Let's Get Divorced

Let's Get Divorced

TV-14

netflix

A toothless take on divorce, though with a promising premise and stunning views of Ehime

5.0

TV Show

Japan
Japanese
Comedy, Drama
2023
Arata Furuta, Fuju Kamio, Kōji Yamamoto

TLDR

The show is unsatisfying, but the biggest disappointment is what the show could’ve been.

What it's about

An actress and a third-generation politician desperately want to have a divorce, but circumstances surrounding their work don’t allow them to.

The take

Unsatisfying as the marriage depicted, Let’s Get Divorced had a promising premise but its approach to its themes betray its message. The couple, actress Kurosawa Yui (Naka Riisa) and incompetent political heir Shoji Taishi (Matsuzaka Tori), wants to split, much to the disapproval of Kurosawa’s agent and Shoji’s mother. At its most interesting, the show attempts to critique Japan’s attitudes towards divorce and the expectations surrounding famous couples, but it mostly shies away from the root of these views. However, what doesn’t help is how uninterested the show is in making us root for either character. Shoji is so incompetent that it’s downright infuriating. But it’s mostly the show’s treatment of Kurosawa that makes this comedy deeply unfunny. Gags about her (actually reasonable) anger reveal an underlying misogyny rooted in the show’s approach.

What stands out

While the jokes and length distract from the themes of the show, Let’s Get Divorced’s premise is one worth talking about. Power couples, even without the dysfunctional aspects of Shoji and Kurosawa’s marriage, have an inherent falseness in their relationship, because they actively present themselves as an ideal in order to further their goals. The show accurately depicts this, identifying the ideals the couple presents and the consequences that happen if they don’t live up to them. There’s also an interesting comparison between Shoji’s love for Ehime and his love for Kurosawa that could have been explored more deeply, but again, the show’s approach makes his character too infuriating. If the show actively sided with one of the couples, or at least, removed the cheating storylines, Let’s Get Divorced might have had more time to dive into its themes if it had the guts to do so.

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