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Sunday, March 26, 2006

CHANNEL SURF

TV Asahi's 'TV Tackle,' NHK's 'Itsuka Au Machi' and more

Since TV exposure is a plus for politicians regardless of what they say, they can be put on the spot without any real loss of popularity. In fact, being humiliated can work in their favor in terms of PR.

The appeal of TV Asahi's long-running political talk show "TV Tackle" (Monday, 7 p.m.) is in the knock-down-drag-out arguments that inevitably take place between opposing camps, but don't call them debates. Nobody listens to one another, which makes the program more of a comedy show than a news show. After all, Beat Takeshi is the host.

This week's three-hour special will include many topics, but the main one will be Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe, who was the focus of the recent fake e-mail scandal. Takebe will not be present in the studio, which means the people who are will have greater freedom to say stupid things.

NHK will air a drama program Tuesday night at 11 p.m. called "Itsuka Au Machi (The Town Where We'll Meet Someday)," which was created and produced in Fukuoka Prefecture.

Toshiyuki Nagashima plays Takeshi, who runs a tatami-making business in the town of Iizuka. Takeshi's business has been declining gradually due to the dwindling market for handmade tatami mats. An old friend now living in Hiroshima offers him a job at the company he owns, and while the position would mean a substantial increase in income, it also means moving to Hiroshima. Takeshi's family objects.

One day, Takeshi's son says he saw a ghost at a local kabuki theater and naturally Takeshi doesn't believe it. But when he visits the theater to deliver some tatami mats, he sees the ghost himself -- it is his own father (Issei Ogata), who died when he was younger. Getting to know his father again makes him question his decision to move out of Iizuka.

The hero of the animated series "Sergeant Keroro" (TV Tokyo, Friday, 6 p.m.) is a froglike creature from a distant galaxy who came to Earth with an army to spy on earthlings. However, two children, Fuyuki and Natsumi, discovered what Keroro was doing and the rest of the army retreated, leaving the sergeant and a small platoon stranded behind. Inevitably, the children and the aliens become friends.

In this week's episode, a different group of aliens arrive on Earth and Fuyuki steals their "kero ball," which gives them special powers.

The leader of the alien group brainwashes Keroro to work with him, but the "frog" is more clever than the alien thinks.



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