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Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010

CHANNEL SURF

Romantic advice for celebrities, temp work drama and CM of the week: DMM.com

Celebrities need love, too, which seems to be the point of "Ai no Onayami Keiketsu" (Solutions to the Anguish of Love; Nihon TV, Tues., 8:54 p.m.), where a group of stars and former stars receive romantic advice from a marriage counselor, a psychiatrist and a fortune teller.

The guests on this week's show all talk about past opportunities for love and marriage that were somehow confounded by circumstances. All seem to believe that if they had married a certain someone, their lives would have turned out much better.

Kazumi Moroboshi, formerly of Hikaru Genji, the most popular boy-idol group of the late 1980s and early '90s, tells how when he was in the group he dated a famous female idol but that their respective agencies prevented them from marrying. Actors Arthur Kuroda and Miyuki Sugiura both reveal how they were once in love and why they broke up. And Mi, one half of the hugely influential J-pop duo Pink Lady, relates her own story of love sacrificed to show business.

The tribulations of the irregularly employed are explored in the new drama series "Angel Bank" (TV Asahi, Thurs., 9 p.m.) starring Kyoko Hasegawa as Mamako, a high school English teacher who, in a fit of irrational anger, announces her resignation without believing that it will actually be accepted.

She eventually gets a job as an agent with a temporary employment service, and she sees firsthand the difficulties experienced by people who aren't sure if they have a job from one day to the next.

In episode 2, which airs this week, Mamako meets a young man named Yamaguchi at a friend's wedding, and he later comes to see her at her company. He has had one job in his life and though it lasted two years he didn't learn anything practical. He wants Mamako to find him work. She gets angry and lectures him on his lack of ambition, but later feels guilty about her outburst.

CM of the week

DMM.com A rock singer has just finished a song and the auditorium of sweating fans listens raptly as he tells them that what's really important isn't money, but something else, and then he touches his heart. The camera lingers momentarily on a young woman who seems ready to burst into tears, as if this were a revelation that has somehow changed her life.

A message under the singer's profile reads, "I said something beautiful," and then the mood is abruptly broken by voiceover for DMM.com's foreign exchange investment business, which offers a "money is important plan."

Cynical lampoon of youthful idealism? Candid rejoinder about what matters in the real world? You could watch the commercial for hours without ever reaching a conclusion, and that, in fact, may be the purpose.



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