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Sunday, May 8, 2011
Scandals through history; high school restaurant; CM of the week: Kincho
Scandals are timeless, but the reporting of them has changed considerably over the millennia. The series "Seiki no Wide Show; Konya wa History" ("Century Wide Show: Tonight is History"; TBS, Mon., 7 p.m.) looks at famous historical events through the lens of a typical daytime television scandal reporter.
This week, the program covers the biggest scandal in the annals of the ooku, the inner chamber of Edo Castle where the women who served the shogun, sexually and otherwise, resided in their own world. In 1714, Ejima, the lady in waiting for the shogun's mother, was accused of having a love affair with a noted Kabuki actor and put on trial.
The reporters look at the incident and interview prominent players. In the process, they explain the atmosphere and even the economy of the ooku.
The premise of the new drama series "Kokosei Restaurant" ("High School Students Restaurant"; Nihon TV, Sat. 9 p.m.) is based on a real restaurant in Mie Prefecture run by high school students.
The show's dramatic contrivances start with Shingo (Masahiro Matsumoto), a former itamae (Japanese chef) who takes a job at a high school that has a club of students who are learning how to cook. With the aid of the local government, the club plans to open and operate a restaurant in town, and Shingo is hired to help.
In Episode 2, Shingo, dismayed by his charges' unserious attitude, launches a spartan training regime that causes some of the members to quit. But his biggest problem is with a local government functionary who has determined the restaurant's menu all by himself. Shingo refuses to accept it.
CM of the week: Kincho
Hitoshi Matsumoto, the ruder half of comedy duo Downtown as well as a prominent movie director, sits at the back of a crowded bus with a can of Kincho insect killer resting on his knee. In a voice as grating as fingernails on a blackboard, he moans about his situation, which is that he is stuck at the back of a crowded bus with a can of Kincho insect killer resting on his knee. In other words, he is doing a TV commercial and doesn't understand his motivation.
In another CM in the same series, Matsumoto sits on the same bus and says to himself, "Kincho for a wedding present ... " It sounds like an outtake, but for Kincho, anything's a wrap.