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Sunday, April 20, 2008

CHANNEL SURF

Music talk show, lawyer melodrama, mystery thriller

It used to be that music shows were mostly music, but since the early 1990s they've generally been talking about music. "The M" (Nihon TV, Tuesday, 9 p.m.), a new show that premieres this week, attempts to give the music-talk format a few twists.

Hosted by Tatsuya Ishii, the voluble leader of the pop juggernaut Kome Kome Club, former idol Noriko Sakai, and comedian Hitori Gekidan, "The M" is divided into three themes: the history of a major musical artist, a special live collaboration, and the usual talk.

This week's guest is the "original" boy idol Hiromi Go. In the history section, Go's career from the '70s to the present will be showcased using film and videotape of performances from all the phases of his career. In the collaboration section, Go and DJ Ozma will perform a special version of one of Go's biggest hits with a new arrangement by Ozma. And in the talk section, actress Kirin Kiki will talk about the hit duet she and Go did so long ago.

As the title plainly states, the new drama series "Shichi-nin no Onna Bengoshi" (Asahi, Thursday, 9 p.m.), is about seven women lawyers. They share a law office and mainly take on female clients.

In this week's episode, a junior high school boy commits suicide and his mother, Shinobu (Kazue Ito), suspects that it was the result of bullying by his classmates. She asks the school to investigate, and the principal later concludes that there was no bullying involved.

Shinobu doesn't believe it and in a fit of frustration goes to the school one day with a knife. She's caught and charged with attempted murder. Maki (Yumiko Shaku), one of the seven lawyers, takes her case and finds that it isn't as clear cut as she thought. Apparently, Shinobu's son was caught several times shoplifting, though she denies it ever happened. The principal tells Maki that Shinobu is deluded, convinced that her son was an angel when he was actually a troubled boy.

Detectives come in all shapes and sizes, and the one in the new series "Kimi Hannin ja Nai yo ne? (You're Not the Criminal, Are You?)" (Asahi, Friday, 11:15 p.m.) is a young woman who dreams of becoming a mystery writer and solves crimes by assuming elaborate disguises.

This week, Sakura (Shihori Kanjiya) is called in to help find the person who murdered a high-school English teacher with a pair of scissors. She infiltrates the student body by posing as a new pupil and quickly hears a rumor that the teacher was killed by a female student. Some of the girls in school were being considered as models for a popular teen magazine, and the teacher had something to do with it. She draws up a list of suspects and finds that they all have the number "3" in their names.



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