Top 5 Most Hated Japanese TV, Part 2
The worst hits parade continues!
#3 – Sanma’s Dancing Palace
This is one of those “round up a group of talent and just have them talk” shows. They tell “you had to be there” stories, which is boring because…well…we weren’t there, these jackoffs aren’t interesting, and I just don’t care.
As this type of show dominates Japanese TV, I’m singling this one out because of the host, Sanma Akashiya. He’s considered to be one of the “Big 3” entertainers in Japan, but watching this show “entertainment” is a terrible misuse of the word. As his guests say something supposedly funny, or stupid, he makes a horrible overreaction, braying like a donkey, falling to his knees, and often hitting a podium with a scepter that features a buck-toothed, dragon-head* likeness of himself. The podium seems to serve no other purpose than to give him something to hit with his Dragon Zord Scepter.
This is primetime TV in this country. …Yep.
*…Maybe that’s more of a frog than a dragon? Or maybe it’s a dinosaur? Honestly, I just don’t care enough to try and figure it out.
Perhaps the most depressing thing about Sanma’s Dancing Palace is that this is a show that’s been on the air for over 10 years. Yep, 10 years of Sanma overreacting to stupid shit. How many of you couldn’t finish watching the YouTube video before wanting to chew your own arms off and beat him with them? Yet this is a show that’s apparently interesting enough to survive on Japanese TV for 10 years. There are people watching this, perhaps even amused by the fact that Sanma fell to his knees in laughter or smacked the podium with his Moon Princess Stick for the I-don’t-know-how-many-th time.
I actually bear no ill-will towards Sanma. I figure the guy lives a rough life. I mean, if I had to horribly overact to shit that wasn’t even remotely funny in the first place, and keep up this act for over 10 years, I’d probably cry myself to sleep every night.
Unofficially, another show of his shares the #3 spot – this one is called “Much Ado About Love”. Instead of talent, a group of mostly young girls are gathered to talk about love and romance. And again, Sanma overreacts to stupid shit, but I don’t know if he has any sea horse shaped rods in his image to smack against podiums. And I don’t care to find out.
(EDIT: Curiousity got the better of me. Okay, so this time it’s a giant white finger. …Don’t ask me, I don’t know. Oh, and for those of you who will probably ask “what are they saying in the video”, do this – just imagine what they’re saying in your head. I promise you, whatever you think up will be 100x more interesting than what they actually did say.)
I suppose shows like this feed into the Japanese need to laugh at people who are dumber than they are. Whenever this show is on air, I usually make it a point to be somewhere else, but I remember being stuck on the sofa for one airing…
Sanma: So, how many of you have boyfriends now?
(A number of girls in the group raise their hands…which includes one particularly overweight and unattractive girl. Everybody pauses at this.)
Sanma: Wait, wait, you have a boyfriend now?
Brunhilda: Yeah, I do.
Sanma: Like, right now? Right this instant?
Sanma: Well, how often do you see him?
Brunhilda: Hmm, last time I saw him was three months ago.
Sanma: So, he’s really busy with work or something?
Brunhilda: I dunno.
Sanma: You dunno?! If he’s your boyfriend, how do you not know?
Brunhilda: Well, that was the first time we met, so I can’t say if this is normal or not.
Sanma: Waitaminute…the last time you saw him was three months ago…and that was the first time you met?
Brunhilda: Yeah, that’s right.
Sanma: And he’s your boyfriend?
Brunhilda: Yeah, of course! I send him email every night!
Sanma: And does he reply?
Brunhilda: Well…not yet…but one day he will!
(Sanma drops on the ground and starts rolling around)
Wife: OMG, this is hilarious! She’s so stupid! Isn’t this funny!
Me: …If there is intelligent life out there in the universe, I’m convinced that this TV show is the reason why they’ve stayed far, far away from Earth.
Back to the Dancing Palace, the show ends by rubbing salt in our wounds; while the credits roll, the cameras follow the talent backstage to show us them…eating! Because, what TV show wouldn’t be complete without watching famous people eat. I know my life is certainly enriched by watching Daigo talk about Evangelion and then chow down on fried noodles afterwards. That’s just great television right there.
Someone hold me while I cry.
Speaking of watching people eat…
#2: The Tunnels Thanks To Everyone
I have never understood the fascination with food shows. If its something I may be able to cook myself, or a restaurant I could actually go to, sure. But just watching people eat – what in sweet Baby Jesus’s name is the point?! Is it some sort of pleasure by association? “Well, I can’t eat these foods, but I’ll get my jollies watching famous people enjoy them!” Is it like culinary porn or something? I don’t get it.
So a large part of my beef with Japanese TV comes from the massive amount of watching people eat that you will be doing if you attempt to tune into, oh, any channel. There’s nothing to make it at all relevant – they take the talent to these places way out in Japan where there’s no real point in going, or to some stupidly expensive restaurant where one meal will cost you approximately the GDP of Great Britain. And then, its horribly monotonous – the talent eats, pauses for a few seconds, and then exclaims “oishii/umai!” (trans. “delicious!”) and proceeds to exclaim why the food is so good. Maybe, if they threw a forkball in there, and there were foods that were not actually delicious, and you got to see the talent wrenching in horrible taste bud agony, that may be interesting…but it’s the same damn thing every time. Eat, pause, umai!, describe, repeat until you just want to die.
“The Tunnels Thanks To Everyone” takes my idea and finds a way to make it spectacularly dull. Together with the two hosts, the comedy duo “The Tunnels” (do I even have to say here how not funny/interesting they are?), two celebrity guests are brought on the show. During a talk that is so bland it could make Louisiana gumbo taste like bread, the two guests are treated to a four-course meal. The catch is that out of the 4 courses, one of the dishes that particular celebrity hates. At the end of the show, the guests will try to figure out which was the dish that the other didn’t like. So while eating, they will both try to hide the fact that they didn’t like a particular dish, while engaging in wit-less, flat banter. What this entire program boils down to is watching people eat things they may or may not enjoy.
Primetime television, folks.
And again, this is a show that’s been on the air for over 10 years. 10 years of watching people eat. Why is this on TV? Why are there people filming this and then editing it and producing it and broadcasting it to homes? Why are people sitting down and watching this? I’m scared that one day my future child will ask me these questions, and I won’t have an answer for him/her other than “culinary porn”. And that’s a talk that no father should ever have to have with his children.
I really hate this show. Really, really hate it. And I really wanted to give this show the number 1 slot, but there’s one show that gets under my skin even more. Tune in next time to find out what that show is!