2 Slow Paced TV Series Vividly Illustrating Japanese Cuisine
Finding A Good, Relaxing Japanese Culinary TV Show To Watch? Let Me Show You Two TV Series That Is 100% Worthy Of Your Time!
1. Midnight Diner
I can easily tell right from the opening theme song that this series is totally matching my vibe. It secretly gives out the deep and slow essence of the show.
Whenever I hear the voice of "The Master" – the main character in the opening theme, I feel like listening to an old friend starting sharing his story from a long, long time ago.
Back to the content of this show, "Midnight Diner" takes place in a late-night, 12-seat-restaurant located in the heart of Tokyo. Despite odd opening hours, it attracts various customers from all walks of life (celebrities, white-collar workers to yakuza).
Each episode revolves around a specific customer and the dish that he or she order, which is excluded from the existing menu. With the help of The Master, they ultimately find the solution to their matters. An episode ends with the guidance to perfectly cook that one dish and also offers you a close look at Japanese street cuisine.
This show is definitely on the list of my ultimate favorites but I cannot binge-watch it. One episode is only about 30 minutes in length and contains a philosophical life lesson. Whether the lesson is simple or complicated, it is totally inspiring and instantly lightens up my mood. I always finished an episode with an unconscious smile on my face.
"Midnight Diner" has taught me that "Never judge a book by its cover" because every person has their own story for us to understand. Under the scary looks of a yakuza is his warm heart, which is shown by his actions (he doesn’t talk much though).
Harsh words are easy to be spoken, yet sympathy is harder to give. After watching this show, I try to be a listener and observer in order not to give any false judgment. I feel that I have become much more mature now.
Believe me, with a cup of tea, this TV series is perfect for a relaxing Sunday after a long, stressful week!
IMDB's rating: 8.7/10
Personal rating: 9/10
2. Samurai Gourmet
Among numerous negative news about the COVID-19 pandemic, this TV show shines a light on the optimism in me.
During 20 minutes, I forgot all about my burdens, whether financial or social. I felt like the darkness in my inner world had faded, and I was at ease. If you have scars in your heart, this show will definitely soothe your weary soul!
The protagonist is Takeshi Kasumi, a recently retired 60-year-old man. He has devoted all his time to working and now he is troubled because of free time boredom. Then he decides to explore a new restaurant in his neighborhood every day, only on foot.
Kasumi himself is a shy and polite person, for example, he is so embarrassed to drink a beer during lunch (an unusual thing in Japanese modern culture), or feels annoyed by the noisy customers in a café but doesn't have the guts to correct their manners.
Every time he is confused like that, an imaginary wandering samurai appears, which is another self of Kasumi, will guide him the way. He gradually lets go of all the doubts and pressures, enjoying his life to the fullest by doing and eating whatever he wants.
The lovingly shot, slow-panning culinary scenes make even the most ordinary Japanese dish look surprisingly delicious. Every time Kasumi uncontrollably says out loud "Umai!" (Delicious!), it seems that I can somehow feel his happiness of eating a really good dish.
Whenever seeing Kasumi overcome his fear and finally do the thing he has always desired, I have grown more confident to be myself. It feels like breaking the invisible wall that prevents me from living who I truly am.
IMDB's rating: 8.2/10
Personal rating: 9.5/10
These two TV Series are not only my mood boosters but also taught me various meaningful life lessons. I learned to understand each person's story, regardless of their looks.
More importantly, although we are coping and living with uncertainty, try to savor every moment at least by enjoying food as much as we can. However, you must have a Netflix account to watch these two series!
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