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Oct
12

The wonderful world of London Hearts

This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 12 October, 2004 at

OK, so I launched my journal with great hopes and ambitions – I was going to updated it, if not daily, at least 2-3 times a week! Hell no…. That really hasn’t been the case now, has it. Well I have to blame work.. It’s been the end-of-the-month, and as usual that makes me busy as hell…

Anyway. You who know me have heard me praise the Japanese TV show “London Hearts” before. I’ve missed it for a few months, but I have recently started watching it again, and…well… it’s still genius.

They have a new section in the show that I don’t know the specific name of, but it consists of ten famous women (mostly TV drama actresses, models, misc. TV personas etc.) who are sitting in a sort of panel formation. What they do then is go out in the public and ask 100 guys on the street random questions about them; like “Who is most likely to return a wallet found on the street?” or “Who has the ugliest face while sleeping?” or “Who has the worst sense of style?” etc. Generally fun and harmless (?) questions….. Anyway; in addition to that, each panel-member gets to create a ranking for themselves for that particular question, and a randomly selected member presents it. It can get VERY touchy when it comes to subjects like “sense of style” and so on, so there are a lot of catfighting going on especially when reaching the top of said ranking (i.e. top being worst). After that, they present the “regular Joe’s” opinion in comparison with the random famous woman’s – if they match exactly from 10 to 1, she wins a million yen! It has not yet happened as far as I know, since every single girl on the show ALWAYS, no matter what the subject, puts themselves in 9th or 10th place on the list – the reality being far from that of course!!

This leads me to another subject I’ve been thinking of…. In Japanese television, all the participants are always already famous. I.e. there are absolutely no shows that feature “regular” people (except the Japanese version of “Millionaire…”) – it’s all famous TV-personalities. And you see the same people again, and again, and again in different TV-shows… And I’m not only talking about talk-shows and variety shows but also all types of quiz shows etc. where the participants can win money. It seems the poor Japanese public is forever shut out of the possibility of winning prize money on TV! I guess the most possible TV-personalities (“talents” or “tarento” as they are called) can easily support their lives by just participating as guests in other TV-shows…

It’s a fascinating aspect of Japanese culture. It seems that the Japanese public is not really interested in seeing “regular people” on TV. I mean they are just “regular” right – so how can they be entertaining to watch? Plus everyone is supposed to be equal, so it’s not possible for a “regular” person to stand out by being on TV! It makes for a very small and intimate “inner circle” of celebrities who show up everywhere…

Well… That’s my two cents on Japanese TV for now…. Over and Out.

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