Ever wonder where director/star “Beat” Takeshi Kitano got the idea of the big tap-dancing finale for his 2003 remake of the samurai classic “Zatoichi”? It came to him after he saw the American dancer Savion Glover, who the program information says influenced Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk.
This week on “Takeshi Art Beat” (NHK-G, Mon., 10 p.m.), Japan’s king of all media finally meets Glover at the latter’s studio in New York. Kitano himself studied tap dancing when he was younger, but quit after he became a successful comedian in the 1970s. Glover is said to have the fastest feet in the history of the terpsichorean arts, and so Kitano brings along a high-speed camera in order to study his amazing footwork up close.
If NHK’s New Year’s Eve song contest doesn’t interest you, but live television still provides a thrill, there are three alternatives.
Starting at 5 p.m., TV Tokyo presents “Dai 44-kai Toshiwasure Nippon no Uta” (“44th End-of-Year Japanese Songs”), which tends to feature all those big enka (Japanese ballad) singers who weren’t invited to the NHK hoedown — and even a few that were, since its 9 p.m. ending time allows them to make it to NHK.
TBS, which usually has some mixed martial arts thing, this year builds a live talk show about sports around a WBC title boxing match, as well as a futsal contest between the Nadeshiko Japan All Stars and some J-League alumni. Hosted by “Beat” Takeshi, the fun starts at 6 p.m. and continues for 5½ hours.
And on TV Asahi, super explainer Akira Ikegami will stand in front of the cameras for 7½ hours talking about the year’s news highlights and what the world can expect in 2012. He’ll also answer questions you have about anything.
CM of the week
Dorea: Exile hunk Takahiro sports a suaver, softer look in a series of spots for Meiji’s Dorea frozen treat. Set to make-out music, the CMs explain three types of Dorea, each of which is processed using a specific freezing time. Zero minutes (flash freezing) produces a more solid vanilla center and is illustrated by Takahiro clutching the object of his desire fast to his breast; while the 90-minute process makes for a softer, fluffier center and is analogized with Takahiro bending over for a kiss that’s never consummated. The commercial certainly gives new meaning to the idea of the “90-minute man.”