Top 5 Most Hated Japanese TV, Part 1
And now, my Top 5 most hated Japanese TV shows.
I would like to stress again that this list is based purely on personal preference and experience. So if I’ve never seen a show and don’t know of its existence, I can’t really rank it. And while there may be more horrible shows out there, these are the ones that irk me on a personal level. Again, while the shows themselves might not be that terrible, you have to factor in that Japan offers nothing better – this is what passes for entertainment, and almost everything else is an uninspired re-hash of the same concepts over and over again.
While I gave a general explanation of it in the last post, I found that Wikipedia actually has an article about the geinojin/talent, here. So for those who are interested/curious to the point of dangerous obsession, someone has already written more about it than I would care to. So, enjoy.
But anyway, here we go.
#5 – Hey Hey Hey Music Champ
This show tries to pass itself off as a music show, but that’s just a facade for the same ‘ol crap of rounding up a bunch of talent, and having them talk/eat/play games. Except now its music talent, and they justify the “music” portion of the show by having the artist(s) play a 90 second version of whatever new single they’ve recently released.
Hey Hey Hey makes the list because it is exceptionally boring. I cannot overstate how mind-numbingly dull this show is. I can’t even say bored to tears – tears would imply some sort of emotional response, something Hey Hey Hey couldn’t do even if the guests and hosts all spontaneously exploded. You know the phrase “bored to death?” Sometimes I feel like watching Hey Hey Hey actually shortens my lifespan. Like a giant soul-sucking vacuum is placed on my chest for 30 minutes and my lifespan is tragically shortened.
But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s an example.
Host: (to a famous female artist) So, tell us about your “secret” personal life.
Singer: Well, many people may not know this, but I’m actually really good friends with [some other famous female singer].
(Mostly Female) Audience: …..EEEEEEHHHHHHH?!?!
Singer: Its true! When we aren’t busy with recordings or tours we often go eat cake together.
My Wife: …..EEEEEEHHHHHHH?!?!
Me: …..No. You stop that immediately.
Wife: But, its interesting!
Me: Wow! Normal people do normal things! Yes, that certainly is fascinating.
That isn’t something I just dreamed up, that actually happened.
Hey Hey Hey is hosted by a famous Japanese comedy duo called Downtown. Being how they’re famous comedians, you’d think they bring a little humor or flavor to the show, right? Nope! The guests give a boring talk about something dull, Matsumoto says something stupid and Hamada insults him for it. For the 12,083,098,132th time. Whee.
Hey Hey Hey gets the unique distinction of boring me years before I actually came to Japan. When I was still in university, I had the International Channel, and Sunday evenings was dedicated to Japanese programming. We got Dragonball/Z, Hey Hey Hey, and then some random drama (which usually wasn’t that great). At this time, I was in the middle of my Japanophile affliction, so I watched every week in order to practice Japanese, and to pay homage to the holy land.
But I couldn’t hang with Hey Hey Hey. Despite having just watched Son Goku and company save the Earth from over-powered baddies for the umpteenth time, if I tried to sit and watch Hey Hey Hey I invariably fell asleep, to wake up halfway through the following drama. Which puts Hey Hey Hey on the level of entertainment of…say…C-SPAN. And this is supposed to be prime time TV! During Hey Hey Hey’s time slot I had to actually get up and do something productive. Which, I think, is Serious Offense #1 for any TV show. I’m watching TV because I want to sit on the couch and do nothing but be entertained. Isn’t that the point of television?
Plus, how in the holy name of Michael Knight does a Japanese TV show fail to satisfy a Japanophile?
#4 – Live 2009 News Japan
Waitaminute…how does a news program make any sort of worst TV list?? …..is what you may be wondering.
News programs in Japan are sort of a different beast. I remember in America at least, the news seemed fairly centered on things like crimes and accidents. In Japan, the news covers domestic issues, some foreign issues, and then will go into special interest stories. Accidents and crimes are covered, but not to the extent that America does it. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since American news can sometimes be more depressing than a Tim Burton movie.
And hey, this news program just happens to have a pretty cute co-anchor. So, what’s the deal?
Live 2009 News Japan makes the list because, while Ms. Cutie Pie and Mr. Doesn’t Matter are having a conversation about the top international news stories…they tend to have little cartoon animations playing out the scenarios at the bottom of the screen. Well, for the head of the cartoon person, they’ll use an actual snapshot of the person’s head, but their body will be a toon. So, its a little hard to take them seriously talking about the danger that North Korea’s nuclear tests pose to Japan, while cartoon Kim Jong Il flies across the bottom of the screen on a little rocket.
It was especially bad during the American presidential primaries and elections. Ms. Cutie would be talking about the primaries and polling trends, meanwhile below her cartoon Obama would be offering up a bouquet of roses to cartoon Hillary Clinton, while cartoon Bush stands off to the side looking confused and bewildered.
I have to stress, I’m really not making this up.
I would understand the usage of the toon political and world leaders if this was like “News For Kids” or something…but this news program airs at 11:30PM.
The election was also annoying because they tended to over hype every little thing, or at least use misleading language.
Anchor: Today in America there will be a key primary in Ohio…THAT WILL DECIDE EVERYTHING.
Japanese Person: OMG, decide everything? So, America is picking their president now?
Me: …No. This is just a primary. The actual election is in November, still months from now.
Japanese Person: But the news just said…
Me: Okay, who are you going to believe here? The person who was born and raised in America, or the girl on the TV with the cartoon caricatures of Bush and Cheney doing the ho-down below her?
Japanese Person: Well, I guess when you put it that way. So, the presidential election will be between Hillary Clinton and Obama, right?
Me: …No. Clinton and Obama are in the same party. They’re running to decide which of them will be their parties representative to run for president.
Japanese Person: And who is their opponent?
Me: John McCain.
Japanese Person: …Who’s that?
Me: …His face is on the cartoon body that’s playing the music for cartoon Bush’s ho-down.
Japanese Person: Oh, okay, I get it. Wow, so the next president of America will either be Santa Claus, a man in a woman’s suit, or a black dude. America sure is interesting!
Next time: We break into the Top 3!