I like Love Game, because it's ludicrous and cheesy even in comparison with other ludicrously cheesy TV dramas. Bunny and I watched (what turned out to be) the first episode when we were in Tokyo, and were hypnotised. Then I couldn't remember what day it was on, or what time, or what channel so I lost track of it completely... only to find it popping up on a Thursday night when I was channel hopping a couple of weeks ago.
And a quick internet hunt brings up a site where you can stream or download an English subtitled version of the first two episodes! You're welcome internet. Now you can "enjoy" it along with me!
Love Game's premise is simple. A mysterious, beautiful woman (mysteriously beautiful or beautifully mysterious? It's never made clear) offers a hundred million yen to some poor dope if they do something... to do with love. Like seduce someone, or lie to their wife, or fuck a porpoise - you get the idea. Of course the offer seems creepy but relatively risk-free, they can tell the truth about the game after they've got the money and put things right, so they accept. Oh, but little do they know that it's all an elaborate set-up to reveal some crushing secret about their own life that they were unaware of. And no-one wins... the Love Game.
The Love Game target in the first episode is this schmuck:
Notice the meaningless "LOCK ON" thing there. I mean, it's not like they're gonna fire a missile at him or something. However I guess they do have an unexplained and improbable amount of surveilance following everyone around relaying the pictures back to the mysteriously beautiful woman's wall of TV monitors. I mean, it's like there's a TV camera crew wandering about these people's houses that they've forgotten to ask about. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, this guy's on surveilance LOCK. No getting away for him.
All he has to do is get his wife to sign divorce papers within 8 hours and the money is his. After that they don't have to get a divorce, he can just tell her the truth and tear up the paper and they can take a long vacation to Hawaii or something.
Of course this is where he really ends up:
So emotionally devastated that when he attempts to turn around and walk he falls over his own feet.
Oh, spoiler warning! In case you actually do want to watch that link above. To be honest I don't recommend it. I mean the show's only thirty minutes long, and fun and cheesy but you could spend that time stirring chilli or whittling. There are better things to do.
See, he has a ploy to get his wife to sign the divorce papers, but one thing leads to another and it turns out that his otherwise prim and proper wife ("a real Japanese flower" we're told) was actually his brother's psychotic stalker. When his doctor brother (who's twice the man he'll ever be) cut off their affair she skewered herself to his desk with a scalpel and ended up being carted off by the cops. Since she couldn't get near the older brother she tracked down the younger one and... next thing you know they're married and they've got a kid. And now that our "hero" is fully aware that she's a complete lunatic she assures him that he's the one she loves now and she'll be by his side... forever.
And all that's left to say is:
Oh, and then there's the end credits where Beautifully Mysterious wakes up all post-coital in her nightie on an urban rooftop:
Answers on a postcard for what that's all about. It's possibly back-story to explain why she's wrapped up in this whole emotional-trauma racket, but equally likely is that it's a TV producer who thinks that chicks in night-dresses on rooftops is way hot.