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Sunday, May 27, 2012


The Mayor is the Son-in-Law; Firefly tie-in in Italy; CM of the week: Myland

The commercial TV networks are finally starting to air programs on their satellite channels that aren't infomercials or reruns of things they ran on their main channels. BS Asahi now has an original "home drama" called "Shicho wa Mukodomo" ("The Mayor is the Son-in-Law"; Mon., 10 p.m.).

Hiromasa Akiyoshi (Atsuro Watabe) was compelled to run for the position of mayor in his town when his father-in-law, who was the previous mayor, died suddenly. Hiromasa is a muko, meaning a man who takes the name of his wife's family. Hiromasa met Suzune in college and she became pregnant. Her parents didn't approve of the marriage so Suzune convinced Hiromasa to take the family name.

In episode four, Hiromasa is worried because his most valued staff member is thinking of quitting. The employee's high-school-age daughter has decided not to go to college and instead become a part-time worker.

Nippon TV is backing the major motion picture "Hotaru no Hikari," which opens June 9, so expect a lot of tie-ins over the next few weeks. This week the variety show "Waratte Koraete" ("Try Not to Laugh"; Wed., 7 p.m.) presents a two-hour special centered around Italy, where the movie takes place. Haruka Ayase, who stars in the film, works with the program's "Rome bureau" as a "reporter." They take in the Milan Collection, visit the Missoni fashion house and administer a special quiz about Italian history and lifestyles.

Another segment explores special "300-meter-radius" walking tours in all of Tokyo's 23 wards, including one in the vicinity of — surprise! — Tokyo Skytree.

CM of the week

Myland: Myland is a real-estate company that buys old houses, fixes them up and then sells them. They are thus more affordable than brand new houses.

In one new commercial for the company, a relatively young woman stands next to an older version of herself, each wearing a T-shirt. The younger woman's tee reads "2012," while the older one's reads "2037." The younger woman says, "I finally decided." The following montage shows her at work, with colleagues saying things like "I heard" or "Wow!" The idea is that people are impressed that she bought her own home. Then the older version of herself says, "That's when my life became happy."

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