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Televiews – “Dr. Hideo Goto in GM: Odore Doctor” starring Noriyuki Higashiyama

July 23, 2010 by  

The following is an excerpt from Wm. Penn’s “Televiews” in which the article is about the drama “Dr. Hideo Goto in GM: Odore Doctor” starring Noriyuki Higashiyama.  The full article can be found here:

Noriyuki Higashiyama, the veteran Johnny’s Jimusho star, was my last hope. I was hoping that, as super-diagnostician Dr. Hideo Goto in GM: Odore Doctor (Sundays, 9 p.m., TBS), he could identify the malady that has infected the Japanese TV drama world and offer a partial remedy. He didn’t disappoint. A dose of the dancing doctor is the best TV prescription available this summer.

Dr. Goto has no panacea for what ails Japanese TV, but he certainly has his gloved fingers on the problems in the Japanese medical world. Code Blue scriptwriter Hiroshi Hayashi has created a scenario of considerable originality and depth with a very realistic feel about it. This is quite an accomplishment, considering the storyline is occasionally interrupted when Dr. Goto begins to dance, channeling Michael Jackson and Gene Kelly. The dance scenes seemed superfluous at first, but serve to remind us that even those at the top of their careers can still have plenty of silly quirks and unfulfilled dreams.

To give the production further authenticity, TBS has hired a Chiba University general medicine (GM) professor as technical adviser. The idea is to provide an overall approach to diagnosis and treatment rather than forcing patients to choose a specialist–the “senmon baka” approach, as Dr. Goto calls it–that often leaves them hopping from one department to the next in search of a cure.

The more comprehensive general practice model is still new to Japan, but it holds a strong attraction for young intern Momoko Komukai (Mikako Tabe), who is impressed by Dr. Goto’s skills when they administer some inflight emergency medical care together.

Higashiyama’s early years as a member of the 1980s pop group Shonentai have been cleverly written into the script. He tells Momoko he resembles the 1980s star and, like him, once pursued a dancing career.

His debut fizzled, but now he’s found a production company willing to give him a second chance and he’s come home to pursue it. Unfortunately, he’s been abroad so long he isn’t aware of the plague of “furikomi” (bank deposit) scams that has hit Japan. He becomes a victim of one himself when he puts 100 million yen into the account of the guy who promised him a second debut. However, this does leave him available to help when Momoko calls about a patient in dire need of a second opinion.




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