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Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012
Rock meets French cuisine in 'Hungry'; launch of 'Taira no Kiyomori'; Shin-Sereberu:
Synergy is the name of the game in the new drama series "Hungry" (Fuji TV, Tues., 10:15 p.m.), which incorporates two themes: rock music and French cuisine.
In episode one, we're introduced to Eisuke (Osamu Mukai), a young man whose dream is to be a professional rock musician; but after his mother dies he decides to run her restaurant. However, his father, Taro (Ren Osugi), makes a serious accounting error that results in the restaurant being taken over by a ruthless businessman (Goro Inagaki). Mostly out of anger, Eisuke decides to open his own restaurant.
The title character of NHK's new yearlong historical drama series, "Taira no Kiyomori" ("Kiyomori of the Taira Clan"; NHK-G, Sun., 8 p.m.), was the first bushi (warrior) in Japanese history ever to enter the political world, as a chancellor during the late Heian Period (794-1185).
The first episode centers on Kiyomori's birth in the barn of a warrior named Tadamori (Kiichi Nakai). The mother is a dancer in the Imperial household and the father, it turns out, is the Emperor himself. Tadamori protects the young woman, who is being pursued by members of the Genji faction, and eventually falls in love with her.
In episode two, which airs Jan. 15, Kiyomori (Kenichi Matsuyama) is now a young man, and frustrated by his awkward position as the son of two fathers he acts out, often in violent ways, despite the fact that his adopted father treats him as his legitimate son.
CM of the week
Shin-Sereberu: Eisai Pharmaceutical has adopted a Scandinavian theme to advertise its over-the-counter stomach remedy series, Shin-Sereberu.
In one spot, three fidgety, middle-aged sisters, dressed in colorful native garb, expound on the view that life is nothing without the enjoyment of eating. We're shown a montage of activities — fishing from a rowboat, skipping a rope — that demonstrate their carefree approach to life.
In a companion spot, a middle-aged couple say pretty much the same thing as they play badminton and the wife entertains her husband with harp music by a beautiful lake. The point is that you can't really appreciate life if you've got heartburn, but it's doubtful that viewers will identify with the people in these commercials: They're just having way too much fun.