I Survived A Japanese Game Show: Just Watch YouTube
I Survived A Japanese Game Show: Just Watch YouTube
When I first heard about I Survived A Japanese Game Show, I called dibs in a BuddyTV meeting to cover it.  Not that many people cared or argued anyway.  Still, I couldn't wait for tonight to come, with the double premiere of ABC's Wipeout and I Survived A Japanese Game Show.  I, Gina Scarpa, am a huge fan of Japanese game shows.  I watch MXC, Ninja Warrior, Unbeatable Banzuke, and as many YouTube clips as I can get my hands on.  If you haven't watched Human Tetris, stop everything and head to YouTube.  Actually, finish reading this.  Then you can go look it up.  Unfortunately, all the shows and clips I just mentioned are about 75 million times better than tonight's premiere of I Survived A Japanese Game Show.

I don't even know where to begin with tonight's disappointing episode.  It sounded fun, in theory, until I realized that none of the contestants are ACTUAL fans of Japanese game shows.  Not only weren't many of them excited, they seemed annoyed with the people, the culture, and the country as a whole.  I, personally, would be psyched to be able to compete on a game show there.  They're equally ridiculous and hilarious.

ABC thought it would be a good idea to have the contestants live together.  Lame.  This like an episode of Legally Blonde: The Search For The Next Elle Woods.  I don't tune in for the staged fights in a posh New York apartment.  I tune in to see the talent (which, unfortunately on that show, there isn't much of).  Likewise, here I tune in to see people run on treadmills or fit themselves through moving puzzle pieces, not fighting over the bathroom.

I also expect more from a Japanese game show.  Tonight, one contestant ate rice balls out of a serving tray on another's contestant's head as they ran on a conveyor belt.  In another game, contestants had to jump on a trampoline and land paint on a bullseye on a wall.  If you think that sounds funny, you would be wrong.  I didn't laugh once except for when Darcy got eliminated and several Japanese men in suits ran around her singing "Sayonara!"  Perhaps I'd laugh at Mamasan more, if she wasn't purely there to be a little, funny, rotund caricature of a Japanese person.

If you like Japanese game shows, then just go to YouTube or G4 to catch the good ones.  This show tried to be a cross between the good YouTube clips and an episode of The Real World and unfortunately, both elements fall flat. P.S.  Wipeout was, in fact, hilarious.

- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer

(Image courtesy of ABC)