I Survived a Japanese Game Show starts tonight

There’s a new reality TV show that starts on ABC tonight. It could either be really funny or absolutely awful. I Survived a Japanese Game Show took 10 contestants–six women and four men– to Japan where they competed in some sort of wacky game show called Majide in front of a Japanese audience.

Not only do the contestants compete in the game show, they are immersed in aspects of Japanese culture they didn’t quite expect. The reason they didn’t expect it is because when they showed up a the studio to participate in a reality television show, they didn’t know what the show involved. Nothing. Nada. Next thing, Japan.

I saw a preview last night and admittedly, I was laughing out loud. Okay, here’s the thing. I thought The Three Amigos was funny and loved Joe VS. The Volcano. I amuse fairly easily, although Abha, I promise, I wouldn’t think The Love Guru is at all amusing.

I do love the idea of putting people in cultural situations they are not quite sure about as long as the culture isn’t demeaned and the people in the situation aren’t elevated in stature. In this case, I’d say the Americans have plenty of opportunity to look fairly ridiculous.

Here’s one contest, for example. In the “Chicken Butt Scramble,” contestants dress up like chickens and try to break large “eggs” filled with goo by sitting on them and bouncing hard. It’s not easy.

As the weeks progress, contestants will be eliminated until the last person wins $250,000.


The game-show host, Rome Kanda is a Japanese-born actor/comedian who lives in the United States and is paired with Tony Sano, an American actor who speaks fluent Japanese.

Yes, yes, the show does sound pretty mindless and why not read a good book instead? I don’t know about you, but June has been a fairly busy, stressful month. I could use a few guffaws. I hope I’m not disappointed and disgusted.

Here’s a trailer.

“I Survived a Japanese Game Show” airs Tuesdays on ABC at 9 p.m. EST. Let’s see if Hollywood gets it right with this one. I’ll give you my impressions tomorrow.