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Sunday, May 8, 2005

CHANNEL SURF

TBS's drama special "Yao" shows a young man in the world of host clubs, and more

Women with no money or job prospects often become bar hostesses, where the only skill required is an ability to make men part with their money. Lately, the tables have been turning, with male hosts trying to get well-to-do women to buy expensive drinks by engaging them in flattering conversation.

The drama special, "Yao (Night King)" (TBS, Wednesday, 9 p.m. ), shows how one young man attempts to "achieve his dreams" in the competitive world of host clubs. Ryosuke (Tokio star Masahiro Matsuoka) comes to Tokyo from Hokkaido to make his fortune, but ends up failing in everything he tries. Then he meets Remi (Rino Katase), an older woman who assures him, "In Tokyo, your efforts are always justly rewarded."

So Ryosuke starts working at a host club called Romeo. The manager hires him on one condition: he has to secure a patron within one week. It turns out to be more difficult than he thought.


On the Canadian children's show "Mentors" (NHK-E, Thursday, 7 p.m.), historical figures are brought to life to help the young characters deal with everyday problems and questions. Want to learn about hearing loss? Ask Beethoven. How about life in prison? Oscar Wilde might have a thing or two to say.

On this week's episode, Oliver tries to get a group of fellow newspaper boys interested in a subscription contest, but they aren't interested. A rival group of delivery boys wins the contest every year, so what's the use?

Oliver can't get his friends into the spirit of competition, so he uses his time-travel device, the Visicron, to consult someone who knows about leadership: Napoleon.


On Saturday, Fuji TV will present the third annual installment in its documentary series about children in peril on "Premium Station." (9 p.m.)

* Manika is a 12-year-old girl living on the edge of a refuse dump with her ill mother and brothers. Every day she sifts through the steaming garbage for recyclable items, but she also single-handedly does the housework.

* Last year's installment profiled Nadia, a 12-year-old pregnant girl living in an Argentine slum. Nadia's baby is now 10 months old. Having been abandoned by her parents, Nadia was forced to have the baby by herself and now must raise her single-handedly. The only work she can do is housecleaning, but, with the baby, even that type of work is difficult to get, and the baby desperately needs medicine.

* Alberto is an 11-year-old boy who works the silver and zinc mines of Bolivia. The life expectancy of miners is 10 years less than it is for average Bolivians, and because Alberto's father is dying, he works extra. Even his sisters work in the mine. His job involves carrying heavy loads and setting explosives.



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