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Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012
"Give it a try!"; A Matsumoto mystery; CM of the week: Pizza Hut
Special to The Japan Times
Celebrity couples are very popular among variety-show producers, but in recent years they have shown more interest in another two-for-one bargain: the parent-child pairing. This week a special two-hour edition of the consumer challenge show, "Otameshi Ka!" ("Give It a Try!"; TV Asahi, Mon. 7 p.m.) will feature three such duos.
The job of the contestants is to show their knowledge of steak-oriented family restaurants, but the reason most people will tune in is to catch some intra-family sparks flying from former sumo grand champion Masaru Hanada and his glamorous mother Noriko Fujita; 1970s teen pinup girl Ryoko Sakaguchi and her daughter Anri; and former boy idol Toshikazu Fukawa and his son Shunta, who made his name as a variety-show star by bad-mouthing his dad.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the passing of mystery writer Seicho Matsumoto, TV Asahi is presenting new adaptations of his works over the course of two Saturdays. The first is "Jumanbun no Ichi no Gunzen" ("A 1/1,000,000th Chance Coincidence"; Dec. 15, 9 p.m.), which stars Masakazu Tamura as a nonfiction writer.
Shohei (Tamura) is doing research in a remote region overseas when he learns that his daughter, Akiko (Miki Nakatani), has been killed in a multiple-car pileup back in Japan. By the time he gets the news it has been a month since the accident. He is sent a remarkable photo taken by an amateur photographer seconds before Akiko died, and en route to Japan he studies the picture carefully, keeping in mind that an eyewitness claims to have seen a red flame just as the crash occurred. Shohei is determined to know more.
CM of the Week:
Pizza Hut: Pizza Hut outlets are offering two limited-time products for your delectation: one pizza topped with meat from snow crabs, which in Japan are called zuwai-gani, and another topped with ham from black Iberian pigs.
In the related ad, SMAP's Shingo Katori is confronted by a trio of black-pig puppets who ask which topping he prefers. He chooses the crab, thus prompting the catch copy, "Why zuwai?", a question that goes unanswered. Also unexplained: The three pigs collapse at Katori's response, seemingly out of disappointment, though we'd prefer to think it's an expression of relief.