Going down the Netflix rabbit hole, after I finished watching Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories, the immediate suggestion by the algorithm was a show called Samurai Gourmet. Upon watching the preview; not like I had any choice, because Netflix forces previews upon you like James Franco’s alleged sexual aggression, I decided to give it a flyer, because I was sad that I had watched all of Midnight Diner and was wanting to get more of that peaceful, slice-of-life feeling that it had provided, and a show about a retired man leisurely seeking food to savor and enjoy seemed like it had some potential.
Now I don’t think it’s as good as Midnight Diner, but Samurai Gourmet has so far been pretty enjoyable as well. Whereas Midnight Diner was more about a centralized location and the people that gravitated to and around it, Samurai Gourmet is conversely centered around a singular person, freely flowing to different locations. However, it does manage to capture that light-hearted feeling and emotions of internal thought processes and the enjoyment of comfort foods in perfect circumstances.
I feel like the best analogy for the show is that it’s like Stephen King writing, when he was still in his literary prime. He’d take something like his protagonist going into the kitchen and doing mundane things, and somehow bilk 5,000 words, mostly adjectives to describe every little activity, before the last two paragraphs in the chapter are loose ties to the inevitable aliens/demons/monsters/spiders that the story is supposed to opposed by. Except in Samurai Gourmet, there is no supernatural villain to derail Castle Rock, just protagonist Kasumi’s own imagination of his inner samurai dealing with his fairly minor conflicts.