Problem-solving shows for celebs and viewers; CM of the Week: Treasure Factory

On the problem-solving variety show “Kaiketsu! Nainai Answer” (“Solution! Ninety-nine Answers”; Nippon TV, Tues., 9 p.m.), comedy duo Ninety-nine and some celebrities offer advice to viewers who send in stories of personal tribulations. A studio audience of 50 women then ranks the solutions from best to worst.

In this week’s two-hour special, the celebrities themselves have personal problems, though Ninety-nine’s Takashi Okamura thinks they’re mostly bogus. Maybe he has a point. Among them is one former pinup model’s difficulties in trying to adjust to “country life” and an actress’ obsession with pachinko. However, there is also a comedian’s battle with cancer and a former soccer star’s coming to terms with his violent father.

More advice is offered by ubiquitous chatterboxes Matsuko Deluxe and Hiroiki Ariyoshi on “Matsuko to Ariyoshi no Ikari Shinto” (“Matsuko and Ariyoshi’s Angry New Party”; TV Asahi, Wed., 11:15 p.m.), in which the two stars, acting as executives of a fictional political party, make proposals to viewers who send in “complaints.” Both get lots of work on variety shows because of their frank opinions. Deluxe, in fact, just had a new talk show on TBS canceled after only one installment because it was considered too frank.

Among the angry letters on display this week is one from a woman whose boyfriend gives up too easily; a person who thinks that restaurant renge (Chinese spoons) are too difficult to use; and a woman who can’t stand the way her husband sleeps.

CM of the week: Treasure Factory

A woman is peddling a bicycle down a suburban street when she is confronted by a large black bear. She pretends to be dead but the bear steals her leather handbag. “That’s important to me,” she screams, and pursues the animal through forests and over streams, at one point commandeering a car because the bear has taken off in a convertible. Eventually, there is a standoff on a mountainside and the woman, crazy with desperation, lunges.

Cut to the woman, her arm in a sling, standing in Treasure Factory, an emporium for used goods. She asks the clerk what she can get for the handbag, and then points to the bear behind her, now stuffed and mounted. “And this, too,” she says. Bears just can’t catch a break in Japan.