If you’ve been reading these pages or you’ve talked to me in person or you’ve ever turned on a television in Japan, you know that Japanese television is awful. Awful, awful, awful beyond all synonyms of awfulness. With endless hours devoted to zooming in on plates of food and airing the same twelve “comedians” shouting at one another, I’m unable to comprehend how the Japanese people as a whole haven’t thrown their sets out the window in protest. As painful as it was, I just chalked up to ye olde “cultural differences” and kept on paying for cable.
Turns out I’m not alone. In fact, I’m in the majority: a new survey says over seventy percent of Japanese viewers think television is boring.
The survey, conducted by Research Panel, received over 175,000 responses and the number one answer, by far, was “television has become boring” (71.2%). 15.8% said “it hasn’t changed”, 6.7% said “it’s gotten more interesting” and 6.3% shrugged their shoulders. A few choice comments from the “it’s boring” crowd:
"The Internet is more fun"
"I only watch the news"
"All the shows look the same"
"It’s nothing but geinin* talking”
Granted, this survey appears to have been collected online and I doubt there was any scientific methodology behind its reach, but I still see this as a sign that even Japanese people are fed up with the entertainment slop they are being fed.
By the way, Iron Chef’s coming back a week from tomorrow! I am setting myself up for a huge disappointment, aren’t I.
* geinin, 芸人, is a Japanese word that collectively refers to all the people who appear on Japanese television shows. Not exactly the same as “celebrity” or “comedian”, two types of people who would be considered geinin.