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Sunday, March 25, 2012
Surprise trip to Sicily; Miracle Hospice; CM of the week: Boss coffee
Until his death last May, Kiyoshi Kodama was the host of the NHK travel show "Sekai Bikkuri Ryokosha" ("World Surprise Travel Agency"; NHK, Tues., 7:30 p.m.). Kodama was the "owner" of the titular travel firm who recommended "unique" overseas sightseeing plans from his studio perch.
Kodama's position has been taken over by actor Yosuke Eguchi, who in his first episode leaves the studio and acts as tour guide of Val di Noto, a region of Sicily consisting of eight towns that were destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1693 and rebuilt by local noblemen in the late Baroque style. Eguchi explores the unusual architecture of the area and talks to local residents about what it's like to live there.
The drama "Kiseki no Hospice" ("Miracle Hospice"; TBS, Wed., 9 p.m.) is based on the career of Keiko Tamura, the head nurse of the Yodogawa Christian Hospital in Osaka, which pioneered the hospice concept in Japan.
Miki Maya plays Reiko, the head nurse of a hospital's hospice division. Her job is not just to oversee the facility, where terminal patients receive end-of-life care, but to make sure that the care meets the patients' individual needs. Among the people she helps are a single mother (Hikari Ishida) who has yet to figure out how to tell her daughter that the child is dying; a man in his 40s (Kenichi Endo) who falls into deep despair because he has no close friends or family; and a career woman in her 50s (Kayoko Kishimoto) who doesn't want to die without seeing her estranged daughter one last time.
CM of the week
Boss: The new campaign for Suntory's canned coffee has so much going on that anyone trying to make sense of the various TV commercials needs to visit the dedicated website,http://zeronochoten.com/ which may be the whole purpose.
The CM is presented as a trailer for an American-style cable TV drama. "Zero no Choten (Zero Apex) Season 2" is about the rivalry between a veteran haute-couture designer (Koshiro Matsumoto) and a "fast fashion" entrepreneur (Takako Matsu) who is stealing his thunder. Subtextual intrigue goes beyond the fact that Koshiro and Matsu are father and daughter. The title is a rip of the mystery "Zero no Shoten (Zero Focus)," by another, unrelated, Matsumoto named Kiyoharu. The mystery for the viewer is the coffee connection.