月曜から夜ふかし, or the “Monday Night Late Show,” represents where Japanese TV should be proud it is heading. A highly sarcastic reflection on Japanese society with edgy humor, ever changing interesting and rarely covered topics, and a sense of real Japan in your face. This is it. This is the Daily Show of Japan. If you aren’t watching, you will be now.
9. The hosts are down to earth and real
I have no idea how they pulled this off, but they managed to get a member (村上) of the popular Japanese idol group Johnnys, and partnered him up with the wise-cracking ultra sarcastic cross dressing personality Matsuko Deluxe. Their personalities are such opposites, and because of this their chemistry is explosive. They are genuinely funny.
8. It turns all the prefectures and cities of Japan against each other
The show often focuses on the “problem” and “issues” of life in different prefectures and cities in Japan. And once one city is featured, viewers from other areas start contacting the show claiming where the real problems are. Or offended and stating why they are really great.
The result: an endless battle of all the crazy and weird things about Japan, and what places take it to the most extreme.
7. It combines insignificant local news from around Japan into hilarious national news
People submit stories about strange things they don’t understand about where they live to be solved and featured on the program.
6. They turn the story of the daily life of a 60 year old man living on stock benefits into a thrilling, motivational miniseries
Sounds preposterous? Oh it is, but once he gets on his bicycle and speeds through town trying to use up all his free stock benefits in a single day, you will be cheering him on.
5. The audience is regularly involved
Most Japanese TV show audiences provide constant “heyyyyyys” and other sound effects in the background. But besides that, and some occasional laughter, they don’t do much else.
Matsuko will regularly stop and ask the audience about things they are discussing. If they react in typical standard fashion for no reason at all, she will sometimes throw her strange comical fury at them.
4. There is the perfect mix between talk and footage
All talk can get boring. They know exactly when it’s time to switch to a video segment. Matsuko will often even say “okay we’ve stretched this out long enough.”
3. It parodies other variety shows
Whether intentional or not, Matsuko shows her contempt for typical variety show structure. If something starts to turn into a canned structured response and format, she will completely break the variety show flow and start to reflect on this bad variety show moment. She’ll yell at the director who sits nearby or the cameraman, and engage them in discussion regarding something she dislikes about what is going on. This is all included in the main show, and not cut.
2. The gourmet reports are actually funny
For anyone who is tired of an exaggerated 美味しい！(delicious), this show does it right. There is a mini series of bringing extremely fresh food made for Matsuko, who had had a very repressed city life of all packaged food.
They bring in the grower, farmer, or cook of where the fresh food comes from, and there is great and funny interaction with him and the hosts.
1. Everyone loves this show
Even the people most resistant to variety shows find this show interesting. And Japanese people love it (though it can be a bit too edgy for the older crowd). The show is still at its beginnings, at only a few years old. However it has already accomplished so much, and has incredible potential. I’ve never seen a show evolve so quickly as this.
I’ve seen almost every episode up to date, and it is one of my “absolutely will not miss” weekly shows.
Any of you watch it? Want to add some more info on why its so great? Or maybe you don’t like it?