Gaijin Smash

Top 5 Most Hated Japanese TV, Part II

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on June 16, 2009

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.
What, me make things up? Never!


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?
Brunhilda: Yeah!
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!

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55 Responses

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  1. Aris said, on June 16, 2009 at 3:41 am

    I suspect it is nostalgia. Kind of like The Price is Right. Soooo cheezy and predictable, but people keep watching it. Why? It is certainly not intellectually challenging. Same reason people probably watch this.

  2. feitclub said, on June 16, 2009 at 4:17 am

    My wife is a big Sanma fan. The only segment on that show I can stand are the sketches based on stories viewers send in. While not hilarious, they rank as actually amusing which is more than I can say for the rest of the hour.

  3. Marc said, on June 16, 2009 at 4:48 am

    No, it really is crap. I’ve been living in this country for a looooooooooooooooong time, and my wife (Japanese) also loves Japanese TV. Watching paint dry is fascinating by comparison – and yes I speak Japanese, and yes I understand what they’re saying. Actually I wish I didn’t… that might make the shows more interesting….
    (Az’s Note: It’s like we’re living the same life. I agree with these comments 100%)

  4. David said, on June 16, 2009 at 6:28 am

    “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.”
    98% of the time you are right but about 2% of the time the food is so bad they scrunch up their faces, go bright red, act like they are about to throw up and rush off stage. Think of the idol cooking shows with participants such as Inrin of Joytoy. Mind you half the point of these shows is to insult or embarass the idol.
    No food ever gets the rating of “meh, it’s OK but could do with a bit more salt”.

  5. Moe said, on June 16, 2009 at 8:04 am

    C’mon, Az. Don’t make fun of all of the people who have been waiting through 10 long years of boring TV to see that damn Dragon Zord scepter finally activate!
    But it’s like waiting for Namek to blow the hell up already. They say it’ll happen in like “5 minutes” but it’ll actually take almost forever.
    Maybe if they got one of the other TV shows to put him through your standard training from hell they could speed things up? It’s either that, or dye his hair blond…

  6. Morten said, on June 16, 2009 at 9:08 am

    The Dragon Zord Scepter thing looks like it’s supposed to be Godzilla I think?

  7. Werewolph said, on June 16, 2009 at 9:33 am

    So they’re about as bad as watching Home and Away or Neighbours then?

  8. qklilx said, on June 16, 2009 at 9:43 am

    About two years ago one of these eating shows came to my workplace to eat. I worked on a boat (TAKE A GOOD HARD LOOK AT THE MOTHERFUCKING BOAT). By any chance do you or your wife ever remember seeing an episode that took place on a boat (never thought I’d see the day… with a big boat comin’ my way)?
    Sorry but I had to needlessly throw in lyrics. Wish I still had that job now actually…

  9. Anonymous said, on June 16, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Regarding the “Much Ado about Love” video you linked to. . . what can I say? Cute girls are fun to watch — regardless of words. At least for 2-3 hours anyway;-)

  10. Anonymous said, on June 16, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Regarding the “Much Ado about Love” video you linked to. . . what can I say? Cute girls are fun to watch — regardless of words. At least for 2-3 hours anyway;-)

  11. CNagy said, on June 16, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I’m not sure what to say. I don’t know why, but I was horribly entertained by Sanma’s Dancing Palace. And as for Much Ado About Love… was that “Wuthering Heights” playing briefly in the beginning? That song is crazy.

  12. Japhyryder said, on June 16, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Kind of the same level of hate as The View or Maury etc. The only redeeming quality is with my level of Japanese I can barely understand what’s being said.

  13. Zackarotto said, on June 16, 2009 at 11:03 am

    I’d be more worried that your child will grow up with an entirely Japanese mentality, very much enjoying these kinds of shows, and then giving you strange looks when you hate on them.

  14. Anonymous said, on June 16, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I don’t know what pisses me off more about watching the “tarento” eat – the fact that what they’re eating is rarely that special or the long drawn out “Uuuuuumaiiiiiiii” over-reactions you have to sit through. It makes me want to hit them with a freaking hammer.

