The Naked Director season 2 largely provides more of the same, with an abundance of bad decision-making and full-frontal nudity, but nowhere near as much lasting impact as it’d like.
This review of The Naked Director Season 2 is spoiler-free. You can check out our thoughts on the first season by clicking these words.
There were probably a few reasons why the first season of The Naked Director was a hit for Netflix. It was a true story, for one thing. It was also full of full-frontal nudity and sex, and people are largely perverts, so that’s probably another. But whatever the precise reason for the success of the show, which is directed by Masaharu Take and based on the life of Japanese adult video director Toru Muranishi, this second season was obviously content enough with it to provide more of the same.
Of course, Muranishi charts an opposite trajectory; if the first season was his rise, The Naked Director Season 2 is his fall. But there’s still a lot of sex, slapstick physical comedy, off-the-cuff scheming, terrible decision-making, and the clear downward spiral of a man perfectly willing to sacrifice artistic and personal integrity at the altar of success. And therein lies Muranishi’s problem.
Admittedly, this season begins with him more successful than ever. Burgeoning satellite TV looks likely to provide another avenue for him to dominate the Japanese – and perhaps global – sex industry, and there’s a case to be made that, culturally, he’s doing some good. Sexual crime is down. Women are being empowered – sort of – by their roles in Muranishi’s films. (Kaoru Kaoki is frequently held aloft as a kind of divine feminine ideal that perhaps all young Japanese women can aspire to, just so long as they’re willing to have sex on camera.)
Things, then, are going well for Muranishi, and only continue to do so as he inadvertently discovers the facial and then the value of parodying Japanese celebrities. But he’s always presented as a controversial figure. He boasts of how many legal cases are pending against him – including one for casting a 17-year-old in a film, which he claims was an accident – and you always get the sense as a viewer that all this will catch up to him eventually. It isn’t exactly a spoiler to say that it does, since Muranishi’s rapid abandonment of his principles and relationships is the second season’s entire dramatic throughline.
And yet, The Naked Director Season 2 really does feel like more of the same. It leans heavily against the same gags, the same ideas, the same so-called “shocking” nudity, even the same positions. Sex is integral to this show, but the show never gets anything meaningful out of sex. Perhaps that’s an intentional comment on the superficial nature of porn, but I suspect not. The show’s so keen to titillate that it forgets to add any actual meaning to any of its on or off-camera romances. Because of this, any ideas designed to explore how seedy and predatory the industry can be don’t really take; everyone just seems to be having too much giggling fun for any of it to matter. The same could really be said of The Naked Director Season 2 as a whole.
1 thought on “The Naked Director season 2 review – more of the same, for better and worse”
Wait, you really think that showing boobies is full frontal nudity? For real?