Burn The House Down Season 1 Review – A slow-burn mystery drama that gets better towards the end

Season 1

 

 

Episode Guide

Episode 1—| Rating – 3.5/5
Episode 2—| Rating – 3/5
Episode 3—| Rating – 3.5/5
Episode 4—| Rating – 3.5/5
Episode 5—| Rating – 4/5
Episode 6—| Rating – 4.5/5
Episode 7—| Rating – 4/5
Episode 8—| Rating – 3.5/5

 

Netflix’s venture into Japanese dramas has been hit and miss, with the network releasing shows with interesting concepts that lack proper execution. Over the past few months, shows like From Me To You, Sanctuary, and Let’s Get Divorced have dropped on Netflix but seemed to lack what it takes to enjoy popularity given the plethora of shows that release there daily. 

The most recent Japanese drama looks like the streaming platform has finally gotten it right this time. Burn The House Down is a slow-burn mystery drama that follows Anzu, a daughter who is on a journey to expose the woman who ruined her parents’ marriage as well as her, her sister and her mother’s lives.

The show revolves around Shizuka, a housemaid who starts working in the Mitarai House for Mrs Makiko Mitarai, the second wife of Dr Mitarai. The Mitarai House had been burned down 13 years ago after it was suspected that Dr Mitarai’s former wife, Satsuki, had left the stove running, setting fire to the house.

After the fire, Satsuki and Dr Mitarai’s divorce left their two daughters – Anzu and Yuzu to live away from their father as Satsuki raises the girls as a single woman.

Meanwhile, Makiko brings her two sons – Kiichi and Shinji into the Mitarai House as the poor single woman who enjoys the luxurious life she could not have dreamed of. All is going well for Makiko and her public image as a socialite until Shizuka’s entry into the Mitarai House.

The show is a typical Japanese drama with the right amount of melodrama, suspense, thrill, comedy and romance. We quickly learn Shizuka’s true intentions and understand her purpose for being in the Mitarai House. The execution of the story however is debatable because it offers an unrealistic narrative.

Burn The House Down is a revenge drama at first but slowly turns into a melodrama. The character of Makiko is one that had so much potential in the beginning when it was believed that she is a toxic, manipulating mother. However, as the show ends, we are left with a woman who has unconditional love for her son and has grown paranoid as a result of that.

The J-drama has several unnecessary details that we could do without and it felt like some characters just existed without any purpose. The pace of the show is rather slow but that’s something that is pretty common for these sort of dramas.

Instead of being the intense weekend watch that it was advertised to be, Burn The House Down is a slow watch that only grips you towards the end. The romance between characters who are supposed to be siblings by marriage is a pet peeve and I wish the makers would have given the girls, Anzu and Yuzu, different partners instead.

The show has many plot holes and the makers try hard to keep it suspenseful till the end. The revelation of the truth behind the fire is jaw-dropping but the eventual end makes the revelation less interesting.

It would have been interesting if the actual culprit was a totally different person, ending the show on a happy note.

Burn The House Down is an interesting crime melodrama that starts off as a decent revenge thriller but loses its bearings somewhere in the middle, before eventually bringing everything together at the end.


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  • Verdict - 7/10
    7/10
7/10

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