In answer to the poll “What foreign TV series do you want to view thoroughly this summer holiday?”, in itself not such a strange question, there were some in my opinion highly unexpected results – please see below:
1. Full House
6. Dae Jang-geum (Korean)
8. Winter Sonata (Korean)
9. Knight Rider
10.Beverly Hills 90210
15.Sex and the City
19.All In (Korean)
Well, what can you say? I must say that I’m really surprised that the top 3 are virtual classics by now, although calling “Full House” a classic might be a bit of a stretch. I was aware of the show’s popularity here in Japan since before, but I didn’t think it was the thought to be the most popular show ever! Also, I’m wondering about Bewitched – how come that is so popular here? Was there some kind of revival after the Nicole Kidman movie, or something? Also, I definitely thought that “Winter Sonata” was going to be the highest ranked Korean drama, but perhaps everyone has already seen it 100+ times, so they see no need in renting it and watching it yet again….
I never cease to be amazade by Japanese television. Its range of shows range from the mundane to the interesting to the off the chart weird. On average, it is not so interesting unfortunately – and that has its reasons I guess, but I won’t dive into that discussion now.
I want to highlight what has quickly become one of my favorite shows of late (actually, after seeing only one episode), and that is Chimpan News Channel a news/talk show “for animals” on Fuji TV. As the speaker voice says in the introduction of the show, “there are more animals in Japan than children, so why not make a show for animals”
The host of the show is a chimpanzee named Gomes Chenbalin and his staff includes a very very aggressive (almost wild) monkey named Paul (he is on a leash but still manages to scare the living daylights of all human guests that appear. Basically, the show is sort of a talk show, with Japanese celebrities coming on the show and being interview by Gomes.
So you might think… How on earth would that make an entertaining show? Well, the chimpanzee is voiced over by famous Japanese comedian “Bibiru Oogi” and does an extremely good job of ad-libbing and keeping up with what the chimp does on the show. Sure, the show is scripted and the monkey is very well trained but it’s still a monkey and you can never be 100% sure of what its reaction is going to be to a particular sitatuon. The result is hilarious!
In the below clip, for some reason one of the guests has taken off his shirt (I don’t know why, since I haven’t seen the episode in question) and Gomes tells him to cover his face because his producer gets annoyed by the “naked guy”. So he makes him put on a horse-mask, and then you can see for yourselves what happens…
Well it has been a few days (almost a week I guess) since the five TV pilots leaked online but not being as well updated of these things like I usually am, I did not notice until today. They were released under the moniker “Preair” and were immediately nuked from higher-up sites due to mislabeling (there is a fine but clear line between DVDRIP and DVDSCR)
Anyway, enough with the piracy mumbo jumbo. I decided to check them out. “The Class” and “Shark” sounded the most interesting to me, so I started with these two. I have not yet gotten around to seeing Shark but I checked out The Class a few minutes ago.
I liked it! Thing is, I also thoroughly enjoyed Joey so my taste might not be something to rely on for the greater masses. The premise is simple: A bunch of people meet at a surprise party for Ethan’s (played by Jason Ritter) girlfriend. Ethan went to third grade together with her, and decided to invite as many people as he can from their time in third grade to this party. A lot of people show up, hilarity ensues. Andrea Anders from Joey plays one of the leads as well:
Although I thought it started a bit stilted, the final joke before the title shows up was actually hilarious. I thought the humor was fairly obvious at times, but less obvious than it used to be in Joey. There is a definite Friends feel to it (I don’t know, could be the apartment, could be the ensemble cast of 20-somethings) without feeling like a rip-off.
This is definately a show I will try to follow when it starts in the Fall!