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Sunday, April 10, 2011
Perils of modern motherhood and keeping a dog; CM of the week: S.T. Corporation
The perils of modern motherhood are explored in the news drama series "Namae wo Nakushita Megumi" ("The Goddess Who Lost Her Name"; Fuji TV, Tues., 9 p.m.), whose promotional catchphrase is "Welcome to mamatomo hell." "Mamatomo" is a word that describes women who become friends through their children.
Yuko (Anne, the single-monikered daughter of Hollywood star Ken Watanabe) moves to a new neighborhood and enrolls her little boy, Kenta, in a local preschool. She makes friends with a group of young mothers who send their kids to the same school, and is particularly attracted to the very well-off Reina (Yoshino Kimura). But as they become closer, Yuko is perplexed by these women's distinctive outlook on life: They are obsessed with their children's status, and exist in a world cut off from reality.
Ryo Nishikido of the boy band News stars in another new family-oriented drama series, "Inu wo Kau to Iu Koto" ("Keeping a Dog"; TV Asahi, Fri., 11:15 p.m.). Nishikido plays Yuji, a young breadwinner living under the shadow of the new Tokyo Sky Tree whose family can barely make ends meet.
Even worse, Yuji's job is making him a nervous wreck. His company is in the process of downsizing and he has been put in charge of carrying out the dismissals of most of the older employees. He hates going to work every day, and afterward carries his disappointment home to his family, which is on the verge of breaking apart.
Everything starts to change when his daughter, Mako, encounters a stray Pomeranian on the street near their home and asks her father if she can keep it.
CM of the week: S.T. Corporation
Kumao, the human-size, blank-eyed, blue teddy bear that stars in S.T. Corporation's ads for its moth-proofing product Mushuda, is visiting the zoo and takes in the polar-bear compound. While watching the polar bear do what polar bears do he notices something sticking out of the side of the polar bear's nose. "Ah!" he cries, pointing. "Insects are eating you!"
The polar bear panics. "Where? Where?" He removes his headgear, revealing that, like Kumao, he is a blue bear, though he happens to have a snout whereas Kumao's face is uniformly flat. Still, the idea of a stuffed bear wearing the costume of another bear, especially one that's moth-eaten, fits the series' overall sense of the absurd. The polar-bear impostor pokes the tuft of fabric sticking out of the headgear's nose with his paw. "You're right," he says.
Next we see Kumao and the impostor hang a Mushuda moth-proofing product in the latter's closet, which is filled with normal men's shirts that a stuffed bear would have difficulty getting into.