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Sunday, July 3, 2011

CHANNEL SURF

Shades of 'The Prisoner'; Shin Takuma in 'Brave Yoshiko'; CM of the week: Secom

The shadow of the old British spy series "The Prisoner" hovers over the new late-night drama "Peace Vote" (TBS, Mon., 12:18 a.m.). Gaku Hamada stars as Hide, a young man with an inferiority complex brought on by his older brother's fame as the founder of a successful social network.

Hide's feeling of worthlessness is compounded by sadness when his brother suddenly dies. At the funeral, he is approached by a mysterious stranger who says, "You killed your brother." Hide passes out and when he awakes discovers he's been abducted and imprisoned on a ship out in the middle of the ocean. His fellow passengers have all suffered the same fate, and they are all told they are "guilty" and will not be released until they confess to their "crimes."

A fantasy of a more conventional sort is the basis for "Yusha Yoshihiko to Mao Shiro" ("Brave Yoshihiko and the Devil Castle"; Fri., TV Tokyo, 12:12 a.m.), which Wikipedia characterizes as a "budget adventure spectacle."

The story takes place in a forest realm a long, long time ago. When the inhabitants of a village all fall victim to a mysterious plague, the bravest man, Teruhiko, leaves to find a legendary herbal cure. Six months later, he still hasn't returned, so his son, Yoshihiko (Takayuki Yamada), sets out to look for him.

Every week, the drama will feature a famous guest star, and this week's is veteran TV and movie actor Shin Takuma playing Danjo, a man Yoshihiko meets along the way.

CM of the week: Secom

In a new commercial for home-security company Secom's line of KokoSecom cell phones for children, a little girl is seen in several settings — a park or on a river promenade — performing choreographed gestures to a simple melody and singing that her mother will "always understand" where she is, thanks to the phone's built-in GPS tracking device.

In the background, however, there is always an elderly gentleman watching the child, and in each setting he ends up mimicking the girl's movements, gesture for gesture. There's no clear explanation in the ad for his presence. Does Secom want to say that old folks also need GPS cell phones so their families can locate them? In any case, despite the jaunty tune (or maybe because of it), his appearance is a little creepy given the purpose of the product.



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