  15. Anonymous said, on June 16, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I don’t know what pisses me off more about watching the “tarento” eat – the fact that what they’re eating is rarely that special or the long drawn out “Uuuuuumaiiiiiiii” over-reactions you have to sit through. It makes me want to hit them with a freaking hammer.

  16. cliff said, on June 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Splitting these entries up like this is really annoying.

  17. Scott said, on June 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Was とんねるずのみなさんのおかげです more a variety show at one time? Or did The Tunnels have an earlier show I’m thinking of? My memory tells me I saw videotapes of their show and it included send-ups of Ultraman and other skits. Sometimes even funny!

  18. Beto said, on June 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Who cares about Sanma? Those girls were the only reason I watched that show for longer than 5 minutes. Girls like that are the reason I brought my Japanese wife back to America, I would get into too much trouble if we stayed. I don’t know how you do it Az. Gambatte!

  19. Anonymous said, on June 16, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I hate to admit it but I’m a fan of much adu about love, however my japanese isn’t that great so I just insert my own thoughts whenever needed

  20. Anonymous said, on June 16, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I hate to admit it but I’m a fan of much adu about love, however my japanese isn’t that great so I just insert my own thoughts whenever needed

  21. Sinky said, on June 16, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    “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. ”
    He’ll crack one day, with tragic results:

  22. liv said, on June 16, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Hilarious as always, Az. I’m glad that my Japanese wasn’t good enough to get anything out of Japanese TV other than – “Oh, it’s another idiot in a bandana screaming, ‘うまい!!!!!!!’.” By the time my Japanese got good enough to pick up on more than that, I had already left Japan. ギリギリな??

  23. Patrick said, on June 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Wow… Okay, remind me if I ever visit Japan to get a DVD player in my hotel room and rent some good porn.

  24. Leon said, on June 16, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Az: “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?”

    The biggest question is: why are we forced to pay for this load of crap every month?
    Leon

  25. hanchan said, on June 16, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    confession time: i love much ado about love. i also secretly want to be on it. but my (j)boyfriend said he’d kill me. why? the girls give me so much neta its fabulous…
    top 3 idiots?
    1.the girl who said only guys may turn their head to kiss- if a girl turns her head she’s a slut.
    2.the girl who said its better to get pregnant before you get married. (できました vsできちゃった)
    3. the girl who said guys love it when you bounce/shake unneccesarily when asking for something.

  26. Liz said, on June 16, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    In that “Much Ado about Love” clip at 1:07, is the girl in the middle of the back row wearing a strapless lace bra as a shirt???

  27. NeN said, on June 16, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Why is the murmur of a Japanese crowd so uniform? Can a group this size actually have the same default reaction to *everything*?

  28. Zack said, on June 16, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Yes, a crowd of Japanese people can be that uniform. At times they seem more like a collective than a group of individuals. Maybe Gene Roddenberry based the Borg off of the Japanese…

  29. Alcibiades said, on June 16, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Do you get the MythBusters over there? They’re pretty awesome, particularly when blowing stuff up. Dirty Jobs is also entertaining.
    (You could just watch it on the Internet, of course, but the point is to wean your wife off those variety shows. It’s for the best.)

  30. Misty said, on June 17, 2009 at 12:39 am

    I didn’t understand either of those clips, but they were bad. Aside from wanting to punch the guy repeatidly, I also wanted to punch the people on the show. God did they seem insanely boring. I suppose it could be a lack of understanding…but I doubt it.
    Oh, and remember when I said in my last post it didn’t look like “I Survived an Japanese Gameshow” got renewed? Apparently, it did. I feel like shriveling up and dying now.

  31. Alex said, on June 17, 2009 at 3:53 am

    My feelings exactly. I spend a lot of time with my Japanese gf’s family, and they’re constantly watching these shows. It’s good to know I’m not alone in my anguish. My most hated tv personality is that woman Hisamoto Masami. She’s that grunting buck-toothed bony “comedian” who looks a lot like that ancient mummified carcass they pulled out of that glacier in Scandanavia.

