|

‘What are the odds?’ variety; ‘Stand by Me’ adaptation; CM of the week: Uniqlo

The purpose behind the occasional variety special “Kekkyoku! Kakuritsu Nano da” (“At last! What’s the Probability”; TV Tokyo, Tues., 7 p.m.) is to figure out the probability of certain occurrences that will supposedly interest viewers but which sound more like they concern people in show biz. Past specials looked into such matters as the odds of a female TV announcer getting married to a professional baseball player and the probability that a coin in your possession will roll under a vending machine.

This time, hosts Jun Nagura and Yuka find out how probable it is that a student attending the University of Tokyo received straight-5s (5 being the highest grade) while in high school; which member of the girl group AKB48 is most likely to be the first to do a nude photo spread; and the odds that a celebrity couple whose wedding was emceed by famous veteran announcer Kazuo Tokumitsu will eventually seek a divorce.

Viewers with young children and vivid imaginations are cautioned not to watch the drama special “Sayonara Bokutachi no Yochien” (“Goodbye to Our Kindergarten”; Nihon TV, Wed., 9 p.m.), which is being promoted as the “preschool version” of the classic Steven King adaptation “Stand By Me.”

Kanna (Mana Ashida), who attends a kindergarten in central Tokyo, is worried about her friend Hiromu, who has been absent from school for several days. She and four other classmates sneak out of kindergarten one day and head by themselves for Takao Station in western Tokyo by train, hoping to find him there. But before they go, they make a pact: No matter what happens to them during their adventure, they won’t cry.

CM of the week: Uniqlo

The cut-rate clothing retailer boosts its international position with the latest promos for its “new cargo pants” and “new chinos” lines. In addition to actors Ryuhei Matsuda and Meisa Kuroki, as well as soccer star Keisuke Honda, the spots feature Oscar-winner Charlize Theron and British heartthrob Orlando Bloom.

Though the trousers themselves are proudly nondistinctive in accordance with the Uniqlo credo, the models show them off as if they are haute couture, albeit in quotidian settings. The preternaturally sullen Matsuda is seen opening a garage door, Theron lounges on a picnic table reading a book and Bloom cruises down the street on a ridiculously small bicycle. The contrast between high-fashion attitude and sensible attire is striking, especially for Kuroki, who wears heels so high you fret for her safety. The point seems to be that you, too, can be this glamorous, regardless of how dull your life is. As Theron says in one of the series’ epigrammatic voice-overs: “The mystery of the everyday.”