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Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008
Single parenting drama, variety commonplace talents, childbirth drama
SMAP band member Shingo Katori, whose last TV drama job was playing a monkey, gets to be more than human in the new series "Bara no Nai Hanaya (A Florist Without Roses)" (Fuji, Monday, 9 p.m.). Katori plays Eiji, a young widower with an 8-year-old daughter, Shizuku. He saves his money for years to fulfill his dream, which is to open a flower shop.
In the opening episode, the various characters who will change Eiji's and Shizuku's lives are introduced. A blind woman named Miou (Yuko Takeuchi) waits out a rain shower under the awning in front of Eiji's shop, and he invites her in for a cup of tea. Shizuku's teacher, Yuki (Yumiko Shaku), comes by to tell Eiji that his daughter is very popular in class, which surprises Eiji since Shizuku is very shy and tends to always hide her face. What Eiji doesn't know is that his middle-aged neighbor, Keiko, has told Shizuku the truth of her mother's death. However, the most important new friend that Eiji makes is Kudo, a host at a nightclub where Eiji delivers flowers.
NHK's "Super Shokunin Daishugo (Meeting of Super Craftspeople)" (NHK-G, Monday, 7:30 p.m.) is an annual program in which Japanese contestants in the World Skills Competition, which was held last November in Shizuoka, show off their industrial talents. The competition invites craftsmen from all industries and from all over the world to meet in one place.
The special includes footage of the competition and precompetition training exercises. Eighteen Japanese people who participated in the competition talk about their careers and private lives. Among the craftspeople profiled is a woman who taught herself cooking in order to take care of her elderly grandfather, and a married couple who competed in the landscaping and gardening division. The couple believes that team work is the key to their business success.
Some of the craftspeople, which include masons, electrical-component makers and carpenters, demonstrate their skills in the NHK studios.
The protagonist of another new drama series, "Daisuki! (I Love You!)" (TBS, Thursday, 10 p.m.), is a young developmentally challenged woman named Yuzu (Karina) who lives with her mother (Kayoko Kishimoto) and brother.
Yuzu works at a facility for midwives, and she is very close to her colleague, Sosuke. When Sosuke is killed in a traffic accident, Yuzu has an emotional breakdown. During treatment, it is discovered that she is pregnant and that the father is Sosuke. Her mother doesn't think she is emotionally capable of raising a child by herself, and tries to persuade her to give up the child, but Yuzu refuses. Her brother takes her side, but suddenly Yuzu goes missing.