Last night was the premiere of I Survived a Japanese Game Show, and while it’s clear that Americans are definitely lacking in the pride and honor department, the 10 contestants chosen to compete are not at all lacking in the being excited to be in Japan department. With the exception of a couple complaints about rickshaw driver outfits, mochi balls, and beds being on the floor, everyone was enthusiastically taking in the experience of being abroad, and took the competition seriously, even when it meant dressing up as a bug and throwing yourself at a plastic windshield to make the green paint squib on your chest explode.
The premise of the show, if you have not heard about it, is that 10 Americans show up in LA to be on a reality show, only to get whisked away to Tokyo, where they will compete in a Japanese game show for $250,000. There are already a couple of obvious villains, or maybe just one. Cathy Nardone of
LongStaten Island raised the ire of her teammates on Team Yellow Penguin by taking hours to get ready every morning. They just didn’t understand what it’s like to “look perfect”. Oh Cathy. It’s like you’ve never seen TV before, which is funny because I know that you watch a ton of TV. It’s your second best friend after the guys who hit on you at TGIFridays. I also wouldn’t mind if Olga MedvededMedvedev (who creepily just screams “SUSHI!” when they find out they’re going to Tokyo, and who is also the worst) got some serious stomach poisoning from a bad piece of anago maki.
But there are clear cut fan favorites shaping up as well. Both Andrew Kelly-Hayes and Donnell Pitman are maybe a little over-competitive, but they are not afraid to look like clowns (because everyone looks like clowns), and they lack the genuine weirdness of Ben, and the aggressive stupidity of Justin (we get it, you’re an idiot).
The games are as silly as expected, and the mama-san who has been sent to boss them around their reality house would be a super racist caricature if she wasn’t a Japanse woman living in Japan, but she is, thereby turning herself into some kind of racist moebius strip of anti-racism. The fact that the show they’re competing on, Majide, is supposedly a real show but is actually just a show within this show, set up for the 10 Trumans is a little weird, but whatever. It’s been five years since Joe Millionaire, we should accustomed to these beautiful lies.
All in all it is a promising show, and way better than Wipeout, which is basically just American Gladiators without the Gladiators and with John Henson making jokes like “that lady is so fat, this obstacle course must be very difficult for her because of how fat she is.” Be very careful with your career decisions, Joel McHale.
I think Romu Kandu and last night’s eliminated contestant Darcy Sletager said it best:
Romu: Are you exciting?
Darcy: Yes, I am exciting.