Which is More Awesome: Japanese TV or American TV?

May 30, 2007

Hey everyone. Hope you had plenty of burgers and caught some of the 500 this weekend.

Today, we tackle the boob tube. We all watch it, mostly because we are bored. In the beginning, it was just the three major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC). Fast forward to the nineties, and suddenly we have over 100 channels on cable, with the option to buy a satellite dish and pump even more cathode-ray goodness into your brain. And today, our options have exploded with bit torrent downloading and, of course, the glory that is YouTube.

YouTube has let us take a peek at all kinds of crazy stuff we either forgot about or have never seen. Old GI Joe episodes, classic SNL sketches, and dancing little people from Bollywood films.

But the biggest sensation to sweep YouTube is Japanese Television. From the insane game shows to ‘Soccar’ to ‘Silent Library’, a new clip pops up every day that blows our minds. Plans are in the works to include an all-Japanese station on common cable providers, and ‘Most Extreme Challenge’ is the best thing about Spike TV.

Meanwhile, America still has it going on. ‘The Office’, ‘The Sopranos’, and ’24’ have given us plenty of reasons to slack off on the couch, while ‘American Idol’ at least gives us something to talk about.

No doubt that American TV is the best overall product. Americans watch more TV than anybody; we spend more money on TV than anybody; hell, we invented the damn thing.

But Japanese TV sometimes seems to have a lot more fun with the medium. So the question becomes this:

Which is more awesome: Japanese TV or American TV?

Flinchbot Says: American TV is more awesome because I can understand what they are saying.

Kidney PondActually, any TV show is better when I can understand what they are saying. That’s why my favorite show is Sunrise Earth on Discovery HD. It’s not because of the fabulous imagery of the world waking up, presented to me in High Def fabulousness. It’s because there is no talking. No over dubs, no screaming, no talking, no bright lights. Just calm soothing images and the sounds of nature.

It’s kind of boring, though.

But I’ll take that any day over the Technicolor super-ultra-extreme-total-happy-fun TV that is being exported to the US.

Here is all of the Japanese TV that I see: Make people do something that causes them to get hurt. Or at least fall into a big pool of water. Then everyone pretend that they hoped to make it past whatever obstacle.

I don’t like reality TV at all, unless you can bet on it. At that point, it’s called “sports”. Apparently the Japanese are also reality-tv obsessed, but their reality TV involves obstacle courses.

Or at least that’s what I’ve seen so far.

I guess I’m here defending American TV and all that it has to offer. You know, top quality programming like American Idol. A show that has yet to really produce an American Idol. I guess that one chick that one is having a successful career in Country music. Carrie Underwood? Is that it?

Ruben StuddardBut what about the other 7 or 8 winners? I can’t even name last years winner. There was that Ruben guy but I think he actually lost to that little gay kid. He also had that one really, really terrible ballad about counting down a year or something. It was unlistenable.

Rupert SurvivorThen there is that other heavily watched program called Survivor. I can’t name a single Survivor winner other than Rupert and that’s only because he’s from Indiana and they parade him out every so often at some Charity event.

American TV is best when it takes chances. Shows like “The Sopranos” or “Entourage” or “The Larry David Show”…actually any show on HBO rocks.

Really, here is why American TV is the best TV in the world: HBO original programming, ESPN, and that one decent sitcom every decade that ends up getting shown in 132 countries in 74 different languages.

Has there ever been a Japanese TV show that has been reworked for American TV in the way that “The Office” was reworked from British TV to American?

Nope. Therefore, Japanese TV is just a bunch of silly obstacle courses.

Therefore, American TV owns.

FlavaDave Says: When is the last time American TV made you say “holy shit!”?

When is the last time you said, “Good lord, what a great idea for a show?” What about “Man, I wouldn’t have thought of that in a million years?”

It just doesn’t happen. Did you hear about the new show that’s just like American Idol but for celebrity impersonators! Wow! I don’t even know the name of it, and I refuse to give that show the dignity of Googling it.

But Japanese TV? Holy hell, Japanese TV. Every damn week I see a new clip of mind-blowing inventiveness. Entire blogs are dedicated to the phenomenom (like Japan Probe).

American TV has no pop. No juice. It is like the Tim Duncan of national television markets. Mostly classy, consistent, gets the job done. Hell, Duncan is the best player in the NBA and American TV is the best in the world. But we’re talking awesome here, and Japan is the LeBron James, tossing crazy passes and posterizing the Spurs front line.

Can you find me some American TV clips as awesome as these?

Flinchbot Says:




And yes, I know it’s a preview for the movie, but that is just to point out how massively aweseom this TV show is. Just showing a silly clip doesn’t fully point out the awesomeness.

FlavaDave Says: Now, ‘The Simpsons’ is my favorite show of all time. No question. But is it awesome? Especially now?

The Simpsons haven’t been awesome in 12 years. Let me know when you can whip up an example from within the last decade. Automatic DQ if you post a Family Guy clip.

And by the way, did you see Sexy Jogging? Come on!

Also, Japanese commercials are way better, too.

Flinchbot Says: So if you insist, let me point to Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network as awesome television. You should especially like this one:

┬áThen, there is the Good ol’ Daily Show. And the Colbert Report. Don’t tell me those shows aren’t awesome.

And finally, there is this. If this doesn’t prove the awesomeness of American TV?