Roughly one week after we read the spoilers for the Nip/Tuck season finale, John and I got our hands on the actual video clip. Oh my god. The worst episode. Ever. In the history of television. Hehe.
I mean, yeah based on the spoilers, we had very low expectations. Still, we didn’t think Nip/Tuck would stoop to a -10 on a 1 to 10 scale. Seriously, in one episode, all the redeeming qualities of that show went down the shitter. I suppose we should only blame ourselves: John and I were foolishly hopeful that the beautiful actors would pull something off. We thought the delivery would somehow mitigate the pain of a botched storyline. Nope. I could really go on and on about the inconsistencies, about the lame attempt to Silence of the Lamb the whole escaped carver plot. But I’ll spare you. We’re just glad the season’s over. Definitely need a break from that.
In Tokyo, we splurged and saw “Memoirs of a Geisha” at the theater. Excellent camerawork and soundtrack, but unfortunately, the script was awful. So many lines sounded misplaced and awkward. John and I’d look over at each other during the film and just roll our eyes. Some bits truly felt like high school (or middle school) drama. Yeah, major bummer. Then again, I guess I’d entered the screening a bit cynical: storylines involving young, prepubescent girls falling “in love” with grown men really disturb me (albeit not enough to keep me away altogether). As for the controversy surrounding Chinese actors playing Japanese characters, I feel it’s a bit extreme to insist that only a Japanese woman could understand or convey the cultural complexities and nuances of the geisha world. First, how many ordinary or even celebrity Japanese are really that familiar with the geisha life? Isn’t one point of the book (and movie) that geishas comprise a very special subsect of Japanese society? Isn’t that part of the “mystery”? Whether the actors are Japanese or Chinese, they still have to research and learn about geishas. Second, if I (a purebred Chinese) am repeatedly mistaken for being Japanese in Tokyo, and I honestly cannot physically distinguish many Japanese people from Chinese people (or caucasian Americans from caucasian Europeans, for that matter), is it fair to take offense at an actor from one Far Eastern Asian country portraying someone from another? Is it wrong for US films to cast a light-skinned African American in a Latino role? I don’t really think so. That’s not to say I think Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, etc. are interchangeable. Identity goes beyond just physical traits. If an actor’s physical attributes can convincingly match that of the character (unlike Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), I think casting someone of one ethnicity to portray another is ok. As for making the emotional and cultural identities complete and fitting to the character, that is the job of the actor. Anyway…
I noticed “Memoirs” also did not contain a love scene between the Chinese actor Zhang Ziyi and the Japanese actor Ken Watanabe. I thought that was the whole reason China was delaying release of the film– because the government censors wanted to delete the Chinese woman-Japanese man getting-it-on part. Could this scene have been cut out by the director for all releases of the film in Asia, or was this the work of Japanese censors? I don’t know enough about the film industry. Ah well, it just might have been too hot for my prudish eyes.