The inter-season TV schedule always features specials dedicated to police videos, eating contests and large, impoverished families. In this third category we have “Binbo ni Makeru na” (“We Won’t be Beaten by Poverty”; TV Tokyo, Mon., 6:30 p.m.), the 11th semiannual installment in the saga of the Watazus of Shimane Prefecture, first introduced in 2008.
Mrs. Watazu is on her third marriage. For Mr. Watazu, who works at a supermarket, it’s only his first. She brought 10 kids to the union and together they’ve produced four more: in total two boys and 12 girls, several of whom have already had kids of their own. The 24-year-old eldest daughter has been divorced twice. The Watazus share two six-mat rooms and one 4.5-mat room. Who says the income gap can’t be entertaining?
In celebration of its 55th anniversary, Fuji TV is bringing back “the double Asanos,” Atsuko and Yuko, two of the most popular TV drama actresses in the late 1980s and early ’90s. They star together in a special drama called “Dakishimetai! Forever” (“I Want to Be Held! Forever”; Tues., 9 p.m.).
Atsuko plays Asako Ikeuchi, a 54-year-old “life stylist” who is always appearing in magazines and on TV. She has no time for romance, and at her age that is both a relief and a disappointment. Yuko plays her best friend Natsuko, who is married to Keisuke (Koichi Iwaki), the owner of a chain of Chinese restaurants. She has no kids, so her life project is to find a husband for Asako.
When Natsuko finds out that Keisuke is having an affair, she packs her bags and runs off to Asako’s house. It’s not the first time this has happened, but this time it’s different: Keisuke appears to have fathered a child with his mistress.
CM of the week: Kinoko no Yama
Jun Matsumoto, dressed all in green and wearing a floppy hat, is tooling down a city street in his sports car at night. “A child forever?” he thinks to himself. “Time to quit.” Though you might think he’s talking about his position in the boy band Arashi, he’s actually playing Peter Pan. In order to grow up, he’s started snacking on Meiji’s “adult chocolate,” Kinoko no Yama (Mushroom Mountain).
Tinkerbell, sitting on his dashboard, is taken aback. “This is an advertisement, isn’t it,” she says. That’s right. You don’t have to be an adult to make a TV commercial.