Sunday, October 11, 2009

Japanese TV

If you know anything about television around the world, you know that Japan is famous for the craziest game shows. Basically any edgy game show that is on American television probably comes from Japan. Since I joined the gym last week I've been constantly entertained by ridiculous things on TV. I obviously can't understand a word, but don't really have to.

Tonight I saw one of the more bizarre shows yet. Basically about 100 Japanese people started to run around a course in a city (could have been Tokyo or Osaka or somewhere else) and after a few minutes were chased by a black marathon runner. The program was basically twenty minutes of a black guy running after and passing Japanese people. The marathoner ended up passing everyone except two people who crossed the finish line before him. The two people were greeted like they just won the Super Bowl. The whole show felt like a weird version of The Running Man.

I don't know if the intention of the show was to be completely racist but it sure felt racist. That said, and this will sound weird, it was done in an oddly good spirited way. As the black runner ran he was greeted with high fives by the crowds that lined the streets. The marathoner also was waving and smiling the whole time he chased after the Japanese people as if he was having the time of his life. As I watched the show I thought to myself, "This is something that could never fly in America." Can you imagine NBC airing a program where a (fill in this space with a minority group) chases 100 white people? Yeah, only in Japan.