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Sunday, June 13, 2010


'Superpowers' explained; super-beautiful women ranked; CM of the week: Suntory Black Oolong Tea

The appeal of NHK's half-hour science show "Suiensa" (NHK-E, Tues., 6:55 p.m.) is pretty simple: Cute young women carrying out scientific experiments. The premise is even simpler: Answer an everyday question scientifically.

This week, the topic is the commonly held belief that the human body is capable of producing extra power under "critical circumstances." Of course, everyone knows that adrenalin is produced when the body is stressed by fear, but how can people re-create such situations without being scared?

The "researchers" in the studio try to boost their momentary muscle strength by screaming or doing a lot of pushups just prior to testing. In addition to improved physical power, it turns out that intellectual power is boosted, too.

Attractive females are also the appeal of the 3 1/2-hour special edition of the ranking variety show "The Best House 1-2-3" (Fuji TV, Wed., 7 p.m.). The topic of the special is "women who are just too beautiful."

The show looks far and wide for pretty women. The female comedy group Harisenbon visits a women's prison that is holding a beauty contest. Also, the editor in chief of a magazine that specializes in gossip news about foreign celebrities talks about the "super intense" lifestyles of female stars which can sometimes destroy them. There's also a report on a group of formerly overweight housewives who made themselves over and started a business that now earns ¥500 million a year. Lastly, a hidden camera shows a "greedy" and beautiful woman killing her husband.

CM of the week

Suntory Black Oolong Tea: A rotund, middle-aged man grills a steak on his plant-filled veranda overlooking a harbor. He is sitting on a saddle attached to a machine that rocks back and forth, mimicking the movements of a horse. A jaunty, slightly martial song plays on the soundtrack, and on a boat in the distance, two men watch him through binoculars and gesture in agitation.

Suntory's campaign for its Black Oolong Tea pushes the claim that drinking the beverage makes it more "difficult" for the body to accumulate fat, and tends to use Chinese male talent who love to eat rich food, in particular meat. The plump man rocking on the saddle is legendary Hong Kong action star and kung fu choreographer Sammo Hung. In a previous ad he perfunctorily fought off the two guys on the boat when they tried to prevent him from eating a plate of meatballs.

Hung's name and history are not mentioned in the commercial, so it's difficult to know exactly what Suntory expects viewers to take away from it. In any case, considering the gut on him he obviously isn't drinking enough Black Oolong Tea.

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