According to the Associated Press (AP), Japanese style “shocking” game shows are set to be exported to the US, with shows such as “Endurance” and “Human Tetris” making their way across the Atlantic.
The article claims that there is growing interest in YouTube clips of Japanese game shows and the US networks see a potential for those types of shows on prime-time.
“It’s going to be like nothing that American audiences have ever seen on network television,” Tony Sano, the host of “I Survived A Japanese Game Show、” is quoted as saying.
The article oddly implies that the popularity of these “crazy” Japanese game shows is down to the fact that Japanese people are conservative, quiet and stressed, appearing on the game shows being an outlet for escapism…
Kent Weed, “I Survived” executive producer, claims that after watching “hundreds of hours of Japanese shows,” he picked up that “humiliation and embarrassment—sometimes to the point of sadism” act as a stress reliever for the Japanese public. Apparently, it is “one of the only avenues they have for release, where they can actually let go and not be conservative anymore.”
The article goes further by stating that the Japanese culture “is really about not being the loud one in the room and not being noticed. So for them to stand out is funny in and of itself.”
AP also claim that making it through torture reflects well on a Japanese person’s family: “Their games are all about saving face. When you don’t do good, you've harmed your family—you don’t look good in your family’s eyes.”
Anyone living here will know how ridiculous this comment is—clearly alcohol, golf and sex are more commonly used as stress relievers (although not necessarily in that order).
However, the point seems to be that “All this is very different from American game shows, where players are generally treated with respect.”
Well, you can analyze these game shows as much as you like, attributing them as a reflection of the culture, a stress relief mechanism etc., but at the end of the day, it’s simply just for silly amusement. If we were to judge the US by Jackass, Temptation Island and Who Wants to Marry My Dad? we might come to some pretty funny conclusions about them too.
I Survived A Japanese Game Show:
Other posts by Anna: