pop culture, pittsburgh, and potpouri

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An Open Letter to Creators of I Survived a Japanese Game Show...

Dear Arthur Smith and Kent Weed,

Although nothing you can create will compare to videos like the one above, you have nonetheless created my dream show. For those of us who have had our days made special the last couple of years by viewing Internet clips of Japanese pop culture, a game show involving sheltered Americans competing on an over the top Japanese Game Show is like Christmas morning when you are five years old. I would just like to offer a few suggestion to make this concept even more awesome. After consulting my reality TV associate (my brother), we have come up with some ways to make this show last more than one season and make it even better. Two words come to mind "Confusion" and "Humiliation". You need to make these words a greater part of the show. Don't get me wrong, I understand that you have very much created a show around these words, but push further. There should be no communicating in English between the game show host and the contestants. The Americans should have to figure out how to play the games themselves without an explanation before hand. This would create an even larger disaster. The winning team should continue to have a reward, but the the reward should give clues about the culture that are helpful to understanding the game show and the Japanese. Second there needs to be more humiliation. Dressing up in a Lady bug outfit is not cutting it (although, the live audience with their noise making instruments and uncontrollable laughter at the mishaps and injuries of the contestants was one of the highlights of the first episode). Oh how the Japanese have mastered surreal television programs. Now, criticizing this show is like telling the pope he is not Catholic enough. You have developed a program that symbolically represents American's hegemonic cultural view. Most middle Americans do not understand what it is like to be the minority culture. By using Americans from small towns who have not been out of the country, you allow for a greater on camera inevitable realization or moment of clarity about how ignorant they are. I think that you could do similar shows in other countries around the world where inexperienced Yanks, who are hopelessly comfortable with their way of life, are thrust into a new culture with no help, only to swim or sink with the possibility of winning money shamelessly fueling their uneasy experience. So congratulations on a great TV program, but just keep in mind the less the contestants know and the more they are made to look like fools can only improve your in genius concept.

Very Respectfully Submitted,

The Secret Art of Snark

Here is another clip just to make sure we all know what we are up against:

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