Top 5 Most Hated Japanese TV, Part III
Before we get to the #1 spot, there’s one more show that deserves mention.
Dishonorable Mention: Waratte Ii Tomo!
The title of the show translates to “Its Okay To Laugh!”. Which is a pretty bold statement, considering they don’t give you much to laugh at. Its almost like a dentist who specializes in root canals hanging a sign up over the dentists chair that reads “It’s Okay to Orgasm!”
This show doesn’t make the main list primarily because its daytime TV…and I think it’s a rule of the cosmos that daytime TV must suck. Like, if Moses had stayed up on the mountain just wee bit longer, God would have carved “Thou Shalt Not Enjoy Daytime TV” as the 11th Commandment into the stone tablet. So I can’t hate on it for sucking, because sucking is a part of its destiny. This show did teach me something rather eye-opening about Japanese TV in general though, which is why it gets the mention at least.
The show features Tamori as a host (he joins Sanma as one of the “Big 3”). Tamori conducts a dull interview with some random celebrity, and the rest of the show is devoted to celebrities playing games, often with food involved. …But wait, this sounds almost exactly like every other show you’ve described so far, you may say. And you would be absolutely right. So, think about that for a moment – Japanese daytime and primetime TV are virtually identical.
The other thing I noticed while being subjected to this show is that the studio audience is 100% female. That got me thinking, and I realized that most shows had a predominately female audience. It makes sense, because Japanese guys are rarely ever home in the evenings. They work late hours, and even if/when they don’t, there are drinking parties, trips to the local whorehouse, or hours to waste away at the pachinko parlor. And that’s when everything clicked – Japanese TV is primarily meant for Japanese women. So its like a combination of daytime TV and the Lifetime Channel, on every channel, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
So, for us guys, this is more or less the first step into Hell itself.
This is especially problematic for Japan, because Japanese women are exceptionally boring. This is a blanket statement, and of course there will be exceptions (like Ms. Americanized, for example), but any male who has ever dated enough Japanese girls can testify to just how infuriatingly dull they are. Trying to make conversation with one can be just as fun as trying to pull the wisdom teeth from a rabid sabretooth tiger, bare-handed.
What are your hobbies? a potential suitor may ask. Japanese girl replies – “I like to go shopping, and sleep.” Goddamnit, sleeping is NOT a hobby. Going home and losing consciousness for several hours does not count as a hobby! …The shopping I will refrain from commenting on. While I don’t think it’s a hobby, I’ll also admit that I don’t understand it, so I can’t say much about it. Might as well be witchcraft.
So when you consider that this is the audience that Japanese TV is trying to entertain…yeah. Apparently, they can do nothing better than go to sleep when they are not working (if they work…), so its no wonder they can be easily amused by whatever nonsense is on TV. I’m thinking of making a new Japanese TV show where I spin a nickel on a tabletop for 25 minutes. I’m expecting decent ratings, and perhaps if I can get Sanma to help me spin my nickel as we eat and he laughs uncontrollably as I read from the Declaration of Independence, then the show should be a 10-year hit.
So, having had this revelation about Japanese TV, that brings us to my #1 most hated show…
#1: Gout Temps Nouveau
In this show, three women meet up at a café or a restaurant, and eat, drink, and talk. …And, that’s it. No, really. There are no crazy situations or insane stunts, no plot or storyline, and there isn’t even the slightest bit of lesbian wrestling covered in baby oil (I would watch that…). This TV show amounts to nothing more than watching three women have a conversation, and perhaps eat or drink while doing so.
This is one of my wife’s favorite TV shows.
Recently, my wife met up with two of her friends; S-san, and R-san, who had a baby last year. They got together at a café and ate/drank while talking. The wifey was telling me about this, and I just had to point something out…
Me: So the three of you hung out at a café and talked about life and romance and whatever shit women talk about?
Wife: Yeah, it was fun!
Me: Doesn’t that sound a lot like that Gout Temps show you watch?
Wife: Well…when you put it that way…yes, it does.
Me: So then…if you can do this with your friends in real life…what’s the point of watching it on TV?
Wife: But, the people on TV are celebrities!
Me: And, what do these celebrities talk about?
Wife: Well…life and romance and what not.
Me: And what do you and your friends talk about?
Wife: Well…life and romance and what not.
Me: *raises an eyebrow towards her*
Wife: But…they’re celebrities!
It should be noted that “Gout Temps Nouveau” is a renewal of “Gout Temps”. What changed? I have no idea. I also don’t know how long Gout Temps has been around, but I know it was airing when I first came to Japan, so that puts it at 6 years at least.
So keep this in mind – if you just happen to be free some day and want to randomly ask a Japanese friend of yours out for some conversation and food or drinks, without making a proper appointment well in advance to do so, you will probably be turned down. Your Japanese friend (especially if female) will then watch a TV show where people have conversations, food and drinks.
So that’s my list. There were a lot of crappy shows I couldn’t include because I don’t want to write that much about bad Japanese TV. These are just my personal top 5 offenders. It amazes me that the television here can be so awful; it’s a level of crap that I never imagined possible. But on the other hand, thanks to Japanese TV, I’ve rediscovered how awesome video games are (television has to be used for something) so I guess its not a complete loss. My only problem now is finding a way to get my wife off these shows before I’m driven completely insane.
If you all have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.