TBS keeps coming out with good dramas giving me a hard time because I don’t have enough time to watch each one of them. Among the well made dramas, they also gave us Quartet 2017. The show follows Maki, Suzume, Iemori and Beppu after the four form a quartet and end up living together. As simple it may sound, when people with secrets, different personalities and backgrounds come together, nothing is simple.
Interesting drama that can be either a hit or a miss. Considering that I marathoned the drama, it was a hit but if I were to watch it as it aired then it would’ve probably turned out to be a miss. What I want to say is that if I was watching an episode per week I would most probably forget about the show until next week or simply waiting for the next episode will make me clean it from my mind. From a first impression, the story is unseasoned, you need to watch wholeheartedly, to invest your time in Quartet 2017. There are a lot of hidden meanings behind the lines and the dialogues, so I think there needs to be a big investment from the viewer as well rather than watching the show from a superficial point of view. On the other hand, I can understand why one will find this drama to be boring because, again, you need to invest time and understanding towards the writing.
I liked the show most of the times because of how each scene spoke with its viewers rather than having the actors say much. Although the conversations may not seem to have any connection with the development, in fact the development of each character and the show as a whole was thanks to small actions. For example like how the one sided romances were dealt with. In episode 8, it was shown during lunch time how Suzume has a one sided love for Beppu, after he left the table, Iemori sat down showing his for Suzume, afterwards Suzume left and Maki sat with Iemori. I felt that that respective scene spoke a lot even though they didn’t intentionally say anything about the issue. We did found out much earlier about the affection they had but this scene had impact on me, as a viewer.
From the way I see it, Suzume’s crush hurt, Iemori’s was cute while Beppu’s was normal. Although all one sided loves do hurt, based on the distinct personalities they have, the “hurting” and “pain” had different levels.
Now, the writer didn’t want to showcase the one side love of the characters, the bonding of the four was given more importance than anything else. Slowly, they knew each other so well that even though different issues appeared, the four managed to trust one another. Trust was a major factor when dealing with different problems they faced and moreover the bonding and the friendship gave them a place to enjoy things they liked.
To some extent, they portrayed life as it is. Of course, it’s a drama but it felt like they were living a real life and we just saw a non scripted reality show. The four characters enjoyed life so much and small things like an ice cream or a cake to the point of making me want to enjoy and treasure small things more than I am. Despite their complicated one sided love quartet, they were friends and time spent together was relaxing but at the same time a burden. They were themselves but simultaneously hide their true selves behind awkward smiles and small talks. Hide their feelings between words but the only time they were honest without showing lies in their feelings was when they were eating at the same table.
The acting was great but it’s not like I can say anything bad about it considering the cast. It’s rare for me to beat the crap of someone’s acting when it comes to well made dramas with a serious approach even though at first it looks like a mere comedy show. The actors are normally good and understand their characters to the point of becoming one with the character. But to be honest, I never used to be a big fan of the actor who plays Iemori. While I do consider him to be a good actor, I couldn’t like his acting style. I normally would’ve run away from his project but with this project he won me over. That’s also thanks to the writing which was substantial enough so the actors could bring their characters to life.
If anyone wants to watch Quartet 2017 I would advice you to have an open mind. Don’t just mindlessly watch, try to understand it, try to understand the four main characters. There’s always something meaningful behind their actions and dialogues. Also, when you watch this drama, you need a certain mood. Rainy weekend days are the best. You, your computer and some tea. Enjoy!