Friday, August 13, 2010

Marketing Japan: Fail! The Idiocy of Typical Japanese TV

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

The complete title with sub-title of this article should be: Fail! The Idiocy of Typical Japanese TV - And Why Young People Don't Care About it Anymore. I've pointed out before that no media can survive the indifference of young people and that's what TV in Japan has become today.

This isn't meant to be, but could be, Part 3 as to why many TV stations in Japan are doomed... I predict that the first three to go bankrupt after the digital conversion on July 24, 2011 will be (in this order): TV Tokyo, TBS TV and TV Asahi. I wrote about this in detail here and here.

Yes. Amusing and intelligent. That's Japanese TV

Last night I had dinner with a nice family of friends who had a 16-year-old daughter. I spoke briefly with the father, mother and daughter about television. It was obvious that the father didn't watch TV or had no time to. The daughter seemed to not be interested in the subject at all. The mother, on the other hand, could do nothing but heap scorn upon it. As the title of this article suggests, that the youth didn't even care about the conversation shows that TV has a serious problem in this country; the mother was basically disgusted about TV and TV content.

The mother told me of an incident recently where TV Tokyo broadcast a "comedy" talk show about some famous Japanese guy that, before he was famous, had gone out with a girl for drinks, then invited her up to his apartment. When she rejected his advances and decided to leave, he got very angry and then attacked her by throwing frozen hams at her as she ran from the apartment in a brazen example of assault and, possibly, attempted rape.

The mother was extremely angry because this affair suggested that this poor woman was about to be raped, yet the TV shows "guests" all thought that this episode was hilarious.

The TV show guests all laughed and thought this was hilarious!? Really? I wonder if they would have thought it was so funny if that were their daughter?

What was the reaction the the viewing public to this laughed at and belittled case of near-rape and assault? Predictably, anger, outrage and viewer disgust...

Well, of course, most people in Japan have some common sense, the people who work in or on TV in Japan? Well, I'm not too sure about them.

Now this episode has become a big problem in Japan and an even bigger one for TV Tokyo as the people (especially women) are very angry about this.

Trust me folks, I've worked closely with TV Tokyo people for a few years now: It is basically a TV station full of idiots.

But I digress...

A week or so ago, my 21-year-old daughter was over to visit. She works as a lighting assistant for a very famous club here in Tokyo called "Ageha." Ageha is one of these places that have all-night dance parties every weekend and famous DJ's from all over the world come there to perform. My daughter is a laser lighting technical assistant and I'm very proud that she has chosen a field that she loves.

My daughter, like most girls her age, likes music, guys, money, nice clothes and accessories; she has an iPod and, of course, a computer and a cell phone.

"Do you watch TV?" I asked her. "No," she replied.

I asked her if any of her friends watched TV. Once again, the answer was negative, "Never." Then she added, "When I was 13 or 14 years old, if you asked me or any of my friends, they would have told you that they couldn't live without TV. But if you ask them now, no one ever watches any TV. Why would anyone watch TV? It's so incredibly stupid, ridiculous and a waste of time."

I've been telling people this for at least 8 years.  She rolled her eyes, "Yes, daddy, I know that!"

Watch this video. This is typical Japanese TV. This is a short scene...From TV Tokyo or TBS - whatever - it doesn't matter - the point is that this is typical. It is about some people who have created a jet pack consisting of Pet bottles filled with water and using compressed air as propulsion.

Japanese Water Bottle Jet Pack Fail - Watch more Funny Videos

Any kid who has played with balloons or plastic bottles in a child's wading pool knows what's going to happen when this "Jet-Pack" launches; it's going to go up to displace the pressure, then go back down immediately.

Of course, the TV audience has a bunch of (canned) laughter and they show it over repeatedly in slow-motion... Chuckle... Snicker (for, perhaps, a second or two at the stupidity of the entire thing)... Then, the show will spend the next ten minutes in mindless banter making stupid comments about it all...But then it ends... With a bunch of commercials no less...

Think about this.... This idiocy ends with commercials and a whimper of a laugh, if that. What satisfaction does the viewer get? What benefit to the viewers life was given? Or was this a waste of thirty minutes of the viewers time all in return for a second of laughter?

What a hollow existence! No wonder TV is dying. And, still to this day,  people actually sit and watch this stuff? The TV stations are so out of touch that they think a majority of people would actually take time out of their schedules to watch this? Extraordinary!

On cell phones or computers, the young person can communicate with friends real-time... They can see what they want, when they want... They can explore, adventure, learn new things and find new music, stories, romance, news!... But on TV? This sort of thing?

Dear reader is asked to consider as I finish this article, where is the satisfaction or redeeming factor in watching this Jet pack launching nonsense or watching people laugh at assault with frozen ham and attempted rape, or any manner of likeness of these two examples?

I suggest that there is none: One is about an attempted rape, but make no mistake about it, both are rape of the mind of the viewing audience by the fools running these TV stations.

The problem for the TV stations is that the people - especially the young - have finally caught on. The good old days of TV being King are gone... The days of TV Tokyo, TBS and TVAsahi are numbered.


Anonymous said...

Television is managed Entertainment, in most developed ecconomies....
Going by this axiom food, shelter, clothing and entertainment(Television)
the mass media as in Television seems to have come near its extinction or near-lifecycle.....
Back in the day when TV was scarce, the ultimate craze for most citezens was sony TV and satellites...
That has come full circle...

Salil Ghoshal

Anonymous said...

Japanese TV does indeed suck.

Especially when they show the little box in the corner with a 'TV personality' watching clips along with you, so you can see how they re-act. Silly.
Luckily, you have the best food and shopping in the world, so who cares about tv, go shopping and to a restaurant...

Anthony Shaw

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Yeah... Actually it will be a relief when TV Tokyo, TBS and TV Asahi go down... Not that I watch any of them now anyhow... Hopefully their demise will lessen the numbers of stupid people that I sometimes meet

Andy "In Japan" said...

We moved to Japan a year ago and still don't have a TV. Believe me, we don't miss it. The content isn't the only problem. TV is just so passive. You can't post a comment. Not even a boring one! As limited as the internet is at times, at least it gives you the ability to interact with other humans. Look for TV to whither away, regardless of content.

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