I always talk about how much I love Japanese TV. The brilliance, the innovation, the willingness to think outside the box, the pure and sheer fun of it all. Whenever people criticize Japanese TV, I tell them you have to give it more of a chance, find level appropriate material, and that it takes time to master the entertainment culture.
I still stand by this.
It’s fine to hate a large percentage of Japanese TV as long you put in the effort to find out what you do like.
“Japanese TV is garbage” is false.
“Most TV anywhere is garbage” is slightly closer to the truth.
“For you personally, most TV is garbage” is the closest to the truth.
Know what you love, Know what you hate
This isn’t something that happens immediately. It requires a commitment over time, as you are entering a completely new world of entertainment. People often make judgment too quickly, create blanket statements, and end up missing out on a massive amount of Japanese material they could be enjoying, which would make their Japanese improve that much faster.
I’m no exception. My “I love Japanese TV” is really “There is a lot of Japanese TV I really love.”
Think I have no hate? Wrong!
I hate most gourmet report shows. They make me unnecessarily hungry, they make what I eat look like nothing, the discussion bores me, and they are drawn out forever.
I hate most detective/police variety shows. The mere thought of them puts me to sleep……..
I hate most physical activity game shows. They remind me too much of the old U.S. show American Gladiator.
I hate most pure-talk shows, where there are no clips or videos edited in, and it’s just one long, long conversation.
A little love
I love travel shows, that show you the Japanese viewpoint on the world.
I love walking shows, that explore cities and towns all around Japan showing you what they have to offer.
I love comedy shows that are filled with manzai, konto, solo, and whatever other combos there are.
I love どっきり shows (hidden camera/pranks). The amount of effort that goes into them is incredible.
And this only encompasses “right now.” My loves and hates have evolved and gone back and forth over the years. Taste is not static.
Figure it all out
The above are just some select examples, but it took time to know what I like. Once you find out what you like, you can start to find out what you “really” like. I have no problem ignoring a majority percentage of TV shows. This is no different than what a native Japanese person does. Out of the dozens of new J-dramas, anime, movies, and variety shows that are released every season, most Japanese only watch a very small handful.
There is too much TV out there to enjoy everything so you might as well focus on what really entertains you. And you’ll never find that out unless you go through your TV self-exploration period. Your likes and dislikes will change over time. Embrace the freedom of choice you have.
What do you love? What do you hate?
Sometimes it’s good to get it out. What types of shows have you fallen in love with? What types of shows do you stay as far away from as possible? Let’s see some good love/hate lists!
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.