It cannot be denied that there is something relatively striking in Netflix’s promotion policy with its premieres . Some of them we even know the color of their protagonist’s shoelaces months before the premiere, others are announced with hype and cymbals to never be known again… and then there are others that arrive without making any of the noise that, on other occasions, are would deserve.

This week, without going any further, we have ‘The lying life of adults’, the new series by Elena Ferrante (‘The wonderful friend’) or ‘Copenhaguen Cowboy’, by Nicolas Winding Refn, with shallow promotion. But it is that next week, the platform premieres nothing less than a nine-episode fiction created, written and directed by Hirokazu Koreeda , winner of the Palme d’Or for ‘A family affair’ and one of the most acclaimed directors of the present.

This is ‘Makanai: the cook of the maiko’

Thus, the new from the director of ‘Broker’, one of the best films of 2022, is ‘ Makanai: the cook of the maiko‘, which opens on January 12, 2023. A series based on Aiko Koyama’s manga ‘Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san’ and starring a cook and a geisha apprentice.

Nana Mori and Natsuki Deguchi play our protagonists in a series that follows Kiyo, who with her friend Sumire heads to Kyoto to pursue her dream of becoming a maiko (apprentice geiko ). However, when she is rejected and is about to return home, she is hired as a makanai, a cook who caters to the homes of future geisha. Meanwhile, her friend Sumire of hers is quickly becoming a maiko as beautiful as she is famous.

The main cast is completed with Aju Makita, Kairi Jo, Momoko Fukuchi, Kotoko Wakayanagi, Kotona Minami, Lily Franky, Yukiya Kitamura, Toshinori Omi, Kanji Furutachi, Keiko Toda, Kayoko Shiraishi, Keiko Matsuzaka, Ai Hashimoto, Mayu Matsuoka, Arata Iura and Takako Tokiwa. Assisting Koreeda in directing and scripting are Megumi Tsuno, Hiroshi Okuyama, and Takuma Satō.

A new case “Chazelle”

As I say, it is not the first time that a series by an important film director is going to be released on Netflix on the sly. At the time, the case of the Oscar-winning Damien Chazelle (‘LaLaLand’) with ‘The Eddy’, which premiered in May 2020 and went frankly unnoticed (another thing is that the criticism did not accompany), drew attention.

It must also be recognized that, outside of the cinephile circle, the name of Koreeda unfortunately does not attract as much attention as we would like… but even so, the little interest in promoting the work of a prestigious director seems nonsense to me.

However, this is in the vein of Netflix. More interested in opening a lot and seeing what happens than spending on advertising because, as with Coca-Cola, they no longer need to be known: everyone knows them. Having big names making series or movies is one more addition to claim fans of this or that.

It’s not like these marketing things don’t work for them, either. Last year we saw perfectly how the two new series by Ryan Murphy (‘Dahmer’ and ‘Vigilante’) arrived on Netflix practically by surprise, separated by a few weeks from each other and providing the hit that the platform had been begging for since the producer’s multimillionaire signing.

Nor is it that it doesn’t happen on other platforms and, in fact, although it used to be announced to the four winds that such a series is from the director of blah, the increasingly common confluence between cinema and television makes it less special. Even so, the spectrum is wide, from very famous series like David Fincher’s ‘Mindhunter’ to Woody Allen’s ignored ‘Crisis in six scenes’ (of which the director already anticipated the catastrophe).

This runs the risk that, if you don’t get it on the carousel or browse in the deepest part of the catalog , you won’t find out that something new has come out from one of our favorite writers/directors. As long as they give a huge hit from time to time that no one expects, we will continue to see premieres that are too covered up like this.