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Sunday, Sep. 9, 2012

CHANNEL SURF

"Give it a try!"; A winning family drama; CM of the week: Japan Tobacco Consulting

Long-running variety show "Otameshi Ka!" ("Give it a Try!"; TV Asahi, Monday, 7 p.m.) usually tests its guests' knowledge about products offered by famous manufacturers or retail and restaurant chains. This week's two-hour special tries something different.

Two teams, one captained by comedy duo Taka and Toshi, and the other by Cunning Takeyama, compete in a karaoke setting to name the Top 10 pop songs of two eras. T&T tackle Heisei (1989-present), while Cunning takes on Showa (1926-1989). Each team has to guess the hits of their respective period by singing their choices, from start to finish, and the first team to guess all 10 correctly is the winner. In addition, if either team guesses the Top 10 right away, it wins a cool ¥1 million.

On Friday night, TV Asahi presents a dramatization of the winning script in the 11th annual 21st Century New Scenario Writer Award, which was selected a year ago. The winner was Taiki Wakasa and the script, selected from 1,495 submissions, has been made into "Hana no Kanmuri" ("A Crown of Flowers"; 11:15 p.m.), a family drama with a twist.

Junko (Yuki Saito) has just gotten married for the third time, a circumstance that makes for complicated feelings in her teenage son, Sakura (Taishi Nakagawa). These feelings become even more complicated when his older step-sister, Shiho (Misako Renbutsu), shows up. Shiho is actually the daughter of Junko's second husband, whom she divorced seven years ago. When they were first married, Shiho's father was kind, but after he lost his job he became moody and violent. Shiho has come to Sakura's new home because she always got along well with Junko.

CM of the week

JT (Japan Tobacco) Consulting: A group of men walk out of an elevator into a large, bustling, sunlit office on an upper floor of a highrise building. They carry gifts and are obviously impressed. Another man greets them and starts showing them around. One visitor sees a glass-enclosed smoking area with the words "Supported by JT" stenciled on the door. In the next scene they are smoking and the boss says it's important to make all his employees happy.

The ad is for JT's Consulting division, which presumably helps companies create work environments where smokers and nonsmokers can coexist peacefully — a quaint idea given world trends.



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