic and serious. (I haven’t really been able to get into Korean drama’s because of the “mega drama” most of them seem to have) I would like to see a balance between serious well acted “non idol “dramas” with a mix of a few shallow silly fun “idol” dramas to mix things up. Maybe things will gradually drift towards that way so we can keep both the more adult serious drama fans happy and those like me that just like to watch silly stuff now and then.

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Post by marriedtomisaki » Nov 18th, '07, 06:47

I disagree kind of. Its not like the acting in American stuff is better. How long will they try to shove Hilary Duff down our throats or the god awful Adam Sandler Movies where he plays the same character every time. Its not like they are better. There is only one Meryl Street and one Robert Deniro. Not saying that is all in the good acting category but those two are the most consistent. Besides when you have 20 dramas a season do you really expect them t o all be awesome. Some will suck. The thing in American Dramas is if a show sucks it will get cancelled. In Japan they have 10 episodes might as well show them all. They have adult Dramas I have seen shows like Tiger and Dragon and Ikebukoro West Gate park that had adult stories. On the other hand their biggest audience is the Teeny bopper Audience so they will milk it till the cows come home. There are some good dramas if you watch with an open mind. I will admit I roll my eyes once per episode at least but I've realized if I'm going to be an ass then I won't enjoy anything on T.V.

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Post by groink » Nov 18th, '07, 07:02

marriedtomisaki wrote:I disagree kind of. Its not like the acting in American stuff is better. How long will they....
Okay, for starters, you cannot compare the Japanese drama market to any other market for one BIG reason:

Most of us Japanese drama fans MUST rely on subtitles. Given that not ALL Japanese dramas are idol-based, a high percentage of the shows being fansubbed are in fact idol-based. Keep in mind that most fansubbing groups' inspiration for said drama is their love for the actors in the drama. Therefore, us non-Japanese speakers are missing out on:

- NHK morning dramas (except for Churasan - that was a total gift)
- Just about ALL the mature TV dramas, such as Wataru Seken wa Oni Bakari, and any other drama with a starring cast with an average age of 40.
- Just about anything even close to being jidaigeki or period-based. Taiga dramas don't count, although technically no fansubber has ever tackled such a series.

Another reason for the lack of fansubbers tackling non-idol shows is their target audience. I truly believe that if it wasn't for the idol craze, you wouldn't even HAVE a community like D-Addicts. The fansubbers realize that the demographics of D-Addicts - as several of the polls here in the past clearly showed - that the community consists mostly of idol-crazed fans who are ex- or current manga/anime fans. I believe that if there was a TRULY Japanese drama loving community that could care less about idols, we would probably start seeing some of the less popular shows subbed.

So you can't draw an argument where American TV has shows starring teenie-boppers. There are a hell of a lot of variety of TV shows in America - and all of us English speakers can enjoy them. We can filter out that crap you mentioned, and still have our fill of Desparate Housewives, NCIS and any copy/lawyer show, etc. Japanese dramas on the other hand - we're stuck with whatever the fansubbers give us.

I'm one of the lucky few here: I have KIKU - and you can't get anymore old fart than KIKU. The rest of you must suffer. LOL!

--- groink

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Post by marriedtomisaki » Nov 18th, '07, 07:39

Honestly If it weren't for the office I wouldn't touch American T.V. I used to watch a lot of shows but not so much anymore. Sitcoms are dead which were my favourite and now you have reality T.V taking over which isn't my cup of tea. Whatever I liked Nobuta Wo Produce. I thought it was well acted by all 3 of the main cast. Densha Otoko was amazing I had never seen anything like it before. I can't judge for sure but Japanese Television is definatley more colourful. If you watch NHK though you get serious stuff and its mostly for adults. I don't think there is a problem until the intended audience starts to complain. If old people think Hanakimi is for kids then so what as long as the poeple who watched it had fun thats all that matters. There are dramas that I've read the plots too that sounded very interesting but when I went to search for them they weren't subbed. Same with movies. I wish fansubbers would quit being close minded and try to sub something original.

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