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Sunday, May 14, 2006

CHANNEL SURF

Fuji TV's "Attention Please," Nihon TV's "Kin no A-sama X Gin no B-sama" and more

In the 1960s the most coveted job for women in Japan was that of a Japan Airlines flight attendant, which was considered both prestigious and a sure way of meeting rich and famous marriage prospects. Though more and more prestigious occupations have opened up for Japanese women since then, a certain romantic image still adheres to flight attendants.

"Attention Please" (Fuji; Tuesday, 9 p.m.) takes its title and general situation from a very popular drama series from the late '60s, but everything else has been updated. Or has it?

The series is centered on a young JAL cabin attendant trainee, Yoko (Aya Ueto), who in last week's episode finally received her uniform.

This week, she and the other rookies read an announcement for next year's JAL calendar girls. It's rumored that the judges are considering candidates from the ranks of the trainees and Yoko decides to apply.

Fate is the theme of the variety show "Kin no A-sama X Gin no B-sama" (Gold Mr. A vs. Silver Mr. B; Nihon TV, Thursday, 7:58 p.m.), which is hosted by twin-brother critics Osugi and Piko. The subjects are individuals whose life paths experienced a rapid change of fortunes at a certain point. The purpose is to figure out what caused it.

This week the subject is the Q&A Web site called OK Wave, whose annual earnings now exceed 500 million yen. However, the company's president has had quite a roller coaster of a career.

After he graduated from an art university, he joined a design firm and later started his own company. However, his partners eventually betrayed him, leaving him with a huge pile of debt and no prospects. He lost everything and lived on the street for two years. However, he was able to pick himself up and start over again, and is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Japan. What was the one decision that made the difference?

As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine, and researchers have found that mirth truly does aid in recovery from disease and prevention of illnesses. Laughter, it turns out, is also good for business.

"NHK Special" (NHK-G, May 21, 9 p.m.) takes an in-depth look at this theory through its application by a leading software development company.

The company's personnel staff attend comedy shows to find the "secret of humor" so that they can adapt that secret to stimulating their software developers. The president of the company claims that ever since he "obtained a sense of humor" he has become a more efficient manager and the morale and motivation of his staff has improved.



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