Model-actress Chiaki Kuriyama makes her first leading-role appearance in a TV drama series, as a housewife with a secret past in “Himitsu Chohoin Erika” (“Secret Intelligence Agent Erika”; Nippon TV, Thurs., 11:58 p.m.).
Erika is married to a salaryman and is the mother of a kindergarten-age son. She is perfectly happy in her domestic situation until one day her former boss shows up at her house, saying he wants her to come back to work for him.
Her boss is the head of intelligence in the prime minister’s office, and when Erika balks at returning to her old position as a spy, he threatens to tell her husband about her past, which Erika would prefer to keep secret. She accepts, and on her first assignment back on the job she meets a woman who was sexually assaulted at a matchmaking party.
Based on a popular manga, the new comedy series “Koko ga Uwasa no Eru Parashio” (“Welcome to the El Palacio”; TV Tokyo, Fri., 12 midnight) stars pinup idol Eriko Sato as Shumisen Ouka, the leader of an all-female professional wrestling troupe.
In the first episode, she rescues a young man (Kohei Takeda) after a traffic accident. He has lost his memory and doesn’t know his name, so she calls him Tadasuke Ooka. He follows her back to her troupe, El Palacio, where she makes use of him as a personal servant, though he ends up working as a virtual slave for all the wrestlers in the troupe, including the “ace,” Itsuka Makihara (Yuzuki Aikawa).
CM of the week
Daihatsu: Carmaker Daihatsu, which is Japan’s No. 1 manufacturer of mini-cars, has attracted a lot of attention in recent weeks for its new “eco model” Mira e:S (pronounced “ease”). The car gets 30 km to a liter of gas, thus making it competitive in terms of mileage to a hybird, which gets about 32.
The company’s new ad campaign for the e:S is just as ambitious as the car itself. A Daihatsu executive meets with his advertising team on a sound stage, insisting that they should simply promote the benefits of the e:S, but the ad team says it’s too late — they’ve already hired a “major star” for the commercial and he’s on his way. We then see Bruce Willis sitting in a first-class cabin practicing his one Japanese line for the ad.
In the followup spot, Willis and his entourage show up at the taping and he then proceeds to flub his one and only line.