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Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010

CHANNEL SURF

Two dramas: a jealous love triangle and paralegal's perseverance; CM of the week: McDonald's

The title character of the new Fuji TV series, "Massugu Otoko" (Tues., 10:15 p.m.), is, as the title indicates, a "straightforward man," though some might see obsessive- compulsion in his scrupulous adherence to a personal code of ethics.

Kenichiro (Ryuta Sato) works for a construction company, and in Episode 3 he is asked by a high-powered property owner about a part-timer named Narumi (Kyoko Fukuda), who works for Kenichiro. The owner wants to use her in an ad campaign.

Kenichiro sees the request as an opportunity to get some big business for his company, but Narumi is notoriously fickle. Despite the young woman's contrary personality, she has a slight crush on Kenichiro, and jealousy flares when he's invited to a party by another pretty young woman named Yoshino (Shihori Kanjitani).

Kenichiro's female cognate is the protagonist of "Magerarenai Onna" (The Woman Who Can't Be Bent; Nihon TV, Wed., 10 p.m.), whose own scrupulousness is manifested as a stubborn refusal to listen to others' opinions.

Saki (Miho Kanno) is a 32-year-old paralegal who has taken the bar exam every year for nine years and still hasn't passed. Everyone tells her she should just give up and get married.

In Episode 3, she learns that her mother, Hikaru, has been hospitalized back in Niigata and has refused her doctor's advice and returned home. She is a teacher and she wants to attend the graduation ceremony of her students. Saki returns to talk some sense into her and is followed by Riko (Hiromi Nagasaku), an old high school classmate who is married and has been stalking Saki ever since they recently resumed an acquaintanceship after 15 years.

CM of the week

McDonald's Texas Burger A vintage gas station is situated along a remote stretch of highway in the American Southwest. As Kenny Loggins sings the theme from the movie "Footloose" in the background, one man fills the tank of his pickup truck and another in cowboy gear looks down the road at something approaching. It's a miniature McDonald's outlet on wheels.

The mobile fast food joint is delivering the Texas Burger, the first in a series of specialty burgers under the rubric Big America to be sold for a limited time in Japan. A cowboy is seen taking a huge bite out of one as the little McDonald's car drives off into the sunset for whatever region the next burger in the lineup represents.

Except for the cowboy there isn't much in the commercial that could be considered characteristically Texan, but it did the trick. Reportedly, sales at Japanese McDonald's on Jan. 15, the day the new burger went on sale, totaled ¥2.8 billion, a new one-day record for the company.



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