  32. Dan said, on June 17, 2009 at 5:28 am

    Although my wife has admitted that she hates Japanese movies and most Japanese dramas she still watches a lot of these shows.
    -I watched Sanmas for about 4 min and went back to my computer.
    -I watched 10 minutes of a Tunnels episode with a Korean actress on it. The actress didn’t know what was going on, and was bored to death! Then I went back to my computer.
    I don’t like wasting my time, and that is all these shows are. Shit!

  33. code monkey said, on June 17, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Oh, poor, poor Sanma…I wanted to do a dragon fire on him for overreacting but I he’ll end up like “Gee, Golly Jeepers” (@sinky)
    @NeN – the japanese can be a pretty dull audience. In a rock concert, they’d just quietly remain seated until the performance is over…while in other countries, they sing along or just mosh which actually energizes the band/artists

  34. Moe said, on June 17, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Hanchan, provided that the women have the necessary assets, you do realize that guys love it when women bounce for any reason, necessary or otherwise… right? If you don’t understand me, watch the Man Show sometime when they have the girls on trampolines for an illustration.
    That said, the girl talking about head-turning making her a slut is clearly nuts. I’d think that the whole “deliberately getting pregnant before getting married” bit would have a lot more effect than turning one’s head, but that’s just me.

  35. b0mb3r said, on June 17, 2009 at 9:45 am

    wow after watching some clips is intolerant and feel disgusted by the shows lack of creativity. hell when you describe it makes me so bored that i have to work through reading why they are so bad. congrats

  36. Eli said, on June 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Can someone tell me what made the noise at 1:57-1:58 in the Much Ado video? It sounds like what you might hear if 50 people all clenched their throats and took a slow breath all at once.

  37. hanchan said, on June 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    moe: lol yeah i get that, but most japanese girls don’t have enough jiggle for it to be worth watching.

  38. Anonymous said, on June 17, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    It feels good knowing that I am not the only one hating Sanma’s Dancing Palace.

  39. Anonymous said, on June 17, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    It feels good knowing that I am not the only one hating Sanma’s Dancing Palace.

  40. Duralsilver said, on June 18, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Culinary…porn…well that’s a new one to me

  41. Zolbrod said, on June 19, 2009 at 4:21 am

    I’ll chime in with a couple of others here and admit that Much Ado about Love is actually one of my favorite shows on TV.
    It’s not about Sanma being the overactor, it’s about probing the minds of young Japanese women and the insane beliefs some of them carry.
    Don’t tell me you can’t see the entertainment in that.

  42. Anonymous said, on June 19, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Is that Canadian guy Baldwin (the Gaijin know-it-all) still with Sanma? I remember seeing the guy some years ago in a recording of Karakuri TV a friend lent to me.

  43. Anonymous said, on June 23, 2009 at 3:50 am

    I hate Japanese TV too. I’m female, and I speak Japanese, so in theory I should like it. In reality…it’s so boring and unoriginal, plus the acting sucks! Not to mention you can never watch it when you’re hungry, because every channel will feature somebody eating food.

  44. Anonymous said, on June 23, 2009 at 3:50 am

    I hate Japanese TV too. I’m female, and I speak Japanese, so in theory I should like it. In reality…it’s so boring and unoriginal, plus the acting sucks! Not to mention you can never watch it when you’re hungry, because every channel will feature somebody eating food.

  45. Anonymous said, on June 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, a little late to the party but Sanma’s shows are actually pretty decent. At least no one eats on the damn show. And the clip you linked was hilarious. He got Asuka’s voice actor to scold him because it’s always been his fantasy. I don’t see how this could be in the top 5!
    The best Much Ado I ever saw was one where a girl admitted she links to have her boyfriend chew her food for her. Awesome.

