Latest Japanese variety show Stories
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun Jul. 22--Summertime TV has been dabbling in game shows and contestant humiliation since 2001, when NBC debuted Fear Factor with an episode featuring players lowered into a pit filled with rats.
By Cary Darling The Japanese long have been known for their torturous game shows that test not only physical endurance but sanity. Now this approach is finding a home on American TV.
The freak show called reality TV has always pushed its clowns to fall apart, whether they're would-be models pining for the affections of a washed-up rocker, hot-tempered roommates battling for the last dab of toothpaste or cold-hearted contestants willing to emotionally scar their loved ones for a shot at a bag of cash.
Reason to watch: It's summer. You're bored. Nothing else on. All good reasons (there's always a good book, or a newspaper, by the way), but these shows also could be breakout hits. "Whaaa?!" you say.
- A person in a secondary role, specifically the second most important character (after the protagonist).