It has to be admitted that Netflix is constantly pushing the boundaries in order to come up with new and exciting shows for their subscribers. Not only have they started producing content from all over the world, but the subjects they choose to deal with are rather innovative and radical as well. Netflix’s ‘The Naked Director’ is a Japanese TV series which centers around the origins of the country’s porn industry. The story follows the life of Toru Muranishi, the porn filmmaker who has been called the Japanese “Emperor Of Porn”.
The story takes place in the 1980s when Japan was going through a massive economic boom, and in this time, Muranishi emerged with his starkly different vision of how erotic films should be made, and completely revolutionized the industry single-handedly. However, the government naturally took notice of his ever-increasing popularity and came to the conclusion that Muranishi is the root of society’s moral degradation. He faced heavy crackdown from the authorities, but nothing could stop Muranishi from forging his name in pornographic history. Channel 4 was the first non-western network to make a documentary about him called ‘The Sex Shogun of Shinjuku’, but in this 10-episode series, it becomes amply clear to the audience as to how the once small-time salesman came to redefine erotica for the Japanese population.
If you enjoyed watching this show and are looking for more shows that explore esoteric subjects, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘The Naked Director’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘The Naked Director’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
7. Ballers (2015-)
It is kinda hard to believe that someone like Dwayne Johnson, who is one of the biggest names in Hollywood at the moment, would suddenly devote a large chunk of his time into making a TV show. But guess what? Johnson is a passionate guy and will always go the extra mile for some projects that he is really passionate about. In this 2015 series, Johnson plays the character of a former NFL player who now manages the finances of other up-and-coming players of the league. Being a former star himself, Spencer Strasmore (Johnson) not only advises the young players on financial issues, but also guides them in this intense world of constant media scrutiny. Just like Muranishi, Starsmore also wants to establish himself as one of the foremost figures of America’s sporting world, and he will traverse any ground to achieve his goal. Johnson’s performance is what holds the series together, with his real-life experiences of being a college football player surely having helped him portray this character.
6. Silicon Valley (2014-)
Information Technology is probably the most booming industry in the world today, and naturally, competition in this sector is also tougher than any other industry in the world. The HBO original series ‘Silicon Valley‘ is set in this IT industry and follows the lives of six young and talented programmers who are desperately trying to make a mark on the industry with the revolutionary app that they have created. But what they don’t realize is that whenever you chance upon something big, there will be hundreds of others who’ll try to make money off your hard work. ‘Silicon Valley’ offers a realistic look inside the IT industry and the stiff competition each company faces from its rivals. The writing is rather crisp and hilarious, the characters well fleshed-out, and the way the show constantly satirizes the minutest aspect of the industry is proof of the detailed research the makers have done. This show will make you aware that whether porn or IT, each industry comes with its own qualms.
5. House Of Lies (2012-2016)
Welcome to the world of Marty Kaan. He’s a management consultant who gets his job done either by hook or by crook. He does not hesitate to indulge in dirty tricks if deemed necessary. Despite being a partner at a highly successful firm, Kaan decided to step aside to start his own business that grants him the liberty to operate more freely. His professional life is what Kaan has a firm grip on, but this has also caused him huge losses in his personal relationships. ‘House Of Lies’ focuses on both aspects of his life equally. Don Cheadle does a wonderful job of portraying Marty Kaan, with his wit and charisma gelling perfectly with the role. ‘House Of Lies’ breaks the fourth wall pretty often, as a method of Kaan communicating directly with the audience and explaining to them motives behind some of his actions. This is a story about a management consultant who wants to reach the absolute pinnacle of his industry, and within him, you will surely find shades of the character of Muranishi from ‘The Naked Director’.
4. Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On (2017-)
‘Hot Girls Wanted’ initially started off as a Netflix original documentary which ended up receiving widespread attention from the fans and media for exploring a world in which young girls are entering in large numbers every year. After the documentary ended up getting rave reviews, Netflix released a new six-episode documentary series called ‘Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On’ which focuses on how technology has affected our sexuality, intimacy, and relationships with others. The documentary explores a very radical concept, and it goes to show how Netflix is willing to push the boundaries forward when it comes to original content creation. While ‘The Naked Director’ depicts the way the Japanese pornographic industry came to be, ‘Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On’ is a look at the industry at the present day and age.
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3. Narcos (2015-2017)
‘Narcos‘ is one of the greatest action/crime drama shows in the history of television. There has hardly been any other crime series which has been made on such a large scale. The series documents the life of one of the most feared smugglers in history – Pablo Escobar. He was the leader of the Cali cartel, one of the most notorious cocaine smuggling organizations in the world. Throughout the two seasons of the series, we see both the rise and fall of Escobar from the heights of wealth to his death at the hands of the Colombian police.
Brazilian actor Wagner Moura portrays Escobar in the series with an unparalleled mastery of his craft, lifting the series to a level hardly matched by any other show in recent times. Watch this series, if you haven’t already, to witness the level of violence and terror Escobar had unleashed during his prime in Colombia. Here we see a man who completely changed smuggling and structured it in such a way that earning millions every day was no big deal for him.
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2. The Deuce (2017-)
The 1970s were considered the Golden Age Of Pornography for America, as it was a period when the porn industry flourished like it had never before. New theatres were coming up dedicated to feature-length porn films like ‘Debbie Does Dallas’ (1978), ‘Deep Throat’ (1972), and others. The story of ‘The Deuce’ is set in this world and follows a character called Eileen Merrell (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal), who steps out of her profession as a prostitute and starts acting in and directing porn films to tap into the booming market.
Along with Eileen’s story, ‘The Deuce’ also focuses on the story of Vincent and Frankie Martino, brothers working for the Mafia who had a direct role in the steep rise of drug consumption in America. ‘The Deuce’ is well-shot, boasts of stunning performances by Gyllenhaal and James Franco, and is a solid portrayal of the degrading urban American life during the 1970s. The show is quite touching but also deeply critical of the times it is set in; and that is exactly where its brilliance lies.
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1. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
If ‘The Naked Director’ is about a person bringing a revolutionary change in the Japanese porn industry, ‘Breaking Bad‘ is about a man who single-handedly changes the crystal meth manufacturing business in the United States. This man, Walter White, (played by Bryan Cranston) starts off as a high school chemistry teacher who gets into the drug manufacturing business to make some extra money for his family, as he’s afraid that his cancer might kill him at any moment. Walter joins forces with his former student, Jesse Pinkman, and together they come up with the purest form of crystal meth the world has ever seen. Naturally, their business soon skyrockets, forcing the big players in the game to sit up and take notice.
Walter’s character is a representation of the common man who has never been able to assert his position anywhere, and when he finally discovers one thing where he excels, he becomes obsessed to a point where his life becomes trivial compared to his reputation. This is a magnificent look inside the mind of one of television’s most complex characters. Walter is one of the most popular characters in the history of television, and shall remain as a pop culture icon for several decades.
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