  46. Anonymous said, on June 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, a little late to the party but Sanma’s shows are actually pretty decent. At least no one eats on the damn show. And the clip you linked was hilarious. He got Asuka’s voice actor to scold him because it’s always been his fantasy. I don’t see how this could be in the top 5!
    The best Much Ado I ever saw was one where a girl admitted she links to have her boyfriend chew her food for her. Awesome.

  47. Ljufa said, on June 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I love how I opened up a new tab for the youtube links each time before finishing reading, and then responded exactly as you predicted before closing them out to finish reading. The first I was just skimming to see what it looked like, and got ungodly bored and closed it. The second I actually thought for a moment, “Hey, I should see if I can pick up on anything from the Japanese I learned last winter” and very quickly realized that it would be far more entertaining if I stopped translating it. The most interesting thing I can say is that I thought it looked like a group of hot Japanese chics until they started showing close-ups of particular girls. I could disclaimer that the first one was cute, but my mind is numbing and I don’t think I can type much lo-

  48. Abby said, on June 29, 2009 at 12:12 am

    The song at the beginning of Much Ado is Without You, for anyone still interested. ^^

  49. Defectron said, on July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Well the fact that they were talking about evangelion was what made me to watch this all the way through because I was trying to figure out what they were talking about.
    As for finding it entertaining to watch people eat, I have a story relating to that. See I have this co-worker who looks and acts like peewee herman. Whenever I eat he thinks it’s the most entertaining thing in the universe which annoyes the crap out of me. I go to get a bite of pizza and he just goes “WHOOOOAH! He’s going for the pizza!”

  50. Jeff said, on July 8, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Blasphemy though this is, the video for Sanma’s Dancing Palace kept me mildly interested only because the conversation had SOMETHING to do with Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    Once she said “Daigo, anta baka” though, I got sick of it.
    I assume Az agrees with that line, though.

  51. Anonymous said, on July 11, 2009 at 5:11 am

    Sanma’s Dancing Palace
    Oh god! I hate this show. I don’t watch much Japanese T.V., so there could be worse out there, but I don’t get how anyone could be possibly entertained by this unless they had the most boring personality ever. A good runner up would be this drama/wtf called The Quiz Show.
    I find Japanese T.V. to be shit for the most part, but I enjoy some cooking shows (the ones that actually show you how to cook and not just show dumb talento eating), Nepleague, and a few others… I especially like this one where they gather a bunch of talent and talk about situations where they felt like they were taken for an idiot. They also get viewers to send in their situations. Sometimes it’s funny to see what awful shit Japanese people will sometimes bust out with to your face. I don’t know the name of the show tho…>.<;;

  52. Anonymous said, on July 11, 2009 at 5:11 am

    Sanma’s Dancing Palace
    Oh god! I hate this show. I don’t watch much Japanese T.V., so there could be worse out there, but I don’t get how anyone could be possibly entertained by this unless they had the most boring personality ever. A good runner up would be this drama/wtf called The Quiz Show.
    I find Japanese T.V. to be shit for the most part, but I enjoy some cooking shows (the ones that actually show you how to cook and not just show dumb talento eating), Nepleague, and a few others… I especially like this one where they gather a bunch of talent and talk about situations where they felt like they were taken for an idiot. They also get viewers to send in their situations. Sometimes it’s funny to see what awful shit Japanese people will sometimes bust out with to your face. I don’t know the name of the show tho…>.<;;

  53. Anonymous said, on July 11, 2009 at 5:16 am

    @ Dan
    Japanese people do mosh and get wild at rock concerts, but maybe you’re just not going to the right ones?

  54. Anonymous said, on July 11, 2009 at 5:16 am

    @ Dan
    Japanese people do mosh and get wild at rock concerts, but maybe you’re just not going to the right ones?

  55. Garrett said, on August 22, 2009 at 2:22 am

    I don’t believe it. I watched the youtube video of Sanma’s Dancing Palace. I stared in a kind of lethargic dumbfounded stupor. My God, surely cigarettes deprive one’s life span of fewer years.


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