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Sunday, June 29, 2008

CHANNEL SURF

Quirky celebrity habits on TV

The premises for variety shows can get pretty arcane, none more so than the one that anchors "Ochanoma no Shinjitsu: Moshikashite Watashi Dake? (The Truth in the Parlor: Am I the Only One?)" (TV Tokyo, Monday, 9 p.m.).

Hosts Yoshizumi Ishihara and Katsushige Nagashima entertain celebrities who relate customs and habits that seem to be limited to their own households.

This week, rocker Diamond Yukai talks about how important sunglasses are to a rock singer's image, and confesses to wearing his even when he goes to bed.

"They're part of my body," he insists.

Diamond also explains a unique and strange "therapy" for the common cold.

Other guests talk about their peculiar toilet habits ("I've trained myself to go only once a day"), their custom of pouring ice cold water on everything they eat, and a special fondness for mixing hot rice with packaged puddings.

T he term "monster parent" refers to mothers and fathers who complain loudly to school administrators about the treatment their children receive in school.

It is considered a derisive label, implying selfishness to the point of irrationality.

It is also the title of a new drama series that starts this week (Fuji, Tuesday, 10 p.m.).

Ryoko Yonekura plays Itsuki Takamura, a young, efficient lawyer working for the firm Wilson & Shiroyama.

She's assigned to advise and represent an elementary school that has been besieged by complaints from overzealous parents who are threatening to sue.

The series clearly sees the phenomenon of monster parents as a social problem since many of the demands these parents make are impossible ones.

For instance, one mother (Yoshino Kimura) complains that her daughter's teachers discriminate against her because they take fewer photos of her than of other children on school outings.

Takamura is forced to be an arbitrator in these cases even though she's short-tempered and hates kids.

A nother new drama series takes on a different social phenomenon that some people might consider a problem, but which the producers clearly think is not.

The protagonist of "Loto 6 de 3 Oku 2 Senman-en Atate Otoko" (The Man Who Won 320 Million Yen in Loto 6)" (Asahi, Friday, 9 p.m.) is Satoshi (Takashi Soromachi), a hapless employee of a midlevel advertising agency.

Satoshi is divorced and behind on his child-support payments.

What's more, he's constantly bullied by his supervisor, who is younger than him and makes him clean up the supervisor's messes.

Satoshi is also a bit of a pachinko addict and likes to waste money at cabaret clubs.

Then one day he buys a Loto 6 lottery ticket and his life is changed dramatically, but not in ways you might expect.

The series is based on a true story.



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