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Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007

CHANNEL SURF

Celebrity talk show, imperial family special, rice-shop drama

Television producers spend all their time trying to come up with new ways to get celebrities to reveal their most personal secrets on the air. On the new variety show "Ochanoma no Shinjitsu (Truth in the Parlor)" (TV Tokyo, Monday, 9 p.m.), which is subtitled "Moshikashite Watashi Dake (I guess I'm the only one)," guests talk about personal habits that they think are normal but which may seem strange to others.

On the special two-hour premiere episode, Satoshi Inoue of the comedy duo Jicho-Kacho discusses his obsession with shrimp tempura soba, even though he only eats the noodles because he doesn't like shrimp. A good part of the show is given over to a heated discussion about how many times a bath towel can be used before being changed. One of the announcers even brings her towel from home, which hasn't been changed in three days.

It's time to check up on the Imperial family, and TBS' "Aki no Koshitsu Special (Fall Imperial Household Special)" (Wednesday, 6:55 p.m.) gives us the rundown on "Princess Aiko's smile, Crown Princess Masako's comeback and Empress Michiko's hopes."

Princess Masako, who is said to suffer from an adjustment disorder, has yet to return to her royal duties, but with her young daughter starting elementary school in the spring, she may have a reason to get out more. The special also compares Princess Masako's form of unhappiness with her mother-in-law's. Empress Michiko, who was born a commoner like Masako, went through much the same kind of adjustment pressure when she married the Emperor.

In the new drama series "Oishii Gohan (Delicious Rice)" (TV Asahi, Thursday, 9 p.m.) veteran actor Tetsuya Watari plays Ryuhei, a rice shop owner who over the years has alienated his family with his stubborn, selfish behavior. When heart trouble lands him in the hospital, his business partner asks Ryuhei's son and daughter-in-law to help with the store.

In the second episode, which airs this week, Ryuhei has returned from the hospital and discovers that there is a new family member, Shizuku, a little boy whom Ryuhei fathered with another woman. Ryuhei's usual stern exterior softens in the face of this little boy's adoration. He takes Shizuku to Kamakura for sightseeing.

Meanwhile, Ryuhei's daughter-in-law, Tae (Norika Fujiwara), who has never lived with her father-in-law before, asks Ryuhei's ex-wife about his habits. She is told that Ryuhei is strict about one thing: he insists on being the first family member to take an evening bath. Too late. Tonight, Tae's husband, Shimpei, took a bath before anyone else.



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