The Quarantine Stream: ‘Midnight Diner’ Offers a Safe Haven of Slice of Life Stories and Hearty Japanese Meals
Posted on Friday, October 9th, 2020 by Hoai-Tran Bui
(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Series: Midnight Diner
Where You Can Stream It: Netflix
The Pitch: A tiny, tucked-away diner in Tokyo opens only between the hours of midnight and 7 A.M., thus attracting all manner of quirky guests, each with a favorite dish and a melancholic backstory that they unload on the unnamed Master (Kaoru Kobayashi) of the restaurant. A taciturn and mysterious man, he serves any food that his patrons request, as well as a couple nuggets of wisdom to his struggling regulars.
Why Its Essential Viewing: I stumbled upon Midnight Diner by accident — while researching a trip to Japan, I was searching for food shows that could give me a taste of Japanese culture — and instead discovered a lovely little anthology series about the hidden fringes of Tokyo life. But that’s probably the best way to enjoy this gem of a slice-of-life series: wearily stumbling upon it at 2 A.M., hidden in your recommended list, and settling down for a warm, comforting piece of television.