It’s not what it looks like, honest.
It seems that these days, Hollywood celebrities can’t get enough of appearing on Japanese TV. Just last week, Keanu Reeves treated the Japanese public to some karate moves on a chat show sofa, and this week it’s the turn of actor Hugh Jackman, who cut a gentlemanly figure as he appeared on hugely popular culinary gameshow Kuwazugiraiou (Food Prejudice King).
As part of the show, everyone’s favourite Wolverine was faced with a gauntlet of entrail stew, fishy sea grapes, and fried quail eggs, amongst other delights, as he fought to win the title of… Food Prejudice King! So, how did he get on?
Foreigners living in Japan, our own editor included, often give Japanese TV a hard time. For many, it’s either too weird, too predictable or too obnoxious. If it really is so bad though, surely shows like Iron Chef and Ninja Warrior (Sasuke) would never have been introduced in the US? Nor would America have created the show I Survived a Japanese Game Show. So if foreign stations are taking cues from the Japanese TV shows, the originals must have some merit, right?
One Reddit user finally asked the big question, “Japanese television. Is it really so terrible?” As you’d expect, the responses poured in, both in favor of and adamantly against it. One user proclaimed that Japan only has three kinds of programs, “Shows about celebrities. Shows about food. Shows about celebrities eating food.” But like TV in any country, there are actually a lot of different kinds of shows, so it’s probably worth a moment to take a walk through some of the programming options.