I vaguely remember being in Germany visiting my friend Charlie in the summer of 2000. I say vaguely because I was drunk on liters of beer and/or stoned on the brick of hash we smuggled back from Amsterdam in a Nutella jar pretty much the whole time. But I do remember watching a Japanese game show called Takeshi’s Castle. I remember it as being not unlike the final obstacle course on Double Dare, except with more potential for physical pain and a lot of reaction shots of Japanese people cracking up. Which is to say, it was awesome, especially when paired with the brick of hash.
Two weeks ago, I discovered I Survived a Japanese Game Show, an American version of Takeshi’s Castle currently airing on ABC. It is AMAZING. Your usual dumb American reality show contestants have to do things like peddle a tricycle on a treadmill that is moving backwards, or jump onto a giant Velcro board wearing Velcro suits. The show is filmed in Japan, and throughout the humiliating challenges, the host totally mocks the players in Japanese, and the audience laughs, and the players smile and nod like assholes! During the episode I watched, the winning team’s prize was a tour of a smelly fish market. And the losing team had to work in a rice paddy! Why aren’t more people watching this?!
I will leave you with possibly my favorite game ever of the Japanese version, Human Tetris.