Some people think entrepreneurship is dead in Japan. They may change their tune if they watched the variety show “Medekin” (Fuji TV, Sun., 4:05 p.m.). The title is a play on the Japanese word “demekin,” which refers to a bug-eyed goldfish, but the operative morpheme is “kin,” meaning “money.” The show profiles people who have come up with ideas that made them instantly rich.
The main story this week concerns a man who, while golfing one day, sliced his shot into a water hazard. Despairing that the ball had cost him ¥800, he waded in to fish it out and had a brainstorm. His company makes ¥150 million a year retrieving lost golf balls.
In another segment, comedian Dandy Itano travels to the U.S. to visit an amusement park where patrons can operate heavy machinery, including bulldozers, steam shovels and backhoes. The park is nothing but 20,000 sq. meters of dirt, and it’s hugely successful.
Things are tough all over, and a lot people can’t get by on only one job’s salary. That’s the premise of the four-part drama series, “OL desu ga, Kyabajo Hajimemashita” (“Pleased to Meet You, I’m an Office Worker, but also a Cabaret Hostess”; TBS, Tues., 1:28 a.m.).
Nanako (Asuka Kuramochi) works in an advertising agency but only takes home about ¥160,000 a month, which is not enough to pay her bills. Eventually, her electricity and gas are cut off due to non-payment, so she decides to moonlight as a cabaret club hostess because she hears the pay is good.
She’s hired to work three hours every weeknight, but her first shift overwhelms her. Nanako has a low-key personality, but her colleagues, including her supervisor, Mr. Oda, are all high-powered hustlers. She also finds it difficult to develop any kind of relationship with the customers.
CM of the week
Glico Japanese people hate spicy foods — that’s a stereotype that is challenged in a very provocative way in a new spot for Glico’s Lee ready-made curry. Honoka Matsumoto, a 19-year-old actress wearing a tank top and dripping with sweat, is shown in close-up wolfing down a plate of Lee curry rice, pausing every so often to take a deep breath and chug a glass of ice water. The pleasure-pain paradox is emphasized by the brief, effective slogan. “Umai,” she gasps, meaning “delicious,” but the Chinese character caption reads “karai,” or “hot/spicy,” which may describe the ad more than the product.